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KUCHING, May 20: The latest requirement for Sarawakians to obtain a police permit to enter Sarawak is a huge inconvenience.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii thus urged the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to think through and refine the policy and standard operating procedure (SOP) for Sarawakians intending to return to the state.
“The constant flip-flop has not just caused many confusion, but also huge inconvenienced to the people travelling back.
“They (SDMC) added an extra step which requires us to go queue up at the police station to apply for a permit first, then apply from SDMC for another permit before we are allowed to fly back home,” he said in a statement today.
SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has yesterday (May 19) announced the change in policy which now required Malaysians – including Sarawakians – to apply for a police permit on top of the online permit from SDMC before entering Sarawak.
Even though people will comply with all requirements, Yii found that the process of obtaining two permits from two different platforms unnecessary.
“We have been receiving constant inquiry and feedback from Sarawakians who want to fly back to Sarawak,” he added.
He questioned how travellers flying from neighbouring countries and only transiting for a short period through Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) were supposed to go out to find a police station to apply for the permit.
“Some Sarawakians already quarantined in KL, and awaiting their flight back to Sarawak also complained of the inconvenience that they now need to go out from their quarantine centre to find a police station, exposing them to possible infection, just to apply for this permit before they can fly.
“I had to queue at the police station under the hot sun for more than three hours today to get the permit before reapplying to SDMC for the second permit,” he shared.
Dr Yii pointed out that the change in policy created a crowd at the police station which could increase the risk of another cluster forming especially if proper precautions were not adhered to.
“While I understand the need to control the arrivals, but SDMC could limit the number of arrivals through a singular database or platform, without the need for two permits. SDMC can issue a number of permits for a particular period of time.
“I believe the additional step is unnecessary and even if needed, the state government should be able to innovate and integrate online applications to address all the different issues faced by the people,” he added. —DayakDaily