Uggah: Sarawak to evaluate before allowing economic sectors to go full swing in green zones

Uggah (left) accompanied by Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian addressing the media during a visit to Kota Samarahan today.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Apr 29: The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) will evaluate whether the selected economic sectors and activities operating during the Movement Control Order (MCO) will be permitted to run at full capacity in Sarawak’s green zones.

SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas revealed that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had directed the committee to carry out an assessment on the Sarawak situation before coming up with a decision most appropriate for the state.

“But whether to go for full capacity as announced by the federal government, the SDMC will make the announcement after carrying out an assessment.

“SDMC, with the chief minister’s approval later on, will be the final authority to approve any change of mode of operation in Sarawak,” he told reporters after visiting the Covid-19 Active Case Detection (ACD) operations in two targeted housing areas in Kota Samarahan today.

Uggah emphasised that Sarawak will follow the latest MCO guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) announced and gazetted by the federal government to permit economic sectors allowed to operate at half capacity during phase one to three of the MCO to carry on business at full capacity from today (April 29) onwards.

Abang Johari who had attended the National Security Council (NSC) meeting in Putrajaya yesterday (April 28) had conveyed this decision to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yaasin.

“The reason is we in Sarawak understand the situation in the state. The decision we make will put life of Sarawakians at top priority and at the same time, we want to make sure that the industry can restart and revive,” Uggah explained.

He said that a team is currently actively looking into what kind of activities can be allowed to operate in the green zones which make up 70 per cent of areas in Sarawak.

“We realise MCO has a big impact on jobs and economy but we cannot only consider the economy but health and life of the people must come first,” he emphasised.

Uggah added that they will also look into projects which Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) had approved to operate previously but were located in the red zone.

“So we are also looking into all the projects and activities allowed in Sarawak to see whether it is appropriate to operate in Sarawak’s current environment,” he said.

Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali announced yesterday that companies allowed to ramp up their capacity must comply with the established standard operating procedure (SOP) in their respective sectors.

He warned that those that fail to do so will be terminated and immediate legal action will be taken.

While the government has allowed some leniency, business owners have been reminded that they still need to adhere to the ‘new normal’ by following social distancing rules in the workplace and health control guidelines.—DayakDaily