Saturday, January 16

‘Politicking should be a low priority while battling Covid-19’

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BINTULU: Politicking should take a backseat during this battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, said Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip.

He called for the government of the day and opposition to work hand in hand during this Emergency period over the next few months.

Datuk Talib Zulpilip

“Perhaps the proclamation should be seen in perspective, with the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the incessant political instability that we have experienced,” he said yesterday when commenting on the state of Emergency.

Talib pointed out the proclamation is nothing resembling a dictatorship as some have alleged.

“We have seen how the recent state election in Sabah resulted in the spike of Covid-19 infections. Subsequently two by-elections to fill the vacant seats in Sabah and Perak, owing to the death of the incumbents, were not held based on the order of the Election Commission.

“So the proclamation in a way is to stop any election, be it state or federal, within the stipulated period of the Emergency. Hopefully this would dampen the excessive politicking that might lead to the collapse of the current government and necessitate a general election,” he said, stressing that elections should be avoided during the pandemic.

Johnny Pang

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Tanjung Batu chairman Johnny Pang urged all Malaysians, especially politicians, to stop politicking and just cooperate to combat and control the transmission of the virus.

“It is not the time for finger-pointing at each other but to combat the pandemic hand in hand.

“The virus does not choose – anyone can be infected. Please distance yourself from each other, wash your hands frequently, and abide by the standard operating procedures,” he said.

Pang said the government can take strict action during the state of Emergency against those who try to disrupt the efforts to handle the pandemic, such as travellers ignoring quarantine orders.

Datuk Abdul Kadier Sahib

For businessman Datuk Abdul Kadier Sahib, the Emergency proclamation is a good move to protect the people in general from Covid-19 infection.

“Although the people have already experienced the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) last year, the government still needs to come up with some economic packages,” he said.

The Sarawak Chamber of Bumiputera Entrepreneurs (DUBS) vice-president said it is vital for the government to help the B40, M40, as well as small and medium enterprises very badly affected by the restrictions.