KUCHING, Dec 31 — Sarawak PKR Youth today slammed state Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah for calling government officers attached to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) “smartasses” over an incident involving a celebrity earlier this week.
Its chief Saifunnizam Sam said Abdul Karim’s use of the word was disgraceful and uncalled for, especially when it was uttered by a minister to describe government officers who were just doing their job to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Sarawak.
“Instead, the government officers should be commended for carrying out their duties without fear or favour,” Saifunnizam said when responding to Abdul Karim’s comment.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Abdul Karim slammed “overzealous” officers as “smartasses” for putting entertainer Dayang Nurfaizah under quarantine upon her arrival from the peninsula on December 28.
She was eventually allowed to enter the state without undergoing quarantine after getting clearance from the authorities.
Dayang Nurfaizah is slated to perform at the New Year Eve’s countdown at the Sarawak Indoor Stadium tonight, an event organised by the state Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Saifunnizam urged Abdul Karim to issue a public apology to the government officers.
He also questioned the apparent practice of double standards in enforcing SOPs, with one for VVIPs and public figures and another for ordinary citizens, on entries into the state.
He added the state government owes an explanation for its decision to hold a mass gathering at a time when the country is still in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic.