Smartass within SDMC to blame for artiste Dayang Nurfaizah’s multiple swab tests when entering Sarawak

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KUCHING (Dec 29): Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has aired his dissatisfaction that Malaysian artiste Dayang Nurfaizah was made to do a second Covid-19 swab test and quarantined when she entered Sarawak, despite having clearance.

The Sarawakian-born artiste was invited as the main guest for the Sarawak New Year Countdown 2021 event happening this Thursday.

Abdul Karim said the procedure for certain personnel to enter Sarawak for special cases is that they must get their swab test done in Peninsular Malaysia.

“If people enter Sarawak for some special cases, they can be here for 72 hours without being quarantined but they must get their swab test done before coming in.

“She did just that. How can you be swabbed two times in three days? She was swabbed on Dec 25. She came yesterday (Monday) and was swabbed again and quarantined,” he said during a press conference on the Countdown 2021 event today.

Abdul Karim made a personal apology to the artiste for the inconvenience caused to her.

He explained that he had managed to get the clearance to enter the state from State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas for her.

“But I know some ‘smartass’ in SDMC must have overdone (their duty). The minister, the SDMC chairman had given me clearance but some ‘smartass’ tried to be better than the minister,” he said.

As for the Countdown 2021 event, it will be held at the Stadium Perpaduan for invited guests only, Abdul Karim said.

He was also aware that Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri had said that huge gatherings at New Year eve celebrations to usher in 2021 are not allowed.

“It is not like during previous years where we held such an at the Waterfront where it is hard to control the crowd. The stadium is a suitable venue because we can control the capacity. We are limiting it to 1,000 invited guests as we comply strictly to the standard operating procedures (SOP).

“We are inviting those who have been looking after us, the frontliners,” he said.

The Countdown 2021 event promises to be a grand show filled with entertainment and performances by local artistes and musicians.

The event will be broadcast live on TV Sarawak and UKAS Facebook pages starting 8pm, so that all Sarawakians will be able to watch the show, Abdul Karim revealed.

At midnight there will be a fireworks display outside the stadium.

“We want to usher in 2021 in a big way with the hope that it will be a happy year ahead,” the minister added. BP

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