Tiong slams DAP reps over quarantine exemption issue

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

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KUCHING, Jan 4: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has fired salvos at two state Democratic Action Party (DAP) leaders, describing them as hypocrites.

He remind Lanang MP Alice Lau and Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii that they have also made the applications to receive quarantine exemptions similar to that of their chief Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman and state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

“They have asked for exactly the same thing, through the bureaucratic processes as established by the Sarawak government.

“And every time they traverse between Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, the same process is carried out to protect public health and reduce risks. I would suggest for both YBs to get rid of the double standard thinking they have insinuated that there are too many exemptions given, including to those they claim as VVIPs.

“Therefore, we need to ask, how sure are they that no DAP Members of Parliament have applied for this same quarantine exemption?

“(So), don’t be hypocritical and act high and mighty by calling out other people’s applications for exemption, when they themselves have scarcely been seen to contribute to the welfare of the people during this difficult period,” Tiong said in a statement issued here today.

His statement came in response to allegations by Lau and Dr Yii that Tiong had been exempted from quarantine upon his arrival in Sarawak from Kuala Lumpur recently.

Meanwhile, Tiong who is also the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president also asked the two DAP MPs if it was enough for both of them to self-isolate under the name of quarantine while ignoring the pleas of help from the people.

“As elected representatives, they should strictly comply with the Ministry of Health’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) and continue to serve the people on the ground in order to deserve to be called public servants,” he said.

Tiong reiterated that the duties and obligations of an MP should not be impeded by a pandemic, especially for the sake of Sarawakians who live in remote areas without access to assistance and other means to seek help or voice their concerns.

“Only by going down to the ground with community visits, can we actually know the situations faced by our constituents and gain the necessary information or knowledge to solve their problems,” he added.

He asserted MPs who truly serve their constituents cannot rely on lip service and making gestures while sitting in an air-conditioned room.

“They cannot rest on their seniority after attending several terms of Parliament and expect that to mean anything.

“My years of experience (as an MP) means that I can use what I know to resolve their issues in the most efficient way possible,” said Tiong.

Meanwhile, Tiong said, as long as government officers or ministers have valid official reasons, they can apply for quarantine exemption according to the procedures of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

“While these DAP leaders are proud of their self-imposed home quarantines, have they actually thought about carrying out their duties as ‘wakil rakyat’ without being affected during this unprecedented period?

“Their constituents deserve it after all, so why not go back to work after their ‘isolation holiday’?” added Tiong.