Low-income earners in Sabah describe economic package as ‘lifeline’

Tourists wear masks upon arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport following the coronavirus infection January 24, 2020. — Bernama pic
Tourists wear masks upon arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport following the coronavirus infection January 24, 2020. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, March 28 — Low-income earners in Sabah who depend on small businesses to make ends meet heaved a huge sigh of relief after learning of the benefits they will get under the people-centric economic stimulus package (Prihatin) announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

Most of those contacted by Bernama described the RM250 billion package as a “lifeline” which could help ease their burden, including those in rural areas, in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thirty-year-old Rashidi Ali, who sells chicken wings, said he was relieved with the package as he had stopped operating his stall for over a week due to the movement control order (MCO).

The father of two, aged two and five, is also worried that his savings might not suffice if the situation prolonged, adding that he used to earn about RM200 a day.

The package ensures that no one is left out from receiving government assistance, with more than half the allocation amounting to RM128 billion being channelled to protecting the people’s welfare and easing their burden.

Ajamain Salleh, 40, who runs a sundry shop in Sook, Keningau, about 171km from here, said any form of government assistance was much-needed at this moment, especially by those running small businesses and whose sources of income have been affected by the order.

Meanwhile, Lahad Datu Area Fishermen Association (PNK) chairman Eskin Barahim also said that the RM100,000 to RM200,000 assistance towards the PNK showed the government’s concern for fishermen whose income had been affected as they could not go out to sea to fish. — Bernama

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