KUCHING, May 15: The Sarawak government’s track record has spoken for itself when it comes to providing financial assistance to the people, especially petty traders and hawkers during the Covid-19 pandemic, said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Backbenchers Club.
The party was rebutting Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s accusation which stated that the Sarawak government had refused to provide financial assistance to the people from its RM26 billion reserve fund.
Responding to Chong’s earlier statement on May 13 alleging that the Sarawak government is delaying the distribution of assistance to the people until the State election nears, it said that this was simply not the case.
“The State government has been expedient in assisting the people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and has rolled out various assistances catering to different groups through the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) which is worth over RM3.2 billion.
“The State government’s insistence on the continuity of economic life is also reflected in its policies in handling the Covid-19 pandemic through the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC),” said the club in a statement today.
It added that the policies made in terms of imposing restrictions have taken into account the hardship faced by small businesses, private-sector workers, those self-employed and without fixed income, allowing them time to recover from the first Movement Control Order (MCO) in 2020.
Meanwhile, it noted that the continuous implementation of Conditional MCO (CMCO) instead of the stricter MCO in Sarawak recently is also one of Sarawak government’s ways of alleviating the people’s burden.
Thus, the club urged Sarawak DAP not to politicise this issue to score cheap publicity by using the plight of the traders to establish its own relevancy.
“The State government has and will continue to assist small businesses during Covid-19 and we are sure if there is a need for further assistance to be given, it will be rolled out in due time,” it said. — DayakDaily