Sheda Kuching welcomes relaxation in renewal of foreign worker permits under BKSS

Dato Sim Kiang Chiok

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KUCHING, Aug 5: The relaxation in the renewal of employment permits for foreign workers in Sarawak for all economic sectors announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg under Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 7.0 yesterday will help to maintain human capital and provide economic development for the State.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching chairman Dato Sim Kiang Chiok believed the measure is a wise move that will help to ensure that the Sarawak economy will continue to grow and recover as the State moves from Phase Two to Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

“This would ensure that our human capital can be maintained and would not hold back our progress to resume, restore and rebuild our economy from the lockdowns,” he said in a statement.

He added the measure would also retain existing foreign workers who are working in the State as new foreign workers such as from Indonesia are hindered from entering Sarawak in view of the surge of Covid-19 cases across the border and are under their own lockdown.

Sim, who is also a director of Sim Swee Yong Development and Construction Sdn Bhd, said contractors who are implementing State government contracts will also benefit from the extension of time (EOT) given to complete their projects without worrying about contractual disputes.

He noted among measures under BKSS 7.0 was procurement policies to provide support for businesses in the construction sector where State government construction contracts will be granted automatic extension of time of 60 days for the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 period and allowing the variation of price as a consequence of a severe price surge for certain construction materials due to the impact of Covid-19.

He added the measure will also prevent contractors from abandoning their project which might cost the State government more money and time to revive the project later.

Sim also asserted some 40,000 Sarawakian companies will benefit from the one-off RM10,000 financial disbursement under BKSS 7.0 announced by Abang Johari yesterday.

He opined the financial assistance will assist companies in Sarawak to reduce their financial burden in terms of overheads and payment of employee wages while the financial assistance also complements the federal government’s Pemulih wage subsidy programme.

“It will be very helpful for small companies,” he added.

Sim believed the various measures under BKSS 7.0 worth RM800 million showed that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is a caring government which provides assistance to reduce the financial burden of the people and businesses impacted by Covid-19.

“Our lives and livelihood are being set as the top priority by our government to ensure that we all can have our lives to enjoy our livelihood when the pandemic is over,” he added. — DayakDaily