PAKAN, May 10: The first of the two-day Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) mobile banking service here saw a large crowd of more than 750 rural folks queuing up to claim their government financial aid.
The service, which opened from 8.30am to 2.30pm today and tomorrow, was to enable rural folks to claim their Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN), Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) and Sarawakkuu Sayang financial aid, as well as money withdrawal.
However, the long queue was already seen at the Pakan Community Hall where the service was provided, as early as 6am.
On April 13, photos of Pakan folks queuing under the hot sun for hours to get their travel permit at Pakan police post to travel to nearby towns such as Sarikei and Sibu to claim their monetary aid went viral in the social media.
This has prompted the state government and BSN to initiate the mobile banking service to assist the rural folk to do their banking transactions.
A resident, Giman Buda, 37, said the effort to bring such services to the rural areas was highly anticipated by the villagers especially in the wake of the movement control order (MCO).
“Previously, rural people like us were facing difficulties in dealing with our banking needs and more so, especially during the MCO period. When the government announced financial aid for people to tide over during the MCO period, most people here got excited,” he said.
However, he said in order for them to claim the aid, they have to face many challenges as they have to go to the nearest towns such as Sarikei and Sibu, as Pakan does not have a bank.
Another recipient of the aid, Sema Jingan, 57, said such mobile banking service should be continued for the rural community and not just during the MCO period.
“On this occasion, we would like to thank the chief minister of Sarawak, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), BSN and all those involved in bringing these services to us. This programme helps us greatly, as it is in our area where we don’t have to travel far,” he added.
Sema said although they also have to wait in the long lines for their turn, it was not much of a problem for them as, at the end of the day, they got what they wanted. — DayakDaily