DAP Serian queries loophole over handling of border security

Brolin Nicholsion

KUCHING, Dec 4: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Serian chairman Brolin Nicholsion is questioning the state government’s handling of border security after an Indonesian worker in Serian was found positive of Covid-19 yesterday.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) reported that the case, who worked as a general worker for a plantation, was detected following a pre-employment health screening due to changing of employer and company.

Investigation also found that the man had travelled back to Kalimantan, Indonesia and returned to Sarawak in early October but there was no record of Covid-19 screening done.

“It puzzled me as to how the Indonesian worker was allowed to enter Sarawak from Kalimantan when Indonesia recorded 8,369 Covid-19 cases as of Dec 3 without Covid-19 test.

“If the Sarawak-Kalimantan border is sealed, according to the Deputy Chief Minister (Tan Sri James Jemut Masing, how did the case manage to enter Sarawak without doing Covid-19 screening?,” he asked in a statement today.

Brolin, who is also the special assistant to Chong Chieng Jen, pointed out that he had on Oct 16 urged the government to tighten border controls in the state especially in Serian as there had been reports of foreigners travelling back and forth which could potentially bring the virus into Sarawak.

He also noted the response from Masing acknowledging that the government was aware of the Covid-19 situation in Indonesia and since then, the State’s Border Security Committee had ordered for all entry points along the borders to be closed until Dec 3.

“Is there a loophole which the government could have missed? Or did he (the Covid-19 positive Indonesian worker) enter through uncharted routes?

“If he entered Sarawak through uncharted routes, how is this possible when the DCM (Masing) had given assurance that the borders are on high alert?,” he criticised.

Brolin thus urged the government to ensure all non-Sarawakians undergo the mandatory Covid-19 test before entering Sarawak.

“The state government must take this seriously as the pandemic is still threatening the wellbeing and livelihood of every Sarawakians.

“I also hope the government will seriously tighten any movements at the borders to prevent similar cases in the future,” he urged. — DayakDaily