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BINTULU, July 24: Bintulu MP Dato Sri Tiong King Sing has warned to enforce a 14-day lockdown on oil and gas (O&G) platforms and fine, with related costs to be borne by companies involved, if Covid-19 outbreaks continue to be detected in the O&G sector.
With oil and gas employees having repeatedly been a source of new confirmed Covid-19 cases, this has prompted Tiong to call on authorities to take tougher actions against complacency in Covid-19 battle.
“Previously, I have proposed several recommendations for the oil and gas sector in this regard, working with the relevant authorities to strictly supervise the continuous operations of the companies involved so that they adhere to the SOP (standard operating procedure).
“However, the strategies have not yielded the necessary results while the threat of more outbreaks in this industry remains present and the complacency of the people involved is not helping the matter.
“Therefore, I have requested the Health Department to directly issue fines and implement lockdowns on oil and gas platforms for 14 days for inspections to be carried out, with the related costs to be borne by the company,” he said in a statement posted on his Facebook page today.
Tiong, who is also Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, also urged the oil and gas sector to take proactive actions to ensure all employees are vaccinated including staff of their contractors, subcontractors and temporary hires.
However, he said some efforts were met with disappointment after having learnt that many influential persons in this sector had continued to refuse to organise vaccination for their staff by giving various excuses.
“It is crucial for the management of the companies involved to immediately organise the vaccination drive for staff related to this industry by collecting their data and other related information.
“These companies must begin to take proactive action to quickly get all their employees vaccinated. Allowing outbreaks to occur will be met with strict action,” he warned.
During today’s meeting, Tiong revealed that he had also requested the chief executive officer of Bintulu Liquified Natural Gas Complex to spearhead the inoculation of all Petronas employees in the Bintulu District.
“He must coordinate and supervise the relevant persons-in-charge to comply with the SOP to prevent more Covid-19 cases and work together with the Health Department accordingly,” he said.
With Sarawak putting extra efforts into ramping up Covid-19 vaccination including by rolling out mobile vaccination programme to serve hard-to-reach locations, Tiong assured that no one will be left behind from getting the vaccine shots.
“But it is the responsibility of the companies to cooperate closely with the Health Department to protect the health of their employees,” he reminded.— DayakDaily