Sarawak has own act on infectious diseases, Act 342 not applicable

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob - file pic

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, June 8: The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) is applicable to all states throughout Malaysia except for Sarawak which has its own regulations on preventing infectious diseases.

Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said other states have no choice but to abide by the federal government’s directives to implement the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) with gazetted regulations from June 10 to August 31.

“All states except for Sarawak no longer have their own act on infectious disease control, so the only reference they have is Act 342.

“The regulations which have been gazetted for Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) will be terminated on June 9.

“This is because new control measures and regulations under RMCO will be gazetted and effective from June 10.

“Therefore, from June 10, the regulations under CMCO will be automatically cancelled as RMCO is gazetted.

“There is only one act which governs infectious diseases for states which is Act 342 at the federal government except for Sarawak.

“Sarawak has its own act for infection diseases.

“But in other states, they don’t have (Act to control and prevent infectious diseases),” he said when asked by reporters about the news of Penang state government studying the implementation of RCMO during a press conference at Putrajaya today.

He expounded that other state governments cannot make regulations because under the Federal Constitution, any state government’s law which contravenes with the federal law is ultra vires and automatically void.

Ismail Sabri, who is Defence Minister, added that without implementing RMCO, the state government is unable to implement the enforcement actions for the new rules.

Ismail Sabri, who is Bera MP, asserted that if for instance the Penang state government do not want to implement the RMCO, officers at the federal government such as The Royal Malaysia Police Force (PDRM) can take legal action for those violating the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Ismail Sabri emphasised that policemen can take enforcement action as the federal law applies.

Thus, he urged state governments in particular the Penang state government to follow the implementation of RCMO as announced by the federal government recently.

Meanwhile, Sarawak government through the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) is expected to deliberate on the RCMO implementation.

It is believed that SDMC will make an announcement soon. —DayakDaily