Covid-19 Governance Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63)

Warisan: Covid 19 is a Test for Sabah

KOTA KINABALU : A Warisan leader had today lamented the State Government’s stance of allowing the PN-led Federal Government in deciding the action plans and decisions on Covid 19 management in Sabah, calling it as ‘sad’.

The Deputy President of Warisan, Datuk Darell Leiking, such stand by the GRS-led State Government can potentially delay the economic recovery of the State and pointed out that even Sarawak is handling the pandemic itself.

“With the vaccination process now taking place in the country, we can say that we are now entering the post-Covid 19 period where the economy is slowly opening up with people going back to work.

However it is rather sad to note that several important sectors in Sabah are now facing inefficiencies due to the unnecessary SOPs decided by the PN-led Federal Government that are troublesome to Sabahan employees which in turn, will reduce their performance and productivity at work place,” he said in a statement today.

“While Sarawak has it’s own State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) that is empowered to manage the vaccination process for Sarawakian employees in service, hotel, construction, manufacturing and plantation sectors, GRS disbanded the Sabah Covid-19 Command Centre (previously established by Shafie Apdal) and instead allowed the National Security Council (MKN) to make all the decisions for Sabah.

This dependency on MKN consequentially had caused Sabah to loose its capability to manage its own administration and this is evidenced when Sabahan offshore workers currently have to endure unnecessary SOPs of 10 days quarantine before leaving for offshore and another 10 days when coming back into the State with 2 swabs for each travel.

The question now arises whether such time and money consuming SOP faced by our Sabahan offshore workers is really that necessary considering that Sabahans can now travel to KL without such quarantine – obviously this type of SOP will create some reservation on the part the oil and gas investors who want to reap full benefits from the recovering global economy by investing in this sector here.

And Sabah will be the biggest loser when these investors eventually shift their attention to Sarawak instead,” he explained it.

The former Minister of International Trade and Industry said that it is imperative that Sabah must now manage its own post Covid 19 SOPs to prevent the State from missing out from the recovering global economy.

“I understand why we need to come out with these SOPs but the State Government must emphatize and prioritize the troubles facing our Sabahan workers due to the ‘one size fits all’ type of policy created by the PN-led Federal Government and argue for their case.

Covid 19 management is actually a test for any Government whether it is capable to meet up with all the present and future challenges and this is exactly what the Sarawakian leaders have in mind when they choose to handle everything on their own.

The State Government should be proactive by engaging in continuos discussions with all the industry players in Sabah and to come out with our own methodology in managing the State in this post-Covid 19 period instead of leaving everything to the Federal Government to decide.

All is not gone yet for GRS and it still can revive the Sabah Covid-19 Command Centre previously established by Shafie Apdal and make its own decisions because we should be brave enough to handle matters that relates to our own State’s economy.

This will reduce our financial and economic dependencies with the Federal Government and in turn, make our State at a stronger position when it comes to asserting our inherent rights and privileges under MA63 – how can we talk about if we are politically and economically in a weak position?”