KOTA KINABALU, Nov 11 -- A social and human rights activist has proposed that a Parliament-level committee be set up to monitor aid distribution and allocations to ensure efforts to rehabilitate COVID-19-hit Sabah are effective.
Datuk Patrick Sindu, a former United Nations (UN) diplomat on Human Rights, Consumerism and Environment, said the committee should monitor the situation from a wider perspective, adding that the most crucial was to ensure that all assistance and allocations for Sabah were used in the best possible manner so as to have a positive impact on the people of the state, including those at the grassroots level.
"The committee should, every three or six months, table a special report to Parliament on whether the aid distributed had comprehensively benefited the community. If not, what can be done to improve it.
"This move is important as we don't want any more issues related to dilapidated infrastructure. This step is also important as we also want to ensure there's no wastage and leakage occurring in distributing the aid... this too needs to be audited,” he told Bernama when contacted today.
Patrick said that although Budget 2021 had various allocations to revive Sabah, especially the RM5.1 billion development allocation, without strict monitoring from the Parliamentary-level committee these allocations might not reach those in need.
“Don’t channel aid through political platforms, use non-governmental organisation (NGOs) and government welfare bodies.
“Don’t let the aid go to irresponsible people. The MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) must monitor the distribution process to ensure only those really in need get the aid to improve their lives, especially post-COVID-19,” said Patrick, who hails from Papar, Sabah, and was a diplomat based in Geneva, Switzerland from 1985 to 2010.
Yesterday, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Sabah recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases, with 397 compared to 869 nationwide.
Malaysian National News Agency
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