Sedar: Are there double standards for SOP compliance?

Sedar president Datuk Othman Abdullah.

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KUCHING, Oct 25: Parti Sedar Rakyat Sarawak (Sedar) questioned whether there are double standards practiced by the state government as certain leaders or “very important persons” (VIPs) are exempted from observing the standard operating procedures (SOP) which were set by the Ministry of Health during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.

Its president Datuk Othman Abdullah, in a media statement today, said there were pictures of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg circulated in the media that he violated the SOP by not practicing physical distancing during the earth breaking ceremony of the traffic lights projects at Kota Samarahan yesterday.

Thus, he questioned whether political parties could hold election talks or seminar freely without observing SOPs as the Chief Minister himself has violated the SOPs.

“With Covid-19 cases in this past week starting to rise on the back of a very serious spike nationwide, the rakyat has endured a conditional movement control order (CMCO) and is subjected to strict enforcement of physical distancing and mask-wearing.

“The leadership is not only showing a bad example to the public but is also openly making it known that rules and regulations laid down to protect the people do not apply to VIPs.

“So why doesn’t our “People First” CM observe the rules and worse, it appeared he got away with it?

“The actions of the CM in not observing physical distancing at an event can now be used as a precedent for anyone to do the same,” he said.

Othman said Abang Johari must be held responsible for not complying with the SOPs, adding that the public can also get away for not observing the RMCO SOPs.

He pointed out that the various stages of the Movement Control Order (MCO) which was in force since March has caused hardship, loss of business and employment as the ordinary people were forced to obey the SOPs set by the government.

He added that every day, many people and businesses endured strict checks by the enforcement officers and those found to be slacked have been slapped with fines that some could not afford to pay. —DayakDaily