Allow OKUs getting GKP to receive BPR aid also

Rapelson Richard Hamit

KUCHING: Persatuan Anak Sarawak Istimewa (Perais) is urging the federal government to include people with disabilities (OKU) receiving the Geran Perniagaan (GKP) for the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) assistance.

Perais president Rapelson Richard Hamit on Thursday (July 8) said the association had received complaints from OKU traders who received GKP that they were disqualified from the BPR assistance.

“This has affected their businesses, especially the visually impaired who run massage centres, are buskers or tissue sellers.”

He was informed that there were massage centres about to go bankrupt in Sibu and Miri due to the pandemic and the movement control order.

“We urge the federal government to re-evaluate this. Allow OKUs receiving GKP to be eligible for the BPR assistance as well.”

Rapelson opined that the Pakej Perlindungan Rakyat dan Pemulihan Ekonomi (Pemulih) was not comprehensive for OKUs.

He proposed that the monthly assistance received by OKUs be increased by RM50 and the maximum limit of disabled worker allowance (EPC) be increased to RM3,000.

“In this stimulus, to help OKUs who have lost their jobs and unemployed, and are not recipients of the existing EPC, the government has agreed to provide financial assistance of RM500 for three months.

“This assistance should be increased  according to the current situation, especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Perais also recommends that one-off assistance of RM500 be given to all OKUs who are recipients of monthly assistance because this group’s income was also severely affected during this trying time.