Sarawakian entrepreneurs urged to apply for Pemerkasa Plus financial package

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING: Sarawakian entrepreneurs are entitled to apply for aid from the federal government’s RM40 billion Pemerkasa Plus financial package to help cushion the economic impact of the nationwide lockdown from June 1 to 14.

This means those from Sarawak are also eligible to utilise the financial assistance offered by the federal government including the wage subsidy programme in addition to the RM1.4 billion assistance allocated by the state government.

Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he had received many queries from the public seeking clarification whether they were eligible to apply for aid under Pemerkasa Plus.

He said the confusion was partly due to an earlier incident where Sarawak business operators were unable to apply for Wages Subsidy 3.0 Permai during the second nationwide movement control order (MCO 2.0).

“This issue was simply a misunderstanding on the technicalities, but it has been sorted out. We have now made it clear that all financial aid announced by the federal government are applicable to all eligible groups including those from Sarawak,” he explained.

Wan Junaidi also called on entrepreneurs from Sarawak to fully utilise the RM11.5 billion stimulus package comprising of grants and funding, allocated for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under Pemerkasa Plus.

He said it was timely for entrepreneurs to re-strategise their business operations and model to be able to adapt to today’s new norm which include migrating to e-commerce given the uncertainties in the present economic situation.

“If this lockdown is extended, some 90 percent SMEs as well as informal enterprises would be at risk of closing their business. Micro and informal enterprises are the worst affected as their products and services are in the non-essential sectors. Thus, they do not have solid savings and cash flows.

“To survive, entrepreneurs need to quickly make the necessary adjustment to their services and having a solid online presence is also important. If you think your business is no longer suitable in this current situation, it is probably time to look at other opportunities.

“Meanwhile, at the ministry level, we will continue to come up with targeted assistance to help micro and informal entrepreneurs. Please utilise all the allocations provided in the Pemerkasa Plus initiative to help cushion the impact during the lockdown,” he added.