By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 23: The Sarawak government is extending its Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) to another 120,000 Sarawakians who have been left out from the Income Tax list.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed that this financial assistance cost the Sarawak government an additional RM92 million.
In face of Covid-19 pandemic, he said the Sarawak government has tried its best to lessen the financial burden of Sarawakians by providing BKSS financial aid to them, on top of the financial assistance given by the federal government.
Under BKSS 4.0, he noted that there were many individuals entitled for the assistance but they were left out because their names were not in the Income Tax list which the Sarawak government has been based on.
“So many who are entitled have been left out from the list. So we asked the Residents to finalise the lists of eligible individuals from the whole of Sarawak and discovered that 120,000 of them had been left out.
“We empathise with them as they are supposed to receive the assistance but their names are not in the list (Income Tax). So I decided that they should receive the aid (BKSS).
“Today, all have been settled and we are now holding a symbolic ceremony to give the assistance to those who have been left out,” he addressed the symbolic ceremony to present BKSS to the recipients at Majma Mall here today.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Abang Johari pointed out that the State government had rolled out four packages of BKSS with total expenditure of RM2.55 billion to benefit all strata of the society.
Apart of BKSS incentives, he said there were also other assistance such as reduced rental rates, discounted utility bills and others in hopes of easing the burden of the people whose livelihoods and businesses were adversely impacted by the Covid-19.
Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali and Deputy State Secretary (Socio-Economy Transformation) Dato Seri Mohammad Abu Bakar Marzuki were among those present. — DayakDaily