Sarawak disagrees with cancelling flights

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: The Sarawak government does not agree with the cancellation of flights to the state by airline companies from April 15 to 30.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) deputy chairman Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the committee felt that flights from Malaya to Sarawak and vice-versa were necessary to meet the essential travel requirements.

“We have been informed by MAS, AirAsia and Malindo that they have cancelled flights to Sarawak from April 15 to 30.

“We do not agree with the decision, therefore SDMC has instructed the Sarawak Transport Ministry to discuss with the Federal Transport Ministry on this issue,” he said in a press conference on the Covid-19 daily update at Wisma Bapa Malaysia yesterday.

According to Karim, cancelled flights mean not only Sarawakians cannot return home, but essential supplies such as face masks and food items also cannot reach the state.

“If food supplies are affected, then it will cause a hike in the prices of certain food items,” he said.

He said with such announcement, it is expected that more people including students would rush to buy air tickets before April 15.

“We are on an island, if there is no flight it can be a bit difficult. And we hope this can be considered by the federal government,” he said.

Abdul Karim added it is also important to observe the standard operating procedure (SOP) in preventing the spread of the virus where passengers must wear face masks, practise social distancing and good hygiene.