KUANTAN, Aug 24 — An assemblyman today called on the Pahang government to distribute free or subsidised COVID-19 self-test kits to B40 families so that more residents can do their own testing and in turn, help prevent the spark of new clusters.
Bilut assemblyman Lee Chin Chen said there was a need to do so after the Health Ministry explained that many positive cases now did not show any symptoms, which meant that many people were probably unaware that they have contracted COVID-19.
“The self-test kit needs to be an essential family item so that more people have the opportunity to get tested. However, it is expensive and if there are many family members, it can burden their financial situation,” he said.
Lee, who is also state opposition leader, said this when debating the motion of thanks for the royal address by the Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at the Pahang State Legislative Assembly sitting at Wisma Sri Pahang here.
According to Lee, the state government should also set up a special fund to help protect the welfare of B40 families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing financial assistance for a certain period of time, besides considering providing quit rent and assessment rate exemption to those who are eligible.
Meanwhile, Young Syefura Othman (DAP-Ketari) hoped the state government would be more open in sharing the data of COVID-19 cases and clusters, as well as the plan to address the pandemic with the opposition representatives to facilitate them in taking necessary actions.
“Cooperation between the state government and the opposition is important to drive the prosperity of the state and is more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am disappointed when the state government does not share data on this status.
“We have no intention to seize power or play politics because we only consist of nine people. We do not ask for patients’ personal details but if we have more complete information such as their residential areas, it will make it easier for us to send aid,” she said.
Meanwhile, Lee Chean Chung (PKR-Semambu) asked the state government to find a solution in helping the Muslims in the state to perform Friday prayers, following complaints from those who have not had the opportunity to do so for a long time due to the set standard operating procedures.
The sitting continues tomorrow.