Allow traditional massage centres to operate


KUCHING: The Sarawak government has been urged to consider allowing traditional massage centres in the state to operate under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) under Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

President of Persatuan Anak Istimewa Sarawak (Perais), Rapelson Richard Hamit said this call was made by Majlis Anak Istimewa Sarawak (Manis).

“Many visually impaired people have lost their sources of income since the imposition of the movement control order (MCO) last year until now.

“Now, most of the traditional massage centres run by persons with disabilities (OKU) in Kuching, Sibu, and Miri are expecting to ‘gulung tikar’ (close their businesses) if this continues,” he said on Sunday (Aug 8).

He pointed out that traditional massage centres should be categorised as traditional health and not under entertainment. As such, these traditional massage centres should be allowed to open with strict SOPs, just the salons and barbershops.

“All the massage practitioners have been fully vaccinated. So, there should not be a problem for the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to allow these centres to operate under strict SOPs,” he pointed out.

Rapelson added he has received complaints from OKU, who received monthly assistance under the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) package last year, that they were not eligible to receive the aid this year.

“This may be due to the fact that they are recipients of the Special Prihatin Grant (GKP), thus making them ineligible for the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) and BKSS,” he said.

Therefore, he called upon the Sarawak government to provide a special business grant for the OKU.

He said the special one-off RM10,000 financial aid under the BKSS 7.0 announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Open recently did not include OKU traders who were not registered with Social Security Organisation (Socso).

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