Of lawmakers and hawkers

Penang has launched the online food delivery platform, ‘Jom Beli Online@MBPP’ (JBO@MBPP) to help hawkers affected by the MCO. Pictured here are the famous chendul stalls in Lebuh Keng Kwee off Penang Road which later closed after few customers turned up due to the MCO.

THE first sitting of the Penang state legislative assembly this year will be limited to about one hour in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the assembly must be held by May 6 as a constitutional requirement.

“We may have a one-hour sitting to meet constitutional requirements, and then it will be adjourned.

“The legislative assembly session must be held within six months of the last sitting as per the constitutional requirement.

“We need to have a sitting before May 6 but due to the ongoing movement control order (MCO) it will be held in the shortest time possible.

“If a sitting is not held after six months, the legislative assembly will be automatically dissolved,” he said after a press conference held at Komtar yesterday.

Chow said this decision was based on the advice from the state legal adviser.

“We will discuss when to hold the session at the weekly state exco meeting tomorrow .

“The final decision will be made by the state exco. State assemblymen have duly submitted their questions for the assembly sitting.

“All assembly questions will be answered in written form. We will have a full assembly session after the MCO to let the assemblymen raise any issues, especially on the MCO,” he said.

MBPP officers ordering roadside hawkers in Sungai Ara, Penang, to pack up and leave during the enforcement of the MCO. — FilepicMBPP officers ordering roadside hawkers in Sungai Ara, Penang, to pack up and leave during the enforcement of the MCO. — Filepic

The state assembly sitting was last held in November last year, with the next one slated for April 17 this year.

Meanwhile, during Chow’s daily Facebook live session yesterday, he announced that the state’s post-MCO objective was to rebuild the state’s economy and the country, so that people’s lives can return to normal.

“The small-and-medium enterprises (SME) in the state may apply for the Penang Business Continuity Loan Scheme.

“The scheme is open for applications from April 8 to 21.

“The state government has allocated RM30mil for this scheme and the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) will be managing it,” he said.

The scheme covers two categories, small and medium industries (SMI) and SMEs.

“For SMIs involved in the manufacturing sector, they can apply for loans of up to RM50,000.

“SMEs operating in other sectors can apply for loans of up to RM20,000.

“The loan is zero-interest and needs to be paid back in accordance with guidelines available on PDC’s website.

“All successful applicants need not service the loan for the first six months and can start repayment from month seven to month 30.

“As an incentive, rebates will be given to those who successfully pay up the loans within 18 months or earlier,” he said.

Chow said if the applicants are unable to repay the loans in full by the end of the 30 months, a late payment penalty of 8% would be charged.

He said only applicants who met all requirements would be eligible to apply for the loan and it is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on the scheme, as well as to apply for the scheme, visit www.pdc.gov.my.

Meanwhile, the Penang Island City Council has launched an online platform, ‘Jom Beli Online@MBPP’ (JBO@MBPP), to help hawkers affected by the MCO.

Chow who launched the platform said it would be open to all hawkers at MBPP’s hawker centres and Ramadan bazaar stalls.

“If this platform is successful, we will extend it to all hawkers and other small food traders.

“Food security is also ensured, with delivery of food accompanied by a safety label stating ‘do not accept if seal is broken’.

“The seal is specially issued by the MBPP for all hawkers and stalls at Ramadan bazaars that sign up with the JBO@MBPP platform.

“MBPP is partnering with Delivereat, a local food delivery service, to deliver the food ordered using the JBO@MBPP,” he said.

“If the JBO@MBPP platform proves successful, other food delivery services will be invited to be part of the platform during MCO to ensure all hawkers can continue to earn a living,” he said.

MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said licensed hawkers can even prepare the food at home and arrange for delivery through the platform using the JBO@MBPP platform.

“We launch the platform to get more hawkers to sign up for this service and we are also inviting the 27 Ramadan Bazaar organisers to also sign up for this,” he said.

He said using this JBO@MBPP platform, all hawkers will get the revenue from their sales within three days through online banking.

Those who wish to sign up for JBO@MBPP can send a WhatsApp message to 016-200 4082.

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