Don’t exempt VVIPs from Covid-19 quarantine after arriving from peninsula, Kuching MP tells Sarawak

Sulok Tawie
·2-min read
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen during an interview with Malay Mail at Parliament August 25, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen during an interview with Malay Mail at Parliament August 25, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUCHING, Dec 29 — DAP MP Dr Kelvin Yii has today urged the state Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to not exempt VVIPs, including federal ministers and officials, from undergoing the mandatory quarantine upon arrival from Peninsular Malaysia.

The Kuching MP said this is because of the rising Covid-19 cases in the Klang Valley with both Kuala Lumpur and Selangor being classified as “red zones”.

“I urge SDMC to take the extra steps of precaution not just quarantining normal folks coming back to Sarawak, but also the VVIPs including politicians to reduce risk of the spread of the virus in Sarawak,” he said.

He said he believes when it comes to preventing an infectious disease like Covid-19, there should not be any double standards, especially when it involves politicians or public figures whom, due to the nature of their job, will meet many people, thus increasing the risk of spreading the disease.

“In Sarawak, we have one of the best advantages in terms of controlling the disease, which is our immigration autonomy, where we can limit those coming in and subject them to quarantine thus reducing chances of local transmission especially for those coming from high-risk areas.

“However, this advantage will be compromised when we start making too many exemptions even for these VVIPs,” he said.

Dr Yii said currently the federal ministers and other politicians who come back to Sarawak need to prove that they are negative for at least three days before, but that test itself does not guarantee that they will not catch the virus later.

He said when the test is done, the virus might still be in the incubation period and thus does not show up in the test.

“The risk is higher especially if there are in a red zone where the virus is in the community and the risk of catching it is higher.

“While I understand that there is a need for certain ‘essential services’ to go on, but I believe for politicians, they can take innovative steps to make sure their work or administrative is done through technology like Zoom, without the need to travel either out of the state or back to Sarawak often,” he said.

Dr Yii said certain opening events or mere ground-breaking events can be postponed especially when involving people flying over from these red zones.

He also said federal ministers and deputy ministers based in Kuala Lumpur or Putrajaya can make the arrangements for the time being not to return to the state but allow their team in their constituency to carry out their groundwork for time being.

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