KOTA KINABALU: Sabah should have the right to decide on the state’s own Covid-19 management instead of depending solely on the Federal Government, says Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president Datuk Darell Leiking.
He cited Sarawak as having its own state disaster management committee to handle matters relating to the pandemic, including being empowered to manage the vaccination process for Sarawakian employees in the service, hotel, construction, manufacturing and plantation sectors.
He noted that the disbanded Sabah Covid-19 command centre, which was set up under the previous Warisan-led state government, had played a similar role.
“With the vaccination process now taking place in the country, we are entering the post-Covid-19 period where the economy is slowly opening up, with people going back to work, ” Leiking said in a statement.
Leiking was international trade and industry minister under the former Pakatan Harapan federal government.
He also claimed that several important sectors in Sabah are facing inefficiencies due to the standard operating procedure set by the Federal Government.
Leiking cited the example of Sabahan offshore workers having to undergo 10 days in quarantine before leaving for offshore duties and another 10 days when returning to the state, with two swab tests each way.
He said this type of SOP will give rise to reservations among oil and gas investors.
“Sabah will be the biggest loser when these investors eventually shift their attention to Sarawak, ” he said.
Leiking urged the Sabah government to be proactive by engaging in continuous discussions with all industry players in the state and coming out with its own methodology to manage the post-Covid-19 period.
He also suggested reviving the Sabah Covid-19 command centre.