Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi
by Conny Banji. Posted on June 9, 2011, ThursdaySIBU: A number of agents appointed by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC)
to deliver subsidised goods to the rural areas are believed to be taking advantage of the government’s multi-million ringgit effort.
Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi revealed he had received complaints that many consignments ended up in the nearest town instead of the designated places.
“If they (agents) have to send goods to faraway places, like in the upper reaches of the Rajang River, they are expected to do it. Instead, they delivered to the nearest town but their claims for payment were based on the final destination.
“This is not right as people in the rural areas are being denied the benefit of the government’s assistance,” he said when met here on Monday.
Nanta said there were a few agents appointed in Song and Kapit by the ministry and monitored by its National Price Council secretariat.
The initiative forms part of the government efforts to improve the essential goods distribution method to ensure the targeted groups are able to benefit from government subsidies.
“What these unscrupulous people are doing is bad for everybody. I will monitor them closely and keep Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Seri Sabri Ismail informed,” he said, adding that the act tantamount to sabotaging the government’s noble effort to assist the poor and rural people.
He said the government, through MDTCC, had been spending huge amount on this assistance programme.
On another matter, Nanta, who is also chairman of the Malaysian Pepper Board, said he was glad that the government was not withdrawing fuel subsidy for the public transport sector.
Rural folks who rely on express boats were relieved as this would prevent fare hikes which would burden them, he commented.
He said express boats were still the cheapest and most convenient mode of transport between rural towns like Kapit, Song, Belaga, Kanowit, Marudi.