Sarawak to look into transportation for Pontianak residents seeking medical treatment in Kuching

Abdul Karim (centre) speaks during the press conference while others look on.

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, June 19: Sarawak may look into providing transportation services to ferry the people of Pontianak, Indonesia to Kuching to get medical services in the future.

Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah noted that there are no transportation services available which poses an obstacle for people of Kalimantan to seek medical services in Sarawak.

“We will discuss with the Sarawak Ministry of Transport whether this matter can be resolved because we took note that those who came to seek medical treatment in Sarawak are mostly from Pontianak,” he said at a press conference held at the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) site in Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) here earlier today.

He admitted that the problem has worsened ever since borders were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Due to closure of borders, transportation cannot go back and forth from Kuching to Pontianak.

“InsyaAllah, this matter will be expedited. I will bring this matter to the higher-ups,” he added.

Earlier, journalist Shando Safela from Pontianak Post told the Sarawak minister that the Sarawak-Indonesia border have reopened since two months ago.

“Despite that, it is still hard for the people of Pontianak, Kalimantan because there is no public transportation available such as buses and aircrafts.

“Thus, we (Pontianak) would like to know when can this matter be facilitated?” he asked.

Also present were Deputy Minister for Creative Industry and Performing Arts, Datuk Snowdan Lawan, the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor and Place Borneo director Gracie Geikie. — DayakDaily