Datuk Abang Helmi Ikhwan

KUCHING: It is up to the small and medium enterprise (SME) tenants renting from private landlords to negotiate discounts, said the Sarawak Chamber of Bumiputera Entrepreneurs (DUBS).

Its president Datuk Abang Helmi Ikhwan said that under the recently announced RM10 billion Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (supplementary), rental subsidy for SME premises under private proprietors had not been granted.

“However, there is still improvement here, as the landlords are given adequate tax incentive to give rental discounts,” he said.

He commended the additional measures introduced under the package to relieve the financial burden faced by SMEs, adding that he was glad that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had addressed some of the business community’s requests.

He noted that the wage subsidy, while short of what had been requested, had been increased from RM600 to RM1,200 per worker per month at maximum ― depending on the number of employees in the company.

“The special grant of RM3,000 to eligible micro enterprises is very much welcome. This will help our food and clothing stalls, uptown traders, food trucks, and so on in riding out this difficult time,” he said.

Meanwhile, he urged SMEs to be resilient and try their best to make do with assistance provided by the government.

Abang Helmi also reached out to them and asked them to voice out their problems if the business slump worsened.

“We shall convey your plight to the government,” he said in addressing SMEs.

The supplementary package to support SMEs was announced by Muhyiddin on Monday, and encompassed rental discounts for SMEs who were in the retail sector and renting premises owned by government-linked companies, abolished interest rate for the Micro Credit Scheme under Bank Simpanan Nasional, and more.