KUCHING, Feb 9: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing today lambasted critics and the opposition for criticising efforts by the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the division.
Regarding the Bintulu ‘pasar tamu’, Tiong said, the authorities understand the concerns of traders and hawkers that the markets must be reopened as soon as possible to allow them to eke out a living.
“The fact is, every frontliner is working themselves to the bone during the pandemic. There are many test samples to process and it takes time to obtain the final results.
“Therefore, I hope the hawkers will be patient and not misunderstand the intentions of the authorities. No one can neglect the procedures by resorting to ‘shortcuts’ and they are not out to malign or embarrass any segment. In turn, we should not instigate doubts and confusion that could potentially affect the process (sic) of the frontliners,” Tiong said in a statement today.
He added that the authorities will continue to monitor compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) at markets in order to protect the lives and health of everyone involved.
Singling out Democratic Action Party (DAP)’s Tanjung Batu assemblyman Chiew Chiu Sing, Tiong said he (Chiew) must cease trying to use the emergence of confirmed cases among Bintulu native traders to score political points.
“It is clear he (Chiew) wants to twist facts to stir the emotions of the hawkers but in doing so, he causes confusion and undermines our frontliners’ struggles against the coronavirus,” Tiong alleged, adding politicians like Chiew should not make assumptions and give unfounded criticism to create doubts about the efforts of the frontliners.
“The markets for the local native traders have long been a major gathering point between the rural longhouse communities and urban residents. Once cases appear due to indecisive and slow actions, the outbreak can become increasingly difficult to contain,” Tiong asserted.
Tiong who is also the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president said, the staff of the Bintulu Health Department have been working more than 10 hours daily, and many professionals were forced to isolate or get treatment after being exposed to the coronavirus.
Tiong was commenting on Chew’s Facebook post saying that with the ‘pasar tamu’ being shut down so suddenly, many hawkers and stall owners were now worried about their livelihoods as they were not able to sell their vegetables, fruits and other perishable food items.
Chiew was also quoted to have said that those affected by the closure of the ‘pasar tamu’ have lamented about their losses as getting too much to bear. — DayakDaily