Chief minister: Workers from China allowed back to Sabah, kindergartens reopen

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal announced today that the state is opening its air, land and sea borders to Chinese nationals. — Bernama pic
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal announced today that the state is opening its air, land and sea borders to Chinese nationals. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, July 1 — Sabah is opening its doors again to foreign workers from China to jumpstart the construction industry in the state which has stalled due to the imposition of the movement control order (MCO).

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal announced that the state is opening its air, land and sea borders to Chinese nationals.

“They will be required to undergo a Covid-19 screening test at least three days prior to their arrival here and will have to comply with all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been set by our authorities,” said Shafie.

“This includes those who should be here working; some have been stranded elsewhere when they couldn’t work here. So we also need their expertise in our construction industry so it doesn’t get delayed,” he said.

The state is also welcoming domestic tourists, exempting visitors from having to go through a swab test or quarantine.

“They have to fill up a health declaration form and comply with all SOP but we welcome all Immigration Department pass holders from West Malaysia, Sarawak and Labuan to holiday in Sabah,” he said.

Aside from that, Sabah will also be opening kindergartens and nurseries registered with the Welfare Department as of today. The SOP has been set by the Health Ministry and local authorities.

On a recent issue of the University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF) salary cuts, Shafie said he was looking into a management revamp so as to solve its financial issues.

“I would like it to be managed properly, without any salary cuts,” he said when asked about the problems faced by the institution.

Secretary of the Sabah Division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), Catherine Jikunan, was reported as saying that administration staff and lecturers had been having problems even before the cost-cutting measure on June 23.

The management had implemented a 50 per cent salary deduction for four months which staff have claimed was a means by the former to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to carry out salary cuts while also failing to fulfil its obligation to them since 2017.

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