Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

KUCHING: The operating hours for economic sectors in the state that are allowed to reopen during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period from 7am to 10pm remain unchanged.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said this following a complaint regarding an eatery in Sibu that was instructed to close at 8pm.

“I have received the said complaint. The operating hours are still from 7am to 10pm, and the shops can open according to the time suitable to them.

“Some shops may open at 9am and some would close at 5pm — that is allowed. That is not an instruction but it is up to the shop owners,” he said during the Covid-19 daily update press conference at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building here yesterday.

Uggah, who is also the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said what happened in Sibu was not right.

On another note, he said gyms are still not allowed to operate during the CMCO period.

To a question on whether public transports are allowed to travel from one green zone to another green zone, Uggah said that they are only allowed to travel within an area.

“For instance, in Miri or in Kuching, the transport will only be within that division,” he said.

He said for those who needed to take the bus, they must get a permit from the police first, and for government servants who needed to travel within district for work, they must show their travel letter issued by the head of department.

“We have also informed bus operators that it is their responsibility to make sure that those taking the bus must show valid documents.

“If buses carry passengers without the documents, action will be taken against them (drivers),” he said.

He said the police would be setting up roadblocks to make sure bus drivers comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) that was set.

“The police will check because on normal days, a bus could carry up to 40 people, and with the social distancing policy, it cannot be more than 40 people,” he said.

On the matter of price hike of essential food items such as rice, cooking oil and sugar in certain rural areas, Uggah said he would convey the matter to Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, who is the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs minister.

“Normally for rural areas, the cost to transport essential goods into the rural areas will cause an increase in price.

“But I believe the government has a programme to standardise the price, and it is still going on where the ministry will provide the transport to make sure the price of a gas tank in Bario will be the same as the one in Miri,” he said.