Bandar Kuching MP: Enforce quarantine on VVIPs, politicians to be safe

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, Dec 29: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii is urging the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to take extra precautions by enforcing quarantine not only on regular people entering the State but also VVIPs including politicians in view of the rise in Covid-19 cases in the Klang Valley with Kuala Lumpur and Selangor currently classified as red zones.

When it comes to containing the spread of infections in Sarawak, he pointed out that there should not be double standards in standard operating procedures (SOP) especially when it comes to politicians or public figures as the nature of their jobs will require them to meet many people which poses a risk of facilitating the spread of the disease.

“In Sarawak, we have one of the best advantages in terms of controlling the disease which is our immigration autonomy where we can limit those coming in and subject them to quarantine thus reducing chances of local transmission especially for those coming from high-risk areas.

“However, this advantage will be compromised when we start making too many exemptions even for these VVIPs,” he stressed in a statement today.

Noting that the current SOP only required ministers and politicians returning to Sarawak to produce a negative Covid-19 result at least three days before entry, Drr Yii however opined that the test itself cannot guarantee that they will not catch the virus right before departure.

“The virus could still be in incubation period, thus would not show up in the test. The risk is higher especially if they are in the red zone areas as the risk of catching it is higher,” he said.

While certain essential services needed to go on physically, he however emphasised that mere political party meetings in KL or other high risk areas should not be considered or categorised as essential services.

“I believe politicians can take innovative steps to shift their work online such as through Zoom and other platforms without the need to travel too often.

“Certain launching or mere ground-breaking events can be postponed especially when requiring people to fly over to and from red zones. Federal ministers and deputy ministers based in the peninsula should refrain from flying but empower their team and constituency to carry out the groundwork for the time being,” he added.

The advice by an SDMC member urging fellow Sarawakians in outbreak areas outside Sarawak not to return for the meantime, he continued, should not just apply to normal citizens but for all, “unless we say Covid-19 will not affect politicians”.

Dr Yii believed the people would understand that the precautions were necessary to ensure their health and wellbeing and hence, the leaders, politicians and public figures should lead by example by complying with the SOP.

“That is why myself and fellow DAP (Democratic Action Party) MPs decided to self-quarantine the moment we landed in Sarawak after Parliament sitting even though we were given exemption,” he added. — DayakDaily