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A mask-clad employee (L) works at the Tourism Malaysia counter at the Penang International airport in Penang.-AFP pic
A mask-clad employee (L) works at the Tourism Malaysia counter at the Penang International airport in Penang.-AFP pic

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government will allocate an additional RM20 million budget as incentive to small-time traders and businesses as well as hawkers who may be impacted by the restricted movement order which takes effect tomorrow.

Announcing this after chairing a special state executive councillor's meeting in Komtar here this afternoon, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government was looking at ways to help these people to ease their burden.

"This incentive may not involve a huge sum but this is our way to show the people that we care for them and we are with them in these trying times, especially at this stage.

"We will look into the best mechanism on how we can distribute this incentive to those impacted by the restricted movement order, brought about by the worsening Covid-19 outbreak," he said.

Chow said the finer details on the distribution method was being worked out.

Earlier, Chow said the state government welcomed and would fully abide by the 14-day restricted movement order as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

He also urged the people of Penang to give their fullest cooperation.

"We are committed in battling the spread of the Covid-19. What is important is that we do it right the first time," he added.

On the prohibition on all gatherings, including religious assemblies, sports, social and cultural activities, he said it had been implemented in the state and the closure of non-essential services would be implemented accordingly.

As for the ban on foreign travel for Malaysians and foreign tourists from entering the country, Chow said the state Tourism Culture Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin had directed the Penang Global Tourism to halt all tourism-based promotional and marketing programmes.

Chow said the state would ensure that the closure of pre-schools, public and private schools, tahfiz, pre-university institution and all public and private tertiary institutions is implemented accordingly.

"And on the closure of all government and private sector offices, except for those dealing in essential services, civil servants who are not involved in essential services will discharge their duties from home and be on stand-by in case they are needed.

"All service centres of elected representatives will be closed but workers will be on stand-by if needed to discharge whatever duties required of them.

"As for the state executive councillors, all will work as normal as we will be having daily meetings on the Covid-19," he added.

Asked if the factories in the state would remain operational, Chow believed Putrajaya would discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, Chow also announced that Bukit Mertajam member of parliament Steven Sim would head a working committee on communication and citizen empowerment in disseminating news to the people about the virus.

Penang has recorded 15 Covid-19 cases to date.

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