Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:
The BKSS 6.0 announced by Abang Jo 2 days ago does not address the immediate and pressing predicaments faced by the people and business as a result of the currently MCO.3.0.
Once again, the SMEs and the business sector are left high and dry to fend for themselves without any help from the State Government. There is no wage subsidy for the SMEs to keep their work force despite the economic slowdown and the losses that they suffer as a result of the pandemic and the MCO 3.0.
The refusal on the part of the State Government to give wage subsidy to the SMEs and businesses will result in deduction of wage and allowances or even retrenchment of the employees. To many employees, their losses will be more than the BKSS B40 cash handouts given by the State Government under BKSS 6.0.
Secondly, why wait till end of July and some even December to give out the money to the B40s and the hawkers when they need the money now as a result of the MCO 3.0?
Under Abang Jo’s announcement for BKSS 6.0:
- B40 families will be given monthly RM250 cash starting 31-7-2021 till 31-12-2021;
- B40 bachelors will be given one-off RM500 starting 31-8-2021; and
- 65,000 hawkers will be given RM1,500 in 2 instalments of RM750 each in July and December.
The MCO 3.0 started in Sarawak on 29-5-2021. The B40s and the hawkers felt the impact of reduced income immediately but have to continue paying their car loans and housing loans. Yet, the government needs to wait for 2 months before rolling out the cash assistance to them. The Government has all the data and the SarawakPay that enable the Government to roll out the assistance IMMEDIATELY. Why drag for 2 months and some even 6 months?
The people need financial aids NOW, but the Government will only give out financial aids in 2 months’ time. It defies all logic and common sense. Is it a genuine aid for the people or a GPS’s State Election “cash for vote” tactic?
Thirdly, for the sector hardest hit by the pandemic, the assistance given under BKSS 6.0 is too little.
For the tourism sector, the State Government is allocating RM1.63 million as one-off financial assistance of:
- RM3,000 to 216 licensed tourism agencies;
- RM600 to 568 homestay operators;
- RM1,500 to 392 licensed tour guides; and
- RM500 to 99 licensed tourist vehicle drivers.
This group has been most affected since the beginning of the pandemic. Yet, after suffering for a whole year, only a total RM1.63 million (less than 0.2% of the announced total assistance) was allocated for them.
Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak Chairman