Abang Johari: S’wak govt will review Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance Package

Posted on : 29 Mar 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari Tun Openg. – File photo

KUCHING: The Sarawak government will be reviewing the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance Package, particularly concerning the small businesses sector which will be impacted due to the two-week extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg made this call during RTM’s ‘Bicara Naratif’ show on Sarawak’s action plan against Covid-19, saying that the state government would also review other forms of aid to those impacted by the disease to lighten the people’s burden, especially those impacted by the two-week extension of the MCO.

“As we know, the MCO has been extended for another two weeks so we will review all the sectors that we needed to help, especially the small businesses who would not be able to earn for another two weeks, as well as the production sectors because their workers might be impacted.

“We appreciate the aid from the federal government, but the state government will make sure that those who deserve these aids will not be left out.

“I will reevaluate what we have announced to be given to the rakyat (people) so that in the next six months after the disease subsides, our economy can be restored as normal,” he said.

Abang Johari on March 23 announced the RM1.15 billion Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance Package to help Sarawakians face the economic uncertainties made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic.

On March 25, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the extension of the MCO to another two more weeks.

The MCO was first announced on March 18 to be for two weeks or till March 31, but because the numbers of positive cases were on the rise, Putrajaya had extended the order for another two weeks or till April 14.

After that, Muhyiddin on March 27 announced a RM250 billion comprehensive Economic Stimulus Package known as Prihatin to help Malaysians weather the economic downturn which had been aggravated by the pandemic.

On that, Abang Johari said the State Secretary will lead a special team to initiate a system to disburse more that RM600 million to the target individuals.

He said the individuals getting the aid were determined based on an existing system from the federal government through the Inland Revenue Board, and the aid will be deposited straight to their bank accounts beginning April, for six months.

As for those without bank accounts, he said the state government would have to set up open counters once every two months starting April.

“This will be decided by the State Secretary, and I hope those who deserve it will be able to receive it all,” said Abang Johari.

As for supplying essential items to the rural areas, Abang Johari said a committee has been set up under Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah and Minister of Welfare, Community Well-Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah to channel supplies to the rural areas all over the state.

He said the committee would communicate with all district and resident offices around the state as well as the elected representatives to channel the supplies of essential items to the rural areas.

“As for the logistics, we will need help from the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) and the armed forces to transport the supplies with helicopters or land transport.

“This will be managed by that committee so that the essential items, especially food, will reach the people in the rural areas,” said Abang Johari.

Ending the show, Abang Johari advised Sarawakians not to trust or spread fake or unverified news as this can create unnecessary panic or unrest among the public.

He said the people should only trust news and announcements made in mainstream media accredited by the government.

“We must be disciplined during this MCO period. Don’t go out, and take care of ourselves and our family so that we can stay away from this disease,” he said.