Sarawak to adjust CMCO SOP to suit its own circumstances

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at daily SDMC press conference today (May 5, 2020)

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, May 5:  State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) announces today that Sarawak will follow the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) but it will be adjusted to suit Sarawak’s circumstances.

Its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said, in order to have a soft landing of CMCO, Sarawak will also have to consult all its stakeholders.

“I didn’t say we don’t follow (CMCO). We are studying the SOP because we will make sure that it can fit (into) our situation,” said Uggah in a press conference today.

He highlighted that within Sarawak itself, there are green, yellow and red zones.  Then there are also rural settlements far in the interior where there is no telecommunication system at all.

“Then (there is also the question of) how we do the enforcement because what policy we have, we must make sure it is effective, and it protects lives.  That is very very important,” said Uggah.

The Deputy Chief Minister pointed out that Sarawak intended to ensure that activities no longer prohibited by CMCO will be lifted in a manner that will not jeopardise the protection of public health.

“The State Minister charged with the responsibility over public health can made an Order to regulate movement of people in the infected areas, as well as to prescribe measures to prevent spread of the disease.

“This power is provided by Section 15 of the Protection of Public Health Ordinance 1998, which was enacted pursuant to the state’ legislative powers under Item 7 of the Concurrent List in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

“However, as local government, issuances of licenses, business permits etc is a state matter, the State will ensure that those activities comply with our local government laws and regulations, including those made under the Protection of Public Health Ordinance,” said Uggah.

On May 2, Muhyiddin had announced that CMCO would be implemented nationwide to open most industries on May 4.  Coupled with the re-opening of most industries, stringent SOPs are required to be adhered to whether it involved private companies or businesses.

In response to Muhyiddin, SDMC in a press statement on the same day, Uggah said the Sarawak government had decided “to study the implications of the reopening of such economic activities, which sectors to open, when and to what extent they will be allowed to open”.

This was because, SDMC claimed, that it is its duty to ensure that the reopening of the economic activities and sectors suits Sarawak circumstances.

Additionally, SDMC said it had found that many of the standards of compliance of the reopening of the economic activities as listed by the federal government to be unconducive in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Uggah also clarified that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had a meeting with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the CMCO and its SOP.

“Yes they have a meeting where YAB (Chief Minister and other Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers) was attending the meeting. But at that time they have not get ready the SOP. The Prime Minister briefed them on the way forward (CMCO).

“So that was part of the consultation but he (Muhyiddin) mentioned that the SOP will be distributed later. That’s why we come up with our response immediately that we will study the SOP and find our which is suitable for Sarawak,” added Uggah. — DayakDaily