Give cash vouchers to the poor instead of hampers, rep tells Penang assembly
Last Update: 07/11/2019
GEORGE TOWN, Nov 6 -- Bagan state assemblyman M. Satees today called on the practice of giving ‘food hampers’ to the poor in the state to be replaced with cash vouchers.
He said this while debating the Supply Bill and 2020 Development Estimates at the Penang state assembly at Dewan Sri Pinang here.
Satees described the handing over of hampers to the target groups by welfare bodies such as Zakat Penang, especially during Ramadan and the festive season as being outdated.
"I would like to express my views as an assemblyman of an area with about 20 per cent Muslim voters, the zakat assistance is something that is very helpful to them. It is no doubt zakat (aid) reduces the burden of poor families. I have one request, that is for assistance during Ramadan and the festive season to be in the form of cash vouchers.
"Let's not give them hampers of rice, oil, biscuits and so on. This is a practice that I find to be obsolete. With cash vouchers they can buy the necessary goods themselves. This is my view, and not a form of criticism," he said.
Meanwhile, Satees also called on the state government to speed up the process of commissioning the Floating Mosque at the Penang Port in Butterworth by the Penang Islamic Religious Council.
He said the Penang Port had informed him that they had requested for the mosque to commissioned several times, but to date, there had been no response from the relevant parties.
"Almost 1,700 people go in and out of the port but they have no place to pray. I hope that the commissioning process is expedited so that the mosque will not be under-utilised or abandoned.
"The Penang Islamic Religious Council does not have to spend the money to maintain the mosque because the Penang Port will handle it. I hope the state government takes this matter seriously," he added.