Chong: Why wait until end of July to give BKSS 6.0 aid when people are affected now?

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, May 30: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen has questioned the late roll-out of Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS 6.0) to B40 recipients and hawkers which will only begin at the end of July.

Noting that the Movement Control Order (MCO) started in Sarawak yesterday (May 29), he stressed that the money should be distributed to the B40 group and the hawkers now instead of waiting until the end of July, with some aid distribution even schedule for December.

“The B40s and the hawkers felt the impact of reduced income immediately but have to continue paying their car loans and housing loans. Yet, the government needs to wait for two months before rolling out the cash assistance to them.

“The government has all the data and the SarawakPay that enable the government to roll out the assistance immediately. Why drag for two months and some even six months?

“The people need the financial aid now, but the government will only give out financial aid in two months’ time. It defies all logic and common sense. Is it a genuine aid for the people or [is it] a Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)’s State Election ‘cash for vote’ tactic?” he lamented in a statement today.

Chong also criticised BKSS 6.0 as not addressing immediate and pressing predicaments faced by the people and businesses as a result of the current MCO.

“The refusal on the part of the State government to give wage subsidy to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses will result in deduction of wage and allowances or even retrenchment of the employees.

“To many employees, their losses will be more than the BKSS B40 cash handouts given by the State government under BKSS 6.0,” he added.

Chong further complained that the tourism sector which is the second hardest economic sector hit by the pandemic is receiving too little of assistance under BKSS 6.0.

“This group has been most affected since the beginning of the pandemic. Yet, after suffering for a whole year, only a total RM1.63 million (less than 0.2 per cent of the announced total assistance) was allocated for them,” he added. — DayakDaily