KUDAT, July 19 — A total of 368 residents from Banggi Island and its surrounding islands, near here, received the Cost of Living Assistance (BSH) and National Caring Assistance (BPN) 2020 in cash through the ‘Mobile Island’ programme, which is one of the initiatives under the mobile community services programme conducted by the Federal Treasury in Sabah.
The two-day aid presentation programme which ended today involved 43 villages around Banggi Island and nearby islands such as Balambangan, Tigaboh, Malawali and Sibogoh.
Sabah Federal Treasury deputy federal finance officer, Siti Norhaini Osli said, all the residents involved were part of the 11,330 BSH and BPN 2020 recipients in Sabah for Phase Two and Phase Three who were eligible to receive the assistance but did not have a bank account.
She said the handover of BSH and BPN 2020 in cash through the ‘Mobile Island’ programme was aimed at ensuring that nobody was left out of the assistance.
“It is also to facilitate the recipients of BSH and BPN in the area who do not have a bank account to receive their assistance in cash as submitted by the district office and agencies involved in this programme.
“Besides that, this is also our commitment and role (as civil servants) to ensure all assistance announced by the government reaches the people,” she told Bernama.
Siti Norhaini said various departments as well as federal and state government agencies worked together to make this programme a success, including the Inland Revenue Board, Kudat District Office, Banggi sub-district office and security forces.
She said, the handing over of BSH and BPN in cash through the mobile community service programme will be continued in Nabawan on July 25.
Apart from Pulau Banggi and Nabawan, Siti Norhaini said, the handover of BSH and BPN 2020 in cash to recipients who did not have a bank account was also implemented in eight other districts such as Kalabakan, Kemabong, Pitas, Tongod, Paitan, Matunggong, Tungku and Sook to ensure all assistance to the target group were handed over before July 31.
“Recipients do not have a bank account and have yet to receive the assistance, can claim it at any Bank Simpanan Nasional branch before Dec 31,” she said.
Meanwhile, islanders who received BSH and BPN 2020 in cash expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the government’s noble efforts for coming down to the ground to meet and hand over the aid to them.
A smallholder, Jayani Enod, 55, said this was the second time he had received BSH in cash and the assistance would be used to meet the needs of his family including groceries.
Another recipient, Halimah Usan, 42, said she was very grateful because the BSH and BPN assistance she received could ease the burden to meet the needs of her four children, two of whom were already in school.
After losing her husband who worked as a fisherman two years ago, Halimah said, her life became more challenging when she had to be independent as the head of the family.
For Kamariah Maruda, 31, BSH and BPN are among the evidence that the government is concerned on ensuring that all citizens, including those living in the interiors, were looked after.
“I would like to thank the government for sending the secretariat to our village to hand over this assistance. This assistance would greatly ease our burden,” she said. — Bernama