Monday, January 24

Sarawak has final word on resumption of economic sectors under MCO, says Uggah

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File photo for illustration purposes

KUCHING: Sarawak will have the final say on which economic sectors are allowed to operate in full capacity during the fourth phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO), said State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

He said although some economic sectors and projects in the state’s red zones have been given approved by the Ministry of International Trade and Industries (Miti) to operate during the MCO, the final decision is still up to SDMC with the approval of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“The Chief Minister (Abang Johari) attended a meeting with the National Security Council (NSC) yesterday to inform the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that Sarawak will follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) by NSC in opening up economic sectors operating during MCO.

“However the final decision still depends on the assessment by SDMC with the approval of the Chief Minister.

“The committee will come up with a decision which is most appropriate for Sarawak. I understand some projects approved by Miti in Sarawak are in the red zones.

“We are looking at all the projects approved by Miti in Sarawak to make sure they are appropriate in Sarawak’s current environment,” Uggah, who is a deputy chief minister, told reporters after visiting a Covid-19 active case detection operation in Kota Samarahan today.

The SDMC secretariat in a statement today also stressed that in Sarawak, local rules shall apply as the state government has been given the flexibility to decide on the economic activities or projects that are allowed to operate in the state.

“The state government is aware of the implications of the restrictions imposed on the economic activities in Sarawak. These restrictions are necessary out of health concerns from the Covid-19 pandemic which have not been resolved, and are still causing health threat to the community.

“However, the federal government has decided to ease some of the restrictions to allow additional economic sectors to operate. Yesterday, Miti further announced that the economic sectors which have been allowed to operate, under MCO 1, 2 and 3 be allowed to operate at full capacity.

“However for Sarawak, local rules shall apply. The state government is given the flexibility to decide on the economic activities or projects that are allowed to operate in the state.

“As such, taking into account the need to allow economic sectors to operate, the state government will now study the sectors which can operate in the green zones. The state government is now working on the guideline for this purpose,” it said.

It also said the restrictions as announced by the committee on economic activities in the red and yellow zones still remain.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan in another press conference today said the final decision to let any economic sectors in the state to operate during the MCO period lies in the hands of SDMC even when it was approved by Miti.

“We have our own authority. When we discuss with SDMC, the committee also gets feedback from the Health Department and other agencies before making decisions. We will take into account all the feedback before allowing certain economic sectors to operate during MCO.

“I think we should not rush into letting some economic sectors fully operate just because of income or jobs, because this may affect the effort we are putting in to break the chain of infection of Covid-19.

“We have to be strict so that we can break the chain of infection quickly as possible,” he said.