SDNU backs calls for Sarawakians abroad to put off ‘balik kampung’ trip

Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom

KUCHING, May 4: Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) has backed the call against Sarawakians abroad returning to the state to celebrate the coming festive seasons such as Gawai Dayak.

Its president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom said the association agreed with the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Sarawak branch, which suggested Sarawakians to put off returning to the state for the festive seasons despite the downward trend of Covid-19 cases.

“Malaysia has experienced very broad and serious medical implications given the present Covid-19 situation and movement control order (MCO) status.

“We should take precaution in whatever action we decide to take without risking our own safety and those of our loved ones,” he said in a statement.

Mawan added that SDNU also backed the State Disaster Management Committee, which requested the association SDNU members and branches to cooperate and make sacrifice by holding back their Gawai plans this year.

The Pakan assemblyman added that SDNU understood the frustration and eagerness of Sarawakians abroad to meet their families and relatives.

“This is not just a matter of Gawai celebration but a matter of life and death,” he continued.

Mawan expressed gratitude to the state’s Covid-19 frontliners on today’s achievement of no new positive cases and hoped that the situation will continue to improve.

“Again, please be persistent on social distancing. Besides that, bring along hand sanitisers everywhere and wear a face mask whenever you leave your house,” he added.

Yesterday, Sarawak MMA chairman Dr Morni Abu Samat was reported as saying that the increase in returnees might possibly increase the chance of higher Covid-19 cases and overwhelm the state healthcare system.

“Interstate and even inter-district travel should only be done if it is urgent and necessary, especially during the festive season,” he said.

He cautioned that until an effective vaccine is found, there will always be a possibility of a spike of new cases emerging. — DayakDaily