Sarawak announces RM1.4b assistance to cushion against new statewide MCO

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said under the previous five financial packages, the state government had allocated RM3.1 billion that had helped reduce the financial burden of the people. — Bernama pic
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said under the previous five financial packages, the state government had allocated RM3.1 billion that had helped reduce the financial burden of the people. — Bernama pic

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KUCHING, May 28 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today announced a RM1.4 billion Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 6.0 financial package to help the vulnerable groups weather the two-week movement control order (MCO) starting tomorrow.

He said under the previous five financial packages, the state government had allocated RM3.1 billion that had helped reduce the financial burden of the people.

“Today, I am going to announce the new BKSS 6.0 package encompassing 15 steps which have been agreed to by the state government to continue with the financial assistance which is really needed by the people due to the implementation of movement control order (MCO) and conditional movement control order (CMCO),” he said at a press conference to announce BKSS 6.0 package.

The chief minister said the assistance included payments of RM250 per month for six months to heads of households beginning July 31 and unmarried individuals who are 21 years old and above while those in the B40 group will receive a one-off payment of RM500 from August 31.

He said the state government has allocated RM970 million for these two groups numbering about one million.

The chief minister said in view of the important role played by the frontliners and the risk involved in combating the spread of Covid-19 infections, the state government will give a monthly allowance of RM300 for six months to medical doctors, nurses, and medical personnel working at the government clinics, hospitals and quarantine centres in the state.

He said RM200 per month for six months will be given to Immigration personnel working at the border posts, members of the police force, Customs personnel working at all the entry points, local government personnel, People’s Volunteer Corp (Rela) personnel, military, Fire and Rescue Department personnel and civil defence department personnel.

He added the state government has allocated RM27 million for this purpose.

The chief minister also said the media practitioners in the state will be also be receiving a one-off payment of RM1,500 as they were also frontliners and facing the risk of Covid-19 infections.

He said the state government is also giving grants to petty traders and hawkers who are registered with the local councils.

He said they will receive RM1,500 to be paid in two stages, with the first payment of RM750 to be paid in July and the second in December.

The chief minister said the other groups to receive financial assistance are passenger boat operators, taxi drivers, school van and bus operators, private van operators and e-hailing drivers.

Abang Johari said the state government will give a discount of between five and 25 per cent on electricity bills for domestic, commercial and industrial consumers from July to December.

He said this will benefit 647,000 households, commercial and industrial consumers.

He added the state government will also give a 25 to 30 per cent discount on assessment rates, 50 per cent discount of rental on markets and stalls belonging to the local councils, and 50 per cent discount on the payment of housing loans from the Sarawak Housing Development Corporation.

The chief minister said small-medium entrepreneurs, who operate at premises owned by state-linked companies and statutory bodies will be exempted from paying their rents from July to December.

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