KUCHING, Oct 23 — The Sarawak government has allocated RM104.84 million to implement its fourth phase of assistance for the people in the state, dubbed Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang 4.0 (BKSS 4.0), to help ease their burden in facing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today said the BKSS 4.0 would be executed through seven measures to lessen the impact of the pandemic until the end of this year as the recent surge in the COVID-19 cases had continued to affect businesses and the people’s livelihood.
“I sincerely hope this further extension of BKSS until year’s end will provide the much-needed relief for our people who are badly affected by the pandemic,” he told a press conference here.
Two of the measures involve the continuation of the electricity and water supply bill discount until the end of December this year, which would benefit 686,847 electricity consumers and 568,247 treated water consumers throughout the state.
“A discount of 50 per cent for rental of (Sarawak) HDC (Housing Development Corporation) houses rental scheme covering a period of three months from October to December 2020. This assistance is expected to benefit more than 3,200 customers renting HDC throughout Sarawak,” he said of the third measure.
Abang Johari said a RM500 one-off assistance, which was previously given out to taxi drivers, school bus and van operators, licensed van operators and penambang boat operators last July would also be extended to e-hailing drivers and driving instructors under BKSS 4.0.
“My (state) Cabinet has also decided to extend similar assistance to 2,396 e-hailing drivers and 791 driving instructors in the state, which will cost Sarawak government RM1.59 million,” he said.
Abang Johari said a 50 per cent discount for more than 10,000 hawkers renting local councils’ markets and stalls would also be extended until December this year.
He said Sarawak government will continue to provide a waiver of permits and licenses fees to petty traders, hawkers, night market and Tamu market traders under the state’s local authorities, in addition to waiving rentals to small and medium enterprises at premises owned by the state’s government-linked companies or statutory body.
“Over the past six months, GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government had implemented BKSS 1.0, BKSS 2.0 and BKSS 3.0 worth RM2.55 billion and has benefitted about 3.08 million people throughout the state,” he added.