Malaysia

Najib calls for emergency airlift to Labuan



Medical supplies being delivered by the air force in April. Essential supplies can be delivered to Labuan with a non-contact method, says former prime minister Najib Razak. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Amid a report of shops running out of essential goods in Labuan, former prime minister Najib Razak has urged the government to step in, using emergency powers for an airlift to the island.

Najib said this was the right time for the government to exercise its emergency powers, saying a crisis called for the appropriate response.

In view of the lockdown to be enforced in the island after midnight tomorrow, Najib said an emergency airlift should be mounted to deliver essential supplies during the two-week lockdown.

To get around the requirement of prior swab tests for interstate travel, Najib suggested a contact-free method of delivering supplies.

He said the air force could pick up supplies from Sabah and offload them at Labuan airport without interaction with local Labuan residents. Once the aircraft had left, the local residents could pick up and distribute the supplies, he said.

The lockdown from June 15 to 28 involves the town centre (except Financial Park Complex), Kampung Sungai Keling, Simpang Sahari, Kampung Bukit Kalam, water village of Kg Patau-Patau 1 and 2, Taman Perumahan Mutiara Sungai Bedaun, Kampung Layang-Layangan, Kampung Durian Tunjong and Kampung Tanjung Aru.

Labuan police said today that barricades would be placed at various places in the eight localities.

Earlier today, Bernama reported that sundry shops in the outskirts were running out of essential goods because of heavy demand as many supermarkets were closed for sanitisation work.

Mohd Dzulfaizal Abd Manan, chairman of the Labuan’s People’s Representative Council, said rice, cooking oil, eggs and sugar were among the goods in short supply. “This issue must be addressed effectively as the federal government has given an assurance of sufficient supply of goods,” he said.

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Labuan has been among the worst-affected areas for Covid-19 infections. The island recorded 158 new cases today, taking the island’s cumulative infections to 6,042.



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