SDMC: All arrivals in Sarawak during CMCO require police permits

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 19: All Malaysians including Sarawakians entering Sarawak must obtain police permits first before getting approval from the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) online throughout the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that without these permits, it will not allow anyone to simply enter Sarawak.

“This condition is in line with the instruction issued by the federal government on inter-state movement restrictions,” he told a daily press conference on Covid-19 here today.

He also reiterated that inter-district travel is still not permitted in Sarawak as there were cases where Covid-19 positive individuals had spread the virus when moving from district to district.

“We try to prevent that because that seems to be the main chain of this Covid-19 (infection),” he added.

Meanwhile, express and regional bus services operators have been reminded to ensure all passengers have the required documents before boarding the buses, otherwise action will be taken against the bus drivers.

Uggah highlighted that public transportation can only operate within the division itself, such as buses were only allowed within Miri division or Kuching division.

“But those intending to board the bus, they must get permit from the police (for inter-district travel) or if civil servants, they will need to show their employee pass.

“We have informed the bus operators that it is their responsibility to check passengers (to ensure) they have the right documents for travel. If not, we will take action against the bus driver,” he emphasised.

The state Transport Ministry, he added, has held a meeting with industry players where the latter had been briefed on guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“There will be roadblocks to prevent inter-district movement. The police will even check the number of passengers in the bus.

“Usually, the capacity of a bus is 40 passengers but with social distancing rules, it can only cater to 20 passengers. If they don’t observe this, the police will also take action,” he said.

Uggah thus urged bus operators to collaborate and implement the SOPs for the good of everyone.

Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin had announced today that express boats and regional bus services in Sarawak can only resume operation after June 1, 2020.

During this period, Lee advised all express boat and regional bus operators to make the necessary preparations based on the established SOP before resuming services, including sanitising buses, getting drivers to take swab tests, reorganising seating arrangements, and preparing apparatus like handheld thermometers, hand sanitiser and face masks. — DayakDaily