MARANG, May 7 — The ‘Dana Raya’ cash assistance by the Terengganu state government will be replaced with the provision of essential items to the underprivileged and those affected by COVID-19 this year, says Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.

He said some recipients would still receive RM100 in cash, depending on their situation.

“There is no Dana Raya this year…we will provide funds to those in need. We are targeting around 1,000 people in each state constituency. We are still in the process of identifying those affected by the pandemic, and coincidentally, we are also in the month of Ramadan.

“Many people may want cash, but what’s important is urgent basic needs. The important thing is for the people to continue with their daily lives,” he told reporters a ceremony to hand over tablets to 50 students from the Rhu Rendang area here today.

In 2018, the state government continued the ‘Dana Raya’ initiative introduced by Barisan Nasional (BN), namely by providing cash assistance of RM300 to RM400 to each recipient, but a year later, it was modified to benefit the target groups that required the assistance.

Apart from that, he said, about 13,600 civil servants in the state received bonuses worth RM500 in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri beginning yesterday.

In another development, Ahmad Samsuri said the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in 14 sub-districts in Besut until May 20 was necessary, even though there were many parties disappointed with the decision.

He did not rule out the possibility that the spread of the pandemic had links to cases in Kelantan, and the existence of many unofficial routes (to enable cross-state movements) in Besut was difficult to control.

“The state government feels there is no other way to prevent the spread (of COVID-19) to other districts and avoid the situation from becoming worse. We had to take an approach that did not please many people who wanted to celebrate Hari Raya, but it was necessary.

“The decision was made in consultation with the various agencies involved, including the Federal government,” he said.


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