Implement its own stimulus package, DAP told Sabah government

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The Sabah Employers’ Association says the total lockdown has been severe on businesses in the state. (photo by Bernama)

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP has proposed that the state government consider introducing its own Covid-19 recovery initiative, rather than depending on the federal government’s national stimulus package.

Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin and Luyang Phoong MP Jin Zhe said the national stimulus package would only allow partial reopening of economic sectors if fewer than 4,000 cases of Covid-19 were recorded daily.

“In our opinion, the state government should take a different approach as the situation in Sabah is improving compared to other states,” they said in a statement yesterday.

Chan and Phoong said Sabah has seen a drop in new infections over the past three days and recorded fewer than 200 cases per day.

They said the state government should act according to the local situation instead of waiting for the rest of the country, where it is still not clear whether the total lockdown will end after Monday.

“The government of Sabah needs to consider a few critical factors when planning the state’s own stimulus package. The plan should clearly state which sectors are allowed to reopen in each phase with strict SOPs, ”they said.

They said the state government should consider allowing on-site dining after Monday instead of just take-out.

Sabah Employers’ Association (SEA) chairman Yap Cheen Boon also said the national stimulus package was irrelevant to the state.

He noted that Phase 1 of the plan – the total lockdown to deal with the worsening pandemic situation – imposed almost a month ago has been tough on the economy.

“The measurable elements of the plan are strict to save lives – number of cases, occupancy of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and percentage of harmless citizens – but it is lost to support livelihoods,” he said. he said in a statement.

“We urge the state government to take a different approach now that Sabah has embarked on a statewide mass vaccination exercise. Unless there is a shortage of vaccines, more Sabahans will soon be inoculated.

“SEA believes that instead of waiting for the measurables of Phase 2 to be achieved and implemented, the state government should adapt the plan to the context of Sabah.

“Launch ‘Phase 1.5’ after June 28 where all businesses are allowed to open, but with strict SOPs to be enforced without recourse by authorities.”

Yap said waiting for Phase 2 would be too restrictive as only a few more industries are allowed to open.

He said proven SOPs that work are limited staffing, restricted hours of operation, controlled inter-district travel, and minimized social interactions such as no dinner parties.

“This will see the resuscitation of economic activities alongside mass vaccinations,” he said.

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