Wednesday, August 4

Free tests for Sarawakians crossing Brunei borders  


LIMBANG: The state government has agreed to bear the cost for the Covid-19 swab test on every Sarawakian travelling past Brunei’s borders via land with immediate effect, says Assistant Minister of Agriculture Native Land and Regional Development Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail.

The Bukit Kota assemblyman said the greenlight for this was announced during the Sarawak Cabinet meeting in Kuching on Thursday.

Dr Abdul Rahman (front, left) inspects a landslide-struck site at Kampung Bukit Kota, which is among the areas in Limbang slated for the retaining wall projects.

“I thank the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg for granting the requests by Sarawakians, particular those living in Limbang and Lawas, for the cost of the Covid-19 test to be fully borne by the state government,” he told reporters when met during a visit to the retaining wall project sites at Kampung Pemukat and Kampung Bukit Kota here yesterday, where he was accompanied by Deputy Limbang Resident Sebi Abang.

According to Dr Abdul Rahman, Sarawakians who regularly travel past the Brunei’s land borders comprise civil servants, a few from the private sector and also transporters of essential goods.

“I’m sure this group would be happy over the state government’s decision to cover all costs involved in the Covid-19 test. At least it would ease their economic burden a little bit,” he said.

Nonetheless, Dr Abdul Rahman reminded the travellers about the requirement to inform the Limbang Division Disaster Management Committee and also the Lawas District Disaster Management Committee prior to entering Brunei via its land border posts and undergoing the swab test.

For the record, the Brunei government has set Covid-19 screening as a condition imposed on all foreigners, including Malaysians, who are entering the country – even for a cross-border transit.

In addition, each foreigner would also have to pay three Brunei dollars (equivalent to RM9.30) per entry and exit fee.