Act against firms defying shutdown order

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING: The Bintulu Division Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) has been told to be firm with companies that defied the shutdown order.

Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the companies refused to heed the directives from the authorities to stop operations temporarily to identify suspected Covid-19 cases among their staff.

“Should enforcement personnel such as the military step in to enforce the lockdown, it must be done against those recalcitrant companies who try to use their influence to avoid these measures,” he said in a Facebook post on Thursday (Jan 28).

Tiong said the issue stemmed from a number of confirmed cases among employees of large companies whereby the decision by their employers to continue operating frustrated the efforts of frontliners.

“For these recalcitrant companies that refuse to fulfil their social responsibilities, the authorities must consider disclosing the relevant information related to them as a means of informing the public.”

The Progressive Democratic Party president said it was only with a proper lockdown that cases could be traced efficiently and the outbreak contained.

“These lockdowns must be done decisively or risk many potentially affected cases escaping the affected areas if they are forewarned of road closures and lockdowns.

“Companies that do business in Bintulu must be a role model for the people in exercising their social responsibilities.

“The people must not bear the consequences of companies that allow their potentially infected employees to freely contaminate others just to save money for their companies.”

Tiong said oil and gas companies that employed large numbers of employees in particular must restrict their staff movement and perform mass screenings.

“I have stated over and again, the price of testing by public hospitals is affordable. Many smaller factories have suspended operations in the name of containing outbreaks, why can’t large companies with more financial resources do the same?

“If these large companies continue to defy the authorities and ignore official instructions, it is time for tough measures to be made against them.”