Saturday, December 4

Mixed reception from Kota Samarahan, Betong residents on JPBN directive to close essential stores and services from 7pm onwards

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Frank Mandau.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The directive by the State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) calling for essential services and stores to close from 7pm to 7am starting tomorrow (March 24) was met with mixed reception by members of the public.

While some supported the directive, others were of the opinion that the directive would only burden those working with essential services during the daytime.

“Those of us working in the essential services industry cannot go out during the day time, for example, making us unable to buy food for our family. This will also burden those who are working and also living far away from town as they can only do their groceries at night, far away from their respective homes,” added Frank Mandau, who works at an oil palm estate in Asajaya.

Frank also argued that while he is at work, he has no one else to depend on to drive to town for him to buy his family’s basic and daily necessities, hence he can only do those things at night.

Morgan Libau.

Morgan Libau, who also lives in Asajaya, however supports the directive of the JPBN as it is important everyone in the state cooperates with the authorities to curb the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“I believe most people will understand the move by the JPBN. This Covid-19 pandemic is a serious matter and all Sarawakians must do their best to give the best cooperation if they want to see the end of this situation in our country and state,” said Morgan.

Meanwhile, some residents in the Betong division are in full support of the directive as they fear the Covid-19 pandemic will spread even further in throughout the state.

Nelson Ambir.

Nelson Ambir who from Anyut, Ulu Paku, Spaoh said that even though the directive will be felt most by big town residents and not so much in the rural areas, it was nevertheless important to protect everyone, regardless of location.

“Betong is already one of the seven Covid-19 hotspots identified by the government. Of course the directive is important for us here and should also be supported by the people here as well,” said Nelson.

Fadzliza Affendi.

Fadzliza Affendi who is also a Betong resident on the other hand commented that the earlier business closes for the day in Betong town, the better for business owners as it gives them more time to prepare for business the next day.

JPBN in a statement recently said that the new directive will be enforced from March 24 to March 31 as the committee thinks that the directive is necessary to stop the movement of public which is still heavy in certain places.

“The new requirement is another strategy of the committee to combat the Covid-19 from further transmission,” said JPBN.