SIBU, June 5: The Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) 6.0 of RM1,500 is to a certain extent a “lifebuoy” to help petty traders and hawkers who are badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sibu Coffee Shop and Restaurant Owners Association chairman Tong Ing Kok said as most of them are “almost dead”, the financial aid comes in handy for most of them.
“The RM1,500 financial assistance shows that the government is taking good care of us. Most of us are almost dead as the water has reached our nose. This is to say that the pandemic has seriously impact us,” he said.
Tong, who is operating a coffee shop at Long Bridge Road here, said since dine-in was not allowed almost two months ago, a number of stall owners trading inside coffee shops had quit to do other things.
“Not many can survive doing takeaway service as with the Covid-19 situation worsening, the people prefer to cook on their own,” he said.
He, however, urged the government to simplify the distribution of the financial aid as a number of traders and hawkers are not IT literate.
“Last year when similar aid was given, I was told that some of the hawkers did not get it because they don’t know how to operate smart phone. They know how to make call using handphone only,” he said.
The Sarawakpay application, Tong noted is an alien tool to the elderly ones.
He suggested that the local authority set up a mobile counter for this group of hawkers to claim the aid in cash.
“Don’t use an online platform to distribute the aid but do it through a mobile counter instead,” he said.
The financial aid will be split into two payments of RM750 in July and December.
Existing petty traders and hawkers who are already licensed need not re-apply for the permits, but are required to update their Sarawak Pay account status. New unlicensed or temporary petty traders and hawkers may apply via https://community-service.