BINTULU (June 2): The Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) will take action against any shop owner illegally renting out their rooms in the upper floor of their shops, cautioned Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
He said any rented rooms not complying with the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) will be ordered to close.
Tiong said this measure had to be enforced after a few positive Covid-19 cases were reported involving tenants of rooms which were rented out without adhering to the SOP.
He pointed out that the outbreak of new Covid-19 cases among tenants of such rooms was of great concern to the safety and health of the people in town.
“When cases happened at these rented rooms, after investigation, it was found that the landlords did not care and some even continued to advertise and promote their rented rooms with no SOP in place.
“As houses are now not allowed to rent to outsiders, these people went to look for rented rooms. This is our mistake of having overlooked this issue,” he told a press conference yesterday.
He said BDA will demolish rented rooms that did not have approval from the local authority.
Tiong said when the police inspected one of the shop houses it was found that one floor had been partitioned to accommodate dozens of people which is against the law.
He also called on the authorities to further improve their inspection at the borders to the district by strictly checking the documentation of each traveler.
“If they don’t have relevant documents, they must be told to return back or they will pay the cost for the 14 days quarantine period,” he said.
Tiong also urged the corporate sectors, including the plantations and timber camps, to be more responsible by complying to the SOP and to make sure their new workers undergo swab tests.
Tiong took part in the inspection around Sungai Plan, PPR Bandaria Park and RPR Kidurong Monday night and was happy with the level of compliance among the residents.
He added the lockdown in Sungai Plan area had been extended for another week after new positive cases were detected in the area and he appealed to the people to remain calm.
Tiong said the sudden increase in positive cases and new Covid-19 cluster should not be taken lightly and urged people here to continue observing strictly the SOP.
He also reminded people in the lockdown areas to give their full cooperation to the authorities by not escaping from the active case detection exercise.
Tiong said this when asked about the claim of some residents at PPR Bandaria Park who escaped through ‘jalan tikus’ (illegal route) during the mass-screening exercise recently.