Learn from Warisan's mistakes in handling Covid-19, SAPP president urges Sabah's new Perikatan govt

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 04 Oct 2020

KOTA KINABALU: The new Perikatan Nasional state government must learn from mistakes of the previous government in tackling Covid-19, not repeat them, says SAPP, who is part of the new administration.

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said this new government would be judged on how it can revive the economy, how it tackles this second wave of Covid-19 pandemic and hot issues like undocumented migrants, the proposed Papar dam and land reforms.

He said although Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor had a good start by a firm declaration that the government would focus on economic revival, it had its first misstep after that.

“There was widespread confusion on whether there was a 'lockdown' or merely restrictions on inter-district travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ” he said.

“Different SOPs were announced and then withdrawn without any explanation. This was unfortunate because the worst thing that can happen in crisis management is confusion, ” Yong said.

He said both the federal and state governments must get their acts together, overcome the shortcomings and correct the past mistakes of the Warisan-led government.

“We should learn from past mistakes of the previous government instead of repeating them, ” he said.

Yong said by now, all countries have acquired sufficient knowledge of what the virus is about, unlike when it was first discovered earlier this year.

He said most have experience in managing the crisis, including the economic consequences.

“Therefore, both the federal and the Sabah governments, who are now aligned, have no excuse that this second phase of Covid-19 is more difficult to tackle than the first phase, ” he said.

Yong also repeated his previous statements that the authorities must closely and urgently engage stakeholders such as chambers of commerce, business associations, tourism and restaurant operators, professional bodies, transport organisations and consumer groups to get accurate feedback on its policies.

He said seven months into the pandemic, the authorities should have, by now, held close communications with stakeholders.

“Stakeholders can give useful feedback and experience to the authorities so that the government can design policies and movement control order (MCO) rules that can protect both the health of the people and the economic well-being of the country, ” he said.

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