Armed forces to be roped in to monitor longhouses in lockdown

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Jan 26: Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) will rope in the armed forces to assist in monitoring longhouses in lockdown to prevent further incidents of residents sneaking out.

“We express concern over this issue. Tomorrow during the SDMC meeting (we will decide on it). I have directed Sibu police and ‘tentera’ (armed forces) to present their enforcement programme especially in areas of lockdown.

“We closed down the areas. The people are not suppose to come out but I was informed that the people who are not allowed to get out, (are) trying to get out. This is not a responsible act,” said SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas in a press conference here today to give updates on the Covid-19 situation in the state.

Uggah was responding to a question from the media regarding longhouse folks in Sibu reportedly disobeying lockdown orders and trying to circumvent the lockdown. Some have allegedly even ventured into Sibu town even though their longhouses are placed under complete lockdown.

“Please, don’t think that you will never be infected. No one can be exempted, even the USA president also got it (contracted Covid-19).

“Please play your part. We are providing food for those who are under lockdown. We do (sic) quarantine so that you don’t spread (the disease). But if you go out especially if you go to Sibu, you are exposing yourself (to the coronavirus). When you go back (to the longhouse), you are exposing your family (to the coronavirus).

“Please work together. The more we work together, the faster we can overcome this (fourth wave of Covid-19 in Sarawak); the faster we can go back to our normal lives,” urged Uggah who is also the Deputy Chief Minister.

He said presently as an Emergency has been declared in Malaysia, the armed forces can be mobilised to carry out enforcement.

“In Sarawak, we will mobilise the armed forces, Rela (People’s Volunteer Corps), the State Security personnel to assist and support police in enforcement,” said Uggah. — DayakDaily