Sarawak Patriots Association reiterates support for decision to close schools in Covid-19 red zones

David Hii Chin Luong

KUCHING, April 24: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) is backing the Sarawak government’s announcement to close all schools in red zones areas in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The association’s secretary David Hii Chin Luong in a press statement today said it was a worrying trend as the Health Ministry (MoH) had stated that there were 39 clusters with 1,420 cases which involved subcategories of schools and institutions that were detected from the beginning of the year until April 20.

According to Hii, clusters involving educational institutions have also doubled in the past week.

“We support that the Sarawak government which has taken the initiative to decide and announce the closure of schools, knowing full well the implications it may have with the federal departments. This is a time of crisis of an expanding pandemic and we need to take the lead,” he said.

On April 20, the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that all schools and tuition centres in Covid-19 red zones will be closed for two weeks after considering the possibility of infection cases being transmitted among students, teachers and parents.

Hii noted that on April 23, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob mentioned that the state governments should refrain from taking the matter into their own hands and to consult with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and MoH before deciding on the closure of schools.

He said SPA would like to remind that Sarawak is not a state and should not be categorised as a state because the formation of Malaysia was based on Sarawak’s (and Sabah’s) participation to form the expanded federation called Malaysia.

“At all material times, Sarawak was to be treated as an equal partner in line with the true intention and spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“In this regard and true spirit of the agreement, the power for education and health autonomy lies with the Sarawak Government and this should be returned to Sarawak immediately,” he added. — DayakDaily