By Chew Lip Song
A SARAWAK legislator has asked if the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and its advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian are still withholding any more public interest information on Covid-19.
State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said this follows Dr Sim’s revelation that the SDMC had concealed “certain information” regarding eatery outlet clusters in the past.
Recounting the chronology of events, Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman said the SDMC had on July 12 announced that dine-in would be allowed in the state two days later.
But on July 13, the committee rescinded the approval due to the discovery of 16 Covid-19 Delta variant cases in the state on that day.
“In an attempt to justify the U-turn and the “no dine-in” decision, Dr Sim told the press that there were all along eatery outlet clusters, but that the authority did not disclose the name of such outlets.
“He spoke as if he is not part of the authority, even though he is the adviser to SDMC and the
State Minister in charge of healthcare in the State,” Chong said in a statement.
Despite Dr Sim’s justification, the SDMC made another U-turn to allow dine-in starting July 16, a move Chong described as “a slap” on the face of the former, who is also Sarawak’s Local Government and Housing Minister.
Chong also wants to know why information regarding the coffeeshop or eatery outlet clusters was not disclosed to the public in the past.
He also called on Dr Sim to stop blaming the Covid-19 outbreak on the Health Ministry as the SDMC is the highest autonomous agency in Sarawak for the management and control of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Why keep blaming the Federal Government for the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in
Sarawak while the GPS is also part of the Federal Government?
“How does the Government expect the people and business sector to comply with the
flickering and confusing SOPs when even the enforcement units themselves are confused?” he added.
Chong, who is also Stampin MP also wants to know if the SDMC had been concealing information of certain clusters from the public in the past.
As a Minister, Chong said Dr Sim should be careful in making public statements and not to add to the fear and confusion amid the pandemic.