Petty traders, hawkers and SMEs urged to utilise first points of contact to access state aid

Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, April 13: Petty traders, hawkers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) throughout Sarawak are advised to approach their first focal points of contact which they always deal with in their respective areas to access the various incentives provided by the state government.

In pointing this out, Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industry Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais said, all the Division Entrepreneur Development Councils or Majlis Pembangunan Usahawan Bahagian (MPUB) headed by the respective Deputy Residents must be proactive especially during the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Those who wish to apply for any one of the two easy loan schemes as announced by the Chief Minister last Friday under the first and second Sarawakku Sayang stimulus packages, namely the SME loan scheme (‘skim pinjaman industry kecil sederhana’ (SPIKS)) with a maximum loan of RM250,000, they can go to SEDC (Sarawak Economic Development Corporation) and its branches in Sibu and Miri, or they can directly contact our ministry via email:

“Secondly, through the Sarawak micro credit scheme (‘skim kredit mikro Sarawak’ (SKMS)) with a maximum loan of RM50,000, they can go to either SEDC and its branches in Sibu and Miri, or to Agro Bank and its branches and agents throughout the state or direct to our ministry via email

“And thirdly, for loans under special relief funds for SMEs for loans between RM20,000 to RM500,000, they can go to all the three banks namely Maybank, RHB Bank and Hong Leong Bank,” he explained.

The Gedong lawmaker stressed that the Sarawak government has all the machinery to assist SMEs, including the petty traders and hawkers throughout the state during this challenging time.

On MPUB, Naroden disclosed that since 2008, it has been set up in all 12 divisions throughout Sarawak, whereby the Deputy Resident of each respective division automatically sits as chairman. Their members comprise relevant stateholders including government agencies like District Offices, local councils, Agriculture Department, Welfare Department, and SME Bank and Agro Bank.

“In view of the current MCO due to the Covid-19 pandemic, petty traders, and hawkers who are eligible to apply for the Sarawakku Sayang special grant assistances of RM1,500, should not have many problems either to seek information, to report, or even to register their interest if they think they are eligible,” Naroden added.

“If they cannot get the MPUB at the main towns within each division, their first focal point of contact, they can go to the agencies which they have always dealt with all this time or at least they can get help from their local associations and cooperatives. And in turn, their associations and cooperatives can then communicate with the district offices, agencies or the MPUB offices under the Residents.”

Naroden reiterated that for large towns and cities, they do not expect to see much problems as the various agencies have their branches or headquarters located there, such as in the case of Kuching. — DayakDaily