What Has Gone Wrong In Sarawak’s Fight Against COVID-19

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Press Statement By Michael Kong:

Over the last three days, Sarawak had been registering 290 cases (03.04.2021), 419 cases (04.04.2021) and 225 cases (05.04.2021). The tally on 04.04.2021 was higher than Selangor & Kuala Lumpur which had a combined figure of 416 cases. With Sarawak’s population of about 2.8 million compared Selangor & Kuala Lumpur’s combined population of about 8.3 million, the percentage of infection is worrying.

This is very alarming as Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that imposes a mandatory 14 days quarantine order. Dr Sim Kui Hian had even gone on record to say that even for those who have been vaccinated, they are still subject to mandatory quarantine when entering Sarawak. To Dr Sim Kui Hian, this was because the Sarawak Government cannot take people’s life as a bet.

The words are comforting but unfortunately, the actions of PN and GPS raises concerns. Notwithstanding the strict border control in Sarawak imposed on the general public, it does not seem that the number of Covid-19 cases is much lesser than other states within Malaysia.

Currently, those travelling for official duty are all exempted from the quarantine measures. This is not only applicable to Sarawakians but also all Malaysians. So now despite the high number of cases in Sarawak, officials like Muhyiddin Yassin are still fully exempted from quarantine measures. This is a big concern because when our backdoor Prime Minister came to Sarawak, he met with many people including during his visit to the kolo mee stall here.

There may be a reason from a medical ground that those who are vaccinated will still have to be quarantined. Until the new SOPs on those having had their 2 doses of vaccination are confirmed and approved by the Ministry of Health, the existing SOPs on quarantine for them is still effective and the law.

So while Muhyiddin Yassin may be safe after having received the vaccine, but it seems that he is above the law and above the fight against Covid-19 pandemic for him to openly and blatantly flout SOPs, especially when the majority of the public have yet to be vaccinated and his action may put them at risk of infection.

To be truly efficient, there must be no exceptions to anyone; be it in the compounds or quarantine measures. Everyone is a possible risk including ministers.

Michael Kong Feng Nian
Special Assistant to YB Chong Chieng Jen