By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 8: Mobile banks to be equipped with automatic teller machines (ATMs) will be expanded to rural areas with difficulty accessing bank services.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that the state government would allocate RM1.6 million capital expenditure to Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) to operate their mobile banking services to serve rural communities in Sarawak.
“I understand their (rural people) plight and therefore I have initiated a collaboration with Bank Negara Malaysia, BSN and few other financial institutions to expand their banking services to the rural areas.
“We have agreed to extend the bank services to the rural areas through mobile bank branch services equipped with ATM MEPS (Malaysian Electronic Payment System),” he told a press conference in rolling out the third package of Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS 3.0) at Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.
BSN mobile banking services was one of the seven measures introduced under BKSS 3.0 to help improve the wellbeing and livelihood of people impacted by Covid-19 pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO) which has nearly brought the world economy to a standstill.
In order to ease the burden of the rakyat especially the low-income group, the Sarawak government has provided cash assistance through BKSS whilst the federal government through Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) and Bantuan Prihatin National (BPN).
All these cash assistance are received through the bank. However, people residing in the rural areas have difficulties accessing bank services.
“As a start, BSN mobile counter will operate in Pakan, Sarikei from May 10 to 11, 2020 and this service will be further extended to other parts of rural areas in Sarawak,” he added.
Meanwhile, the state has injected another RM300 million into the state economy via the BKSS 3.0 to cushion the impact of Covid-19 on the people.
The B40 group including single individuals, hawkers, petty traders, frontline personnel involved in Covid-19 fight including media practitioners, river taxi operators, licensed van operators, taxi drivers, as well as licensed tourist and park guides were among those who will benefit from the BKSS 3.0.
As such, adding on to BKSS 1.0 and 2.0, the Sarawak government has injected a total of RM2.55 billion into the state economy to help people recover and regain their momentum to uplift their livelihood.—DayakDaily