Sabah spent RM324m on Covid-19 related aid, says governor

A woman receives the Covid-19 jab during the Phase 2 Vaccination programme at the Sandakan Community Hall in Sabah, April 19, 2021. — Bernama
A woman receives the Covid-19 jab during the Phase 2 Vaccination programme at the Sandakan Community Hall in Sabah, April 19, 2021. — Bernama

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KOTA KINABALU, Sept 21 ― Sabah governor Tun Juhar Mahiruddin today disclosed that the state spent some RM324 million on Covid-19 pandemic-related aid and projects since last year.

The Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sabah said that the amount was from the state Prihatin Covid-19 Sabah 2.0 and 3.0 aid packages for the general public and all sectors impacted by the pandemic.

“The aid comprises one-off cash handouts, rent exemption for the government low cost housing, immunisation programme and food baskets,” he said while opening the State Assembly today.

He thanked the federal government for the RM5.1 billion allocation under the 2021 National Budget for development projects and more Covid-19 aid.

“This mirrors the federal government’s concern for Sabah,” he said, adding that the various aid packages would help to hasten the recovery process for Sabah.

On the vaccination rate for Sabah, Juhar said that with the federal government’s commitment of sending vaccine supplies to the state, and the capacity of vaccination centres and mobile outreach programmes, he was confident that the state would be able to reach its target of completing vaccination for 60 per cent of the adult population in Sabah.

“I hope that by year end, all registered adults in Sabah will have been fully vaccinated,” he said.

Juhar also disclosed that Sabah's tourism sector has been severely impacted by the pandemic.

In the first half of this year, Sabah received only 108,862 tourists, an 85 per cent decrease compared to the 736,921 last year.

In comparison, the state had 4.2 million tourist arrivals in 2019.

Tourism receipts have also been poor, with RM174 million in the first six months of 2021 compared to RM1.28 billion the year before.

The Sabah Assembly will sit for three days beginning today.

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