Covid-19: Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang extended for another six months, says Abang Johari

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is pictured at Hilton Kuala Lumpur for a meeting with Perikatan Nasional leaders November 1, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is pictured at Hilton Kuala Lumpur for a meeting with Perikatan Nasional leaders November 1, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUCHING, Jan 21 — The state government today extended the 11 measures under Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS 5.0) for another six months, starting this month, to help mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, who announced the extension, said he hopes the BKSS 5.0 package, totalling RM405 million, will take the weight off people’s shoulders until June this year.

“We also hope that with the vaccine available by June, we can overcome the Covid-19 pandemic after that,” he told reporters.

He said the state government allocated a total of RM2.6 billion under the four previous BKSS.

He said the state is not immune from the impact of the pandemic.

The chief minister said a number of areas were also badly hit by the floods.

“As such, the state government has decided to ease the load of the people through a number of important measures,” he told reporters.

He said the measures are electricity bill discount, water bill discount, Housing Development Corporation rental discount of 50 per cent for residential homes, 50 per cent discount for rental of market and stalls, waiver of permits and licence fees for petty traders, and rental waiver for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the retail sector operating on premises owned by state government-linked companies or statutory bodies.

The other measures are 25 per cent discount on assessment rate, 30 per cent discount on land rent, a waiver for hotels and rest houses from paying licence for rooms, postponement in the payment of land premium and postponement in paying the loans by the small-medium-enterprises.

On the electricity bill, the chief minister said the monthly discount of between 5 and 25 per cent will benefit 642,000 households.

As for the water bill, he said 568,000 households will benefit from the monthly discount of between 10 and 25 per cent.

On the 50 per cent discount for rental of market and stalls, he said it will benefit more than 10,000 hawkers renting market and stalls particularly those under the purview of the local councils.

The chief minister said the state government will continue to extend the waiver of rentals to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the retail sectors operating on premises owned by Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) such as SEDC, Land Custody Development Authority (LCDA) and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) until June this year.

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