Work travel permit needs better implementation

Irene Mary Chang Oi Ling (DAP-Bukit Assek).

KUCHING: The implementation of the work-related travel permits in Sibu requires more thought and coordination to ensure a hassle-free process.

Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang said the last-minute policy was hastily put together and implemented in a short time period.

“Sibu people are angry and frustrated over the latest work-related travel permit that is required for their employees to operate their essential services.

“There was confusion all round because the guidelines issued last minute by Sibu Divisional Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) was not detailed to the applicants.

“They also did not coordinate with the police who have to process the applications. As a result, people had to go in and out of the police station a few times,” she said today.

Chang said while the intention to arrest the surge of Covid-19 cases in Sibu was appreciated, the policy also caused employers to amass at police stations.

“And now that Sibu people have suffered miserably for the last two days, in a lot of cases, the permit given was only till Jan 29 when the movement control order (MCO) is supposed to expire.

“In the event that the MCO is extended, Sibu DDMC should announce that all these permits should be extended automatically and should be valid for the duration of the MCO.

“This would avoid another circus at the police stations, which had put both police and people at high risk of infection,” she said.

Chang said it was clear that the past two weeks of MCO had not fully contained the spread of infection among the community.

“The people have suffered from the half-hearted MCO. Businesses have suffered and the rate of infection has not been sufficiently contained.

“Whatever policies that may still be put in place in the following weeks to come, Sibu DDMC should ensure first that enforcement (agencies) has the ability, resources and manpower to implement them smoothly.

“A good policy becomes a bad policy when it cannot be implemented properly for the benefit of the people,” she said.