Private firms step forward

THE Penang government has received RM2mil in contributions from the private sector in its battle against the Covid-19 outbreak.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pic) said the amount had been channelled to the newly set-up Penang Covid-19 Fund meant to help the needy affected by the movement control order (MCO).

He said those who wish to contribute could donate to Maybank account (557054620930).

“After I announced the RM75mil Covid-19 economic stimulus package, many private companies have offered to help.

“In less than 24 hours, we have received RM2mil. Hence, we decided to set up a fund for such purpose.

“There will be other types of financial aid in addition to the RM75mil announced earlier.

“The RM30,000 given to each elected representative, including opposition members, can also be put to good use during this difficult period, ” he said in his Facebook live message yesterday.

On Wednesday, the Penang government announced a RM75mil Covid-19 economic stimulus package which would benefit 410,000 people from ‘the most vulnerable groups’ in the state.

The incentive was meant for the working class and small businesses to ensure business continuity and the development of the state post Covid-19.

Recipients for the economic aid included hawkers, small business operators, taxi drivers, trishaw riders, e-hailing drivers, the physically challenged and those from the B40 group.

Among the package is a one-off payment of RM500 for traders and licensed hawkers, including food truck operators and those in night markets and pasar tani.

The one-off payment of RM500 will also be given to licensed tourist guides, the physically challenged and state Agenda Ekonomi Saksama (Just Economic Aid) recipients.

Chow said no application was needed for those eligible under the incentive package as the state already has the details of the target groups.

“They will receive the funds in April, ” he said.

Chow said they had also distributed sanitisers and posters on combating Covid-19 to all the resident associations and joint management bodies.

He added that infrared thermometers were also given to the frontliners of Penang Island and Seberang Prai City Councils.

“We also received 70,000 medical gloves from a leading glove producer, and 300 sets of protective covers and safety clothing from another private company.

“The items have been channelled to the frontliners at the Penang Hospital as we are committed in protecting them with all available resources, ” he said.

With the MCO extended until April 14, Chow advised the public not to get angry and avoid negative sentiments during these trying times.

“Spend time with the kids, like cooking with them, reading, playing board games and utilising your balcony if your have one, for a family gathering.

“We are no longer in a 100m sprint, but rather in a marathon as we need to conserve our strength to complete this race, ” he said.

Meanwhile, the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has inspected 8,387 premises with a 95% compliance rate on the MCO since Wednesday.

MBPP mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said social distancing was not observed in certain premises, hence the failure in achieving 100%.

“As such, we have stopped business activities outside five main wet markets in Ayer Itam, Bayan Baru, Jelutong, Jalan Perak and Pulau Tikus, ” he said in his address during the MBPP ordinary council meeting conducted via teleconferencing yesterday.

“We encourage market-goers to wear masks during this period of time although it’s not compulsory for them to do so.

“We will get tough with stall operators by closing down their operations if we see a large crowd at their stalls. They must tell their customers to adhere to social distancing, ” he said.

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