KUCHING, Nov 9 — The Sarawak State Assembly today unanimously passed the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Bill, 2020 tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Uggah said the Bill sought to compliment the federal Temporary Measures to Reduce the Impact of Coronavirus Disease, 2019 (Covid-19) Act 2020 or Covid-19 Act which was passed by Parliament on October 22 this year.
“However, the Covid-19 Act only applies to the extent where Federal Laws are applicable to the state, and where State Laws that have been declared as Federal Laws,” he said.
He said the Bill sought to provide further temporary relief from obligations under various state Ordinances not covered by the Covid-19 Act.
He said the Ordinances include Native Courts Ordinance, 1992 [Ord. No. 9/92], Local Authorities Ordinance, 1996 [Cap. 20], Land Use (Control of Prescribed Trading Activities) Ordinance, 1997 [Cap. 23], Wildlife Protection Ordinance, 1998 [Cap. 26], National Parks and Nature Reserves Ordinance, 1998 [Cap. 27] and Veterinary Public Health Ordinance, 1999 [Cap. 32].
Uggah said the Bill, once passed, would be deemed to have come into force on March 18, 2020, and shall remain in force for a period of two years from the date of its publication in the gazette.
He added in the event the Covid-19 pandemic continues and the state government is of the opinion that this law should remain in force, then the chief minister may make the necessary orders for its extension.
“Protecting and safeguarding the lives and livelihood of the people is our duty and must be kept our priority,” he said.
Uggah said the immediate objective of the Bill is to modify the relevant provisions in the relevant state Ordinances and to assist those faced with difficulties to perform their contractual obligation and statutory duties or obligations or to conduct statutory meetings during the imposition of the movement control orders.
He said this Bill also provides that any statutory duties or obligations of any authority may be extended to allow the necessary functions to be properly exercised so as to provide the people with the best service possible.
Uggah, who is also the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), said Sarawak has reported 987 Covid-19 positive cases, with 19 deaths.