Press Statement By Julian Tan:
I urge the government and relevant parties to resolve long queues at Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN). It has been a recurring sight with no apparent improvement in the situation. Many raised their concerns, especially when the state daily COVID19 cases are at an all-time high.
During my visit to one of the BSN branches, I found out that most people are there for government financial aid as they do not have an existing bank account or have yet to update their banking details. There are also people sent there for their welfare application which only accept bank account with BSN. The branch we visited can only serve 100 customers per day. By around 730 am all the numbering tickets for queues had been taken up. Many people turned up and wasted their trip, but not until they have found out the need to take the numbering tickets for the day as there is no visible information on how to go about it. By 1 pm, most have waited there since 7 am. I am glad that throughout the ordeal, most adhere to COVID19 SOP.
I urge the relevant party to immediately act on the situation, both short-term and long-term. The government should seriously look into some of the suggestions and concerns already highlighted by our reps. Nothing will change unless steps are taken promptly.
1) Allow other banks other than BSN to participate in the pay-out of government aids. Those who do not have an existing bank account or have yet to update their latest banking information for the financial aid.
2) Allow other banks the ability to update and pay out the financial aids to recipients, on-the-spot who already have an existing account with them and yet to update their information for the financial aid. This will be a win-win as many people I interviewed that day do have existing bank accounts but do not have the means or know-how to update their banking information.
3) The welfare department (JKM) should revert their decision and allow banks other than BSN to process welfare payments. The issue had been highlighted by YB Irene a month back, which I quote “…call upon Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah and JKM to look urgently into this impasse between JKM, CIMB Bank, and BSN in Sibu and which is causing a lot of hardship to the social welfare recipients in Sibu…”
4) Government should provide an easy way for people to update their latest banking details.
As for now, I would like to urge respective BSN branches to:
1) Provide enough visible information outside the waiting area for people to know the day’s procedure instead of wondering and waiting needlessly only to find out hours later that the queues for the day are already up.
2) Give people clear information that will help them estimate their waiting time.
3) Information counter to help disseminate any other important information that may help with the day’s ordeal.
Special assistant to YB Chong Chieng Jen
8th Sept 2021