A Sabah PKR leader has alleged that several rural villagers who collected government cash aid had ended up spending the money to pay off a fine for travelling together.
PKR Pensiangan chief Raymond Ahuar urged the police to be more understanding of the hardship faced by the rural poor. Sabah police chief Zaini Jass could not be reached for comment.
Ahuar said: “I have received claims in Pensiangan that villagers were fined for car pooling while heading to the town’s bank to withdraw the cash aid.
“The fines are around RM1,000 each, the same amount of the RM1,000 “Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat” aid from the federal government”
He said the villagers were fined for violating the travel restrictions under the movement control order.
“There are only 10% to 20% of those in the Pensiangan villages who have cars. Public transport here has been restricted since the MCO started,” he said.
Ahuar said the villagers were largely poor farmers or workers hired by local industries but had lost their source of income since the MCO shutdowns.
Sabah police have announced stricter enforcement for the third phase of the MCO ruling from April 15-28. – FMT