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MP tells of second look at food aid voucher idea

By FMT Reporters (17 July 2021) PETALING JAYA: The federal government is giving fresh consideration to a proposal that food vouchers be distributed to the needy instead of food boxes being delivered, an MP has revealed. Subang Jaya MP Wong Chen of PKR said in a Facebook posting that one of his officers had been verbally informed that the voucher proposal made two weeks ago was under consideration.

“The authorities did not give an answer to our proposal, so we had no choice but to follow the full government directive, which is to purchase food, and transport, store and distribute the same via a door-to-door delivery system.

“It has been a difficult and time-consuming exercise,” he said. “We are still hoping that the federal government will approve the (voucher) proposal.”

On July 2, he had suggested that shopping vouchers be delivered via PosLaju instead of food aid boxes being distributed. Households in need could use the vouchers to buy food items at shops in their neighbourhoods, according to their needs. The vouchers can also prohibit the purchase of cigarettes or alcohol.

In his posting today, he described the process of food box distribution. He said four teams from his office delivered a total of about 7.5 tonnes of food aid to three blocks of low-cost flats in Subang Jaya. The job took about six hours, starting at 8am, using four vehicles: two four-wheel drives, a one-tonne truck and a three-tonne truck.

“Today’s delivery of 300 plus food boxes went smoothly like last week, too,” he said. “The 300 plus boxes may not sound like much but once you try to load them on trucks, the scale of the operation will hit you. “Each food box plus a sack of rice weighs about 25kg in total. With 300 plus delivered today, we had in fact moved more than 7.5 tonnes of food. We were lucky to have forklifts to load the trucks but unloading on site was done by pure human power.”

He said his team hoped to move “even more boxes” next week, in Kinrara and Subang Jaya. “After two weeks of backbreaking work, my team and I are praying hard for the approval of our original voucher proposal,” he added.