Terengganu announces monthly assistance for trishaw riders, boat operators

The Terengganu government today announced a monthly assistance of RM200 a month to 75 trishaw riders and boat operators in the state who are still operating.

State Tourism, Culture and Digital Technology Committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said the assistance involved a total allocation of RM180,000 a year or RM15,000 a month which would be given to 57 trishaw riders and 18 boat operators from July.

“Initially they received monthly aid but about two or three years ago such assistance was stopped assuming that they were included in the category of poor, and received assistance from the Social Welfare Department (JKM) or Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Melayu Terengganu.

“However, after scrutinising it, especially with JKM, it seems that many of them are not registered (with JKM) so we decided to resume the monthly assistance,” he told reporters after presenting donations in the form of basic necessities to trishaw riders and boat operators on the grounds of Pasar Payang, here, today.

Apart from easing the burden of the recipients in facing the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, Ariffin said the monthly assistance was also to ensure that the group continued to remain the state’s tourism ambassadors as trishaws and boats were traditional transportation synonymous with Terengganu.

Meanwhile, boat operator Armizi Ahmad, 40, said the aid could be used to repair and maintain his boat which he had been operating for the past 16 years.

“Although there are no tourists and our income is badly affected, the boat also needs to be maintained and repaired. So this assistance is very helpful to cover expenses,” he said.

Armizi said following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the inter-state ban, he only earned up to about RM20 a day compared to RM60 to RM70 a day previously while his customers were only residents around Kuala Terengganu and Kuala Nerus.

Meanwhile, trishaw rider Pohot Salleh, 66, expressed his gratitude that their request for the state government to resume monthly assistance was fulfilled especially during the MCO period where their income was severely affected.

“However, we are still faithfully waiting here (Pasar Payang) because pedalling a trishaw has been our source of livelihood for decades. After all, trishaws are synonymous with Terengganu. So we do not want this tradition to die no matter what the situation,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency