Sheda Kuching urges state govt to set up locally-owned commercial banks to fuel devt

Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok

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KUCHING, Nov 11: Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching calls on the Sarawak government to set up more Sarawak-owned commercial banks to finance the private sector to expedite development.

Its chairman Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok also urged the Sarawak government to assist Sarawakians who are buying houses from private developers through state-owned Mutiara Mortgage and Credit Sdn Bhd.

“My hope is that the state government would assist (individuals’) house buying from private developers by providing and financing through Mutiara Mortgage and Credit S/B which is fully owned by the Sarawak government.

“I also would repeat our hope that our state government would set up several Sarawak-owned commercial banks to finance the private sector here to complement our mission to achieve our vision of a developed state by 2030.

“These Sarawak commercial banks are to set their priority for Sarawak investments, development and commerce activities, and will help to accelerate our goal instead of having to go back to Kuala Lumpur bank headquarters for approvals of all loans,” Sim highlighted in a statement yesterday.

Meanwhile, Sim said in general, Sarawak Budget 2021 is people-centric, sensitive to the current pandemic situation and yet able to focus on the goal of achieving developed state status by 2030.

He opined the seven measures under Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) are effective in assisting self-employed individuals as well as those from B40 categories.

These seven measures include an all encompassing electricity bill discount, water bill discount, HDC rental discount, market stall rental discount, waiver of permits and licensing fees, waiver of rental for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of premises owned by state government-linked companies (GLCs) and statutory bodies, and assistance for e-hailing drivers and instructors.

He also agreed that while a part of the budget is to help Sarawakians to ensure through the rough time brought about by the pandemic, a large part of it still focuses on rural development.

“The infrastructure-biased development budget is to ensure that public investments would be the main thrust to keep the economy going in view of the unprecedented pandemic.

“The rural-biased infrastructure development is good as it will open more opportunities to boost growth and positive spin-off to our economy,” Sim opined, referring to the RM4.25 billion allocation or 67 per cent of the total development expenditure that is set aside for rural development under Sarawak Budget 2021.

Sim also expressed agreement with the Kuching City Plan Study. He believed that it will help to develop Kuching systematically and as it is taking future expansion in consideration, the plan will not only benefit Sarawakians now but also future generations. — DayakDaily