Kong urges SDMC to return to tougher stance on Covid-19 SOPs

Michael Kong

KUCHING, April 15: A DAP leader has lambasted SDMC for relaxing standard operating procedures (SOPs) when Covid-19 cases are surging.

To Michael Kong, a special assistant to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) seems to be losing its will and ability to fight the pandemic.

“Based on the recent spike in Covid-19 positive cases and the new SOPs (standard operating procedures) as of April 12, 2021, I sense SDMC is losing the will power and ability in this fight against Covid-19.

“We now have an increasing number of Covid-19 positive cases every day. Even with this increase, it does not seem to encourage SDMC to take more stringent steps or procedures,” said Kong in a statement today.

He said when the number of cases was much lower, the operating hours of business being limited until 10pm. Despite the high number of cases now, Sarawakians see businesses being allowed to open until 12am.

Kong was also against schools reopening while the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) is still in force.

He asserted that when the Covid-19 cases are high, SDMC is still allowing schools to reopen and parents have no choice but to send their beloved children to school for fear of being left behind in their studies.

For him, this has definitely played a part in contributing to the high number of Covid-19 positive cases and there are numerous reports of Covid-19 cases involving school children and/or their family members which then caused many classes to be halted.

“The fact that the entire school is not shut down despite the high likelihood of exposure to a possible close contact has caused much concern amongst parents. This is a drastic departure from the past practices of SDMC,” Kong said.

He observed that in the past few months, SDMC had been very cautious when dealing with Covid-19 where the SOPs imposed in Sarawak were more stringent than what was recommended by the National Security Council (NSC).

On a few occasions, SDMC decided to imposed a CMCO instead of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) as announced by the NSC, Kong said.

“However today, we see a change in the manner SDMC dealt with Covid-19. While the NSC announced last night that five districts (Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri and Meradong) will be put under MCO, SDMC has decided otherwise to continue with CMCO.

“The public is all at a loss now with the numerous different stances between NSC and SDMC. While the government continuously implore the people to play their part in this fight against Covid-19, the chaos and uncertainty that NSC and SDMC continue to create are counterproductive.

“We need the government to stand up tall and take charge during these trying times. I implore SDMC to buck up and be more proactive so that we can all beat this common enemy,” said Kong. — DayakDaily