SUPP Pujut calls for solution to overstaying foreign workers issue

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KUCHING, April 26: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Pujut calls on the Sarawak government to look for a solution to address the issue of foreign workers, both legal and illegal, who have overstayed or are stranded in Sarawak, especially those from Indonesia.

Its Youth chief Alex Chu in a press statement today said quite a number of Indonesian workers are still in the state, waiting for renewal of working permits or job arrangements in fields that require their labour.

“An effective measure should be carried out to get the accurate number of the workers and the service fields they are involved in, and make arrangements accordingly based on the data collected. Only by then new recruitment of foreigners should be made to make up for the deficiency,” he said.

On top of that, he noted, every foreign worker should receive the necessary vaccinations before entering Sarawak.

He said enforcement action should taken to ensure employers provide accommodation which meet sanitary conditions and could be used for quarantine purposes if needed.

Chu pointed out that early last month, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas announced that foreign workers would be allowed back into Sarawak commencing from March 1, following requests from industries that require foreign workers.

“The intention of SDMC was good, that is to restore Sarawak’s economy as soon as possible. Despite this, it’s unwise to bring in new workers, while the current problems of overdue (sic) foreign workers in the state remain unsolved,” he added.

On the same note, Chu also urges the Sarawak government to defer approvals for new applications from foreign workers to enter the state as it is not critical to do so at this stage of emergency, in view of Sarawakians being at a critical point in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

He opined the rising daily Covid-19 numbers in the state implies the state is approaching the peril of a major outbreak.

“The progression of vaccination is far way behind if compared to the speed of the virus spreading, leaving us an uphill task on the way to achieve herd immunity in which at least 80 per cent of Sarawakians have to get vaccinated.

“Sarawakian are still thousands of miles away (sic) from being well protected; bringing in more people from abroad who may not have been vaccinated would only further intensify the predicament,” he added. — DayakDaily