BUTTERWORTH: Public service drivers in the northern region severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic have received additional aid, courtesy of the Penang Port Commission (PPC).
The initiative, supported by the Transport Ministry, brought smiles to hundreds of drivers as they received their packages yesterday during a session organised by the Gabungan Pertubuhan Teksi, Kereta Sewa Limosin dan Teksi Lapangan Terbang Se’Malaysia (GTSM).
Aid packages containing essential items were quickly snapped by the eager drivers, with 300 packages given out at the Sungai Nibong bus terminal on Penang island, while another 200 were distributed at Penang Sentral here.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong’s political secretary Ling Tian Soon said it was the first time GTSM collaborated to help the needy groups who lost most of their income amid the pandemic.
“This is a nationwide drive with stops at major terminals, where the drivers would come and collect their aid.
“A total of 1,300 packages are allocated for Penang, Kedah and Perlis.
“We kickstarted the drive in Penang, and will move on to Sungai Petani and Pulau Langkawi in Kedah next, followed by Perlis, ” he said after handing out the aid.
Ling was accompanied by PPC chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng, who gave the breakdown of the aid dished out by the government so far to these drivers.
“Under the government’s Bantuan Prihatin Nasional, where a one-off payment of RM600 was provided, a total of 6,637 e-hailing drivers have received it, ” Tan said.
“The following Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia (Permai) assistance package saw 4,384 e-hailing drivers eligible for a one-off RM500 payment.
“As for taxi drivers, 2,264 of them received aid under Prihatin, while 2,311 got help from Permai.”