KUCHING, May 5: Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin revealed he had personally raised the issue of Sarawakian e-hailing drivers not receiving their RM500 one-off financial assistance with federal Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Lee also disclosed Wee had promised to look into the issue.
“The federal government under the two National Economic Stimulus Packages 2020 which were announced on Feb 27 and March 27, 2020 by the Prime Minister, is giving a one-off financial assistance of RM600 to every taxi driver and RM500 to every e-hailing driver in the country, including Sarawak.
“In connection with the above matter, I have received enquiries from taxi drivers and e-hailing drivers in the state on the status of payment of this one-off financial assistance to them.
“They have sought my ministry’s assistance to help them on the status of payment.
“I had personally contacted YB Minister of Transport, Malaysia who has promised to look into it and will revert back to him,” according to Lee in a statement today.
He also noted that the Permanent Secretary of the Sarawak Transport Ministry had written officially to the Secretary-General of the federal Ministry of Transport to seek clarification and updates on the matter.
“The Ministry of Transport, Sarawak is also working closely with the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) or Lembaga Perlesenan Kenderaan Perdagangan (LPKP), Sarawak on this matter.”
Meanwhile, Lee called on taxi drivers who have not registered for the one-off financial assistance provided by federal government to do so.
“I would like to advise them to go for online registration as soon as possible by filling in the Google form that is readily available at the CVLB or LPKP Sarawak Official Facebook (page).
“For the registration of e-hailing drivers, CVLB will continue to engage with e-hailing operators or EHO for the driver name list,” he added.
Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak claimed they had received feedback from e-hailing drivers in Sarawak that to date, none of the Sarawak-based e-hailing drivers have received the one-off cash aid announced by the prime minister although their West Malaysian counterparts had received it starting in mid-April.
“We have checked with e-hailing drivers in different divisions of Sarawak as well as the representative of one e-hailing company and they confirmed that our Sarawak based e-hailing drivers have yet to receive the cash aid,” according to its deputy chairman David Wong.
He added that there are some 7,000 registered e-hailing drivers in Sarawak and all of them have seen their incomes shrink by some 80 per cent, with most of them having hire purchase loans to service apart from family expenses.
“With Sarawak still under MCO (Movement Control Order) after almost two months of lockdown, they are crying for help and our state government has to respond or else many will not be able to make ends meet,” he asserted, adding it was truly disappointing that their grievances have been ignored and that the Sarawak government and Gabungan Parti Sarawak representatives in the federal cabinet have not taken action over the matter. — DayakDaily