Penang sets up Covid-19 fund, appeals for contributions

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state decided to set up the Penang Covid-19 Fund, as it had received offers for funding contributions by the private sector. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state decided to set up the Penang Covid-19 Fund, as it had received offers for funding contributions by the private sector. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, March 26 ― Penang has set up a special fund to channel contributions from the private sector to help other sectors that needed financial assistance during the movement control order (MCO).

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state decided to set up the Penang Covid-19 Fund, as it had received offers for funding contributions by the private sector.

“Yesterday, we started discussions to accept contributions and invited the private sector to join us to help those in need during this period,” he said in his daily message on Facebook live today.

Following his appeal yesterday, Chow said the private sector in Penang had committed to contribute close to RM2 million.

“So we are setting up this fund through Maybank account number 557054620930 to accept contributions from the private sector to help those in need,” he said.

Details of the fund can also be obtained from the state's PenangLawanCovid19.com website.

Chow also explained the additional RM30,000 allocation for each state assemblyman in the state under Penang's RM75 million aid package.

“We realised that some people might have been left out from the aid package so this RM30,000 for each assemblyman should be used as emergency funds to help those in need in their respective constituencies,” he said.

He stressed that each assemblyman will receive the same sum including the three Opposition assemblymen from Barisan Nasional and PAS.

He called on each assemblyman to be more sensitive and committed in identifying the needs of their respective constituencies so that they can take immediate action.

Yesterday, Chow announced the RM75 million aid package that will benefit 15 target groups involving about 400,000 recipients.

He said many have asked how to apply for funding from the aid package.  

“The Penang Aid Package was formulated so that we can reduce bureaucratic red tape especially when it comes to application and the registration of applicants,” he said.

He reassured recipients that the state government has almost all the data on the stated categories of assistance.

“Hence, do not be worried, you need not register and the financial aid will be channelled to you from the month of April 2020 onwards,” he said.

As for the Penang Business Continuity Zero Interest Loan, he said Penang Development Corporation (PDC) will announce the application procedure the latest by March 31.

“I promise that the state will continue to monitor the latest situation in Penang and we will announce additional aid if the need arises,” he said.

Chow said the state government has also distributed hand sanitisers and Penang Fights Covid-19 posters to all strata titled residential blocks in the state with the cooperation of the joint management corporations and elected representatives.

“The distribution of hand sanitisers and infra-red thermometers to our MBPP and MBSP frontliners had also been successfully done early this week,” he said.

He said the state will continue to distribute these items as and when they receive supplies that are arriving in stages.

He said the state had also supplied 70,000 pairs of medical gloves, contributed by TopGlove, to the frontliners in Penang General Hospital (HPP).

“Three hundred sets of ‘protective cover all safety clothing’ from the private sector were also supplied to HPP,” he said.

He reiterated the state government's commitment to ensure the frontliners and the people of Penang are defended through well-planned strategies.

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