MIRI: Mayor Adam Yii Siew Sang shot down the rumour that the temporary permit was a bait to check unlicensed hawkers and traders. Rather he said it was an effort to enable them to receive financial assistance from the state government.
“The Covid-19 pandemic that observed MCO and later CMCO until June 9 has affected almost everyone. The hawkers and traders are those who are impacted the most. Hence, BKSS 2.0 introduced by the state government aims to reach out to these groups, through the local council to help them,” said Yii.
Currently, he added, they are reaching out to stall operators at coffee shops and food courts. The local council (MCC) have teamed up with SUPP Pujut and Krokop, disseminating information on the application for temporary permit and Sarawak Pay.
“Legally, the stall operators at coffeeshops or food courts are not required to obtain individual licence. They usually rented stall from licence’s holder. However, in order to enable them to apply for BKSS grant of RM2,250 from the state government, they need to have licence or permit. Thus, the temporary permit by the city council is a way to help them to receive the grant,” Yii explained.
He added that with only about a week’s time left before the closing date on May 31, they are working hard to reach out to as many of the unlicensed hawkers and traders as possible.
To register for Sarawak Pay merchant account, he said, the recipient of the grant need not queue up at Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) but can receive it in their e-wallet.
“We hope to be able to help those struggling due to the pandemic, as the grant could at least ease their financial difficulties,” he said.
To date, nearly 3, 000 forms for the temporary permit have been given out and 1, 734 have been returned. A total of 707 applications have been received online.
When asked by reporters on the compliance of coffee shops with the SOPs, the mayor said MCC public health officers are constantly going around checking on the situation.
“However, there will be a small group of operators and customers who may not like to follow the SOP. At this period, the officers usually give warnings to those stubbornly refusing to follow SOP.
“Miri is now a green zone, but that does not mean they can ignore the importance of observing social distancing, wearing face mask, frequent hand washing and using hand sanitiser,” he added.