State lawmakers undergo swab tests ahead of DUN sitting

Wahab getting his swab test done at the drive-thru service at the DUN Complex.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 6: State Legislative Assembly (DUN) members are coming to the DUN Complex this morning to get their Covid-19 swab tests done ahead of the upcoming sitting scheduled from Nov 9 to 13.

A drive-thru screening service is made available today (Nov 6) and tomorrow (Nov 7) to enable all state lawmakers to undergo tests as part of the measures and precautions undertaken by DUN to minimise the risk of the pandemic.

The DUN sitting has been shortened from the initial 10 days to five days due to the spike in Covid-19 cases in the state, especially in Kuching which is now categorised as a red zone with 122 local transmission cases recorded in the past 14 days.

Penguang giving a thumbs up as he gets ready to be swabbed.

Among the DUN members who have undergone their tests this morning are Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Children Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah; Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datu Dr Penguang Manggil; Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister Department (Islamic Affairs and DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi; Assistant Minister of Utilities (Rural Electricity) Datuk Liwan Lagang; Assistant Minister of Transport Datuk Dr Jerip Susil; Simunjan assemblyman Awla Dris; Kalaka assemblyman Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz and Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Ngumbang.

Dr Abdul Rahman, in applauding the proactive steps to curb the spread of Covid-19, emphasised that this was absolutely necessary to ensure the good health of DUN members before sitting commences.

“It is hoped that this initiative can also be extended to others including accompanying officers, DUN officers as well as our press friends so that we know our health status,” he told reporters when met.

Healthcare personnel are busy attending to state lawmakers coming in for swab tests.

Fatimah, who felt uneasy of the discomfort of the swabbing process, however pointed out that it was definitely needed to ensure no infections will be brought into DUN.

“We have to overcome that fear for the good and health of all in the DUN. Like we have always reminded all that we take care of ourselves and our people,” she said.

Liwan, who commended the healthcare frontliners for their hard work, agreed that DUN made a good decision to have all state lawmakers undergo swab tests.

“This is my second time (taking a swab test) and hopefully, everything will go well.

“We are also hoping for a good (State) Budget sitting as well as for the National Budget at 4pm afterwards,” he added.

Awla, who is taking the test for the second time, urged everyone attending the DUN sitting to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOP).

“There is nothing to be afraid about in taking a swab test as it is an easy and fast process,” he said.

Liwan arrives for a swab test at DUN Complex.

Meanwhile, the upcoming DUN sitting will see debates on Sarawak Budget 2021 as well as on bills introduced and Questions and Answers Session.

However, there will be no winding speeches by the ministers but a summary consisting of all ministerial replies will be made by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in his winding-up speech.

The Dun Building will be disinfected and sanitised on Nov 8, a day before the sitting, and on Nov 14, a day after the sitting. — DayakDaily