T C Goh
KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) has urged the Federal Government and National Security Council (NSC) to expedite approval of Sabah’s decision to relax the Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP).
Its President, Tan Sri T C Goh, said this is necessary and urgent, in order to end the ongoing confusion and uncertainties over the SOP, among the people, businesses and the enforcement agencies.
He pointed out that, in the last few days, the public, businesses and the enforcement agencies seemed to be at a loss over the SOP.
He said this was following the State Government’s decision on June 28 to relax the SOP and to reopen its economic sector in stages, which was however disapproved by the Federal Government.
“Thus far, the State Government has not announced its next move. This is probably out of respect for the Federal Government or, due to the fact that the issue is still in a deadlock,” he said in a statement today.
Goh, who is also a member of the Sabah Economic Advisory Council (SEAC) and President of the Federation of Sabah and Labuan Hokkien Associations (FSLHA), was commenting on the unnecessary confusion and disputes, in the last four days, due to delay in the announcement of the new SOP by the NSC, which was supposed to be announced and implemented on June 29.
“The people, affected businesses and enforcement agencies included are currently at a loss,” he lamented.
He continued that, like other states, Sabah too has both the federal and the state enforcement teams, and the ongoing conflicting stand between the Federal and the State Governments has inevitably caused confusion and disputes in carrying out their duties.
Goh hoped during this transition period, both the federal and state enforcement agencies could strive to avoid causing further conflicts and disputes, when performing their tasks, especially when dealing with the difference between the state and the federal SOP.
He also reiterated that the Federal Government and the NSC should respect and accept the State Government’s decision of relaxing the SOP based on the actual Covid-19 situation on the ground, which has much improved as compared to Peninsular Malaysia.
Furthermore, he said, Sabah too has fully cooperated with the Federal Government to extend the first phase of the lockdown.
He maintained that the Federal Government and the NSC should continue to adopt the ‘tradition’ of allowing state governments to fine tune the federal-issued SOP, i.e. either to tighten or relax the SOP, based on the actual situation on the ground.
“This has always been the case, hence there should be no exception either, this time around,” he said.