State govt will not compromise public safety when re-opening economy — Kho

Kho Teck Wan

KUCHING, May 5: As an experienced government, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) takes the re-opening of businesses and public operations very seriously and carefully, asserts SUPP Women’s chief Kho Teck Wan.

“Sarawak is still under the movement control order (MCO) until the state’s own conditional movement control order (CMCO) standard operating procedures (SOP) are out. This is evident with the Sarawak government’s stand when it didn’t agree or disagree with the federal government’s CMCO,” Kho asserted in a statement.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah today announced at a press conference that they are still in the midst of studying the CMCO SOP provided by the federal government.

Uggah had stressed that Sarawak will prioritise public health.

SDMC also has explained that Sarawak has the power to regulate the movement of people to prevent the spread of disease.

“This power is provided by Section 15 of the Protection of Public Health Ordinance 1998, which was enacted pursuant to the state’s legislative powers under Item 7 of the Concurrent List in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

“Unlike some opposition politicians who like to push for an instant solution and quick exit plan, the Sarawak government knows that people are our biggest factor in fighting the Covid-19 outbreak. Any strategy that doesn’t suit the state’s capacity and ability to control people’s activities will result in a subsequent uncontrollable outbreak,” Kho highlighted.

She added that Sarawak government has acknowledged the economic impact of delaying the re-opening of businesses but stressed that the health and safety of Sarawakians is the state government’s top priority, and thus there is a need to implement the SOPs based on Sarawak’s capacity and circumstances.

Kho also pointed out that Sarawak is the only government in Malaysia that presented its people with a ‘CMCO strategy’.

“The strategy chart showed that the SOPs provided by federal government will be refined to suit Sarawak’s condition. The various stakeholders in Sarawak will then be presented with the refined SOPs and guidelines. This is to ensure these various government agencies and businesses can prepare for the opening of businesses and operations according to the refined SOPs. The monitoring and enforcement of the SOPs will differ depending on the zones and disease outbreak conditions.

“Although the details of Sarawak-specific SOPs are not out yet, rest assured the interests and health of Sarawakians are the state government’s top priority,” she added.

Kho also gave the reminder that Covid-19 is highly infectious, with a high fatality rate and has no vaccine nor effective drug to treat it yet.

Stressing that the state is fighting an invisible war, she emphasised the effort requires the collective effort of all Sarawakians and any rushed decision may result in casualties and a more severe economic impact than caused by the MCO. — DayakDaily