What special treatment?

Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: Sarawak is not receiving special treatment on policies to manage the Covid-19 pandemic from Putrajaya.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said Sarawak is operating within its autonomous rights from the federal government on Covid-19.

“The notion by other states that the state is receiving special treatment from Putrajaya is wide off the mark.

“Some states in Malaysia are trying to play politics and complain that Sarawak is receiving special treatment through the backdoor from Kuala Lumpur.

“Our policy is possible because of Sarawak’s own immigration autonomy and its autonomy in local government including its Public Health Ordinance,” he said in a Facebook post.

Dr Sim said if it weren’t for Sarawak’s autonomy, the state would have to fit into the West Malaysia national norm in handling Covid-19.

“People just have to realise and grow up that Sarawak is a special region compared to Malayan states with large geographical and demographic challenges.”

Dr Sim also said in the case of the extension to the recovery movement control order (RMCO) until Dec 31, the Local Government and Housing Ministry had to sign a gazette for the RMCO extension for it to be in force statewide.

In a press conference on Aug 28, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas announced that all Malaysians (including residents) entering Sarawak from abroad must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine period effective Sept 1.

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman said Covid-19 testing would be done on the second and 10th day, with quarantine and testing costs for Sarawakians would be borne by the state government.

“Non-Sarawakians will pay their own costs,” he said, adding that random testing would be done on those arriving in Sarawak by air, land or sea.

Uggah also said Malaysians entering Sarawak from Malaya, Labuan and Sabah were not required to undergo the mandatory quarantine, but must submit the E-Health Declaration Form (E-HDF).