Show some empathy, appreciation for enforcement officers manning roadblocks, Tiong urges public

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING, April 20: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing hopes the public will appreciate the sacrifices of enforcement officers manning roadblocks during the movement control order (MCO) period as they are helping to curb the spread of Covid-19.

He noted that lately, there has been many public complaints of enduring long queues at roadblocks set up to enforce the MCO.

“During this difficult time, we need less complaints and more empathy. Have a high degree of cooperation, and consider the perspective of other people, especially the military and police personnel carrying out their duties. It is a difficult enough job and mentally taxing, to protect the lives of the public without having to put up with verbal abuse,” Tiong asserted in a statement issued here today.

He reiterated that some members of the public seem to have forgetten that while they can sit in their air-conditioned vehicles, the frontline personnel are continuously performing their thankless duty, in the rain, in the scorching sun, and getting verbally abused by irate motorists.

“I strongly urge the public once again to understand the purpose of our enforcement personnel setting up roadblocks at major road sections is not to pointlessly inconvenience people. Only through strict movement control can we effectively halt the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus,” he said.

He advised the people to avoid causing massive traffic jam by staying home and observe the extended MCO.

“Do not leave your home for unimportant matters. Reduce your frequency of heading out and if you do, try to get as much as you need done in a single trip. I believe the public knows well by now what constitutes a valid reason for going out under the MCO.

“If you go out to buy food, buy enough to last three to five days at a time. Keep in mind that we are facing a pandemic. When going out, make your purchases for the family and do not take advantage of the opportunity by wandering elsewhere and distorting the aim of the MCO,” he suggested.

The Bintulu MP recalled that when he visited a checkpoint a few days ago, the military and police intercepted an elderly man out on the road at 4am, who claimed to be out to buy breakfast.

“This is unbelievable and ridiculous! He is fully aware that eateries are only allowed to operate from 8am to 8pm, so who does he think he is fooling? If members of the public are facing real emergencies, they should contact hospitals for ambulances, which will use the official channels to solve their problems. Bintulu’s police and hospitals are willing to help and will even expedite your journey,” Tiong pointed out.

He reiterated that the purpose of the roadblocks is to maintain public awareness of the need for the MCO.

“As we can see in Italy, because of the people’s continued unrestricted activities during the pandemic, and challenging the government, their restricted movement controls could not take hold. Ultimately, the government was overwhelmed and the contagion reached staggering levels. Is this what we also want to see (here)?

“The frontline personnel are putting their lives on the line to curb the pandemic in our country. Unfortunately, many irresponsible people do not seem to appreciate this sacrifice, choosing instead to scorn our officers online.

“The suppression of this pandemic is absolutely not a single person’s job alone. It will take the entire community to bring victory now. Don’t let the irresponsible few bring us all down with them,” added Tiong. — DayakDaily