Press Statement By Michael Kong:
On many occasions, SDMC and all local authorities have asked the public to play their respective part in curbing Covid-19. In Kuching, we see massive billboards carrying Sim Kui Hian and Wee Hong Seng’s faces as well as some public service announcements.
It is correct that everyone has a role to play in breaking the chain. Last year’s experience during MCO 1.0 showed us that we can all beat Covid-19. Countries such as Singapore, Australia and New Zealand have shown us how we can all contribute towards building a safe environment for everyone to resume their normal lives.
However, in order to rope in the co-operation of the people, the authorities must be clear on what the SOPs are. Too often, the public is left guessing what will be the impending SOPs. The recent announcement by Muhyiddin Yassin on 28.05.2021 about another round of MCO where there will be a ‘total lockdown’ (except for those listed under essential services) again caused much confusion. The announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office clearly stated that the MCO would be applicable nationwide. Despite that announcement, neither Abang Johari nor SDMC bothered to come forward and refute that Sarawak will be subject to those restrictions; until the evening of 31.05.2021. This is simply unacceptable and merely cause more confusion among the people.
Sim Kui Hian even had the cheek to comment that many of the SOPs which are being implemented in Sarawak are stricter than the ‘total lockdown’ which Peninsula Malaysia is observing. Whether this is true is not the point here. We are not in a competition to see who is more competent or stringent. Instead, we should all be working together to create an orderly and clear set of SOPs.
GPS is currently part of the Federal Government. Even with that, it is baffling that GPS cannot seem to coordinate itself with the National Security Council to give clear announcements and SOPs. Most of the time, SDMC’s members end up meeting to discuss only after the NSC’s announcement and/or decisions. This shrieks gross incompetency and poor leadership.
I urge the SDMC to get their house in order and get themselves more coordinated with the NSC. At the same time, instead of the usual last-minute announcements on the SOPs, release them days earlier for people to make the necessary preparations.
Michael Kong Feng Nian
Special Assistant to YB Chong Chieng Jen