Saturday, December 4

Mobile bank service of great benefit to rural folk — Sng

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Larry Sng

KUCHING: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak chairman Larry Sng has applauded the state government for its involvement in the setting up of Mobile Bank Branch Services equipped with MEPS automated teller machines (ATMs) in rural areas, starting with Pakan.

He said such service is also needed in nearby Julau town which now needs additional ATMs since the machines are often not working.

“This (mobile service) will greatly benefit the local people especially in times like these when people are not allowed to travel between districts,” said the Julau MP.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Friday announced that the Sarawak government had allocated RM1.6 million as capital expenses for Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) to conduct Mobile Bank Branch Services in rural areas of Sarawak.

The allocation was one of the seven measures under the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang 3.0 (BKSS 3.0) package unveiled by Abang Johari that day.

The chief minister had said the Sarawak government took note of lack of access to banking services faced by rural communities especially when withdrawing cash assistance under BKSS, Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) and Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN).

After initiating collaboration with Bank Negara Malaysia, BSN and other financial  institutions, Abang Johari said Mobile Bank Branch Services equipped with ATM with MEPS services will be operating in rural parts of Sarawak.

The service in Pakan began yesterday and will continue today, before being extended to other rural parts of the state.

Pakan assemblyman Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom who went to monitor the preparation works recently was quoted as saying the BSN mobile counter was scheduled to operate between 8.30am and 2.30pm on the two days, to assist locals during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

Prior to this, Pakan folk had to line up at the sub-police station there, even in contravention of social distancing requirements, just to obtain inter-district passes to travel to Sarikei for banking services and to withdraw from ATMs.