Where is your priority – people’s lives or political agenda?

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING: Shrug off your political agenda and prioritise people’s health and lives!

This clear message to political parties – not just the opposition but the ruling coaling as well – came from SUPP Youth Central.

“At this critical moment in the fight against the Covid pandemic, the welfare of the people of Sarawak must be given top priority.

“Hurling baseless allegations (at one another) will only cause panic and hinder the progress of the anti-pandemic work, and ultimately sacrifice the well-being of the people,” it said in a statement today (July 20).

The movement was referring to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s recent remarks accusing Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) of concealing information on the Covid-19 pandemic from the public.

It said his remarks did not do any good to the fight against the pandemic but rather caused doubt and anxiety among the public.

“Indeed, SDMC, as a responsible authority, always places the safety and livelihood of Sarawak’s people first in everything.

“At this very moment, when the mutant virus is raging, the pandemic is changing rapidly, hence the measures taken have to be constantly improving and adjusting, for the maximised benefit for the people.

“Regrettably, Chong didn’t look at it this way but instead described the no dine-in order as a U-turn. Are his words contributing to the fight against the pandemic?”

SUPP Youth Central said while Chong had focused his attention on SDMC, looking for its shortfalls if any, it certainly was not the case when it concerned federal departments.

“For instance, the Ministry of Health (MoH) used to be ‘short of appropriateness’ in naming infection clusters.

“Dr Sim himself had more than once requested the federal authorities for the necessary amendments, so as to avoid stigmatisation to the residents of affected areas,” it said.

On the other hand, Chong, who is the Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, did not voice out for the people on such matters, it pointed out.

“Could it be that he (Chong) gave a higher sense of recognition to Malayan authorities in fighting the pandemic? How does he rate the effort and contribution by the frontliners in Sarawak fighting against the pandemic?

“Or is Sarawak DAP, out of current political considerations, trying to avoid a conflict with Bersatu or Umno, just to stand a chance for their cooperation to form an alliance in seizing power from the federal government?”

Despite Chong’s disregard for SDMC’s achievement in dealing with the pandemic, the Covid-19 cases in Sarawak is obviously way lower if compared to the states under the governance of Pakatan Harapan (PH) such as Selangor, Penang, and Negeri Sembilan, where peoples there live in unprecedented panic, SUPP Youth Central said.

“If DAP is truly concerned about the people, they should recommend some of Sarawak’s success in fighting the pandemic to its colleagues in Malaya for the benefit of the people there.

“What more, during the 22-month reign of the PH federal government, Sarawak DAP led by Chong, who was a deputy minister then, kept silent on several major issues.

“They also took no action in controversial issues such as the recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), Jawi teaching in primary schools, the petroleum royalty for Sarawak, and the revocation of several large-scale infrastructure projects and development grants in Sarawak by the PH government, ” it said.