KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The Sabah government must abide by and adopt the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the National Security Council (MKN) just like other states, said Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the MKN had decided that there must be only one SOP to be used nationwide.
“We used to have a special dispensation where they (state governments) are allowed to tighten the SOP but the state governments cannot relax the SOP that is in force.
“For example, eateries are allowed to operate from 6 am to 10 pm. If the state governments want to limit the operating hours from 6 am to 8 pm we will permit it. But if they want to let the eateries operate until midnight, then they can’t.
“As such, I have informed the Sabah government representative at yesterday’s special meeting of the MKN that the SOP in Sabah must be the same as in every other state,” he told reporters during a get-together with medical officers and contract trainee healthcare workers at the Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospital in Wangsa Maju here today.
Previously, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor was reported to have said that the state would allow dine-ins at eateries from today, in contrast to the SOP issued by the MKN.
Meanwhile, asked to comment on applications by states with low numbers of COVID-19 cases be allowed to relax the SOP during Phase One of the Movement Control under the National Recovery Plan (PPN), Ismail Sabri said the MKN was looking into the matter and a decision would be made in the near future.
He said different SOP flexibility was previously given to states which recorded low numbers of COVID-19 cases but it caused confusion among the public.
He said the government used to implement the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), Enhanced MCO and Recovery MCO but the public complaint that they were confused as one state would have different SOPs.
“We then proposed the national-level threshold value, but some feel that it’s not fair to states like Perlis, which, although it records just one-digit cases daily, cannot transition from Phase One (of the Movement Control under the PPN) because it has to follow the national-level threshold value.
“So, yesterday we discussed further the threshold value. Insya Allah, we will provide further details and when the time comes, we will announce. Maybe states will use the number of cases per 100,000 population so that it will be fairer to all,” he said.