KUCHING, Oct 19 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) gives the thumbs up to the chief minister’s move to assist businesses under Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 7.0 but appeals for a one-off RM1,000 payment to be extended to retired civil servants in the state.
Party secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting in a statement yesterday said this group of former government servants were also devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and they also needed help.
“Very often they are the group that is being overlooked, and therefore, we would like to appeal to our Chief Minister to consider a one-off payment of RM1,000 to all our pensioners,” he said.
SUPP welcomed the state government’s financial assistance of RM78.5 million for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises in Sarawak under BKSS 7.0 plus one-off financial assistance of RM10,000 for active SMEs, special one-off financial assistance of RM3,000 for micro-enterprises in Sarawak registered with Socso as at March 31, 2021.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on October 14 announced the cut-off registration date for companies in Sarawak registered with Socso was extended from Dec 31, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
SUPP thanked the chief minister for responding to the party’s call to also include micro-enterprises in BKSS 7.0 which was earlier extended only to SMEs, saying it is important to support the micro-enterprises as they also add value to the local economy by providing jobs and services to the locals.
This special finance assistance of RM73.8 million will be paid in December and will benefit 24,600 micro-enterprises.
This is on top of the special one-off financial assistance of RM10,000 for active Sarawakian SMEs registered with Socso as at Dec 31, 2020 to help about 40,000 active SMEs in Sarawak that will cost Sarawak government more than RM400 million.
Ting said such assistance is timely as Sarawak is now in Phase 3 of the Covid-19 pandemic recovery plan and it will ease their financial burden and motivate these businesses after many months of anxiety and uncertainties.
He said the past 19 months have been very challenging to many people and Sarawak government has focused on serving and taking care of the wellbeing of the people as the pandemic has caused a worldwide economic disaster.
SUPP said the state government has been in the forefront of weathering the storm in Sarawak and managed to table a substantial state budget of RM10.136 billion for next year for the state to continue developing and improving the lives of its people.
The party said the government will continue to monitor and extend the necessary assistance to any of the business sectors they need to help them revive their businesses. — Borneo Post