Balawing (left) presenting the Jalur Gemilang to Uggah as Chuat looks on.

BETONG: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has commended the people of his Bukit Saban constituency for their faithful adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the recovery movement control order (RMCO).

He noticed that they had adhered to physical distancing and using face masks at all gatherings at their respective longhouses, even when there was an absence of enforcement personnel.

He reminded them to always remain on their guard and wear face masks when visiting the larger towns and cities, also urging them to be wary of outsiders, especially any undocumented immigrants coming into their longhouses.

“They may be having the disease but are asymptomatic. The positive cases in the state now are mainly imported cases,” he said.

Uggah made the comment when officiating at the Betong Information Department (JaPen) Merdeka@Community programme at Rumah Kelimbang Jaman in Penyuluk, Ulu Layar here on Saturday (Sept 12) in conjunction with the Merdeka Month/Malaysia Day.

On the Merdeka Month/Malaysia Day celebration, Uggah said the people should be thankful to the state and federal governments for ensuring that peace, harmony, and prosperity continued to reign in the country.

“Above all especially now, both governments have been very proactive in initiating very effective steps to protect the people against the very contagious Covid-19. The state Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government, for instance, had set aside RM60 million.

“The huge amount was not only to reinforce our health and medical preparations or to step up our border security. It was also to provide food assistance during the movement control order (MCO) period to lessen the people’s burden,” he said.

Likewise, the federal government had eased the burden of the people with special financial aid. As such, he said the people must be thankful to the caring and concerned state and federal governments.

“With the coming state election, we should reciprocate by giving our GPS state government our full support,” he said.

At the function, Uggah presented a cheque for RM150,000 from the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) to St John’s Chapel committee at Nanga Tiga for the construction of a chapel there. He also announced a government grant of RM93,000 to the 31-door Rumah Kelimbang for its repair fund and another RM70,000 for a road project.

Earlier in his speech, Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat called on the Bukit Saban community to give their fullest support to Uggah who is expected to defend the seat.

He said Uggah was a very experienced and qualified leader, having served in the federal cabinet for over 30 years before coming back to serve in the state.

He added that the people would continue to benefit with his vast experience in coming up with development programmes and strategies for the area and Betong Division as well.

He also said that the government was now in the process of implementing many programmes and activities for the people.

“They were delayed due to the Covid-19 MCO period when many such activities were brought to a standstill.”

Also present at the function were political secretary to the chief inister Dr Richard Rapu and JaPen Sarawak assistant director Nicholas Balawing.