Bandar Kuching MP looking into complaints about “low quality” face masks

A reader has complained that the masks given by Putrajaya to UPSR students in Sarawak are of inferior quality.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Sept 12: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii says he will look into complaints of “low quality” face masks from Putrajaya.

He said he had tried to reach out to a few departments to determine the type and quality of the masks sent from Putrajaya to Sarawak’s Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) students; however as of press time, he has yet to get a response.

Dr Yii was responding to a DayakDaily reader who claimed that the masks given to local students were “the poor quality type (white thin one) and not the greenish surgical masks” which did not serve the purpose of preventing the inhalation of harmful particles in the hazy air.

“Each student is given only one piece each and is to last for three days until the UPSR exam finishes. Do you think it is hygienic to re-use for three days? Something (is) fishy at the back,” said the reader who chose to remain anonymous.

Dr Yii (centre, black shirt) at SJK (C) Chung Hua No. 2 with UPSR students today (Sept 12, 2019).
Primary school pupil wearing a face mask – file photo

Meanwhile, on the masks which Dr Yii distributed himself as a parliamentarian to different schools, he admitted that the masks were not of ideal quality.

“In actual fact, the masks suitable for smog is N95 masks. I think we have maintained that stance that if possible, parents can provide masks of that kind of quality. That is the preferable option,” he told the media while visiting UPSR students at SJK (C) Chung Hua today.

He said his office did check on the cost and the supply of N95 masks but was informed that there was a lack of quantity which he needed.

“So I understand they (the masks he himself provided for students) are not ideal but they were given so that there is some precaution (against the haze) for the students.”

He said the main intention behind distributing the masks is for the students to wear them during examination time after which, these students were supposed to return home or stay in air-conditioned spaces and reduce exposure to the haze.

“It is not an excuse. It is (the masks he provided) not ideal, but then what we want is to limit as much exposure (to the haze). Surgical masks are not ideal, and I stand by it but it is just for short-term precautions,” said Dr Yii.

He also pointed out that for students who suffered asthma and other respiratory conditions, the masks he provided were that of better quality due to limited stock. — DayakDaily