SUPP: Defer decision to allow foreign workers in Sarawak

 The Star photo.

By John Isaac

SARAWAK United People’s Party (SUPP) Pujut youth chief Alex Chu has urged the Sarawak government to defer its decision to allow foreign workers to enter the state to prevent more imported cases that could further worsen the Covid-19 situation in the state.

Chu said the state government needs to review the decision in order to to protect the local community.

“Our daily Covid-19 positive cases are increasing and we are approaching the peril of a major outbreak.

“The progression of vaccination, on the other hand, is far behind schedule. If we compare it to the spreading speed of the virus, the current situation is leaving us an uphill task to achieve herd immunity.

“So, bringing in more people from abroad who may not have been vaccinated would only further intensify the predicament,” said Chu in a press statement reported by Borneo Post.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas announced early last month that foreign workers would be allowed back into the state beginning March 1, following demands from local industries.

Besides calling on the Sarawak government to defer its decision in allowing foreign workers to enter the state, Chu also suggested that the authorities to look into ways of dealing with both legal and illegal foreign workers, especially those from the neighbouring country Indonesia, who have overstayed and are stranded in Sarawak.

“There are quite a number of Indonesian workers who are still waiting for renewal of their working permit or job arrangement to fields that require their labour services.”

Chu suggested the authorities collect the accurate number of workers and the service fields they are involved in and make arrangement accordingly based on the data collected.

“Only then, new recruitment to make up for the deficiency should be allowed,” he said.

He also suggested that every foreign worker should be required to be vaccinated before entering Sarawak to reduce the risk infection and employers must provide accommodation that meets guidelines that could also be used for quarantine purpose.