Chong: Government Shouldn’t Keep SMEs For Long Waiting

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Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:

As we approach the end of April, there are still many companies in Sarawak who have applied for the Wage Subsidy Program not receiving any approval from the Government.

The Wage Subsidy Program announced by the Government offers the following grants:

  1. for enterprises having 75 or fewer employees, a wage subsidy of RM1,200 per employee (with monthly salary of RM4000 and below) per month for a period of 3 months;
  2. for enterprises having 76 to 200 employees, a wage subsidy of RM800 per employee (with monthly salary of RM4000 and below) per month for a period of 3 months; and
  3. for enterprises having 201 or more employees, a wage subsidy of RM600 per employee (with monthly salary of RM4000 and below) per month for a period of 3 months.

The Wage Subsidy Program was open for application to the business enterprises on 9-4-2020.

While some enterprises have received the fund from the Wage Subsidy Program, there are still some enterprises whose applications were submitted since 9-4-2020 are still pending for approval. When they log into the Perkeso website, their applications were still classified as “Permohonan Baru” despite the fact that they applied on 9-4-2020, and when they tried to call Perkeso, no one answers their calls.

As the April salaries are due and payable for most enterprises and businesses at this juncture, the Government should expedite the approval processes for the applications of these companies.

On a macro aspect, the Government should be transparent on the Wage Subsidy Program by publishing on the website of Perkeso, the following:

  1. How many enterprises have applied for the Program and a breakdown of the figure by States;
  2. How many of these applications have been approved and the total fund disbursed to date (by States); and
  3. The reasons for the applications not being approved.

The Wage Subsidy Program is meant to assist the enterprises to meet the salary payment of their employees during the economic hardship caused by the covid-19 pandemic. As such, the fund ought to be disbursed without any delay.

We call upon the government to expedite the approval process and disbursement of the fund to the enterprises in Sarawak.