Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: The state’s economy is recovering steadily from the torments of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said however, Sarawak has not been able get its construction sector to operate at 100 percent due to the lack of foreign workers which the sector depended on.

“Actually, the state economy has recovered but not at 100 percent; our construction sector is continuing all the major projects but we have problem in terms of foreign workers.

“Other sectors are not doing too badly; our agriculture sector for one is not affected as we have a lot of farmers and smallholders.

“However, the tourism sector of course remains badly affected due to Covid-19,” he told a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.

Abang Johari said a committee has been set up under Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion to look at the details and solve the problem of foreign workers

The chief minister said Sarawak was currently short of 5,000 workers in the construction sector which needed to be filled.

“The problem stemmed from the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) which meant that most foreign workers had to return to their respective countries.

“And now, they could not return (to Sarawak) due to the strict entry policy imposed by the state government at the moment, but some of them also tried to return using jalan tikus (rat trails),” he said.

“We will look at this implication due to our policies,” he added.