CM unveils RM800 mln BKSS 7.0

MORE AID COMING … Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (third left) presents assistance to a representative of a frontliner after announcing the seventh package of Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS 7.0) involving RM800 million in Kuching yesterday. Looking on (from left) are Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah; State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion; Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (partly hidden); Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; and Law, State-Relationship and Project Monitoring assistant minister Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali. Photo: Ukas

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg unveiled the seventh iteration of the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) package worth RM800 million on Wednesday (Aug 4).

He said the latest package comprised three measures — a one-off financial assistance to active businesses; relaxation of government procurement policy due to Covid-19 and renewal of foreign workers employment permits.

“It is hoped that these measures will help the continuation of industrial and business activities in Sarawak which are in the National Recovery Plan and further move our economy.

“I also hope that the BKSS 6.0 that we are implementing can help our people in facing the difficulties of life at this time.

“I would like to advise that the assistance, especially the BKSS B40 given beginning last month can be utilised to the best advantage for the daily life of their families,” he said in a press conference today (Aug 4).

Abang Johari said the previous six BKSS packages had incurred a total of RM4.5 billion and comprised more than 30 measures. With BKSS 7.0 the government has spent RM5.3 billion on the assistances.

Among the previous assistances were for B40 household heads and single individuals; discounts on electricity and water bills, assessment rates and land tax; assistance to businesses; incentives to frontline workers and hawkers along with food baskets to households.

At the same time, the Sarawak government also provided special assistances to hawkers and traders through Sarawak Pay; one-off incentives to transport operators as well as tourism industry players.

“I believe these assistances have helped our affected people. However, there are still many, especially enterprises and businesses which still need help because they do not run business operations due to the movement control order (MCO).

“In this situation, they have to bear fixed operating costs such as rent payments, equipment and employee salaries which result in their cash flow problems.

“I have already held a discussion session with Sarawak industry and business associations on July 1 to hear their views on ways to help rehabilitate and sustain enterprise and business activities,” the chief minister said.

Abang Johari hoped that through the initiatives, more jobs could be provided for the people and further help revive the economy.