Sarawak should have been consulted before issuing blanket CMCO

Datuk Richard Wee

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 5: The federal government must have effective consultation with the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) before announcing the nationwide blanket policy of Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to avoid any confusion or legal entanglement.

Sarawak Chinese Federation of Associations president Datuk Richard Wee said this principle should also generally be applicable to all other Peninsular states as well.

For Sarawak, Wee highlighted that it should be especially so as the scenario between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak is quite different and such differences should not be disregarded in policy formulation and implementation at all times.

“The federal government has announced CMCO without consulting Sarawak and that is not right as in many ways, we have our way of life here in Sarawak.

“The fact that we are separated by the South China Sea and that our racial composition is totally different from that of Peninsular Malaysia speaks volumes that Sarawak and Sabah should not be treated as one of the thirteenth states, not to mention that in all reality and historical records, Sarawak is a partner in the formation of the federation of Malaysia.

“That being the case, Sarawak should be consulted before the federal government include Sarawak in its blanket decision on the implementation of CMCO,” Wee told DayakDaily via telephone interview.

He further pointed out that SDMC has done an effective job in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and as such, the input of SDMC must be taken into consideration.

Throughout the MCO 1, 2 and 3, SDMC has been fighting hand-in-hand with Sarawakians and SDMC knows what Sarawakians want – to extend MCO until a reasonable certainty that it can fully contain the spread of the pandemic, Wee said.

“SDMC has been effective in carrying out its duty. It is not too much to ask for some consultation with it before implementing the policy.

“What Sarawak wants and needs should not be brushed aside like with a simple hand gesture and a shroud. Sarawak government is listening to its people and the federal government must in terms listen to the Sarawak government.

Citing the example the contention between US president Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Wee said he did not want to see the relationship between federal government and Sarawak government take a bad turn when facing a pandemic situation.

“Since the inception of the new Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, Sarawak government has been working well with the federal government. The good relationship must maintain for both Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak to grow. It should not be spoilt due to some miscommunication.”

“We just hope this the lack of communication and consultation in insisting the implementation of CMCO is just an oversight on the part of federal government,” said Wee.

He urged federal government to treat Sarawak and Sabah differently in its implementation of CMCO.—DayakDaily