Sabah Knows Better, Local Employers tell Putrajaya

KOTA KINABALU: Putrajaya should not force Sabah to open up her economy as the State Government may already have better plans of its own.

Yap Cheen Boon, president of the Sabah Employers Association (SEA) said the State government has a better understanding of its economic climate than the federal government to handle the situation.

Yesterday, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said all states are now subject to the Conditional Movement Control Order.

Malaysia International Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali said the states were acting without authority in refusing to open up their economies and that they also risk to be sued by the businesses for doing so.

Sabah alongside Kedah, Penang, Selangor, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan and Sarawak have varying degrees express their reservations to implement the CMCO.

In response to this, Yap said no business owner in their right mind would want to sue their state government, and the use of local laws to keep businesses closed in the state does not necessarily mean refusing to follow the federal government directive.

He noted it was better for Sabah businesses to stay put and wait until May 12 when the original phase 4 of the movement control order expires, before adopting a fresh approach.

“There’s already been much confusion with announcements and procedures and that to suddenly enforce market wide opening in such a short notice warrants caution,” he said.

Yap said Putrajaya had also been known for creating messy situations when making hasty decisions without allowing business to prepare such as the 360 turn on banks’ moratorium, employees hospitalisation expenses, employees health checks for Covid-19, application for approval to operate and procedure adherence.

On that note, Yap asks that “each states must formulate, and have ready graduated plans to open up her own economy, according to each state’s circumstances, more so for Sabah and Sarawak.

“This has to be communicated clearly to business within the state such that preparations can be underway, without the mayhem that we see today in Kuala Lumpur,” said Yap as he refers to the isolated overcrowding incidents in the nation’s capital yesterday.

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