Penang sets up system to distribute food, essentials to vulnerable groups

Opalyn Mok
Chow said he wants to prevent individuals involved in distribution work from being exposed to the virus without proper protective gear. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, March 27 — The Penang state government is setting up a system to distribute food and basic necessities to households in need, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced today.

He said the respective state assemblymen have been distributing food and necessities to their constituents before this.

“The intention of the state government to take the initiative in restructuring the distribution works is to reduce movement, particularly any unorganised movements during the MCO period,” he said in a message on Facebook today.

He said the state wants to prevent individuals involved in distribution work from being exposed to the virus without proper protective gear.

“We want to prevent any loss caused by the unplanned and inefficient distribution of the food supplies and essential needs,” he said.

He said the state administration will take over the distribution of food and let the authorities such as medical personnel, police, military and fire brigade carry out any rescue operations during this period.

He also expressed his gratitude to the many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and charitable individuals in Penang who are helping the vulnerable groups and the needy.

“Many have expressed their intentions, and some have even mobilized their members to prepare food, deliver daily necessities, clean up public areas, and so forth,” he said.

As for the issue of the homeless people still gathered around Komtar Bus Terminal each night, Chow said the state viewed this issue seriously.

“We will be taking a special approach on this very soon,” he said.

On the MCO, Chow said Penang has reached a compliance of 94 per cent so the state was on track to control the spread of the virus.

“I was informed by the Director of Penang National Security Council that the enforcement of the MCO would be tightened in each district to achieve a more effective result,” he said.

He said the action committees have been mobilised in each district to better implement the MCO.

“It is not the intention of the state government and the authorities to burden the people, rather, we must unite and work together to ensure that we win this ‘war’,” he said while appealing to all Penangites to adhere to the MCO.

He also reassured the public that the law enforcement authorities will ensure food supply is not cut off.

He also urged NGOs and welfare bodies to plan and conserve their resources and energy during the entire duration of the MCO.

“The state government will need your services after April 14 to help reach the people of Penang and rebuild our beloved state,” he said.



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