KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has unveiled a special RM670mil stimulus package to assist people in the state affected by the Covid-19 mobility control order (MCO) that has been extended to April 14.
The 15-step package will see food rations sent directly to affected families, RM500 one-off payment for the poor, a three-month free water supply for consumers and a 30% discount on residential electricity bills to help reduce the people’s hardship.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic), who announced the special assistance package, also said RM50mil will be set aside for the personal protection equipment, including face masks, hand sanitisers for frontliners, medical teams and Immigration personnel.
He said another RM10mil will be used to provide food for frontliners, involving doctors, nurses, medical staff, police, Immigration, armed forces, Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), marine police and Rela members.
An allocation of RM20mil will be used to help villagers across Sabah directly affected by the MCO and also students studying in other parts of Malaysia.
Another RM20mil will be channelled to 22,546 poor, and 15,747 hardcore poor will get a RM500 “one-off” cash payment.
A one-off payment of RM300 will be given to the low income group (B40) involving some 30,000 Sabahans in peninsular Malaysia, 13,132 taxi drivers, 169,630 farmers, fishermen, livestock and poultry farmers, mountain guides and porters and other vulnerable groups like the elderly, orphans, disabled and single mothers, which involved some 69,000 people.
Other measures were a 30% rebate on quit rent for 2020 that will benefit 232,774 individuals, 9,184 companies and 402 other landowners.
All local authorities will give a 20% discount on all assessments for 2020.
“Those who have already paid their quit rent and assessment for 2020 will be given the discount for 2021, ” Shafie said, adding that the discount in the assessment fees would benefit over 300,000 people.
He said that small time traders and hawkers will not have to pay for their licenses for 2020 under the government assistance plan.
The government will also waive payment for three months from April for 335,000 domestic water consumers.
For electricity, he said that 28% discount would be given to consumers in Sabah and Labuan in addition to the 2% discount provided by the Federal Government.
“It will cost the state about RM35.65mil and will benefit 512,000 consumers, ” he added.
Shafie said that the state also waived rental payments of RM21.1mil for those living at People’s Housing Programme houses (PPR) for six months that will benefit 110,400 people.
The state would take over the allowance payments of the village community management council (MPKK) following the change in the Federal Government. The payments are expected to cost the state RM30mil to pay the allowance for the next ten months,
Other measures include allocating RM40mil for micro credit scheme for small businesses, RM200mil for 1,000 minor infrastructure projects in villages across Sabah and a special RM50mil allocation to help SMEs.
“We hope that the assistance will reach the people within the next few days, ” he added.