Tuesday, December 6

Premier: S’wak first in country to set up Immune Belt Enforcement Team


Abang Johari speaks during a news conference on Sept 24, 2022. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (Sept 26): Sarawak is the first state in the country to set up the Immune Belt Enforcement Team (IBET) to curb the spread of rabies, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Apart from curbing the spread of rabies, Abang Johari said IBET will look after the environment in Sarawak.

“This is important because our future depends on the quality environment we have. I hope all the team will complement the government’s efforts in preserving our environment so that Sarawak will emerge a green state in Malaysia.

“I have reiterated that our future depends on green energy and Sarawak has a few initiatives to promote green energy. Let’s take care of our environment and Sarawak so that our state will become a developed state,” he said when launching the IBET at Dataran Perayaan, Jalan Stadium here today.

He extended appreciation to the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and Sarawak Security and Enforcement Unit (UKPS) for coming up with this world-class idea of establishing IBET.

Abang Johari was pleased to note that the IBET officers had been equipped with the skills and know-how in order to deal with challenging tasks later.

“In addition, the IBET team has also been equipped with vehicles and advanced equipment including drone to enable them to carry out tasks in remote areas.

“I am confident that with all the preparations and equipment available, the IBET team will be able to protect us from the threat of rabies brought by stray dogs from the neighboring country,” he said.

He was also glad to note that all IBET officers are natives of Sarawak irrespective of race and region.

He said this reflects that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government has always been fair in providing job opportunities to all Sarawakians regardless of race, religion and place of origin.

He stressed that the GPS government prioritises merits and qualifications of individuals being employed in the public services in Sarawak.

Abang Johari said the GPS government will strive to ensure the well-being of Sarawakians so that they are kept safe from diseases such as Covid-19 and rabies.

He said the Sarawak government had been setting aside sizable allocations to finance a series of operations including mass vaccination programmes since 2018 to eliminate rabies.

He was grateful that such operations had helped reduce rabies cases in the state to a minimum level.

He said the GPS government is always ready to cooperate with any party to safeguard the interests and well-being of Sarawakians.

As such, he was pleased to witness the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) among UKPS, Sarawak Research and Development Council (SRDC) and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) during the launch today.

According to him, the MoU is to establish cooperation to control infectious diseases and the use of joint facilities to find the best methods to curb rabies.

Through such cooperation, he believed that the potential of the IBET team can be exploited to achieve the objectives of its establishment.

“This is the GPS government’s way of overcoming the problems and so far it has been proven that this approach has brought many positive results,” he said.

Abang Johari hoped that the local community can give full support and cooperation to the state government’s efforts in setting up IBET.

He said the people can take advantage of the presence of IBET staff to hold discussions on various issues involving their interests and well-being.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the IBET staff for their sacrifices for being willing to work in rural areas and being away from their families.

“Indeed, your sacrifice means a lot to the people of Sarawak. Therefore, I hope that all communities can appreciate the sacrifice of our young heroes,” he added.

Among those present were Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Sarawak Security and Enforcement Unit director Datu Dr Chai Khin Chung.