KUALA LUMPUR – The “Kita Prihatin” economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday is a step in the right direction to ease the people’s burden during the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Alliance for Safe Community.
Its chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the government has rightly responded to the people’s problems and hardships during this unprecedented and prolonged period of challenges.
“It is hoped that with the continuing economic uncertainty over COVID-19, the government will continue to listen to the plight of the poor and low-income group, and do more to help the deserving,” he said in a statement here today.
He urged officers of the Welfare Department to cast their nets wider to embrace every person who is in need, including the Orang Asal who may have their own special needs.
Lee added that the government must also make it easier for people to apply for the relief by cutting down on bureaucratic red tape.
In GEORGE TOWN, Penang Single Mothers Association president Latifah Hussain Sa said the aid was timely, as more than 95 per cent of the association’s members were B40s working in the manufacturing and general employment sectors.
“Even before the MCO (Movement Control Order) they were already struggling to get on with life, what more when they could not work. So the aid will come in handy for them to buy basic necessities and settle arrears.
“This assistance should not be politicised, because it is very valuable to such families, and I feel it is a bold move by the PM because even with the current economic situation, he cares about those who are in difficulty,” she said when contacted by Bernama today.
Muhyiddin yesterday announced an allocation of almost RM7 billion in additional cash assistance for the B40 and M40 groups under BPN2.0.
Latifah said the association has about 1,000 members comprising women who had lost their husbands, were divorced or unmarried.
“The most affected are women who have gone through a divorce. It can be said that all are B40, because after the divorce they face difficult situations such as being chased out. It’s worse if they do not have a job,” she said.
According to Latifah, although the majority will use BPN2.0 to cover the cost of basic necessities, some will also utilise it to pay for the medical costs of elderly parents or as capital to start a business, as they did when receiving BPN1.0.
Meanwhile, Noor Hasni Saad, a social activist in the Telok Ayer Tawar area, described the aid as a temporary relief for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With this COVID-19 situation, to me, it (assistance) is necessary. At the moment, I see our current PM as being among the best and most caring in his effort to help the community, especially during this difficult time,” he told Bernama.