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Pay to only the low wagers: Lee
Published on: Sunday, March 29, 2020
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Kota Kinabalu: The money for the RM500 cash assistance payment to over 1.5 million civil servants in Grade 56 and under could have been saved and allocated to those who are more deserving, said Alliance for Safe Community Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).

While welcoming the recently announced Prihatin Stimulus Package, Lee said, even if there is a need to pay them, “pay only the low-income civil servants and not those with high salaries.”

“After all, they already have their own regular incomes, unlike those without alternate sources of income,” he said in a statement, Saturday.

It is also unfortunate, he said, that the Stimulus Package which involves such a huge amount has not helped employers to keep them in business and prevent retrenchment of employees. 

“Half a million of small and medium sized enterprises are fighting for survival as they have been experiencing substantial revenue losses since January.”

Lee also urged the government to give special attention to two matters – implementation and food supply.

“It is crucial to ensure that all plans and packages are implemented fully and well through good governance and transparency, and there must be no leakages.

“Food supply is of paramount importance. Other than providing RM1 billion to ensure ample food supply, the government has to monitor food prices by more regular inspections to prevent profiteering,” he said.

On the RM250 billion economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Lee said it is a huge relief to the people facing hardship due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) implementation.

“The slew of measures are very much needed at this juncture, particularly for the low-income B40 group and those hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak and the implementation of the MCO. 

“What is really urgent is to ensure there is some cash in the pockets of the poor families so that they can have a simple meal on their table.”

He also noted that it is comforting to hear the Prime Minister pledged that the government will leave no one behind while calling on the people to pull through the crisis together.

“Of particular interest is the decision to raise the special allowance for frontline workers from RM400 to RM600 per month from April until the end of the Covid-19 outbreak. 

“In fact, I would say they deserve to be paid more.

“The special allowance of RM200 a month to the police, military, civil defence forces and Rela who are directly involved in the implementation of MCO is to be welcomed considering the challenging task they are involved and the risks they take,” he said.

Lee also supported the assistance to be given to Felda settlers, farmers, fishermen, small traders and all those who belong to the M40 group and below. 

“The one-off payout for households earning below RM 4,000 and cash aid for students are deserving and should also be supported.

Vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children in shelters, the disabled or disabled homeless and indigenous people have also not been forgotten. 

“They will be provided with food, healthcare and shelter with an allocation of RM25 million,” he said. 


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