Public health more important that politics: CM

Abang Johari (right) speaks to reporters Limbang. From the left are State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan. Photo: Ukas

LIMBANG: Above all else is the people’s health. It must come first, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Dismissing talk of a possible general election in July next year, he said it is crucial that politics — even general or state election — take a backseat during the pandemic that is currently ravaging the country.

“I have come here (Limbang) to deal with the ‘real’ virus (Covid-19). What is important now is the health of the people.

“That is why in Sarawak, what is important to me is we have to fight Covid-19. Other things can be put on hold. We shouldn’t be too distracted by ‘other’ virus (politics),” he said here on Saturday (Aug 14).

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday (Aug 13) pledged that the general election will be called no later than the end of July 2022, subject to the pandemic situation.

Abang Johari

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said Limbang has achieved herd immunity, surpassing the target to vaccinate 80 percent of its adult population.

“In Limbang, we have 73,923 adults that are eligible for vaccination and I was told that 91 percent already get the first dose while 88.3 percent have been fully vaccinated.

“There are over 5,000 people who have not been vaccinated and I believe we will be able to get to them by the end of this month,” he said.

Regarding the internet, the chief minister said connectivity in Limbang will be improved swiftly as the people will need it to show their digital vaccination certificates on MySejahtera when asked to do so.

He said the Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) has been tasked to coordinate and upgrade the internet in Limbang as well as other strategic areas whose population is big.

Moving on, he spoke about a RM1-million molecular laboratory that has been set up in Limbang to process Covid-19 samples taken from patients.

“Without the lab, we have to send the samples to Miri. With the lab here, work on the samples can be done quickly,” he said.

He stressed that the state government has been steadfast in helping people adversely affected by Covid-19. To date, RM5.3 billion has been spent on Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) for the needy.