Datuk Peter Minos

KUCHING: The ‘Big Six’ timber companies in Sarawak have been urged to give back to society during this difficult time.

Several parties and individuals are calling for the six biggest timber companies in Sarawak to contribute in buying masks, hand sanitisers and other medical equipment for the people at large, clinics and hospitals.

Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) chairman Datuk Peter Minos said in times like this when face masks are most needed, “it is very good and most desirable if such masks be as cheap as possible, with or without government subsidy.”

“That is why many are calling for the ‘Big Six’ to help out by buying face masks and give to all who need them for free or near free.

“The reason being ― now is the time for the ‘Big Six’ to show they care for fellow Sarawakians. After all, citizens say, the Big Six have made their millions or maybe billions from the timber and the interior land of Sarawak. I see merits in the call,” said Minos.

Minos added that the current government orders were to be extended due to continued and increased infections and deaths, the face masks would be greatly needed in abundance and demanded by citizens and the enforcers and caregivers.

“Cheap or free masks will be of great help. Not to forget to say our admiration and love for the doctors, nurses, policemen and soldiers who are battling against the silent and unseen but dreaded enemy Covid-19.

“They are facing and taking risks on their lives and for the good of us all,” he added.

Meanwhile, many are appealing to the government to reduce the sealing price of three-ply face masks from the present RM2 ceiling price.

Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) went one step further in asking the government to gazette the maximum price of three ply masks at 50 sen each.

“That is to say, instead of increasing the maximum price to RM2 per mask, reduce it from 80 sen to 50 sen per mask,” it said in a statement.

PSB feels that any price above 50 sen per piece would be an unbearable burden for low income people.

Sarawakians also went on Facebook to urge the government to distribute face masks and hand sanitisers for free to the people, following what other countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, China and Brunei are doing.

New Sarawak Tribune sought the opinions of several Sarawakians on the matter, and they all fully agree that face masks and hand sanitisers be provided free by the government to the rakyat.