By Chew Lip Song
LOCAL Government and Housing Ministr Datuk Seri Dr Sim Hui Kian must urgently resolve the delay in the approval of the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) cash aid to needy recipients, said an ex-DAP lawmaker.
Former Stampin MP Julian Tan said the ministry and its agencies should make available platforms for applicants to check their status as many now were given the run around when making such enquiries.
Tan, who is also special assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said there were instances where applicants were informed via SMS that their applications had been successful and were told to withdraw the cash from the nearest BSN branch.
But after waiting in line for a long time, some were told that the money had not been credited into their accounts. To make matters worse, they were given the run around when they tried to get answers from government agencies subsequently.
“Many eligible recipients of the BKSS programme have yet to receive the cash handouts after their appeal applications. Initially, it is stated heads of household, who are listed as beneficiaries of Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) by the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) in January 2020, are automatically eligible for the BKSS.
“However, this is not the case where many of the BSH somehow are not automatically listed as recipients, even after the extended appeal application many are still left in the dark on the status of their application,” Tan added in a statement.
Tan said due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many individuals and businesses were having problems making ends meet. This was why liquidity was crucial and a quick disbursement could help ease the burden of these individuals and businesses.
“It is therefore crucial for the government to have a well-planned mechanism to ease and expedite the aid handout, to constantly keep the recipients with up to date information on what and when to expect so they will not be waiting anxiously and wasting precious time to keep on looking for an affirmative answer on the status of their application,” he added.