Get on same page with Putrajaya on Covid-19 lockdown, Sarawak told

Medical frontliners taking down particulars from those coming for swab tests at a community hall recently. — Borneo Post Online pic
Medical frontliners taking down particulars from those coming for swab tests at a community hall recently. — Borneo Post Online pic

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KUCHING, May 29 — Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen today urged the state government to work with the federal government for a set of clear, certain and effective standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections in the state.

He said the federal government in the past week has made multiple statements regarding the movement control order (MCO) being implemented in Malaysia, the SOPs, and now the total lockdown.

“At the same time, the Sarawak government has also made several statements in regards to Sarawak continuing with CMCO with tightened SOPs and then the implementation of MCO in Sarawak and another set of SOPs,” he said in a statement.

“All these were made within a short period of one week, leaving the people and the business sector breathless in trying to cope and comply with the changes in the SOPs and policies,” Chong said.

He said what is more frustrating to the people and business sector in Sarawak is that, despite the different names used by the Sarawak government, the SOPs implemented are, in essence, very similar to the ones imposed by the federal government.

“Amidst all the confusions, we are witnessing a rising number of Covid-19 cases, making Sarawak one of the worst-hit states, for the past weeks,” he said.

He urged that the state government to stop playing up with the local sentiments of autonomy when many Sarawakians are dying from Covid-19 infections, patients are in the intensive care units (ICUs) while frontliners are risking their lives to protect the people from Covid-19.

Chong, who is also Stampin Member of Parliament, also slammed two state ministers for making confusing statements on SOPs and the movement control order (MCO).

“Just as Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian announced on his Facebook that Sarawak will go straight to MCO 1.0 from May 29, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman announced that Sarawak will not go into a full lockdown like that of the MCO 1.0,” he said.

He said for a matter as important as this, there ought to be an official announcement by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) instead of Facebook postings by one minister contradicting the announcement of another minister.

He said adding to more confusion after the SDMC announcement that Sarawak would go into MCO 3.0 from May 29 to June 11, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced that there will be full lockdown nationwide from June 1 to 14.

“Is it lockdown up to June 11 or 14 for Sarawak?” he asked.

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