Friday, May 15, 2009

My Speech in DUN - Compassionate Aid Fund for Flood Victims

Tuan Speaker,

Flood victims,despite the dry weather, is still reeling from the losses they suffered. Due to endless bureaucracy and red tape, the meager amount as promised by the BN government was still not received by a number of victims. Out of the total of 43 families who have yet to receive the monetary aid, 23 families are from Kampung Desa Ria (Lorong 3 of Desa Wira), 17 families from Desa Wira Resettlement Scheme, 1 family each from Taman Lovelyland, Jalan Sg. Tapang and Batu Kawa Resettlement Scheme. All the names list have been duly submitted to the Resident Office, the State Welfare Department and Kuching District Office. I had also extended a copy of the name list to the State Secretary Office.

Despite my numerous letters on matter relating to compassionate aid funds for the flood victims addressed to the Resident Office Kuching, the State Welfare department and Kuching District Office, I do not receive any reply from the three departments. I am disappointed with such attitude of the government departments. It appears that government departments seldom or seems reluctant to reply queries made either by opposition or individual. Is it because we are not in the government so we are seen to be transparent and there is no need to accord us with basic courtesy? Such attitude makes me wonder if the recent new branding of the state civil service with a new motto “An Honour to Serve” is only an empty slogan put up for show to satisfy own ego.

I however, received replies from the State Secretary Office and although I am not satisfied with the contents, at least I know where the flood victims stand.

Tuan Speaker,

It is the government who should provide the aid to the flood victims. The ruling party’s responsibility is to take care of the people’s welfare as best as it can while the opposition ensures a ‘check and balance’ for the people. This is a universal understanding. So, when the Chief Minister made a sweeping statement that Opposition prefers to lookand see and then make criticisms instead of lending a helping hand,” that was totally uncalled for.

This is also disheartening that the Chief Minister who is in control of all the government resources to expect the opposition party to hand out money to the people when it is the ruling party’s job. “If we DAP and PKR are in power today in Sarawak, then I will say it is our duty to ensure that substantial amount of financial aid will be given to not only flood victims but to improve their lives of all the poor.”
Welfare for the people of Sarawak including the recent flood victims should not be brushed aside and to be told that opposition could only criticize. This is surely a statement made by a rookie politician and certainly should not from the chief minister himself who had been in the governing party for decades.

Look at some of the flood victims whose only properties like houses, values which were destroyed by flood, were given a meager RM300 or RM500 and still the money was delayed until today. Why should the flood money be turned into a political stunt by the BN? The people need help. There is no need to announce the money a few times and then delay it when the people need it most. What a mockery of the government delivery system.

And yet, The Resident office, The District office and the Welfare department demanded for names and details of the flood victims to be filled up for verification so that alms will be given to them. What a waste of time for these folks who has to go through the hassle but ended up waiting for months. Is helping the needy such a tedious job that reimbursing a few hundred ringgits need months to handle? I think it is time the government should realize that the government money is actually the people’s money. Please give back to the people what they deserved now and should not use everything as a political mileage for the BN.

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