Pakan rep backs call for more ATMs in rural areas

Pakan rep backs call for more ATMs in rural areas

KUCHING,. Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom supports the call for more automated teller machines (ATMs) to be installed in the rural districts.

In this regard, the Pakan assemblyman hopes that the federal government, through Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), would respond to this call as soon as possible.

“I also call upon the people to support the efforts of the National Security Council (NSC) and BNM to come up with suitable mechanisms to meet people’s needs in the rural areas, particularly during this Movement Control Order (MCO) period,” said Mawan yesterday.

He appreciated the call made by Gerempung Raban Pakan (GRP) for the installation of an ATM in Pakan.

However, he pointed out that it was always the intention of the state government to make sure that ATMs would be available throughout Sarawak, not only in Pakan.

Mawan acknowledged that it would be up to the BNM to decide whether it would be cost-effective to set up a bank or even installing an ATM in any area.

“Before this, former Julau MP Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum and myself, when I was the Saratok MP, had applied for ATMs and bank services for Pakan.

“We understand the needs of the people in Pakan, especially the urgency to withdraw their financial aid from the state and federal governments during this MCO period,” said Mawan, acknowledging the statement made by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas about the NSC and BNM identifying financial agents to extend banking services to the rural
areas especially during this MCO period.

He said Uggah’s statement also received support from Julau MP Larry Sng.

“Myself, in my capacity as Pakan assemblyman, have followed up on the matter from time to time.”

On April 14, Uggah said the NSC had proposed to BNM to mobilise bank agents to the rural areas for the convenience of the rural folk in getting their Prihatin cash aid because some of them had no access to any financial service such as banks and ATMs.

“Because of that, they are faced with challenges especially during this MCO,” said Uggah after chairing the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee meeting then.

The NSC had proposed the idea to BNM on how best to mobilise the bank agents to the rural areas in need of financial services, not just during the MCO period but also for long term, he said in connection with the incident where almost 200 residents in Pakan had lined up at the police station there, in contravention of the social-distancing requirement, just to get permits to travel to Sarikei and get to the ATMs.

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