By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, May 6: Sarawak will open up its businesses in the next two or three days in accordance with the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) after the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has come up with suitable standard operating procedures to control the spread of Covid-19.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that Sarawak could not implement the CMCO when it was first declared on Monday (May 4) as Sarawak had yet to decide on the SOPs of how businesses could be conducted without jeopardising public health.
“There must be certain protocols and these are the things that have to be done, so the next two to three days, we are going to promote this protocol (SOP).”
Disclosing that he had been in a meeting with the prime minister on carrying out CMCO, he stated that the implementation was up to Sarawak.
“Also, we have our own ordinance under Section 15 of the Protection of Public Health Ordinance 1998, which was enacted pursuant to the state’s legislative powers under Item 7 of the Concurrent List in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, whereby public health is concurrent, public health and prevention of disease is ours,” he explained.
On a related issue, Abang Johari stressed that Sarawak was preparing for the ‘new norm’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“You must get familiarised with the protocol of the new norm. That is why SDMC and Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas were very cautious in this,” he said.
However, Abang Johari reiterated that preparation for the new norm must be gradual so that the people will be better prepared.
“For example, social distancing has become the new norm. When you go to coffeeshops, the distance between tables is the new protocol. So, we have to get people familiarised with the new protocol.
“This is why the Sarawak government would prepare the people first, then after that, we open it (business) up gradually, then you can gradually implement what is needed. They (the people) must know the SOP, we are going to do this (familiarise people with protocol) and after that, we are going to open our economy,” added Abang Johari.—DayakDaily