Stop saying state govt not doing anything

Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew

KUCHING: The Sarawak government, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), including frontliners, have been working extremely hard to curb the spread of Covid-19 and assist the people.

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Bawang Assan chairman Senator Robert Lau said it was not right to say that the state government and SDMC were not doing anything.

“The state government has given a few rounds of aid since the outset of the pandemic.

“For instance, when the movement control order (MCO) was imposed in Sibu and nearby divisions, the government rolled out food aid to all affected areas costing millions,” he said on Monday (Feb 22).

He said assistance continued for areas under targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO), and there were still more than 40 longhouses in Sibu Division under TEMCO receiving food aid.

“As of Sunday (Feb 21), food aid is still being distributed in Sibu town by non-governmental organisations like Sarawak Dayak National Union.”

Apart from that, security forces comprising police, military, People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) were still out in the field enforcing the TEMCO 24 hours daily.

Frontliners, he said, had been working extremely hard for this one year and those in Sibu Division were, and continue, to be at the forefront.

“More staff and manpower are definitely appreciated. I believe there is a demand for more manpower everywhere. The authorities concerned will have to make the allocations of these resources wisely.”

On the delay in housing people at quarantine centres, Lau said he was made to understand that patients had to go through several steps before being settled into their allotted rooms.

“This is because when the person is tested positive, he or she will have to be picked up and sent to Sibu Hospital. A thorough health check has to be done, including an X-ray.

“He or she will have to be confirmed as asymptomatic before being approved to be transferred to the quarantine centre. Then, the process of moving the person to the quarantine centre, the allocation of beds, the registrations and the food arrangement all have to be made. These all take time.”

Lau pointed that all these required human input and actions, which are additional work, with the quarantine centre set up separately, and this was the best solution to cater for the surge of cases over the last month in Sibu Division.

“The accommodation, food and transport are all paid for by the Sarawak government. So, to say that the government has done nothing is not true and demoralising at a time when we need to all come together. 

“We need to constantly be reminded that the best defence lies within us and that is to strictly follow the standard operating procedures.”