By Adrian Lim
BETONG, July 19: The state government is formulating plans to assist youth in rural areas who have lost their jobs due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic.
In a statement, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas revealed Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is concerned with the number of youth in rural areas who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19.
Uggah who is the Second Finance Minister disclosed he has been tasked to gather data for the state government to formulate plans and assist the youth to be be rehired and re-enter the labour market.
“Our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg wants all (leaders) to keep tap (sic) of the number of rural youth who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
“With the information, our leaders can work out suitable plans to help them,” Uggah who is Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Bukit Saban branch chairman revealed at a gathering with branch leaders at his longhouse Rh Francis Nyanggau in Penom near here yesterday.
At the same time, Uggah also reminded the people in Betong to be prepared for the upcoming state election.
He expressed belief the 12th state election will be conducted differently from those held previously.
Uggah who is Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister opined that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the people must get used to living in the new normal.
He highlighted that there could be new standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the state polls which people will need to adhere to so as not to sacrifice their health and safety, adding adhering to SOPs would present a challenge especially with social distancing which needed to be complied with at all times.
Thus, he opined that the political parties may need to hold courses on the dos and don’ts of facing the state election in addition to the normal requirements.
Meanwhile, Uggah who is the PBB deputy president also called on all party members to keep themselves informed of all issues affecting the people on the ground.
He pointed out party members must know the progress of the implementation of any development projects by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government.
The Bukit Saban assemblyman also reminded grassroot leaders that they were tasked with convincing voters to continue supporting the GPS government.
“The opposition will be raising a lot of issues. But, we will continue with our agenda of development and to raise the income of rural folks.
“We want to do this through our modern agriculture transformation programmes,” he added.
On the Covid-19 pandemic, Uggah who is also the chairman of the State Disaster Management Committee advised residents of Betong who are travelling to Kuching city to always use face masks, use hand sanitiser and practise social distancing.
“If any of you fall ill with high fever, coughing and flu, please go to your nearest clinic for check-up,” he emphasised.
Uggah pointed out that the state is currently experiencing the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and advised the people and rural folks to take good care of their health and practise good personal hygiene. — DayakDaily