By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 8: Media practitioners, who are among the frontliners fighting the Covid-19 in Sarawak, will be rewarded with a one-off RM1,500 incentive rolled out under the third Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS 3.0) package.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in announcing the BKSS 3.0 today, disclosed that some 500 members of the media will benefit from the incentives.
“We (the state government) will be giving a one-off RM1,500 incentive to some 500 media (members) carrying out their duty on the frontline (during this Covid-19 pandemic).
“You (media practitioners) have been on the frontline. We will work with your (media and journalists) associations to get the list of members working in the media,” he told a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia.
Members of the media covering the press conference were overjoyed and applauded the state government for the gesture upon hearing the good news.
The incentive was one of the seven measures involving RM300 million injected into the state economy to cushion the impact of Covid-19 on the people.
Other frontliners to receive the incentives under BKSS 3.0 include 358 Royal Malaysian Customs personnel, 870 local authorities personnel, 887 Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) personnel and 500 Civil Defence Force personnel.
“I would like to extend this initiative of RM200 per month for six months to these frontliners. This measure will cost Sarawak government RM3.2 million,” he said.
“Sarawak government acknowledges the contribution and sacrifices of other frontline personnel who are directly exposed to risks while performing their duty in managing the outbreak in Sarawak,” he added.
In BKSS 1.0, the state government have allocated special monthly incentives for medical doctors, nurses, other medical personnel, immigration officers, police, State Operation Room officers, Malaysian Armed Forces and Rela.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari emphasised that BKSS 3.0 were more inclusive to improve the well being and livelihood of the people.
The incentives rolled out will benefit B40 group including single individuals, hawkers, petty traders, frontline personnel involved in Covid-19 fight, river taxi operators, licensed van operators, taxi drivers, as well as licensed tourist and park guides.
He added that the measures would also support the expansion of banking services to rural areas with Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) mobile bank branch equipped with automated teller machines (ATMs).
With the overall BKSS 2020 totalled RM2.55 billion, Abang Johari hopes these measures will be able to lessen the financial burden of the people and business communities and help them to recover and regain their momentum to uplift their livelihood. —DayakDaily