Sarawak pays RM30 mil every 2 months for quarantine hotels

By S. Harrish

THE Sarawak government has been paying about RM30 million every two months to 87 hotels being used as Covid-19 quarantine centres.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the quarantine centres were part of the State Disaster Management Committee SOP to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

“I don’t mind sharing this information that Sarawak government had to pay more than RM30 million every two months to the hotels,” he said according to DayakDaily.

He added that apart from protecting Sarawak against the Covid-19 virus, the move was also helping the hotel industry survive the economic woes brought on by the pandemic.

Karim said the ministry also came up with other short term recovery measures to support tourism, arts and culture industry in the state.

“They include building confidence to travel with stringent SOPs endorsed by SDMC, discounted travel incentives through Sia Sitok Campaign to promote domestic intra-state travel, incentives to encourage home grown business events, continuous capacity building and research to prepare for the return of tourists.”

Karim said during the launch of Kuching Metro electric city bus this morning, which is Malaysia’s first-ever public bus running on electric power.

The free shuttle service will be opened to the public starting tomorrow.

The buses are equipped with automated bus stop announcement system, wheelchair facility, priority seats, free WiFi and six CCTV cameras are installed in every bus.

Karim said passengers can use the “Kuching Metro” app which enables them to have real time location monitoring of the vehicle and the estimated time of arrival.

The bus route covers the Kuching International Airport, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Old Kuching Heritage Trail, private medical centres, educational institutions, shopping malls, Kuching South City Council Stutong Community Market, Kuching  Sentral Express Bus Terminal and Malaysia-China Friendship Park.