BY NIA NATASHA HASENAN
KUCHING: The state government has extended several initiatives under the Sarawakku Sayang Special Aid Package (BKSS) until December this year, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said.
He said a total of RM104.84 million will be spent under BKSS 4.0 which extended six previous initiatives along with introducing a one-off financial assistance to e-hailing drivers and driving instructors.
“Over the past six months, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government had implemented BKSS 1.0, BKSS 2.0 and BKSS 3.0 worth a total of RM2.55 billion and has benefitted about 3.08 million Sarawakians across the state.
“In view of the recent surge in the Covid-19 cases which affected businesses and livelihood of the rakyat, the state government has decided to extend seven measures that will lessen the impact of the pandemic until end of this year.
“These seven extended measures under BKSS 4.0 will cost the Sarawak government RM104.84 million,” he said at a press conference in Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.
Among the initiatives under BKSS 4.0 are extensions to the electricity bill discount; water bill discount and 50 percent HDC (Housing Development Corporation) rental discount for residents.
Also, part of the new package will be a one-off RM500 assistance to e-hailing drivers and driver instructors and an extension to the 50 percent discount for rental at markets and stalls under the local authorities.
BKSS 4.0 also entails extensions to the waiver of permits and licenses fees, waiver for rentals to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating on premises owned by state government linked companies (GLCs) and statutory bodies.
Abang Johari said the three previous iterations of BKSS – BKSS 1.0, BKSS 2.0 and BKSS 3.0 were well received by the people and had greatly benefitted them.
“Over the past six months, the GPS government had received positive feedbacks from the rakyat and frontliners who have benefitted greatly from the BKSS assistance.
“I sincerely hope this further extension of BKSS until yearend will provide the much needed relief for our people who are badly affected by the pandemic,” he said.