Sarawak discussing with Putrajaya on proposed COVID-19 booster shots for the vulnerable group

The Sarawak government is discussing with the federal government on the proposal to give Covid-19 booster shots to Sarawakians, said deputy chief minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Oct 11, 2021

Uggah (seated centre) flanked by Dr Sim (right) and Liwan giving the thumbs up for a photo session at the event together with representatives from the various religions. (Photo by UKAS)

The Sarawak government is discussing with the federal government on the proposal to give Covid-19 booster shots to Sarawakians, said deputy chief minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

“The state government is now at the discussion stage with the federal government on our proposal to give the third booster (shot), especially to seniors and comorbidities group,” he said on Friday at the Unit For Other Religions (Unifor) thanksgiving ceremony in conjunction with the 85th birthday of Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Uggah, who is Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, strongly advised those planning to return to their villages and longhouses in the interior to take the strictest precautions in observing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

“The state has rescinded its inter-district travel ban a few days ago when cases are showing a downward trend. People are now free to move around but it is in the best interest of all that they continue to observe our SOP zealously.

“Please do your own testing using the Covid-19 self-test kits now readily available in shops and pharmacies before you set out on the journey. This is the least you can do to protect our grandpas, grandmas, parents, aunties and uncles and the young ones from Covid-19. Use your face mask, observe physical distancing, avoid close conversation and do not gather in a group to socialise with the others when you have arrived,” he said.

On the thanksgiving ceremony, Uggah pointed out that Taib has also been much instrumental in forging the solid racial unity and harmony as well as political stability in Sarawak.

“Despite its religious and racial diversities, Sarawak today is a paragon of unity, harmony and stability in the nation.

“This gathering is indeed a reflection of the inclusiveness, the harmony, solidarity, stability and progress here in Sarawak. As the saying goes, ‘the more bridges that are built, the less room there is for fear and prejudice between us’,” he said.

Uggah hoped that Unifor will be on hand to continue to organise this and other similar events to bring together the heads of different religious institutions, for them to enhance and cement ties.

He said that the  establishment of Unifor by the late chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem or Tok Nan is the way forward in Sarawak, as it is now an agency to promote works on interfaith dialogues, understanding and cooperation.

“While we are able to engage with one another in constructive brotherly manner, other parts of the world are torn apart by internecine religious fanaticism and racial strifes.

“In many of our faith traditions, the best way to avoid misunderstanding is to do good together, to pray together and to find common objectives together. I believe all religions teach its followers to do just that,” he said.

The thanksgiving ceremony included prayers by representatives from non-Islamic religions, namely Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism and Baha’i.

Also present were State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Deputy State Secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Prof Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Utilities (Rural Electricity) Datuk Liwan Lagang, Deputy Speaker of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Dato Gerawat Gala, and others.--Borneo Post

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