KANGAR, Feb 29 — Although the RM600 one-off payment announced by Interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for those reliant on tourism to address the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country is not the answer to the financial constraints facing them, it will, however, be of help.
Taxi driver Abdul Manab Rejab, 69, heaved a sigh of relief.
“I cannot just rely on my pension, it is not enough. I am a senior citizen, my condition does not allow me to do other jobs, but as a taxi driver, there are days when I could not get even a passenger.
“If I’m lucky, there’ll be customers asking to be sent to the airport in Kedah, for which I’ll be paid RM70 for a one-way trip,” he told Bernama when met at the taxi terminal here.
Pointing towards his taxi, Abdul Manap, from Kampung Batu Hampar Seriab here, said it had not left the terminal since two days ago because there was no customer.
He has four children, two of them still at university.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir announced the 2020 Economic Stimulus Package of 2020 valued at RM20 billion which is anchored on three strategies, namely mitigating impact of Covid-19, spurring rakyat-centric economic growth and promoting quality investments
Besides the RM600 one-off payment for those reliant on tourism, the government also provides a personal income tax relief of up to RM1,000 on spending related to domestic tourism, as well as RM100 in digital vouchers for domestic flights, rails and hotel accommodations.
For Cost of Living Aid (BSH) recipients, the RM200 payment scheduled for May 2020 will be brought forward to March 2020 and an additional RM100 will be paid into the bank accounts of all BSH recipients in May 2020, with another RM50 to be channelled in the form of e-tunai.
Another taxi driver, Mat Kapi Man, 59, from Chuping Bukit Keteri, here, said he would use the RM600 to send his taxi for servicing.
“Alhamdulillah, the RM600 from the government is very meaningful to me,” he added.
Meanwhile, bank employee Chris Ho, 37, from Penang, said the travel incentives provided by the government would be of great benefit to him as he travels often by train and requires hotel accommodation.
He said the incentive would benefit those who travel regularly on business.
College student Faez Felix, 26, sees the RM100 digital voucher useful as it could cover the cost of his flight ticket home to Kota Kinabalu, but would not suffice for those who travel for tourism purpose.
BSH recipients Nor Fazlini Hazani, 26, and her husband, Mohamad Erwan Mohd Hasnoor, 24, both persons with disabilities (OKU), hoped to use the additional BSH payment to buy necessary items for their eight-month-old baby.
The couple resides in Kampung Padang Benta, Simpang Ampat near here. Mohamad Erwan is a paralympic athlete, while Fazlini is a clerk. — Bernama