One-size-fits-all BKSS 7.0 aid for SMEs not well thought out – DAP

Chong Chieng Jen – The Starpix

By S. Harrish

SARAWAK’S BKSS 7.0 one-off RM10,000 financial aid to businesses in the state shows that the GPS government did not put much thought into the measure, said State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

He said such one-size-fits-all financial aid were not helpful to the medium-sized or large-sized businesses.

The state had said it will pay the sum in two payments, in September and December.

“While the amount maybe helpful to some small business entities, it is far too little to help those medium-sized or large-sized companies affected by the current pandemic,” he said in a statement.

For example in a company with 10 employees, Chong said the

minimum wages, EPF contribution, rental and other operation costs will easily be RM30,000 per month.

From now to the end of the year, the costs will be at least RM150,000 and the RM10,000 one-off aid will be less than 10% of the costs.

“In reality, there are thousands of businesses having more than 10 employees. For them, this RM10,000 one-off aid is only a drop in the ocean. It is far too little.”

He pointed out that there are also those one-man show or owner-operated businesses.

“They are not eligible to register with Socso for insurance cover and will be left out from this RM10,000 one-off aid.”

To address the issues, he suggested the one-off financial aid should not be a one-size-it-all amount.

“The Government should instead introduce a multi-tier financial aid grant to Sarawak businesses according to companies’ employment size.”

He proposed that the aid should cover at least 30% of the monthly wage expenses of the companies until the end of the year.

As for those owner-operated companies without any workers, he said there should be other ways for the aid to reach them.

Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said this was the first time in 18 months that the State government was giving substantial financial assistance to businesses.