It’s been almost 15 months since the Malaysian Government imposed the 1st of many Movement Control Orders. Citizens have been cooperative and have waited patiently for the day when life can return to some sort of normalcy.
However as the days of waiting turns into months of endless lockdowns of one kind of another, each with its own set of Standard Operation Procedures (SOP), the citizens are starting to question what are the measures taken by the State and Federal Governments that will assist each one to smoothly transition through and out of each lockdown.
After 15 months, many businesses are adversely affected amd many have had to close up for good. Even established franchises like Papparich was recently reported as having to wind up. The government economic stimulus packages do not directly assist many especially the small businesses who have not received any financial assistance after the 6 months of salary subsidies.
All over the world, countries that are vaccinating their citizens have reported a sharp and quick drop in new COVID-19 cases and deaths are greatly reduced or zerorised. So it seems that vaccinating the citizens is the first step out of this lockdown.
However to date, only a small percentage of Sarawakians have been vaccinated and these are mostly the senior citizens.
It was reported on 6-3-2021 that Federal Minister Khairy has said that State Governments may purchase their own vaccines. So has the Sarawak Government placed any orders for any vaccines?
In this delay in obtaining the vaccines, I urge SDMC to allow all businesses to be given the equal chance of finding a livelihood and to let all businesses operate subject to SOPs strictly enforced by SDMC.
Since complete lockdown is not possible due to the “lack of funds” to subsidize everyone and since half hearted lockdowns have all failed as Covid cases are still rising and the curve has not been abatted, SDMC and the State Government should seriously sit down together and immediately decide on a strategy to swiftly obtain vaccines for all Sarawakians and whilst waiting for the vaccine to arrive, to allow all businesses to operate subject to proper and clear SOPs.
There should be no more delays and excuses in obtaining the vaccines and opening up the economy to allow all to survive.
PBK Secretary General