Three-pronged thrust should be adopted

A poster for the webinar on ‘State Budget Talk’ organised by Institute of Management Sarawak (Masa) via Zoom and Facebook.

KUCHING: The upcoming State Budget should adopt a three – pronged thrust – focusing on Covid-19, implementing more people-centric policies and expansionary budget.

Federation of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions Chinese Associations president Datuk Richard Wee said the budget would have to take the Covid-19 situation into account with regard to its impact on the people and economy.

On moving forward after vaccinations, he said people would have to live with Covid-19 and look into the steps which needed to be taken.

“There may be a lot of health measures to be taken, and all these can be cascaded down to the local authorities,” he said during a webinar on ‘State Budget Talk’ organised by Institute of Management Sarawak (Masa) via Zoom and Facebook Live on Saturday (Sept 4).

He also proposed that the budget include more people-centric policies to ease the people’s suffering during the pandemic.

“The state may want to look into improving and enhancing the social safety nets,” he said.

Pointing out that the entire economy had also been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the budget should be an expansionary one which would be able to stimulate the economy in the ensuing year.

“Going forward, if we are to make the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 a reality, the subsequent annual budget would have to be in line with the goals that have been set and defined in this strategic plan,” he added.

He hoped the state government would allocate more funds to feed, house, medicate and assist those in need.

At the same time, he stressed the importance of ensuring that such assistance provided by the state government was effectively and efficiently channelled to the targeted groups.

“I think in the coming State Budget, perhaps the hardest hit areas should be given priority as well,” he said, noting that among the hardest hit sectors were tourism and hospitality.