Bucking Putrajaya, Sarawak to decide for itself which sectors may restart ops under MCO

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah giving a press conference April 20, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah giving a press conference April 20, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

SAMARAHAN, April 29 — Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) will meet to decide the types of industries that may fully operate in the state under the fourth phase of movement control order (MCO), chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today.

He said SDMC is the final authority to decide on any change on the mode of operations of industries in the state.

“The reason is that we understand the situation in Sarawak and we will make sure whatever decision we make we will always put the lives of Sarawakians as our top priority, but at the same, we also make sure the industries re-open their activities,” he told reporters after visiting the active case detection (ACD) operations centre in Uni-Garden residential area here.

He was commenting on an announcement by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Aman Ali yesterday that the federal government would allow industries in the economic sector to fully operate beginning today.

“But whether we will follow for full operations as being announced, we will ask SDMC to make the assessment because we have informed Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg that in the event that we are allowing the opening of some industries, the SDMC is the final authority,” he said.

He said chief minister, who attended the National Security Council (NSC) meeting yesterday, had informed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that Sarawak would follow whatever the SOP was on the opening of any industry.

“We are re-looking at the industrial activities within the green zones for full operations.

“We have about 70 per cent of Sarawak under the green zones and we have teams now actively studying what are the economic activities which we will allow to operate in the green zones,” he said.

He said SDMC is conscious that the MCO has made it difficult for the industries to operate, but at the same time, it is also conscious of the protection of people’s lives.

“That is where the committee will come up with a decision which is most appropriate for Sarawak,” he said, adding that he is given to understand that some the economic projects being approved by MITI to operate in Sarawak are in the red zones where the number of Covid-19 cases is more than 40.

“This is something which we have to consider. We are re-looking at all the projects which have been approved by Miti in Sarawak and to see whether it is appropriate in Sarawak’s environment for them to operate,” he said.

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