Wednesday, July 6

Sabah assembly approves Covid-19 aid totalling RM375.12 mln


Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor going through the documents before the Sabah State Assembly sitting today. – Bernama photo

KOTA KINABALU (Nov 16): The Sabah State Assembly today approved the Second Supplementary Supply (2019) Bill 2020 of over RM709.64 million, with RM375.12 allocated for assistance in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor, who is also Sabah Finance Minister said RM160 million was allocated for the Bantuan Prihatin Covid-19 fund to help people affected by the pandemic as well as for efforts to fight the outbreak.

He said a total of RM78.26 million was allocated to the local authorities to compensate for lost revenue from providing incentives such as assessment reductions, as well as exemptions for hawker licence fees and stall rentals.

“RM36 million (has been allocated) to Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) for revenue loss due to a 28 per cent reduction in electricity bills for domestic consumers for the months April to June 2020,” he said when tabling the Bill at the Sabah State Assembly building here today.

He said the remaining Covid-19 assistance allocation amounting to RM100.86 million was allocated to several ministries including RM34.36 million for the Sabah Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to expand economic opportunities in the agro-food industry.

Hajiji said apart from that, the Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment was allocated RM 15 million to stimulate the recovery of the tourism sector, and the Sabah Ministry of Trade and Industry was provided with RM10 million to develop the Sabah Centralised E-Commerce platform.

He said the state’s Finance Ministry was allocated RM8 million to provide interest-free loans to agro-food entrepreneurs while the state Rural Development Ministry was allocated RM3.5 million for the final payment of Covid-19 assistance to the heads of poor and hardcore poor households.

The Sabah Public Service Department was allocated RM20 million to accelerate the transition to the digital economy; and RM10 million was for the Sabah Human Resource Development Department to strengthen human resources and create new employment opportunities.

“The largest allocation involving cash flow (in the Bill) is RM169.87 million, proposed to meet the needs under the Chief Minister’s Department, which includes the Bantuan Prihatin Covid-19 fund package of RM135 million,” he said.

The motion was then seconded by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin before being debated and approved by a majority vote.

Sabah Assembly speaker Datuk Kadzim M Yahya then adjourned the meeting to a later date. – Bernama