New clusters will delay state’s recovery

Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: The emergence of new Covid-19 clusters will only delay Sarawak from proceeding to the next phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), said Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Commenting on the newly declared Industry 121 Kuala Baram cluster in Miri on July 5, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor said it was not the first workplace cluster in the state.

“It showed that you just needed one irresponsible person or company to prevent not just  Miri but also  Sarawak, which are just a  step further away, from entering Phases Three and Four of the NRP,” he said in a Facebook post on Monday.

Dr Sim added that although the relevant company had been compounded RM10,000, it was still endangering the lives of the Covid-19 positive workers.  

“We need the public to be our eyes and ears and report on this very small group of recalcitrant Sarawakians who put their self-interest first before others and Sarawak,” he said.

Dr Sim said the public should have the right to know the names and locations of the culprits during a health crisis.

“Enforcement cannot depend on the Division Health Office and the SDMC alone as their hands are full but during this Covid-19, they have assigned the job under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease Act 1988 (Act 342).

“Thus, every enforcement agency must work as a team and step up to the job,” he said.

Meanwhile, the SDMC on July 5 said the Industry 121 Kuala Baram cluster was a workplace cluster involving workers’ quarters of a plywood factory that was placed under the enhanced movement control order (Emco) in Kuala Baram, Miri.

As of July 5, of the 221 individuals who were screened, 132 including the index case were tested positive; 125 were not Malaysians while the rest were locals.