Give at least 30% wage subsidy to companies in Sarawak

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Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:

The State Government’s BKSS 7.0 RM10,000 one-off financial aids to businesses registered in Sarawak is too little for many businesses in Sarawak. Such one-size-fit-all financial aids are not helpful at all to the medium-sized or large-sized businesses.

It only shows that the GPS Government did not put much thought into the measure to truly help the business sectors.

According to the announcement, the said RM10,000 one-off aids will be paid in 2 instalments of RM5,000 over a period of 4 months, namely, in September and December 2021.

While the said RM10,000 one-off aids maybe helpful to some small business entities, it is far too little to help those medium-sized or large-sized companies affected by the current pandemic.

To put this into perspective, take for example, for a company having about 10 employees, the minimum wages, EPF contribution, rental and other operation costs will easily be RM30,000 per month. From now to the end of the year, the costs will be at least RM150,000. The RM10,000 one-off aidsisless than 10% of the costs.

In reality, there are thousands of businesses having more than 10 employees. For them, this RM10,000 one-off aids are only a drop of the ocean. It is far too little.

On another note, there are also those one-man show or owner-operation businesses run solely by the owners of the companies. They are not eligible to register with PERKESO for Socso insurance cover. They will also be left out from this RM10,000 one-off aids.

After 18 months into the pandemic, this is the first time the State Government is actually giving some substantial financial assistance to businesses in Sarawak. Yet, despite such long delay in providing financial aids to businesses, the amount now announced are still too little.

Therefore, the State Government should make some adjustments to the MKSS 7.0 RM10,000 one-off financial aids to businesses registered in Sarawak in the following manner:

  1. The one-off financial aids should not be a one-size-it-all amount. The Government should introduce a multi-tier financial aids grant to Sarawak businesses according to the sizes of employment of the companies;
  2. The financial aids should cover at least 30% of the monthly wage expenses of the companies up to the end of the year.
  3. As for those owner-operating companies without any workers (ie. those not registered with PERKESO), there should also be ways for payment of the RM10,000 one-off financial aids to them.

5-8-2021
Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak Chairman