By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Aug 7: The state government has allocated RM60 million for the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to fight Covid-19 and also to empower frontliners especially village development and security committees (JKKKs) to take action to prevent the dreaded disease.
In highlighting this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed the Sarawak government set aside the allocation as he was worried about the current trend of the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected 19 million and killed over 700,000 people worldwide so far.
“This Covid-19 has created havoc at an unprecedented scale whereby everyone in the world is now affected. We have never seen this kind devastation before.
“As such, we are thankful that Sarawak has its own autonomy on immigration and this has helped curb the spread of Covid-19 in Sarawak,” he said at the launching ceremony for the Community Policing Programme at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.
He also called on JKKKs to be the eyes and ears of the government to enforce laws at the grassroots level so that stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) against the pandemic could be enforced thoroughly.
“I want to say this, every one of you (JKKKs) have now been entrusted to look after yourselves, your family and your community.
“We have to look after ourselves and we cannot trust others to look after our own health and we have to follow the SOP strictly as there is no known vaccine for Covid-19 yet,” Abang Johari reminded those present.
On a related matter, he also wanted the JKKK to ensure that there are no illegal immigrants living within the community because they could be carriers of the dreaded disease.
“What I am also worried about is the ‘jalan tikus’ (rat trails) because these are the loopholes that are not easy to monitor. But that is where the government wants you to be the eyes and ears, just like the police, to look after the welfare, the security of your community,” he said.
Abang Johari also disclosed that Sarawak has assisted the Indonesians living along the border by supplying essential items to them at the request of the Governor of West Kalimantan.
“Herein we also take into consideration when people from the other side suffer, and they sought help. We did render help and the Governor personally thanked the Sarawak government for the timely assistance.
“But also, the risk is there, because when people deliver food and there is interaction, there is the possibility of transmission of the disease.”
The Chief Minister shared his personal experience of being quarantined for 14 days during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
“What I did then was I stayed at home. I felt bored, but I had to fill my time with reading, watching TV and being with my family. And I hope those who are facing quarantine orders will be disciplined because I know someone who heads a department, and was given orders to be quarantined but he disobeyed the order and came out at night. I know the person,” he warned.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari expressed hope that Sarawakians would be trustworthy if they must be quarantined in order to stop the chain of infection.
“I hoped our people will be honest. Especially if you are quarantined, stay at home. If you are not honest then it would be very difficult to fight this unseen enemy,” he added. — DayakDaily