ALOR SETAR, Feb 11 — The Kedah government is offering interest-free soft loans to tourism sector operators in the state to ease their financial burden as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the loan, capped at RM5,000, is also offered to selected food delivery riders. 

“We are expecting about 400 applications. They don’t necessarily need to take the maximum RM5,000, they can opt for lesser amounts as well,” he told reporters after chairing the state executive council meeting here today. 

The loans will be managed by the State Entrepreneur Development Unit (UPUK) and successful applicants will have the money credited into their bank accounts. 

Meanwhile, Muhammad Sanusi said approval for the RM500 business capital aid through the Kedah Women’s Special Fund will also be expedited. 

In another development, he said allegations that more than 4,046 hectares (10,000 acres) of hilly terrain around Gunung Inas had been planted with durian trees, as alleged in a viral video clip recently, were untrue.

He said only about 5,000 hectares of land were approved in 2007 in the area as forest plantations, and to be planted with trees such as albasia.

“Only 20 per cent (of the 5,000 hectares) is allowed for durian cultivation,” he said. 

Recently, a video clip showed a man claiming that at least 12,140 hectares of hilly land in Gunung Inas was being developed as a durian plantation, supposedly the largest in the world.


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