KUCHING, May 14: Sarawak has the capacity to impose a total lockdown as the government can tap into its large tap into its large RM31 billion reserves to respond to the situation especially in saving businesses and sustaining livelihoods hit badly by the pandemic as Covid-19 is not going away any time soon.
Suggesting this, Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan emphasised that countries around the world have shown that only total lockdown was the most effective way to stamp out Covid-19.
“There is no reason for the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government not to wish to do so despite the fact that we have a large reserve of funds of RM31 billion plus over RM2 billion from SST (State Sales Tax) paid by Petronas recently. Where is the money now?
“It seems that the government has failed in its efforts to fight Covid-19 in Sarawak. The Federal government has not rendered much help to Sarawak since the outbreak in late 2019 or early 2020,” he said in a statement today.
Voon opined that vaccination is not the answer to contain the outbreak at the moment because not only that vaccine supply is slow with inadequate manpower for the rollout but there were also doubts over the efficacy and side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines.
“The GPS government should use our reserve fund to save businesses and livelihood of the people by subsidising small businesses, hawkers and all poor citizens of Sarawak. Do it once and for all before all of us get sick and more people die of the virus.
“The government should understand that saving lives is more important and meaningful than to save the economy at the moment,” he added.
Voon stressed that the number of people cured or discharged each day was lesser than the people infected by the virus which will further impact the public health sector that is already lacking in resources and manpower.
“There is no sign that Covid-19 will stop, unless there is a total lockdown for a period of time. One month lockdown should be adequate to make things return to normal.
“There could be more deaths and this should not be allowed at the expense of saving the economy,” he said.
As such, Voon pointed out that greater support for businesses especially the small ones is critical as they are losing money each day due to Covid-19, otherwise the economy cannot recover swiftly and the people will suffer.
“GPS government’s ineffectiveness in controlling Covid-19 will cause GPS to be replaced if elections are to be held at any time now.
“The voice of people supporting PBK is louder now to be the next government because people are not happy on how GPS is handling Covid-19 and the economy,” he added. — DayakDaily