Companies must reapply for passes to allow more than 30 pct staff to work from office after May 17

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING, May 17: Companies must reapply for passes to allow them to have more than 30 per cent of their employees work in the workplace after May 17, following the extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) for three weeks until June 7.

Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing in a statement today said the validity of the companies’ current approval will automatically expire on the initial end date of the CMCO which falls on May 17 (today).

“However, it must be stressed that the Bintulu Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) will be tightening the conditions for the new passes. This is to prevent unscrupulous abuse of the privilege by some companies to bring excessive numbers of workers back to the office.

“We have repeatedly urged all to work together during the pandemic to stop cases from spreading but it is disappointing that there are still many people who deliberately refuse to cooperate,” he said while highlighting the emergence of new Covid-19 variants which pose greater risk to those infected.

Following that, Tiong said he would suggest to Bintulu DDMC chairman Jack Aman Luat to review all applications from businesses rigorously.

Only companies with a critical need to have more staff on hand should be considered and approved for the pass, he added.

“They will not necessarily be granted their exact number of staff applied for as everything depends on the authorities’ review. This is because authorities have discovered various ploys by companies to get more of their employees approved to come to work.

“In one instance, an applicant suggested it needs 70 per cent of their employees to work in the office while saying that another 35 per cent of their employees can work outside the office for a total of 105 per cent. What kind of mentality is this? Do these companies think they are actually fooling the committee or just trying their luck?” he questioned.

Tiong further stressed that if no one takes the severity of the pandemic in Bintulu seriously, it is meaningless for the authorities to formulate stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) because it will be more difficult for enforcement personnel to back it up.

Although Bintulu’s pandemic control measures have made some progress, he said it is nowhere near an ideal situation as the ultimate goal is zero cases and keeping it that way.

“The people must be aware that the government and hospitals by themselves cannot flatten the curve of infections. As in all places, the outbreaks happen because there is no cooperation from the people. Think deeply about your own behaviour and practise self-discipline and self-control to contribute to the fight against Covid-19,” he added. — DayakDaily