Polls result in appeal for clearer SOPs


KUCHING: The Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) has found that 64.5 percent of respondents in a group discussion cum polls were fearful of violating the standard operating procedures (SOP), particularly those which were unclear to them.

The discussion was conducted by SPA chairman Datuk John Lau Pang Heng from May 15 to June 15 in key residential areas in Kota Sentosa.

“Everyone is looking forward to specific, clear and objective SOPs. Research has shown that continuous fear may lead to mental stress and depression,” Lau said in a statement on Friday (July 9).

“Everyone is fearful of Covid-19 infection and this may be due to the infectivity rate of 2,190.02 per 100,000 persons as of July 7.

“The recovery rate on the same date was 84.47 per cent, which is below the national recovery rate of 89.98 percent.”

Participants, he said, also urged the authorities to conduct more tests and screenings.

Lau said from June 20 to July 7, 78,580 people were screened and tested, with 10.64 percent of them testing positive.

Meanwhile, 20.7 percent of respondents were fearful of crime due to people escaping from quarantine centres, inmates escaping from prisons or lock-ups as well as by fake news.

“Though crime rate has dropped by 55 per cent from Jan 1 to March 10, with 860 cases compared to 1,932 cases in the same period in 2020.

“Crime rate in 2020 was 5,824 cases compared to 6,024 cases in 2019.”

He said 79.3 percent of respondents felt Kuching was a safe place.

“Are the projections of behavioural patterns drawn from street-level intelligence and officer intuitions or from statistical models from public health agencies?

“Are enforcement officers using the old-school techniques of quarantine, isolation and contact tracing or distal technologies of messaging, nudging, and building voluntary compliance?”

“Are the enforcement leadership changing to address the pandemic and support eventual recovery? Are the advice of public health experts and the principles of community wellbeing the guiding principle?

Our community can be safer and we can do better.”