SDMC clarifies DAP Stampin MP’s quarantine order a mere misunderstanding

Sulok Tawie
·2-min read
Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 8, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur April 8, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUCHING, Dec 20 — The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) today said a misunderstanding led to Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen being ordered to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon his arrival at Kuching International Airport (KIA) from Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The SDMC secretariat clarified that Chong had applied to be exempted from quarantine on December 18 upon his arrival in the state.

“He had applied to be exempted as a member of Parliament where he attached his rt-PCR test result, taken on December 16.

“He was given a Mandatory Quarantine Order notification by the system,” the secretariat said in a statement when clarifying Chong’s claim on his Facebook.

It said upon the DAP MP’s arrival at KIA at 3:30pm yesterday, he had informed the officer on duty that he had taken a recent swab test before entering Kuching.

“However, he failed to produce the test results.

“Therefore, he was required to take a swab test at KIA,” the secretariat said.

The secretariat added that while waiting in line to be screened, he was asked to take a seat as the ground staff were clearing passengers from an earlier flight.

“During that time, he reapplied through the system to be exempted from quarantine at 3:58pm.

“Subsequently, his new application was approved at 5:12pm by the SDMC as the paperwork was in order,” the secretariat said.

It stressed that before he was allowed to leave, his eHealth Declaration form and other documentation were verified by the officers and he was exempted from quarantine.

The secretariat said it would like to inform the public that the SDMC and ground staff take the implementation of the SOP including the application and declaration to enter Sarawak very seriously and will take precautionary measures if necessary to ensure the safety of the state.

“We would also like to record our appreciation for the cooperation given by those who adhered to the SOP strictly,” it said.

On his Facebook post, Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP chairman, said he did two Covid-19 tests on December 11 and 17, and both tests were negative.

“But I am still subject to a 14-day quarantine upon entry into Sarawak,” he said, alleging that federal ministers and deputy ministers, MPs and officials from Sarawak had a different set of SOPs.

“They attend the same Parliament sitting with me, spent the same amount of time in the same Parliament building with me, but they do not need to be quarantined,” he said.

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