OKU Sentral president Ras Adiba Radzi today aired an impassioned plea, highlighting the prevalence of those who have been driven into a dire and desperate situation by the Movement Control Order (MCO) which has shut down small businesses and left many without sources of income.

This comes after numerous calls from both opposition politicians and non-governmental organisations first called for the government to expedite aid to the vulnerable, namely the poor, marginalised, elderly with mobility problems, homeless and a growing section of newly unemployed.

While the NGOs and volunteers were mobilised and providing life-saving aid to the vulnerable, the government announced last Saturday (March 29) a directive for all such operations to be halted and those involved should adhere to the MCO.

An outcry followed as NGOs across the country pleaded for the government to rescind the directive, most stating that they had adhered to safety precautions in undertaking their relief efforts.

As yet, there is no news of any re-evaluation of the directive by the government.

However, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari in announcing the state’s relief package today, did state that the aid for the vulnerable in the state would be disbursed by next week and delivered by NGOs and all community service centres, in contrast to the federal directive.

Under the directive, announced by senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the NGOs involved were ordered to hand over their aid items to the Welfare Department, which would then be distributed by the National Volunteer Corps (RELA) and the army.

Yesterday we carried a report of a samaritan from Kota Kemuning blasting the government over the directive and the mechanism in place.

William Cheah ended up distributing tons of food meant for the poor, which he had stored in a rented facility, to his neighbours in the affluent neighborhood of Kota Kemuning.

This came after he tried to deliver the items to the Welfare Department, who informed him they did not have the capacity to receive the items.

With another 13 days to the end of the second phase of the MCO and the Health Ministry announcing today that the curve in the spread of the virus is beginning to show signs of flattening, what lies ahead for the vulnerable is still uncertain.

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