Prof Datuk Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman

State’s aid initiatives true reflection of ‘Sarawakku Sayang’

KUCHING: the RM16.4 million allocations for food supplies on top of the RM1.15 billion special aid package allocated by the state government in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic are indeed a true reflection of ‘Sarawakku Sayang’. 

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Leadership Centre chairman Prof Datuk Mohd Fadzil Abd Rahman said the amounts reflected the state government’s dedication. 

Comparatively, Prof Fadzil said Sarawak soared as one of the leading states in Malaysia that provided the biggest budget in its effort to assist and to ensure the wellbeing of all sectors and clusters ranging from the public to businesses. 

“(Sarawakians) welcome this noble effort by the Sarawak government during this difficult time. Even though most steps taken are seen as somewhat similar to what was announced by the federal government, some strategies introduced in this stimulus package are specifically directed to ease the burden of mainly Sarawakians. 

“This is very commendable and is seen as one of the best initiatives by the state government for its people,” he told New Sarawak Tribune yesterday. 

“The preparation to face this pandemic was done long before it hit Sarawak proving that the Sarawak government has been very proactive and serious in making all necessary preparations to equip and to set appropriate strategies to curb the spread of Covid-19,” Prof Fadzil said. 

He added that continuous engagement,    especially through social media from reliable and genuine sources of information by the authority including ministers and relevant agencies, had also helped to educate and to keep the public informed on the current situation. 

“Sarawak enjoys all the support needed from all agencies, including higher learning institutions such as Unimas. For the record, Unimas is one of the agencies entrusted to handle the extraction and testing of this virus in Malaysia. Therefore, this is seen as an advantage to Sarawak,” he claimed. 

Considering the geographical locations in Sarawak and difficulties to reach out to the communities in rural and interior areas, Prof Fadzil said the challenge faced in Sarawak was far much daunting than in Peninsular Malaysia. 

Additionally, he was also pleased to see the welfare of students included in the state government’s initiatives as well. 

“The effort made by the state government to assist Sarawakian students in Peninsular Malaysia, tasked to Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (Works Minister) way before this stimulus package was announced, gives a strong indication that the welfare of our students is well taken care of and ahead of other states. 

“The proposal to assist in paying back PTPTN loans is also another noble effort in assisting our students. In other words, the state government is doing its utmost to make sure that no one is left behind,” he commended. 

Prof Fadzil also expressed his hopes for the state government to consider a one-off subsidised tuition fees for students for one semester. 

“This can be implemented for those who are eligible or, better still, for all students given if it is not too taxing on the government,” proposed Prof Fadzil.