By Lau Chin Kok

The Selangor Pakatan state government should allocate a portion of its available reserves to assist industries in Selangor that have been affected by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. These include SMEs and other industries which are still or have been banned from operating, so as to help them tide over the difficulties.

Despite Selangor recording the highest numbers of cases contracting Covid-19, the Pakatan state government does not  indicate enough determination nor courage to combat the outbreak with strong policies, causing all walks of life to continue to be affected by this infectious disease.

Although responsibility for the war against the contagion mainly rests with the Ministry of Health of the federal  government, as a state government, considering that the pandemic situation in Selangor tops the country, it should leverage on its own resources and strategies to introduce more support facilities and policies to assist the rakyat and various industries.

According to reports, in tabling the Selangor Budget 2021, Selangor Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari informed that the state government’s current reserves via the state government’s Consolidated Fund, recorded a total of RM2,569.95 million, which comprised of RM788.76 million in the Consolidated Revenue Account and Consolidated Trust Account totalling RM1,781.19 million.

Despite the impact from the Covid-19 contagion, Selangor’s financial performance remained largely healthy. As of 29 October 2020, its reserves were as high as RM2,569.95 million. However, at present, residents in Selangor and the various industries are in dire straits and urgently need government aid. Thus, the Pakatan-helmed state government should disburse a certain portion of its reserves to help the rakyat.

The purpose of the reserve fund is to alleviate difficulties when extreme urgency arises or during extraordinary periods. The various industries in Selangor are suffering indeed. It is only apt that the PH Selangor state government considers dipping into its reserves to help its residents by allocating financial aid for the following industries:

1. Provide cash assistance of RM1,000 per hawker in Selangor

2. Provide monthly assistance of RM300 per person for the unemployed in Selangor for a period of 3 months

3. Set up an interest-free loan programme totaling RM500 million for SMEs in Selangor

4. Provide 50% wage subsidy for 3 months for SMEs in Selangor

5. Provide special financial assistance for the entertainment and tourism industries in Selangor