Sarawak govt reveals initiatives for local businesses to mitigate MCO

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg - file pic

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, March 23: The state government has announced several initiatives to assist business owners in mitigating the loss of business due to the movement control order (MCO) arising from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg made the announcement during a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

“As a measure to ease the small and medium enterprises’s (SMEs) cash flow and lessen their financial burden, the Sarawak government has decided to defer the loan repayment for nine months effective from April 2020.

“This will benefit 144 outstanding borrowers of small and medium industries financing scheme (Skim Pinjaman Industri Kecil dan Sederhana or SPIKS).

“This will improve cash flow of SMEs amounting to RM1.3 million,” Abang Johari who is also Finance Minister said.

He added the state government will offer an additional RM20 million for SMEs to expand and sustain their businesses on top of an existing RM30 million in micro-credit funds presently available.

Hoteliers and lodging houses will be given incentives as well.

Abang Johari announced a one-off waiver for hotel licensing fees for 17,289 hotel rooms throughout Sarawak for 2020, which is expected to benefit over 340 hoteliers and lodging houses.

He estimated that the waiver of licensing fees will cost the Sarawak government RM386,630.

In the meantime, he said, the state government will distribute two million face masks for free to Sarawakians through the State Disaster Management Committee. — DayakDaily