KUCHING: Sarawak Economic Planning Unit (EPU) director Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel today denied the state has failed to pay the Covid-19 special allowance it had promised to medical frontliners.
He said only those directly involved in managing and battling the outbreak are eligible for the RM300 allowance under the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) programme.
He said the state health department will update the list of medical frontliners every month, to identify the eligible recipients, as there were different batches of medical officers (MOs) and personnel assigned to the frontline each month.
“Some were placed on the frontline for the first three months, hence, they only got the RM300 for three months,” he told FMT.
Muhammad was commenting on an FMT report last week about a contract MO at the Sarawak General Hospital claiming that he had not received the RM300 allowance since June.
“Either the MO is no longer on the frontline or there is some error pertaining to his data, such as identity card number or account number, among others. The MO can check with his immediate superior,” he said.
Muhammad also said the B40 data from the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) indicated that the status of some original recipients of the incentive for B40 heads of households had changed to single parents without dependents.
As such, the state government has deferred the payment of the RM250 monthly incentive to these recipients as they were now categorised as single Sarawakians eligible for a RM500 one-off assistance under BKSS.
“If they have received the RM500, then the monthly RM250 payment will no longer apply,” he said, in response to a single mother who claimed she only received RM250 for three months instead of six as initially promised by BKSS.
Under the BKSS package, B40 households with a total income below RM4,000 a month, receive a monthly cash payout of RM250 from the state government for six months starting April, while single Sarawakians aged 21 and above, who earn below RM2,000 a month, are eligible for a one-off assistance of RM500.
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