‘One person, one car’: Community leader hopes for ‘personal touch’ to ruling

Jonathan Chai

KUCHING, April 16: Chinese community leader Jonathan Chai hopes there will be some “personal touch” and humanitarian considerations when State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) relooks at the “one person, one vehicle” ruling.

He expressed appreciation for police’s stringent enforcement of the decision during the movement control order period amidst abuses by those who tried to flout the restrictions.

“Of course, we understand the position of the police from the perspective of the enforcement of the MCO by coming up with the stringent rule of one person for one vehicle. They have probably considered the possibility of abuse of any exemptions by irresponsible culprits without due consideration of the objective of the MCO.

“Having said that, it would be very much appreciated by those who are truly affected by the stringent rule if SDMC and the police would have some ‘personal touch’ and humanitarian consideration in re-looking into the stringent rule by providing exemptions in very special circumstances of genuine needs,” said Chai who is the president of the Association of the Boards of Management of Aided Chinese Primary Schools Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions.

Chai thus welcomed the statement by SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas which revealed SDMC will review and consider exemptions for the ‘one person, one vehicle’ rule during the MCO period.

He emphasised there are circumstances which warrant such exemptions.

“For example, a couple (both husband and wife) who work in the same company involving an essential service or business.

“It would be impractical to ask them to drive a separate car under the circumstances or worse still, if the couple only owns one car, one of them would be forced to arrange for alternative transport.

“In some instances, the wife may even depend on the husband to send her to work. It would be unreasonable to ask her to forgo such convenience and look for other means of transport at extra cost,” said Chai.

Chai also quoted the example cited by Uggah who described the scenario faced by some longhouses whereby some residents may want to go to buy groceries together.

In such a case, Chai believed that if only one person is allowed, then it may become a problem for these longhouse folks.

Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail yesterday said the police will strictly enforce the ‘one car, one person’ limit during the MCO.

He emphasised the police will not entertain anymore excuses in the third phase of MCO. — DayakDaily