LETTER | Please help the people: Covid-19 is destroying our lives

Tay Ben Hwa


LETTER | I refer to an article titled “Retailers, malls plead for Budget 2021’s urgent review to save jobs, prevent companies from collapsing” that was published by the Malay Mail on Nov 14

I totally agree with the writer, having seen these things happening with my own eyes around my hometown, Ipoh! Since March this year till now, I have seen friends and acquaintances lose their jobs and livelihood. How sad if you are in that situation.

I came across people who can’t pay their bills and maintenance costs. I too saw people sell anything, from face masks from China to cooked food from homes or having a stall in the pasar malam. This happened because of the pandemic Covid-19.

But what I cannot understand is the slow reaction of the government to this situation. For instance, I have friends who are involved in the stationery business who applied for a BSN special business loan, but were turned down and also, they did not qualify for other bank loans.

What is more sickening was a friend dealing with books for government schools… the loan application was successful about three weeks ago, but till now the money has not yet been disbursed! By the time the money is disbursed… I think it will be high time for my friend to close shop! The question is, what takes them so long to disburse the cash “lifeline”?

Remember – timeliness is the word! If the money applied for in a loan comes late for any business, it is as good as not applying for the loan at all! The bureaucratic “red tape” negates the government’s good intention of helping the businesses.

Don’t blame the public and businesspeople for looking negatively at the government because of their employees “dragging their feet”.

According to the Malay Mail article I referred to, several proposals have been mooted and I can say they are great ideas for the government to consider seriously. But our government must look at the red tapes surrounding the disbursement of financial aids, seriously and timely, in order to reach out to the target groups concerned.

Even in today’s news, almost 32,000 SMEs have already closed their businesses and more are heading to close up, some facing bankruptcies and litigations and the end result is that the employees suffer.

So, to the relevant authorities, please, financial aid should and must be disbursed quickly, and on time!

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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