Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:
I have today submitted to the Deputy Minister of Finance I (YB Datuk Abd Rahim bin Bakri), the letter of appeal on behalf of the Gabungan Pemilik Teksi Kuching, seeking approval of the Ministry of Finance for the applications for Bantuan Sara hidup by the 227 taxi drivers who are also the shareholders of Gabungan Pemilik Teksi Kuching Berhad.
The company was formed to manage the Taxi Coupon Counter at the Kuching International Airport and most of the taxi drivers who provide their services at the Airport took up a small share in the company to share in the costs of operating the coupon counter.
It was never a profitable endeavour and with the rise of e-hailing, it has been running losses since 2018. And with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Gabungan Pemilik Teksi Kuching has decided cease the coupon counter at the Kuching International Airport.
However, just because they are holding a share in a company, all the 227 shareholders’ applications for Bantuan Sara Hidup were rejected.
This is most unfair, especially given that taxi drivers are one of the hardest-hit in this Covid-19 pandemic, yet their applications for BSH were rejected just because their hold shares in a company which was essential to their trade.
The main benchmark for consideration of application for BSH is that one’s income is within the B40 bracket, which is household income of RM4,000 or below per month. Most of them are now within that income bracket and thus the fact that they are holding some shares in a company should not disqualify them of the BSH assistance.
I hope their application can be approved soonest possible as they are in real need of the BSH assistance fund.
Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak Chairman