KUCHING, May 30: A total of 199 penambang (boat operators) received their one-off RM500 financial assistance under the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang 3.0 (BKSS 3.0).
According to Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, the assistance was spelt out under BKSS 3.0 announced by the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on May 8, 2020, where seven measures was introduced by the State Government to assist Sarawakians during the Movement Control Order period (MCO).
He said in this respect, measure number four is on a RM500 one-off financial assistance to each boat operator registered with Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB).
“During the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the present Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), the penambang are suffering loss of income due to the drastic drop in number of customers, including tourists.
“Therefore, the provision of RM500 one off financial assistance to each penambang by the State Government will benefit and lighten the financial burden of 199 penambang involving an expenditure of RM99,500.00,” he said in a statement today.
Lee noted that the assistance recipients was divided into three regions namely Wilayah 1 Kuching (Kuching, Samarahan, Serian, Sri Aman and Betong Division) with 175 Penambang, Wilayah 2 Sibu (Sibu, Sarikei, Mukah and Kapit Division) with 13 boat operators, and Wilayah 3 Miri (Miri, Bintulu and Limbang Division) with 11 boat operators.
He also said the Ministry of Transport Sarawak and SRB will continue to closely monitor the situation and development of the water transportation services in the State during this period of Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
“In this regard, I urge all the relevant parties especially the riverine transport operators as well as riverine transport users to give full support and cooperation to the Government to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the interest of all Sarawakians.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Transport, Sarawak and the penambang, I would like to thank the state government and the chief minister of Sarawak for his understanding and concern on the predicament faced by penambang during the period of MCO and CMCO by approving the RM500 one-off financial assistance to each penambang in the state,” he added.—DayakDaily
Caption: Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin (center) taking taking a group photo with some of the Penambang in Kuching during the symbolic handing over of cheque ceremony held in Waterfront Kuching today.