Sarawak to snub Putrajaya over lockdown?

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

By Chew Lip Song

SARAWAK Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the state would remain under the Movement Control Order (MCO) which came into force today and has no plans to impose a lockdown announced by Putrajaya last night.

Karim said as of Friday evening, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has yet to decide on imposing a lockdown, which would see all social and economic sectors, except for essential services, closed.

“We are different from Peninsular Malaysia. We can’t close our economic sector,” Karim was quoted as saying in the portal.

Last night, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that the whole country would go into full lockdown for 14 days starting June 1, as new Covid-19 infections rose to record 8,290 yesterday.

All economic sectors will not be allowed to operate except for essential economic and services sectors.

The lockdown will be imposed in phases with the first phase lasting two weeks. If this brings the number of cases down, the government will implement phase two of the lockdown.

The four-week second phase will allow reopening of economic sectors that does not involve large gatherings and also allows social distancing.

After this, the third phase will be similar to the current MCO imposed nationwide.

This is not the first time Sarawak has gone against the Federal government in imposing the state’s own version of Covid-19 SOP.

When Putrajaya announced that a nationwide MCO would be imposed from May 12 to June 7, Sarawak decided to continue with its Conditional MCO (CMCO).

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