Police permit needed for Sarawak interstate travel

By John Isaac

INTERSTATE travel will now require a police permit, says Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

He explained that this decision was made by the National Security Council (NSC), in view of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan.

“Travel between states from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Kuching and Kuching to KLIA, as well as between Kuching and Kota Kinabalu now needs permit from the police before starting the journey.

“As such, SDMC also requires that applications to enter the state made using the enterSarawak app would also require the permit from the police to be attached,” he told a press conference as reported by the Borneo Post.

To further curb the spread of the disease, Uggah said that SDMC has decided to control movement at the Merapok and Sidumin borders.

He said security agencies will increase the number of personnel to patrol the borders, especially along ‘jalan tikus’ (illegal entry points).

“Patrols will be more strict and frequent along the borders with Kalimantan,” he said.

On a related subject, he said SDMC is ready to help Sabah if there is any instruction from the National Security Council (MKN).

“All movements in Sabah are under the management of the MKN. If there is any instruction from MKN, SDMC is ready to help but at the same time we must also protect ourselves.

“Nobody can predict what is going to happen tomorrow, so Sarawak must be prepared,” Uggah added.

According to him, Sarawak is now preparing to upgrade its testing capacity.

“At the moment we are doing about 2,000 a day. We hope to increase it to 3,000 and our objective is to see that the result will come out within 24 hours,” he said.

Uggah also said the state is strengthening the manpower of its contact tracing team to ensure that close contacts can be identified and tested in a speedy manner.

“This is one of the strategies to make sure that we can curb the spread of the disease and contain it.

“Those are the strategies we are now planning to prepare Sarawak,” he said.

Meanwhile, deputy director of Sarawak Health Department (Public Health) Dr Rosemawati Ariffin shared that Sarawak so far has sent 19 of its medical staff to Sabah.

“Category of staff is mostly medical officers and also nurses and assistant medical officers.

“We will wait for any request from Sabah via the Ministry of Health, as we sent them by instruction from the ministry. We will see the situation, whether there is need to send more staff over,” she said.