KENINGAU: The Federal Government should review the 1AZAM (Akhiri Zaman Miskin) assistance as it is alleged to be unfair. Making the call yesterday, former Pensiangan member of parliament Datuk Dr Bernard S Maarat suggested that the 1AZAM be frozen temporarily until a study on its transparency was completed.
According to Bernard, grassroots leaders would not know the existence of assistance under such a scheme. Bernard said if the assistance was meant for the poor why unqualified people had also received 1AZAM aid. “It is surprising that the hardcore poor who are supposed to be getting the assistance would not get it. A few government pensioners, including village chiefs also received the assistance,” he claimed.
Those who have many dependents were only given a small sum while others received more than they should, he said, claiming that he had received reports from recipients in Pensiangan that I AZAM distribution was not transparent and unfair. The Government should review the assistance as the opposition might capitalise on it as a political tool, said Bernard who is also a Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Supreme Council member. Only genuine recipients should get the 1AZAM assistance, he said.
In another development, Bernard was not happy with the Hardcore Housing Development Program (PPRT) because many unqualified people had benefited from the scheme. “These include recipients who have fixed income and own houses whereas those who are eligible under the scheme would not get it,” he claimed.
Bernard who is also Sook PBS chief also described the power sharing among Barisan Nasional (BN) components in Pensiangan as a “shame”. He claimed that the services of come community leaders from PBS and Umno at village level had been terminated. “To me this is not further strengthening BN leadership in this area but contributing to the downfall of BN especially in the upcoming general election,” he said.
Bernard said if the trend continued it would be detrimental to the present strength of the BN in Pensiangan. “I urge the top BN leadership to see to it that the power sharing concept is carried out fairly here instead of all talk but no action only,” he said.
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