THE government’s initiatives to help the people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic have managed to alleviate the burdens they faced.
Initiatives such as the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) and the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) are among the assistance given by the government to help the people.
BPN recipient Matzin Musa, 46, said the aid was used to cover daily needs and school expenses for his children.
He said BPN is an initiative that eases the people’s burden, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic.
In this regard, he hopes the government would continue to maintain BPN in the future and the amount offered would also be increased in accordance with the situation at the time.
Siti Norarbayah Abdullah, 27, said BPN has not only eased the burden of family, especially those with children, but also helped in providing capital for micro businesses.
“With BPN, the burden of family expenses can be eased as I am a housewife.
“I used this assistance on children’s needs and expenses for kitchen items as well as for personal needs,” she said.
She hopes the government would continue to provide such assistance, especially in helping those severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
For Rozieanah Nasrun, BPN, which is now in its second phase, should be extended due to the unstable economic situation.
The B40 category BPN recipient said the assistance received was used to buy daily necessities such as food.
She also saved some of the money for emergencies such as sickness or accidents.
“I am grateful for the government’s concern in introducing BPN because in the current economic situation, my family and I are completely dependent on my husband’s salary of less than RM2,000.
“It is hoped that the government will extend this BPN and increase the amount of assistance for those who earn less than RM2,000 a month in order to ease the burden of the low-income people,” she said.
Hotel worker Mohd Elfee Muhamma expresses appreciation for the government’s concern in extending the PSU to help the workers affected by pay cuts.
He started receiving the assistance in May, after his employer reduced salaries by 50 per cent from April because of the hotel’s temporary closure in compliance with the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“This is one of the government’s assistance that has greatly relieved employers and workers who are severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis – especially for those involved in tourism and hospitality activities as this sector is among the most affected by the pandemic.
“In addition to benefiting from financial assistance, employees are also assured that they still have jobs and will not be laid off,” he said.
Mohd Elfee also noted that the process of applying for the assistance was very simple and did not take long.
“This PSU would hopefully be able to continue, even on a targeted basis, and the value of assistance should also be increased according to company size and employee status,” he said.
Vehicle workshop operator Muhammad Shahnon Basir, 38, said that since the Covid-19 pandemic, his business has experienced a decline in revenue of more than 50 per cent.
He said things were at its worst when the workshop, which he has run for nine years, had to close for almost two months due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“The company almost went bankrupt because there was no income, but still had to withdraw funds to pay five permanent employees.
“Fortunately, the government introduced the PSU to help affected companies overcome the problem of paying employees’ salaries for six months from May to October 2020,” he said.
Muhammad Shahnon said the government’s move was very timely and helped Bumiputera entrepreneurs to survive despite the uncertain economic situation.
“With the wage subsidy, the company could continue its operations and avoid layoffs,” he said.
BPN B40 category recipient Niswa Tanga, 57, is very grateful because the assistance helped with the cost of daily expenses.
“Since the Covid-19 pandemic, my husband’s salary has been cut by almost 40 per cent because the operations of the company where he works closed for three months.
“With BPN, it can help with household expenses, including paying electricity and water bills as well as buying daily food,” she said.
As a Malaysian, Niswa said she is very grateful to have leaders who care about the plight of the people.
She believes the government is able to manage the spread of the pandemic and restore the country’s economic situation.
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