Sheda chairman urges more aid should MCO 3.0 be implemented

Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok

KUCHING: Both the federal and state governments need to cushion the impact experienced by daily paid workers should another movement control order (MCO) be imposed, says Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok.

The Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda) chairman said when MCO was imposed, retailers, food stalls, restaurants and cafes, among others, would be severely affected.

“The government needs to aid these small-to-medium enterprises (SME) via wage subsidies because they would mostly be staying at home and would not be able to do much business during the lockdown.

“What the government can do is continue the subsidies for these groups, by extending utility charges reduction as well as delaying the collection of various rates and taxes.”

Sim opined that the state government should only impose MCO when there was a shortage of hospital beds.

“I believe MCO 3.0 would be similar to MCO 2.0 where only critical and essential industries and businesses are allowed to operate. Plus, I’m sure not all sectors are going to be locked down.”

Sim hoped that the government would help in giving wage subsidies while banks would aid in terms of a moratorium.

“I also hope that with the vaccine rollout, the federal government would notify the business sector on the exit plans until when the people achieved herd immunity.

“Currently, we are still under emergency order and facing a spike in Covid-19 infections. A stricter standard operating procedure (SOP) is needed.

“We should always keep reminding the public of the dangers. Until the majority of the public has been vaccinated, we have to keep adhering to SOP to protect ourselves as well as our livelihood.”