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Sabah unveils RM670 million COVID-19 aid package

26th March, 2020

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government on Wednesday announced the COVID-19 aid package totalling RM670 million to help ease the burden of the people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the state government would implement 15 measures that had been formulated under the package, involving three categories including assistance to frontliners and the affected people.

He said the package also focused on strengthening businesses and improving the quality of infrastructure and amenities in rural areas.

For the poor and hardcore poor, Mohd Shafie said, a one-off cash payment of RM500 would be given to every head of household registered in the e-Kasih system and this would involve some RM20 million.

“This assistance is expected to benefit 22,456 heads of poor households and 15,747 heads of hardcore poor households throughout Sabah,” he told a press conference here.

For the B40 group, Mohd Shafie said RM80 million would be allocated to help the group including Sabahans working in the Peninsula, taxi drivers, fishermen, mountain porters, elderly people, orphans, disabled people and single mothers.

People under this group will be given a one-off cash assistance of RM300 each, he said.

He said RM20 million would be allocated to help people across Sabah who are affected by the outbreak, of which RM18 million would be specifically utilised to supply essential food items to the villages.

“RM2 million from this allocation will be used to ease the financial burden faced by Sabah students studying in the Peninsula, following the Movement Control Order (MCO) starting March 18,” he said, adding that the assistance would be channelled soon.

Mohd Shafie said RM60 million was for the frontliners including doctors and nurses, of which RM50 million would be used to provide them with critical equipment such as face masks, sanitisers and personal protective equipment (PPE).

In addition, he said RM10 million would be used to provide food supplies to the frontliners.

To strengthen businesses and improve the quality of basic amenities in rural areas, he said the state government would allocate RM40 million for petty traders through the Sabah Credit Corporation.

Mohd Shafie said Sabah’s small and medium enterprises would also be helped through the injection of RM50 million into the SME industry fund, offering a loan interest rate of 3.5 per cent.

He said RM200 million would be allocated for the implementation of 1,000 basic infrastructure projects in villages statewide. – Bernama

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