KAPIT, June 11 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Pelagus branch leader Datuk Kristoffer Nyuak Bajok today said that it had been unwise to organise the large gatherings attended by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg here yesterday amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nyuak also said that they contravened the standard operating procedures (SOP) of the ongoing movement control order (MCO).
He said the visit by the chief minister to Kapit had attracted big crowds and could trigger a rash of Covid-19 infections.
“All the VVIPs may be well protected by having been vaccinated, but certainly not all the people in Kapit,” he said in a statement.
Apart from Abang Johari, the others present included Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Tan Sri Dr James Masing and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan; state Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Early Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah; and federal Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.
During his one-day visit to Kapit, the chief minister symbolically launched a food aid distribution programme as well as a vaccination administration centre, and visited the Kapit field hospital.
Nyuak called on the Ministry of Health (MoH) to make swab tests mandatory for all attendees of the three functions.
He said MoH must avoid double standards because the lives of people are at risk.
“We cannot compromise on that,” he said, adding there might have been SOP compliance during the gatherings but no guarantee it was 100 per cent effective.
He said giving out food aid during the lockdown does not necessitate a big show for the sake of publicity.
“It is not only against lockdown SOPs, but it may also cause new infection clusters.
“If helping the people is sincere, then there is no need for big gathering,” he said.
Nyuak said he had been giving out food aid in Pelagus for the past few months, from longhouse to longhouse, with strict SOP compliance.
“I have temporarily stopped my delivery to the remaining longhouses, just to comply with lockdown SOPs and for the safety of the people,” he added.