Aid extension shows state’s commitment

KUCHING: The Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance 5.0 (BKSS 5.0) package speaks volumes of the state government’s effort to provide assistance across the board for all Sarawakians without leaving anyone behind.

Marichelle Livan Lah

In saying this, Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) supreme council member Marichelle Livan Lah described the package as clear, unbiased, and implementable.

“It shows commitment by the state government to help alleviate the financial burdens of the people,” she told New Sarawak Tribune today.

She said the continuation of utility discounts under BKSS 5.0 was greatly welcomed as this would provide some relief and assistance to all Sarawakians.

“Aside from that, I applaud the state government’s action of giving discounts on market and stall rentals as well as exempting payment of permits and business licences for traders and hawkers, as this will allow these small businesses to have some extra funds to sustain their business through the next few months.”

She pointed out that with the state’s daily Covid-19 cases rising, petty traders and hawkers who relied on daily incomes had been forced to close due to the movement control order (MCO), conditional MCO, or even the fear of getting infected.

“It is good to know that the state government has their welfare at heart and I hope this will be extended to other groups of business entities in the future packages by the state.”

Marichelle noted that since March last year, the nation and state had gone into and out of MCO, CMCO, and recovery MCO, adding that the fluidity of the situation had left a huge dent in the economy.

“Although relief packages are needed and welcome, it is oftentimes temporary.

“The government should work together with the experts from different industries and sectors to devise a plan to sustain businesses in the state and redirect the state funds and resources to areas that are in most dire need of assistance and attention, such as vaccinations and healthcare.”

Bell Bernard Aggan

Meanwhile, DCCI treasurer-general Bell Bernard Aggan said he was pleased with the initiatives under BKSS 5.0, especially assistance provided to hawkers, stall owners, and other small and medium enterprises.

“Discounts and exemptions have been given to them, such a 50 per cent discount for market and stall rentals for six months.

“During this difficult time, it is timely to assist entrepreneurs in order for them to continue their businesses and survive.”

He believed that the assistance provided could be said to cover all levels of community in Sarawak.

“At least this can help to ease some of the burden felt during this Covid-19 pandemic.”

The RM405 million BKSS 5.0 package was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg earlier today, encompassing 11 measures to reduce the burden of Sarawakians until June.