Minister: Sarawak should open doors to visitors from peninsula

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah – Picture from The Star

By John Isaac

SARAWAK should open its door to visitors from the peninsula, opined State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said this was because positive Covid-19 cases in the peninsula were isolated cases compared to Sabah.

“In my personal opinion, we should close for those who come from Sabah because the number of positive cases there is drastically surging and seems to be out of control.

“Compared to Malaya, the positive cases are mostly in prisons and isolated cases. I think it is okay for us to open our door including the airport.

“This matter will be deliberated in the cabinet tomorrow,” he told reporters during a press conference on the 2020 State-level National Youth celebration at Baitul Makmur building in Petrajaya.

According to the New Sarawak Tribune, Abdul Karim also explained that a relaxation on the travel requirement was much needed now to keep tourism industry strive.

“It’s hard for me to answer because the decision consistently changes according to the development of the Covid-19 situation.

“We are even considering extending the mandatory 14-day quarantine beyond Oct 18.

“But from my side, I feel that the requirement for visitors to enter Sarawak should be loosened a little bit.

“I would prefer to have relaxation on this because the tourism and hotel industries are making a lot of noise about this as it affects them,” he explained.

He added that Sarawak’s capability in handling the pandemic exemplified state government’s commitment to contain the pandemic.

“Our focus in implementing measures to control the spread of the virus has made Sarawak a model for other states,” he added.