"The fact that certain communities remain underserved shows that they have existed long outside the government's radar."
- Kampung Tunku assemblyperson Lim Yi Wei
COMMENT | Defence Minister Ismail Sabri's comments on NGOs distributing food to the disenfranchised are much appreciated, but telling the NGOs to limit their movements by leaving it to the state to distribute food is misguided - but then, what do you expect from this government?
Ismail made this rather ludicrous comment “...We can't have part of the population moving freely distributing food.” This is bizarre because we already have part of the population - the state security apparatus, doctors, nurses, other essential service workers, and the myriad of state operators - moving around carrying out duties which are deemed “essential”.
From the reportage: “When contacted, an aide to Ismail reiterated that NGOs were not prohibited from contributing their services. Taking into consideration the risks faced by NGOs, the aide said Ismail had issued the advice for donations to be channelled through the nearest state Social Welfare Department office.”
In other words, these NGOs, which have myriad methods of collecting donations, would now have to centralise their collection methods, then channel them to the government agency, which would then distribute them to the relevant people. This is even not taking into account that NGOs serve localised communities, who are most probably never on the radar of the state.
Does this make any sort of sense, to anyone?...