Yong urges State govt to expedite BKSS disbursement to petty traders, not using assistance as bait for votes

Violet Yong

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, July 19: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong has urged Sarawak government to expedite the disbursement of financial assistance to petty traders and hawkers under the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 6.0 as announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on May 28.

Yong, a Democratic Action Party (DAP) lawmaker reminded the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) State government that the financial assistance should not be used as a carrot-and-stick approach to fish for votes approaching election time but to implement them as soon as possible to benefit the targeted recipients.

She believed the petty traders and hawkers were in dire need of the BKSS fund from the State government due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and the restriction from the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

“The Sarawak government promised to pay each recipient RM1,500 in two payments whereby (the) first payment of RM750 shall be made in July and the balance of RM750 in December.

“It is now the month of July, yet the State government has not come out with further announcement on how soon the money will be disbursed.

“If the government is sincere and intends to help cushion the economic blow from the Covid-19 pandemic on the petty traders and hawkers, there is no reason to further delay the payment of the money to all eligible recipients,” she said in a press statement today.

Yong also observed that SDMC had implemented many strict standard operating procedures (SOP) for eateries including the shortening of business hours, no dine-in, the controlling of the number of customers entering the premises at any one time, the workforce capacity and so forth.

Those tightened SOP, Yong opined had somehow or rather affected the business operation and caused their sales to drop tremendously while some eateries closed down for not able to sustain the loss in their businesses. — DayakDaily