Press Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:
In view of the rising cases in the Klang Valley with both Kuala Lumpur & Selangor being classified as Red Zone, I urge Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to take the extra steps of precaution not just quarantining normal folks coming back to Sarawak, but also VVIPs including politicians to reduce risk of the spread of the virus in Sarawak.
I believe when it comes to preventing an infectious disease like Covid-19, there should not be any double standards in the necessary SOP especially when it involves politicians or public figures whom due to the nature of their job will meet many people thus increasing the risk of spreading the disease.
In Sarawak, we have one of the best advantages in terms of controlling the disease which is our immigration autonomy where we can limit those coming in and subject them to quarantine thus reducing chances of local transmission especially for those coming from high-risk areas. However, this advantage will be compromised when we start making too many exemptions even for these VVIPs
While currently for Minister’s and other politician that comes back to Sarawak needs to prove that they are negative(-ve) at least 3 days before, but that test itself does not guarantee that they will not catch the virus right after they did that test, or maybe when the test was done, the virus is still in the incubation period thus does not show up in the test. The risk is higher especially if there are in a red zone where the virus is in the community and the risk of catching it is higher.
While I understand that there is a need for certain “essential services” to go on, but I believe for politicians, they can take innovative steps to make sure their work or administrative is done through technology like Zoom.etc without the need to travel either out of the State or back to Sarawak often. Certain opening events or mere ground-breaking events can be postponed especially when involving people flying over from these red zones.
Federal Ministers and Deputy Ministers based in KL or Putrajaya can make the arrangements for the time being not to return to the State but allow their team in their constituency to carry out their groundwork for time being.
I believe our people will understand as this move is protecting and prioritising the health concern of our people. In the meantime, mere political party meetings in KL or other high risk areas should not be considered or categorised as “essential services”.
When coming back from a red zone, it is important to take the necessary safety measures and SOPs, and as public figures, to show an example to others the importance of such SOPs, and that there is no double standards. That is why myself and fellow DAP Members of Parliament decided to take the initiative to self-quarantine the moment we landed in Sarawak after Parliament even though we were given “exemption”
Recently there is a post by a member of SDMC asking for fellow Sarawakians in an outbreak area outside Sarawak for the time being not to return to Sarawak. This advice should not just be for the normal citizens, but for all. Unless we are to say Covid-19 do not affect politicians.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching