Covid-19 frontliners should get RM1,000 a month each, says Sarawak party

Government health workers attend to members of the public at the Kuala Lumpur Health Clinic March 24, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Government health workers attend to members of the public at the Kuala Lumpur Health Clinic March 24, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUCHING, March 27 — Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) has expressed regret that the magnitude of the contribution of frontliners, such as doctors, nurses, carers, cleaners, army, RELA and police personnel, is not being appreciated much under the People-Centric Economic Stimulus package (Prihatin) announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin this afternoon.

Its president Lina Soo said they are the ones who risk their own lives by going to the battlefront every day to keep Malaysians and the nation safe.

“They should each get RM1,000 in special allowances for six months as a token of appreciation for their sacrifice,” she said when commenting on the stimulus package.

Under the RM250 billion stimulus package, government healthcare workers will receive a special RM600 monthly allowance starting April 1 this year.

Other frontliners in the war against Covid-19, such as the military, police, customs officials, civil defence force and RELA members, will receive a special allowance of RM200 a month starting April 1.

Soo also asked if a stimulus package of such magnitude first needs to get parliamentary approval, especially if the extra spending means dipping into the nation’s reserves.

She wanted to know if, in the event the national coffers have insufficient funds, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) will be asked once more to step in and cover the shortfall.

She also proposed that all MPs, senators and politically appointed officeholders accept half their pay for one year to contribute to the economic rescue.

Separately, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan said she is glad that a substantial amount has been allocated to medical supplies and healthcare providers to fight Covid-19.

“Since tax season is coming, I would also like to propose that the federal government reduces the income tax rate for personal and business entities.

“This is equivalent to giving cash to the people and business owners. Reducing income tax doesn’t require extra paperwork and no extra application is needed,” she said, adding that it will greatly reduce the time needed to process subsidy and loan applications.

“I believe the move will ease the burden of both business owners and employees.

“With that, businesses can sustain longer and are able to retain more employees to help the country push through this pandemic together,” Kho said.


 

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