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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Hajiji gets a dine-in dare from Warisan

 

Sabahans dining-in at restaurant after the chief minister Hajiji Noor said they would be allowed to do so. The federal government, however, wants the order rescinded. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: With the federal government opposing the state’s decision to allow dining-in, the state opposition is now calling on state leaders to stand their ground.

While chief minister Hajiji Noor has said dine-ins will be allowed in the state, senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob has reminded states nationwide that they have to abide by regulations fixed by the National Security Council (MKN).

Now, Warisan’s Sepanggar MP Azis Jamman has challenged Hajiji to stand by his earlier announcement over implementing a different set of SOPs in Sabah to the ones imposed on the peninsula.

Hajiji had yesterday announced that several social and economic activities will be allowed, including dining-in at restaurants, eateries and hotels, while hair salons, and stalls selling vegetables, fish and fruits by the roadside can reopen.

Hajiji Noor.

“Hajiji must be brave to defend his decision as the chief minister who rightfully knows more about the situation in Sabah compared to ministers in Putrajaya,” Azis said in a statement here today.

“It will be seen as if the Sabah chief minister has no power over his own state besides probably being confused over his authority.”

Saying he felt sorry for Hajiji, the former deputy home minister also contended that the latest intervention by Ismail proved that the government at both state and federal levels did not have good coordination.

He said the people, especially eatery operators, were left confused following the uncertainty over the SOPs particularly on dine-ins.

According to Malay Mail, Ismail had told the Sabah government to follow the SOPs set by the MKN while the country is in lockdown, a day after Hajiji announced Sabah’s new protocols.

Ismail was also quoted as saying this was also conveyed to the Sabah representative in yesterday’s MKN meeting.

“We have decided that there must be a standard SOP for the entire nation, so states should not make their own SOPs which differ,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

“They can tighten their SOPs, but not loosen them as it goes against central decision.”

In his statement, Azis said the federal government should create policies that took into consideration the current situation in respective states.

He said states that did not record high new infections such as Sabah, where 178 cases were detected over the past 24 hours, should be allowed to open more sectors.

“I sympathise with the chief minister. I believe this is also another reason why the Dewan Rakyat and state assembly should be reopened to hear the views of the elected representatives over the situation on the ground.

“Sabah is not the same as Selangor. And Sepanggar is not Kinabatangan so it is right that the government should take stock of what’s happening in every area before announcing any policy,” he said. - FMT

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