Sarawak govt to provide food baskets to households affected by MCO

File photo depicting a food basket. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, May 28: The Sarawak government will provide food baskets to households which are affected by the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the move is one of the measures under the sixth special assistance package called Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 6.0.

“To ensure the welfare of the people in terms of getting essential items, the Sarawak government will implement the food basket programme to households throughout Sarawak which are affected by MCO.

“Allocation of RM250,000 will be distributed according to the constituency to be managed by the Sarawak government’s agency.

“The Sarawak government will spend RM25.5 million to implement this measure including the cost of transportation,” he said during the unveiling of BKSS 6.0 at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

Meanwhile, Sarawak will be implementing two weeks of MCO from May 29 until June 11.

Among the latest standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the prevention of Covid-19 are restriction on travelling inter-zone and a seven-hour night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am for the two weeks duration.

Apart from that, Abang Johari who is also Finance and Economic Planning Minister said the Sarawak government will continue to provide exemption of rental payment for six months to small and medium enterprises which operates their premises in government-linked companies (GLCs) such as Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA).

He said the exemption of rental payment will cost the Sarawak government RM2 million.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari emphasised that the Sarawak government has extended the BKSS 6.0 to sustain the livelihoods of the people impacted by the MCO and the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

He revealed that a total of 15 measures will be implemented under BKSS 6.0 with eight measures involving cash incentives and seven measures on discount incentives.

He disclosed that the 15 measures under BKSS 6.0 will incur an expenditure of RM1.4 billion on the Sarawak government including ongoing measures that have been taken to reduce the burden and assist the people in the current trying times.

The State government, Abang Johari reiterated will continue to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of the people.

“Together with my colleagues in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), we will continue and are committed to work hard to serve our people,” he added.

In the meantime, the GPS government had spent a total of RM3.1 billion in rolling out five BKSS packages since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and the implementation of various phases of MCO.

Among those present at the press conference were Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan. — DayakDaily