Let the state government decide on the workforce capacity

Ministry of Health (MoH) has reported that to date, workplace clusters comprised 53.2 percent or 1,549 of the total number of clusters recorded nationwide. Photo: Kate.Sade, Unsplash

KUCHING: Employers have been urged to transform their management and administrative systems to adapt to the new norm in order to ensure the safety of their workers while the pandemic is still going on.

“This also means less physical contacts and yet decisions, approvals and actions can be made fast,” said Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu.

He was commenting on a call by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak (ACCCIS) to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to increase the workforce for the civil and private sectors since the state had achieved a high vaccination rate.

Rentap pointed out that the number of civil and private sector employees allowed to be physically present at the workplaces depended on the number of daily Covid-19 cases and the decision of the state government.

“If the capacity of staff is an issue due to the standard operating procedures (SOPs), the safe way we can do to get work done is through online.

“Nowadays, we do things online as well as make appointments at civil or private offices online. This is also practised by the banking sector,” he said.

Commenting on the call by the ACCCIS to the SDMC, Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh said, “We must look at the daily Covid-19 cases first before increasing the capacity of workforce.

“We do not want the numbers to go up again so we need to play safe and take this into consideration before taking action.

“Sure, there are certain departments or agencies, especially those related with services, where the people’s problems will be solved faster if the full workforce is operating.

“We know that more than 80 percent of adult Sarawakians have been fully vaccinated, but to allow departments or agencies to operate at full capacity, it is up to the SDMC and the state government to decide,” he said.

In August, Sarawak became the most vaccinated state when it inoculated over 80 percent of its adult population with the Covid-19 vaccines. 

However, with the sudden rise of Covid-19 cases across the state, government and private offices stopped operating at full capacity in order to control the spread of the virus.