Sarawak announces RM405m aid to ease people’s burden


KUCHING – The Sarawak government today announced the fifth package of the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS 5.0) involving an allocation of RM405 million to help ease the burden of the people in facing the COVID-19 pandemic and recent floods.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this special assistance would be channelled through 11 measures involving discounts, exemption and deferment of payment of licences, land premiums as well as small and medium industry loans.

“Some assistance is extended for a period of six months from January 2021 to June 2021,” he told a press conference at his office here.

BKSS 5.0 involves monthly electricity bill discount of between five and 25 per cent which will benefit about 642,000 households in the state and the monthly water bill discount of between 10 and 25 per cent for more than 568,000 households.

“The third measure is a 50 per cent discount on market and stall rentals (which) will benefit more than 10,000 registered traders who rent market lots and stalls under the local authorities,” he said.

Abang Johari, who is also Sarawak Finance and Economic Planning Minister, said business permit and licence payment exemption would be given to small traders registered with local authorities.

He said about 185,000 owners of residential, commercial, industrial and special holdings premises who pay more than RM400 assessment rates annually would enjoy a 25 per cent discount, while a 50 per cent discount for housing rental under the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) would benefit 3,200 tenants.

He also announced a 30 per cent discount on quit rent payment, hotel and guest house licence payment exemption and deferment of land premium payment for this year as well as deferment of repayment of the state’s Small and Medium Industry Loan Scheme (SPIKS).

Following this latest assistance, the state government has allocated about RM3.06 billion for BKSS since the implementation of its first package in March last year.