The food banks run by the Muar and Segambut Members of Parliament have been closed after authorities warned them of overcrowding by those waiting to receive aid.
Upset by the situation, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman appeared to be prepared to defy instructions.
“I was ordered to close the Muar Parliament office starting tomorrow as police said too many people were lined up outside the office,” he tweeted.
“I can’t stop poor and hungry people from coming and asking for help. The people of Muar are my responsibility.
“If you want to (issue a) compound (fine), compound me! Do not add to the burden of the people of Muar!” said Syed Saddiq, who heads the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda).
Meanwhile, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said on Facebook that the numbers at her food bank were simply overwhelming and that upon discussion with the police, she agreed to terminate the food bank.
“In just four hours of operation, a total of 853 people have come to our food bank.
“The crowd started coming an hour earlier than the scheduled opening time. After discussing with the police, we agreed to terminate this food bank because the demand was too high and some came as far as Selayang, Jinjang, Rawang, Batu Caves and Petaling Jaya,” Yeoh said.
She added that the food bank was put together with donations from NGOs and private donors, not through the use of any government allocation.
The recipients included 242 Malaysians and 611 non-citizens.
“I asked those who came about their situation and most told me that they had no income because they could not work during the lockdown.
“We also distributed milk for those with babies and children. On the first day, I stood at the gate and felt like crying because I saw the hardships that people are facing now.
“I apologise for not being able to continue this food bank, but we will continue to find ways to help those affected by this movement control order (MCO),” Yeoh said.
She called on the National Security Council to find ways for the economy to reopen.
“Many have been sitting at home since June 1 and are no longer able to survive. (Yesterday’s Covid-19) cases have reached 11,000. How do you pay rent, utility bills and family food costs while waiting for the cases to come down?
“Use the right standard operating procedures (SOPs) and empower the people to oppose Covid-19,” Yeoh said.