KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah information chief Joniston Bangkuai has urged the Warisan-led Sabah government to speed up the stimulus package to mitigate the economic impact brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said help must come now as Johor, Selangor, Melaka and Perak have already announced their stimulus packages to help those affected.
Bangkuai said those affected by the Covid-19 outbreak should not be neglected.
Last week, Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal disclosed that the state will announce its stimulus package to combat the effects of the deadly virus in April.
“Why wait till next month? As it is now, many business operators, especially the small ones, are severely affected and badly need help.
“Apart from that, many workers, especially those in the hospitality and service sectors, have been temporarily laid off and are in dire need of assistance,” he said here today.
Bangkuai added that many of those affected are also from the rural areas who, as breadwinners, also need to put food on the table for their families.
“Even small-time traders who operate at the tamu ground are affected because open markets have been ordered to temporarily stop to contain the spread of this virus.
“Imagine the stress and burden those hard-hit by the Covid-19 have to bear. I believe many of these business operators and laid-off workers have loans to pay,” he said.
Bangkuai hoped the state is prepared for any eventuality with regard to Covid-19.
Sabah has the third highest number of cases in the country. A 58-year-old Sabahan from Tawau is among the six dead from the virus so far.
“It is our hope that the Sabah state government, through its health ministry, will step up its readiness to not only beat the virus but to overcome its dire consequences on the state’s economy and the people’s welfare,” he said.
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