GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia - Some 1,000 Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) recipients with disabilities, as well as senior citizens, had to endure a long queue to receive the aid at the Caring Society Complex here.
It was claimed that the DAP-led state government had refused to allow the premises to be used by the Welfare Department to disburse the aid.
The Northeast District Welfare Department, which is based there, was not allowed to open counters at the lobby of the complex, and as a result, had to contend with getting their aid in a cramped office.
State Gerakan Youth chief Oh Tong Keong said he was informed the state government on Wednesday forbade the department from opening five registration counters and arranged chairs in the lobby of the complex, for the comfort of the recipients.
"The reason given was that the department had not applied to the complex management. "This is not the way. There are many recipients here who are disabled and elderly. Furthermore, the programme does not take long," Oh said when met at the complex yesterday.
Oh added that such an incident did not occur during Barisan Nasional's (BN) administration.
Meanwhile, state Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) chairman Tan Tee Beng expressed his regret over the incident, adding that the state government should not politicise the programme.
"The aid has nothing to do with the state's welfare programme. If you want to politicise all the issues, the people suffer, more so the disabled and elderly."
State Health, Welfare, Caring Society, and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh, when contacted, said there had been no application by BN to use the place for the programme.
"It (what Oh said) is a baseless allegation. Don't try to mislead the people," Phee said.