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Ewon (left) and Phoong.

27 May 2021

By Wartawan Nabalu News

KOTA KINABALU: Two Sabah Opposition State Assemblymen have expressed disappointment in the Perikatan Nasional (PN)-led government for failing to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Just yesterday, a high total of 7,478 nationwide infections were recorded with 229 cases reported in Sabah, said Kadamaian Assemblyman Datuk Ewon Benedick and Luyang Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe.

"Battling Covid-19 is a shared responsibility, but the government must lead in everything else to manage a solution to this pandemic.

"In the world chart, Malaysia recorded a larger number of positive cases per million population than India.

"In the eyes of the world as well, Malaysia is ridiculed for being the only government that has buried democracy by suspending Parliament and the State Legislative Assembly under the Emergency Ordinance," they said in a joint statement today.

According to Ewon, the Vice President of UPKO; and Phoong, the Youth Chief of DAPSY; the Emergency Ordinance which is said to combat Covid-19 turned out to have failed after more than four months of enforcement.

"New cases and variants entering the country are increasing, public hospitals are getting overcrowded, and the number of Covid-19 deaths is increasing as well," they said.

They added that after one year of facing the pandemic through the various implementation of Movement Control Orders (MCO), the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are deemed inconsistent as it failed to control the pandemic.

"Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced an allocation of up to RM5 billion specifically for the battle on Covid-19. However, the question arises: how was this allocation used since the results, especially the vaccination programme, have not been felt by the majority of the people?

"People are asked to register for the vaccination programme, but the system and website that was built failed to work effectively. In fact, the people are questioning the large allocation of up to almost RM70 million when the 'cloud fare' software was used, which can be obtained for free," they said,

Both of the lawmakers also questioned why the Sabah Government did not start its own vaccine procurement and immunisation programme to complement the effort made at the federal level.

"Have we not been assured before that more than RM billion can be obtained from Petronas under the Petroleum Products Sales Tax Enactment that we have imposed since 2019? Why not use some of this money for Sabah's own vaccination programme?

"We are ready to support all efforts made through Parliament or the State Legislative Assembly. If it is made through Parliament and State Legislative Assembly, then it is a joint responsibility. But if it is only made through the Emergency Ordinance, then only the government is responsible.

"If you (the government) can't afford to work and take care of more than 30 million people in the country, give away to someone who has the passion, commitment, focus and political will."

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