Timely decision, says federation

Jonathan Chai

KUCHING: The decision to allow the entry of foreign workers into Sarawak is timely as the state gears up for its economic recovery after the recent introduction of the Covid-19 vaccines here, says Sarawak Business Federation secretary-general Jonathan Chai Voon Tok.

He stressed that employers must act diligently and responsibly by complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) prescribed by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and the relevant authorities so that no mishaps would occur.

“We do not want to see any clusters of infections coming out from any group of foreign workers,” he told New Sarawak Tribune today.

“As we are still experiencing a high number of positive cases daily, it is hoped that no employers would take anything for granted or adopt a lackadaisical attitude towards compliance with all the guidelines of quarantine and testing put in place by the relevant authorities.”

He believed that the business community, especially those involved in labour-intensive industries, would welcome the state government’s decision to allow foreign workers to enter Sarawak from March 1, subject to stringent SOPs.

He said certain sectors such as plantations, construction, agriculture, and manufacturing had been appealing desperately to the government over the past months to relax the policy in allowing foreign workers to enter Sarawak and fill all employment vacancies which are typically shunned by locals.

“While we hope to open up our economy as soon as possible, we need to play our role in making sure the SOPs are strictly observed under the new norms until the pandemic is very much under control and contained,” said Chai, who is also Kuching Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary-general.