Sheda: Sarawakians will need “second wave” economic assistance

Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, July 24: The people of Sarawak, especially in Kuching will need more economic assistance to accommodate the current Covid-19 second outbreak as their businesses and livelihood are affected since the sudden spike of local positive cases on July 10.

This is the view of Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Sim Kiang Chiok, adding that banks have to make more accommodative loan arrangements with borrowers to help the people through this pandemic.

“More (economic) assistance is needed and our (Malaysia’s) economic recovery will take longer than initially planned.

“The government’s economic reviving plan needs to be spaced out into a longer period and more cash handouts may be needed as well,” he opined in a statement today.

In stating this, he pointed out the conversion of Kuching from a green zone to yellow zone after two cases were reported on July 10 and the announcement of the beginning of the second Covid-19 wave by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) had created much impact on the business sector.

He added the closure of Stutong market here following two traders tested positive for Covid-19 infection had reawakened Sarawakians to be vigilant against the virus after a more relaxed period during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

“The closing of the (Stutong) market has much negative impact on the traders and hawkers’ livelihood there.

“The spike (in Covid-19 cases) has also affected other businesses especially the coffee shops and restaurants around Kuching as more people will reduce their exposure in public and crowded spaces.

“Business will be affected as the public reduces their time shopping and eating out,” said Sim.

He also noted major business decisions such as getting a car or a house would be put off by most people at these difficult times.

As such, business operators are hoping that there will be no lockdown as in the initial Movement Control Order (MCO) and their premises not be closed for too long if any active cases are involved in their premises.

Thus, Sim further urged the public to stay healthy by practicing social distancing, frequent washing of hands and wearing face masks outdoors to win the war against the invisible enemy despite the hardship caused by the Covid-19 virus. —DayakDaily