Women’s association suggests improvements for mobile banking services in rural areas

The long queue seen in Pakan as residents lined up to receive financial aid.

SIBU, May 11: Sibu Kenyah Uma Baha Women’s Association welcomes the state government and Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN)’s initiative to implement mobile banking services to enable rural residents to claim their financial aid.

The state government had allocated RM1.6 million as capital expenditure for BSN to operate this service so that residents in rural areas can claim their Bantuan Perihatin Nasional (BPN), Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), and Sarawakku Sayang financial aid, as well as withdraw cash.

However, the association’s chairwoman Umie Liau today pointed out there is still room for improving the service.

“As rural folk from Sungai Asap in Belaga, we are really appreciative of the government for bringing this mobile banking service to the rural areas. But based on the feedback that I have gathered from the first one in Pakan, we need to improve on that,” she disclosed when contacted.

Close to 750 people formed a long queue in front of Pakan Community Hall from 6.30am to 2.30pm on May 10, which was the first of two days allocated to claim financial aid at that location.

A People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) personnel keeps an eye on people queuing to receive financial aid in Pakan.

According to Umie, recipients had to queue up under the hot sun while a number of them, especially women, had to sit on the road shoulder as seating was not provided.

“As this mobile banking service will move to other rural areas in the state soon, I suggest that it should be held in schools where there is shelter for recipients instead of asking them to queue up in the open air,” she said.

Umie also wanted a special lane opened for the elderly and pregnant women.

“Since the government has set aside certain allocations to run the service, I hope it will get supermarkets to participate so that the recipients after getting the money may buy daily necessities on the spot instead of travelling long distance to town to buy where they have to incur high transportation cost” she added.

When asked whether the service would be extended to Sungai Asap including Long Urun, Long Peran, and Data Kakus, Umie expressed belief it would happen quite soon.

“Before they come to our place, I hope they will consider my suggestion,” she added. — DayakDaily