KUCHING, Oct 8: Former Stampin MP Julian Tan has questioned the State government’s stance over the disbursement of the RM10,000 special one-off cash aid under Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 7.0 as the application requirements are making it more difficult for businesses to benefit.
He said that the Sarawak government needs to be more transparent in the disbursement of the RM10,000 cash aid which is meant to help businesses in the State.
“It is most regrettable that the initiative announced in August turned out to be a disappointment for many businesses that truly needed the assistance amidst the pandemic.
“The joy of the news was short lived as not all (businesses) are eligible, and there are many conditions attached with applicants, who are only given two weeks to submit the required documents or miss out on the cash aid,” he said in a statement today.
Tan, who is also the special assistant to Chong Chieng Jen, pointed out that it is ironic that the submission of documents and applications are still required when they are all readily available to the State government.
“Why is there a need to add further hardship to business owners? Is it not the State government’s vision for Sarawak to go digital and high-tech? Yet the government cannot even automate the process with information already available to them,” he said.
He claimed that the government’s official website for applications was down with many unable to access it, while the hotline was engaged for queries.
“Have the government tried accessing their own website? How can the State government expect applicants to complete the submission in two weeks when there are issues with the website?
“Many businesses are struggling throughout the pandemic and the unnecessary process is a waste of time,” he added.
Tan said that many required documents were also unnecessary and outdated which caused much confusion.
“The website could at least be relevant and provide some info to ease the application process,” he elaborated.
Tan said sadly the RM10’000 cash aid is only for SMEs and will not benefit the more than 44,000 micro businesses in Sarawak.
To him, these businesses also contributed to the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to exclude them from BKSS 7.0 packages was “most unfair to them”.
“Let’s not forget that they too contribute greatly to job creation. Not forgetting also that many had lost their jobs as many businesses had folded, primarily due to the prolonged lockdown and restrictions.
“Therefore, it is vital that the State government adjust their criteria for the BKSS 7.0 financial assistance to include this group of businesses,” he added. — DayakDaily