Awang Tengah admits to not wearing face mask in Matu, willing to pay compound

Awang Tengah explaining the reason for his SOP-violating-compound in Matu during a press conference at Wisma Sumber Alam here today (April 8, 2021). Screenshot taken from Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) live stream.

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KUCHING, April 8: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan has acknowledged his mistake of not putting on his face mask after eating in Matu due to a rushed schedule, and said he is ready to pay the compound of flouting the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).

“Yes, I admit my mistake. I myself was not aware too because my officer told me we cannot be late for the next function so I had to leave in a rush, but if I’m compounded, I will definitely pay the amount,” he said.

When addressing the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Pusaka) 2021 Special Assembly at Wisma Sumber Alam here today, he said he had already been contacted by the police and was informed of his compound.

He explained that he was buying and eating some of the local delicacies while visiting the stores in Matu, and that was why he took off his face mask in the first place.

After he was told to rush to the next event by his officer, he said he had to be quick.

“I wanted to be fast, so I was paying the store owners for some of their food and drinks and told my officer to pick them up later.

“So, I was not aware that I had forgotten to put my mask back on when I was walking. Then, I was contacted by the police and they say ‘Datuk, you have gotten a compound’,” he said light-heartedly.

Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development cum Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources, was responding to a video of himself that showed him without a face mask in Matu which went viral on social media recently.

In the video, he was also seen handing money to the store owners unmasked before leaving in his car. — DayakDaily