CM: No MCO in Sarawak as lockdown could further hurt economy reeling from Covid-19

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Datuk Amar Juma'ani Tuanku Bujang send their Hari Raya Aidilfitri greetings.

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KUCHING, May 12: Sarawak will continue to apply the “trace, test, quarantine and isolate” strategy to stamp out Covid-19, instead of a statewide lockdown that could further rattle and dampen the economy which has already suffered a big blow following year-long domestic restrictions due to the pandemic.

As such, despite the surge in Covid-19 cases in Sarawak recently, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has decided to not implement the Movement Control Order (MCO) based on past experience.

“Instead, based on data and the situation on the ground, SDMC will continue to impose Enhanced MCO (EMCO) on areas where clusters of infections have occurred.

“The current measures are more practical after taking into consideration the impact of MCO on all economic activities in the State,” he said in his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message to the people.

Imposing a comprehensive MCO, he pointed out, will further shake the State’s economy which has already suffered a big blow following MCO and Conditional MCO (CMCO) imposed since a year ago.

“Sarawak’s economy must resume and be stimulated so that the people will not lose their jobs and development programmes can continue to be implemented.”

Abang Johari also noted public criticism levelled against SDMC as the Covid-19 figures in the State have been worrying, with Sarawak among the top states in Malaysia recording most cases for a few weeks consecutively.

“The situation was quite under control before this with a low double-digit figure but the Covid-19 wave took a dramatic turn that caused anxiety among us all.

“Despite facing these great challenges, I am confident that it will not break the spirit of SDMC members to continue to do their best to curb the spread of Covid-19 by taking into account data and relevant factors,” he gave assurance.

Abang Johari thus called on the Muslim community and Sarawakians in general to continue to be vigilant and adhere to all standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines in order to protect themselves as well as for the wellbeing of Sarawak.

In addition, he also urged all Sarawakians representing diverse backgrounds, races, religions, ethnicities and political inclinations, especially the Muslims, to remain ethical and strengthen the culture of respect for one another.

“Unity of the people is very important not only during good times but also when the State is currently facing a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is not a time for us to be divided or split among ourselves, but the government is always ready to accept different and constructive views.

“Let’s celebrate this auspicious day with a spirit of goodwill and brotherhood among people regardless of religious and racial differences, even in these challenging circumstances,” he urged.

Abang Johari and his wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang also extended “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri” and “Maaf zahir dan batin” greetings to all Sarawakians. — DayakDaily