SUPP sec-gen welcomes extension of discounts on utility bills

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KUCHING: The launch of the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) 8.0 package worth RM285.47 million is indeed a welcoming and timely move to ease and reduce the financial burden of the people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew.

“Our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg who understands the plight of our people has come up with seven measures to continue assisting our people and local businesses going through these difficult times,” said the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary-general in a statement yesterday (Jan 28).

He said utilities are a necessity in daily life and thus described the extension of the discounts on monthly electricity and water bills for domestic, commercial, and industrial users from January to June this year as a move praised by all households and business sectors statewide.

“An estimated 87,500 hawkers and small traders registered with local authorities will be getting a one-off relief payment of RM1,000 through Sarawak Pay this year.

“This special grant assistance will indeed bring relief to the hawkers and small traders who have suffered tremendously during the lockdown for the past two years,” he said.

He noted that on top of this, there was also the extension of 50 per cent discount on market and stall rental under local authorities for hawkers and petty traders from January to June this year, with the Sarawak government to bear the discount totalling RM1.7 million.

He said the state government had also not forgotten about operators of river taxis, registered passenger van operators, taxi drivers, and school bus and school van operators who would receive a one-off RM500 cash relief.

“As our chief minister has pointed out, this assistance demonstrates the Sarawak government’s commitment to the path of socioeconomic recovery for the wellbeing of the people,” said Ting, who is Piasau assemblyman.

He said as promised in the recent Sarawak election, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government would continue to work hard for the people and ensure that all measures and policies are inclusive to benefit all groups.

“As we are entering into the third year of the pandemic, it has still not shown any sign of abating and it continues to affect many Sarawakians’ livelihoods and cause the loss of their loved ones.

“Sadly, there is no cure for COVID-19 except us working together to stop the spread of the virus by following the standard operating procedure (SOP) approved by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) while going about with our lives as well as getting ourselves vaccinated with the booster jabs,” he said.

He stressed that receiving the booster jab was important as even though it would not provide 100 per cent protection against COVID-19, it would at least provide better immunity to fight against the virus.

“With the surge of the Omicron variant now in Peninsular Malaysia, I would like to remind all to remain vigilant and stay safe to protect yourself, your family, and your loved ones.

“As Chinese New Year is just around the corner, I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous year ahead,” said Ting.

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