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KUCHING, Aug 16: Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing advises business owners to not bring in foreign workers through illegal or unofficial means.
Tiong in a statement today, said if the employers do it intentionally and are discovered, they must face the fullest legal repercussions for their actions.
According to Tiong, employers are beholden to know whether their employees are involved in shady business or are conducting illegal activities, particularly those that benefit their business.
“I once again appeal to all business owners, do not bring in foreign workers through illegal or unofficial means. Doubly so when you are not sure of the backgrounds and origins of the workers that you intend to bring in via ‘jalan tikus’. This is one of the gaps in the outbreaks of Covid-19 that we must shut down.
“This would not be the first time I have given such advice. But time for mere advice from here onwards is over. It is time for much stricter action for the good of the people,” he said.
Tiong emphasised business owners must ensure that all employers strictly comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs) and to not ignore the health and safety of the public in order to protect their interests.
“There have been as many as four logistics companies in Bintulu, with more than a dozen drivers who have caught Covid-19,” he added.
Tiong opined the authorities have to actively and closely monitor whether the relevant sectors have properly implemented SOPs including conducting RT-PCR tests once a week.
He also questioned the industry players in their willingness to cooperate and practise self-discipline to implement SOPs in order to not waste efforts to contain the pandemic.
Otherwise, he said, they cannot blame authorities for enforcing even stricter SOPs to counteract their recklessness.
Tiong also pointed out that Bintulu had previously succeeded in containing the number of daily confirmed cases to a single digit, but unfortunately, it has now rebounded to double digits.
He believed most people know the reason for this, and these cases were contributed by outbreaks originating from industry and transport sectors in Bintulu.
“I also understand that all sectors are facing labor shortages. We are actively communicating and discussing with the Sarawak government to find a better and more secure way of hiring labor.
“We welcome any suggestions that the associations and employer groups can provide. We need to solve this issue in a holistic manner, not in a rash manner that could ultimately endanger ourselves and everyone else,” he said. — DayakDaily