No supporting documents so application binned, says Sarawak agency after native seeking to return home cries foul

Dr Sim blamed Sarawak’s high number of Covid-19 infections on those entering the state, be they returnees or non-locals. ― Borneo Post pic
Dr Sim blamed Sarawak’s high number of Covid-19 infections on those entering the state, be they returnees or non-locals. ― Borneo Post pic

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KUCHING, Sept 14 — The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) today said it has found the complaints from a local, who claimed her application to return to her home state was rejected four times, to be baseless.

The Sarawak agency said it received all four applications, but rejected them because the applicant failed to submit the necessary supporting documents.

“Instead of using the RT-PCR test as stipulated clearly in the Entry to Sarawak SOP, the person attached and submitted the same RTK-Antigen result with her four applications,” SDMC said in a statement.

It said one of the conditions to apply to enter Sarawak is the RT-PCR test results 72 hours before travelling.

It said the applications were made on September 8, 9, 10 and 11 and the same RTK test result was included in all submissions, contrary to the requirements.

SDMC also said it has the person’s full personal details and a voice recording admitting to the mistakes during the investigation.

It expressed regret with the way the applicant had made the complaint on social media, saying doing so was misleading and tarnished the agency reputation.

It urged applicants to follow the requirements and not blame the SDMC for their own mistakes.

Two days ago, a Facebooker going by the handle Phantomia Shan shared a post venting her frustrations at being unable to return to her home state after losing her job in KL. She claimed to have submitted the application four times, taken the swab tests and even bought her plane ticket for the journey, which was pricey.

Phantomia Shan shared a Facebook post two days ago, venting her frustrations at being unable to return to her home state after losing her job in KL.
Phantomia Shan shared a Facebook post two days ago, venting her frustrations at being unable to return to her home state after losing her job in KL.

SDMC adviser Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian has blamed Sarawak’s high number of Covid-19 infections on those entering the state, be they returnees or non-locals.

“Covid-19 in Sarawak is always imported by Sarawakians or non Sarawakians from outside the state, resulting in severe disruptions, sufferings and hardships,” he said in a statement on his Facebook last night.

Citing an example, he said the first report on Covid-19 cases was in March last year, six to eight weeks after it was reported in peninsular Malaysia.

“As a result while rest of Malaysia [sic] by December 31 had 113,010 cases with 471 deaths, Sarawak had only 1,117 and 19 deaths,” he said.

He insisted that the first Covid-19 surge in January — which triggered the state’s largest Covid-19 cluster in Pasai Siong cluster in Sibu — was also “imported” from Johor.

He noted that Sarawak had “quite a few days” of being the state with the most number of Covid-19 cases back in May.

“Fortunately, it coincided with the scaling up of vaccine arrival while the rest of Malaysia had a tsunami surge of cases and deaths with the arrival of Delta variant in Malaysia.  

“Six or eight weeks later,  Delta variant of Covid-19 was imported to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur,” he said, adding that the Delta variant surge had spread beyond Greater Kuching consisting of Kuching, Padawan, Bau, Lundu, Samarahan and Serian districts.  

“As of September 12, 2021, Malaysia had 1,995,171 cases with 20,419 deaths, Sarawak with 160,320 cases with 625 deaths,” said Dr Sim.

But the state local government and housing minister said that while Sarawak has the most Covid-19 cases, the number of deaths and severity of cases in terms of admissions to intensive care unit and intubations were among the lowest nationwide.

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