Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:
Abdul Karim’s “smartass” remark against the front-liner of SDMC for insisting a swab test be done on the artist entering Sarawak is most uncalled for.
The front-liners are just doing their job according to the SOP set by the SDMC. There is no necessity to name-calling them or using such harsh words against them. Furthermore, why must there be special exemption from quarantine for the invited guests of the GPS ministers?
It is already a double-standard SOP to have one set for the government officials, ministers and elected representatives on the one hand and the another set of SOP for the common Sarawakians on the other hand. Now, such double standard is extended even to the invited guests of the GPS minister!
Abdul Karim claims that the artist has done a swab test before entering Sarawak and thus there is no need to do another one upon entry and no need for quarantine. If a swab test done prior to entry to Sarawak is sufficient test for the exemption, why can’t common Sarawakian also be made available such procedure? Why only the invited guests of the GPS minister have such privilege?
Abdul Karim must always bear in mind, “be you never so high, the “virus” is above you”. The Covid-19 virus is colour-blind, position-blind and class-blind. It does not discriminate between the high position ones and the low position ones, the ministers and the commoners or the rich and the poor.
More importantly, at this height of the Covid-19 pandemic with daily 4-digit new cases for the past few weeks, it is most unwise to hold a count-down event involving 1000 people.
When the Ministry of Health and the SDMC have been asking people not to gather together unnecessarily, even to the extent of limiting the number of gathering to 20 for landed property during Christmas celebration, it is mind-boggling that the GPS government is now organising a massive 1000-people gathering for count-down celebration.
One the one hand, the government is asking everyone to “Stay Home, Stay Safe”, one the other hand, the GPS is organising this 1000-people concert. Another double-standard practice of the GPS government.
Abdul Karim tries to justify the event by saying it is organised to reward the front-liners. I believe there are better ways to reward them (which they rightly deserve). To do something that have high risk and will potentially add on to their workload and burden is surely not the right way to reward them.
Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak Chairman