CM: Sarawak govt to review its special aid package due to MCO extension

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said the state government will review its RM1.55 billion special aid package in the light of the extension of the movement control order by another two weeks. — Bernama pic
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said the state government will review its RM1.55 billion special aid package in the light of the extension of the movement control order by another two weeks. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, March 28 — The state government will review its RM1.55 billion special aid package in the light of the extension of the movement control order (MCO) by another two weeks, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg stressed today.

He said the package, which he announced five days ago, was meant for the initial 14-day duration of the MCO.

“Now, that it has been extended by another two weeks and also with the financial aid from the federal government to Sarawak, we will review our package on what we need to implement for those affected by the extension,” he told reporters after visiting a hypermarket at a shopping mall here.

Abang Johari said this included those who have lost their jobs and whose incomes have been affected by the MCO’s extension.

He said under the state’s package, a sum of RM20 million has been allocated to the Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme for petty traders and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to obtain loans.

The chief minister said the state government will study if the additional RM20 million is sufficient and if SMEs will be given interest-free loans.

“We need to study all this,” he said.

Abang Johari added that the income of hawkers and coffee shops has also been affected by the enforcement of the MCO.

On March 23, he announced 16 measures under the RM1.55 billion special package “Sarawakku Sayang”, to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and protect the well-being of Sarawakians.

A sum of RM974.75 million was allocated as direct expenditure to mitigate the impact of the economic slowdown.

The package also involved deferment of loan repayments, waiver of payments and discounts for basic government services to a tune of RM179.79 million for the year 2020.

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