KOTA KINABALU: State authorities are to review the extended lockdown in Lahad Datu in the wake of protests by residents at two public housing areas.
An enhanced movement control order (EMCO) has been in force in the area since Oct 13 and the latest EMCO was to have ended today. However, it has been extended to Nov 23.
In a few video clips that have been widely shared on social media, a group of residents were seen gathering at the Mutiara Kasih and Taman Khazanah Indah PPR flats in protest against the extension of the EMCO.
The residents said they were dissatisfied as their lives had been severely affected since the first EMCO came into effect on Oct 13.
”Residents here are unsatisfied because the number of cases have already decreased and many are not willing to continue to bear the burden as they were only daily wage earners or small traders,” a resident told FMT.
State local government and housing minister Masidi Manjun said he will ask the Sabah state security council (MKN) and the Sabah health department to review the situation in the area.
”I understand their grouses as they have been isolated for a long time. However, I also need to consider the reports from the health department or the health ministry,” he said. ”Tomorrow, I will ask for a review of the situation and we will report it in the next MKN meeting.”
He urged all residents to remain calm, and gave a reminder that the Covid-19 pandemic “is very frightening” and that Sabah is among the worst affected states.
One of the residents, Rabiani Baba, 37, asked that the EMCO be lifted to enable residents to resume work after a month of complying with the order, Bernama reported.
“I have a business to run, there are neighbours who need to work, we understand the need for the EMCO but there are employers who cannot wait for us. Some of the residents work and earn a daily wage, we all have families we need to feed,” she told reporters tonight.
Rabiani was with 100 residents who protested peacefully at Mutiara Kasih flats. Lahad Datu district police chief Nasri Mansor was on hand to calm the residents, after which they agreed to disperse.