KUCHING: Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) is proposing that the Sarawak government grant an Emergency Basic Income (EBI) of RM200 for 12 months for all Sarawakians above the age of 18.
Aspirasi president Lina Soo said although the state announced the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 5.0, the EBI should be given to help ease the burden of Sarawakians such as daily paid workers, labourers, farmers, retrenched staff, unemployed school-leavers and jobless graduates, who have fallen on hard times.
“This across-the-board cash handout must be unconditional and expedited urgently and efficiently,” she said today.
She the EBI would cost RM4.5 billion a year, but it would put cash into the pockets of Sarawakians to increase consumption, increase money supply and generate a multiplier effect.
“The BKSS 4.0 and 5.0 are only halfway measures to mitigate the economic fallout. Helping businesses to stay afloat temporarily is not the complete answer if it is not coupled with economic initiatives to increase demand for their goods and services.”
She said in a faltering economy, the only way to ensure the flow of money circulating through the financial system was to generate liquidity in the market to increase consumption and demand that allowed businesses to bounce back and create job opportunities.
“Therefore, it is hoped that the BKSS 6.0 will have something for every Sarawakian to get on with their daily lives, instead of the repeated temporary measures for small businesses and small segments of the population only, which fail to put our economy back on track.”
Soo also said it was time for the government to put expensive projects on the back burner for now.