Covid-19 lockdown: Internet users offer helpful suggestions for aid to ease burdens


PETALING JAYA: With a total lockdown being imposed on the country from June 1-14, Malaysians are hoping that the government will prepare an inclusive aid package that will be channelled to students, workers, as well as low- and middle-income groups.

Facebook user Sanathanan Khandayah proposed 14 items that should be considered by the prime minister, with consideration for those who are earning daily wages and allowances.

Among the suggestions were for people to be allowed to withdraw an additional RM2,000 to RM5,000 from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings through the i-Sinar initiative, financial aid for the B40 income group and affected sectors and to expedite aid via Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR).

Sanathanan also proposed that the RON95 fuel price should be reduced as it would help reduce the prices of goods, allowing an automatic loan moratorium for two months, as well as providing food subsidies for online purchases such as via Grab and Food Panda.

Twitter user @username_wan opined that students should also be entitled to receive financial aid.

“Most students who study via home-based teaching and learning method use their own pocket money to get Internet access and reference materials.

“As a former student who had a low income, I also understand what they feel now,” he said.

Another user @janiceeeanne echoed the suggestion and noted how some university students have to work part time to cover university fees.

“Can we also please add aid for students? University fees are not decreasing and the students aren’t allowed to apply for aid under the ‘single’ category because we apparently aren’t ‘single’ enough,” she commented.

Mohd Anuar Johari on Facebook also hoped that the government would give out cash aid as the period of two weeks was quite lengthy.

“If RM1,000 is too much, RM500 is good enough,” he said.

Nazlan Nazlan said as the government had yet to announce any aid for the upcoming lockdown, he proposed that a Bantuan Prihatin Nasional 3.0 be made available and a basket of essential goods to be sent from house to house to lighten the burden of the people during the lockdown.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, in a Twitter post, suggested that an automatic loan moratorium, along with aid for the B40 and M40 group and other assistance should be immediately readied for the people.

“This is not the first time the country has announced a total lockdown. We should not have to wait “in the near future” for the Federal government to help the people during the lockdown,” he said Friday (May 28).

He also suggested that students should be provided with assistance, while workers should receive wage subsidies.

A number of Internet users also posted on social media, offering to provide aid or assistance for individuals who are financially affected by the lockdown, especially those who have lost their source of income.

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