22,613 hawkers, petty traders receive BKSS assistance

Tan (left) in a photo with MLGH officer Siti Hadizarina after getting a briefing on the BKSS for hawkers and petty traders.

KUCHING, June 25: A total of 22,613 hawkers and petty traders have received the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) assistance of RM1,500 and RM750 via Sarawak Pay and Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN).
Political secretary to the Chief Minister Tan Kai informed that they consisted of registered (12,129) and unlicensed (10,484) hawkers and petty traders.
“The Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) and local authorities via its e-Local Authority system (eLA) have verified the status and eligibility of the recipients based on the type sectors agreed by the government.
“A total of 11,214 hawkers/petty traders were paid through Sarawak Pay and 11,053 were paid BSN,” he said in a statement today.
Tan also revealed that a total of 9,459 hawkers/petty traders were still pending verification from MLGH and PBTs.
“The local authorities personnel have been working hard to verify the hawkers/petty traders including making ground visits to ensure that only those eligible are given the assistance,” he added.
He pointed out that based on the eLA, there were a total of 42,290 registered hawkers but the list needed to be evaluated and verified as some of the licenses have expired whilst some did not meet the requirement.
The eligible categories include food stall operators, lock-up stalls, market traders, barbers, canteen operators, village shops and isolated shop owners.
Meanwhile, the excluded categories were coffeeshop, restaurant, reflexology centre, entertainment outlet, cyber cafe, liquor, LPG, charcoal burner, 4D shop, hotel, factory, pub, coffee house, amusement park, cold storage, bakery and laundry.
Tan explained that some of the verified hawkers were found to be operating in more than one local authority areas whilst some were found to have other branches that caused their eligibility for the assistance to be null and void.
Detailed verification process by the local authorities are currently still ongoing and more hawkers are expected to be paid accordingly under this assistance once the verification process has been completed.
On the challenges encountered, he said that the data were not in-sync across all local authorities in Sarawak, details of applicants were not updated such as IC numbers and duplicated cases.
“Local authorities need to verify the unlicensed hawkers and traders physically one by one.
“They must submit information such as the location of their business and proof. Hence, local authorities officers would need to go down to the ground to verify them.
“There are also cases of duplication with registered hawkers and traders in more than one local authorities areas,” he added.

Meanwhile, the BKSS rolled out by the state government is estimated to benefit 65,000 hawkers/traders that offer retails and services throughout Sarawak.—DayakDaily