KUCHING, May 30 — Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said today the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS 6.0) financial aid package announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg did not address the predicament of small-medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) and the business sector.
He said the SMEs and the business sectors have been left to fend themselves without any help from the state government.
“There is no wage subsidy for the SMEs to keep their workforce despite the economic slowdown and the losses that they suffer as a result of the pandemic and the MCO 3.0,” he said.
Under BKSS 6.0, RM1.4 billion will be used to cushion target groups from the impact of the new two-week movement control order (MCO) which began yesterday.
Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa State Assemblyman, said the refusal of the state government to give wage subsidies to the SMEs will lead to the deduction of wages and allowances of employees or even retrenchments.
He said the losses in terms of wages and allowances will be more than the amount of the BKSS B40 cash handouts given by the state government under BKSS 6.0.
“Secondly, why wait till the end of July and even December to give out the money to the B40 families and hawkers when they need the money now as a result of MCO 3.0?” he asked.
These B40 families are to be given RM250 monthly for six months starting July while about 65,000 hawkers will receive RM1,500 in two instalments in July and December.
He said the B40 families and the hawkers feel the impact of MCO 3.0 almost immediately and should be given cash aid now.
Chong questioned the delay and asked if it is a tactic linked to the upcoming state election.
He also said the state government should have allocated more for the tourism sector, saying that the amount of RM1.63 million under BKSS 6.0 is too little.