All-round approval for latest Covid-19 relief measures

"I am looking forward to the government’s food basket programme as I haven’t been able to sell kuih to my neighbours or supply kuih to a factory in Pasir Gudang due to the increase in Covid-19 cases. My husband only receives RM400 OKU aid from the Social Welfare Department every month as he has been bedridden for the last 15 years after suffering from a stroke."

Tutyanum Madisan, 50, self-employed

"I am thankful for the additional allocation given to our Health Ministry to fight this pandemic as we don’t know how long it will last. With new Covid-19 wards, we will need more funding for equipment such as blood pressure sets, ECG machines and other equipment as we cannot share these due to worries of spreading the virus. More personal protective gear, especially N95 masks, are also needed. The RM150mil allocation to hire additional staff is also important as we need doctors and nurses to handle the pandemic."

Dr Ng Kim Fong, Johor Doctor’s Association president

"I am really happy that there is an extension of the special subscription of 1GB data initiative to students at higher learning institutions. I hope this can be extended to the end of the year as not all students depend on their parents to pay for their phone bills. This initiative is timely as well as many students in colleges and universities are highly dependent on online studies. My peers also hope the price of gadgets like smartphones could also be reduced as high-end mobile devices have features necessary for online studies, but are pricey."

Tirtha Patha Saravana, 21, university student

"As an ordinary Malaysian, I welcome the initiative to help all those affected by Covid-19, particularly those in the tourism industry, as the pandemic has impacted all operators, taxi and e-hailing drivers, and tour bus operators. Hopefully, the one-off payment of RM500 to taxi, tourist bus and e-hailing drivers could be also extended to Melaka’s tourist trishaw riders."

Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, 55, Melaka Chief Minister

"The one-off assistance of RM500 for tour guides provides some relief. However, we need more help as we have been badly impacted by Covid-19 and movement restrictions. Although the latest MCO only lasts for two weeks, the effect it has on tour guides lasts longer than that as no tourists are coming into the country. This will continue on until the world has truly recovered from Covid-19 and tourists are allowed to visit again."

Khairol Nizam Naha, 35, tour guide

"We thank Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong for the assistance given to those in the gig economy. This assistance, which is the second of its kind, clearly shows the Perikatan Nasional government’s commitment in helping those affected by Covid-19 and recognises their contribution to the country’s development. We hope the government will include gig workers in employment-related laws in order to better protect their rights."

Ng Kian Nam, Campaign to Protect the Rights of E-Hailing Drivers spokesperson

"I’m currently living with my three sons aged 13 to 16. I am thankful that the government looks after people like me during this challenging time. I am living only on the RM350 monthly financial aid given by the Social Welfare Department, aside from donations from friends and neighbours as I am no longer able to work due to my weak heart and high blood pressure. The food aid programme is also good for families like mine who are in dire need of assistance."

Mohd Ali Sarami, 65, single father

"We have about 800 tour guides in the state who have lost their income, so we deeply appreciate the RM500 one-off aid given by the government, though at the same time, we hope that there would be additional grocery vouchers for us. We suggest that the grocery vouchers be given for a maximum period of one year, or until the tour guides find a stable job."

Jimmy Leong, Johor Tourist Guides Association chairman

"The one-off payment of RM500 is a good move and it motivates us to work harder. However, I feel that additional perks should be awarded to frontliners for their time and energy treating Covid-19 patients. The frontliners at medical institutions have placed their lives at risk and their commitment should be given extra recognition."

Martini Misran, 45, nurse manager

"Any assistance is welcome. I feel that it is sort of a compensation for the risk we are taking to earn an income. We meet a lot of people on our rounds, and we cannot always be certain of their health status. I plan to take my car for maintenance and get the necessary repair works done, as well as a good cleaning inside and out.'

Carlos Raymond, 40, e-hailing driver

'I would prefer to see the government help us ask for a six-month extension of the moratorium for everyone because many have lost their businesses and jobs. An extension of the moratorium just like what we had last year would definitely be more of a relief for a larger section of the community."

Sheilla Chong, tour company owner

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