Days after the news of a major corporation shutting down its operation in the Kuching state government still hasn’t come out with specific assistance other than merely assured there is hope for for the thousands being laid off in coming months.

Assistant minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Mohd Naroden Majais (pic) according to Borneo Post on Monday merely said “there is still hope and alternatives like starting their own businesses”.

Naroden’s statement further reinforced peoples’ suspicion that the state government indeed has no concrete and specific plan on how to deal with the situation as they had hoped for.

Adding to the state problems, was the news of the timber industry one of Sarawak biggest employers to follow suit. News reports suggested the industry already shutting down several plants in places like Sibu and Bintulu. That would likely leaving thousands more Sarawakians out of job comes 2009.

Responding to the situation Naroden who is in-charge of Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development said: “there are government-initiated courses and business grants available to help retrenched workers to become entrepreneurs.”

Naroden added “the state government was hoping the retrenched workers would start their own business so that they can continue with their life to support their family”.

But many are doubtful of the effectiveness of such programmes, since it would be unlikely that all of those being retrenched will be given grants to start their own business as Naroden had suggested.