T C Goh
KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government should respect and grant Sabah State Government’s recent decision to relax the Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) and reopen its economic sector, gradually.
This is although Sabah is not included in the Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), said Tan Sri T C Goh, President of the Federation of Sabah Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS).
He said the Federal Government should not continue to thwart the Sabah State Government’s decision, which was made based on the actual situation on the ground.
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), said this while expressing his disappointment that Sabah is not among those states which made it to the second phase of the NRP, which takes effect from July 5, as announced by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, today.
The five states which made it to the Phase Two of the NRP are Kelantan, Terengganu, Perak, Pahang and Perlis.
According to Ismail Sabri, the decision was due to the fact that these five states have achieved the three key threshold value indicators namely, the average daily Covid-19 cases drop below 4,000, the rate of bed usage in the ICU is kept at a moderate level, and 10 per cent of the population has completed both doses of the vaccination.
Goh, however, contended that, in the last few days, Sabah’s daily Covid-19 cases were around 200 cases, which is comparatively lower than Pahang (one of the five states which made it into Phase Two of the NRP).
He nonetheless acknowledged that currently the vaccination rate in Sabah is still low, especially those who have completed two doses of vaccine only around 200,000 people, which is less than seven per cent of the State’s population.
“The Federal Government must quickly ramp up vaccine supply for Sabah, so that it could allow more people to get vaccinated, and achieve the target of national immunisation, ahead of schedule,” he stressed.
Goh said that, while it was regrettable that Sabah did not get listed in the Phase Two of the NRP, he nonetheless hopes that the Federal Government could respect and grant the Sabah State Government’s recent decision to relax the SOP and to allow certain economic activities in the State to reopen in stages, without further delay or obstructions.
“According to some news reports, it seems that even the enforcement agencies are unable to respond to questions raised by the reporters in regards to the people’s confusion and frustration over the SOP, and told the reporters to refer to the NSC instead. How long more people need to wait for an answer?” he questioned.
Goh underscored that the Federal Government should respect the unanimous stand and wish of Sabah people, including politicians from both sides of the divide, in regards to relaxation of SOP and to allow certain business sectors to reopen.