KUCHING: The state government will evaluate developments in the Covid-19 situation in the coming months before deciding if the existing stimuli and assistances will be extended.

“At the moment, we are just monitoring the situation, but the assistance provided up until September has been extended to December. We will see what happens from January onwards.

“No one can predict the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in response to a question during the Chief Minister’s Webinar entitled ‘Sarawak 2021 Budget: Towards A High-Income Society In 2030’ hosted by the Sarawak Business Federation on Monday (Nov 23).

He said another aspect to consider was the development of the Covid-19 vaccine, noting that at this point, two companies appeared to be on track to produce Covid-19 vaccines, subject to World Health Organisation (WHO) certification.

“We do not know what will happen between now and June next year. If a vaccine is available, then I think the ecosystem of this pandemic will stabilise and that is when we can plan how to assist our economy to recover fast,” he said.

On another matter, he supported Sarawak Business Federation deputy president Datuk Philip Ting’s suggestion for the Special Taskforce to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) to be revived and to implement meetings on a bi-monthly basis.

Ting said this was a consultative body between the government and the private sector to enable issues from the private sector to be brought up to the government in a timely manner.

“That day, I requested Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan to have an engagement on how to really set up this collaboration with the aim of reducing bureaucracy between the government and the private sector. We will pursue this,” said Abang Johari.

He said many problems could be resolved through such dialogues.

He also emphasised that in order to transform Sarawak into a developed state by 2030, strong support, cooperation and engagement were required between the business community and the government.

“This is so that policies formed by the government are suitable and responded to by the business community,” he said.