Hopes for fed government to assist M40 group, SMEs

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KUCHING: Following the announcement of the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) 6.0 package on Friday, Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok hopes that the federal government would extend the wage subsidies, automatic bank loan moratoriums, and further cash handouts to assist the M40 group as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“The balance of lives and livelihood is very much affected by the movement control order (MCO), whereby our economic sectors are reduced.

“Thus, our state government has taken the initiative to assist us through the BKSS 6.0,” said the Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman yesterday.

He said the state government was very concerned with the Covid-19 situation and the mutated variants which are very infectious, adding that the best containment was to initiate a lockdown while carrying on with the vaccination process.

“It is heartening to know that the scheduled vaccines are arriving in large quantities in the next three months, which will be sufficient for the vaccination process,” he said.

On the 15 measures under the BKSS 6.0 package worth RM1.4 billion, he pointed out that the state government had taken pre-emptive steps to ensure that the B40 group — the most vulnerable group due to the lockdown — was helped through cash assistance.

“Most Sarawakians will appreciate the discounts on utility bills and assessment rates to assist us. This will definitely help us stretch our diminishing income,” said Sim. 

Noting that hawkers and petty traders registered with the local authorities will also receive a sum of RM1,500, he said these were daily income earners who were much affected by the lockdowns and needed this grant to assist them.

He also commended the rental waiver for SMEs operating at premises owned and managed by government-linked companies (GLCs) in Sarawak.

“Frontliners will also receive six months’ allowance; the frontliners are appreciated for their sacrifice and hard work,” he said.

On another matter, he stressed that the best way out of the pandemic was through vaccination, urging the public to get themselves registered.

“Until we are vaccinated and achieved herd immunity, we have to keep to our standard operating procedures (SOPs) to keep ourselves safe from Covid-19 infection,” said Sim.

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