THE Penang government has set up a fund, called Penang Covid-19 Fund, to receive donations so that it can further help the needy.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, in an announcement via Facebook live today, said he has received many offers for private donations after unveiling a RM75 million economic stimulus package to lighten the burden of vulnerable groups in Penang.
The aid package is aimed at 15 target groups and involves more than 400,000 recipients, regardless of family background, employees, and religion.
The vulnerable groups that Chow said would receive help include hawkers, small-time business, taxi drivers, trishaw riders, e-hailing drivers, the disabled, the low-income group (B40) as well as Social Welfare Department aid recipients.
“Yesterday, I said that the state government has taken steps (to help those in need) and invited the private sector to join in as well.
“And just within a day after the announcement, the private sector, especially in Penang, has pledged a contribution of nearly RM2 million.
“As such, the state government has decided to launch the Penang Covid-19 Fund through Maybank 557054620930 to receive donations towards helping the less fortunate in Penang,” Chow said in his address.
Further details can be obtained via www.PenangLawanCovid19.com.
Chow also gave an assurance to qualified recipients that financial aid would be channelled to them next month.
“Many people have asked how they could apply for the aid. The aid package is designed in a way to reduce bureaucratic process.
“The state government has data on almost every category involved. So, don’t worry. There is not need to sign up. The money will be passed to you in April.”
Chow also advised the people to be strong mentally and physically as the movement control order (MCO) has been extended another two weeks from March 31 to April 14 in the country’s fight against Covid-19.
“We are no longer running in a sprint category. We are now running a marathon. Let us ensure all of us reserve our strength to complete the race,” he added.
He said during this time, the support of the family and community is very important.
“Avoid negative emotions, don’t get angry and try new activities at home such as cooking together with the kids, playing board games, reading books and writing diaries.
“For those with a courtyard or balcony, I encourage them to relax there.”
Chow said the state government is also aware that some may have been left out of the aid package and for this reason, every constituency, irrespective of whether it’s opposition or not, would be given an allocation of RM30,000 to be used as an emergency relief fund for their respective constituents.
For the Penang Business Continuity Zero Interest Loan to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-entrepreneurs, he said the Penang Development Corporation would announce the application process by March 31.
SMEs can apply up to RM10,000 loan while micro-entrepreneurs can apply up to RM5,000 loan each.
Chow added that through Top Glove’s donation, the state government has distributed 70,000 pairs of medical gloves to the frontliners at the Penang Hospital.
In addition, he said the private sector has also contributed 300 ‘protective cover all safety clothing’ to the Penang Hospital.
He said the state government is committed to ensuring that the frontline heroes, as well as the people, continue to be protected.
Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Law Suun Ting