KOTA KINABALU: Local councils in Sabah have the right to decide if dine-ins should be allowed, says former Sabah chief minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee.
He said that local councils have the power to make by-laws and enforce them in their jurisdictions and as such, it was Sandakan Municipal Council’s decision to allow dine-ins.
Yong said that Malaysia’s form of government was three-tiered – federal, state and local (council).
Yong, who was a former state local government minister, said the Sandakan council was acting within its public health powers.
The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president, however, said the Federal Government should have considered the Sabah government’s request to relax SOPs for certain economic and social sectors.
SAPP is part of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah-led state government.
However, he said that there was no explicit rejection of Sabah’s request for relaxed SOPs but said that moving five peninsular states to Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), while not approving Sabah’s request was unfair to the state.
Apart from Sandakan, Kinabatangan district has announced that they will allow dine-ins from Sunday (July 4) while some eateries here as well as in other towns are allowing dine-ins while others are waiting for clarity on the issue.
Following Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor’s announcement that SOPs would be relaxed from June 29, confusion about whether eateries could allow dine-ins after the Federal Government said states could not make their own rules on the matter.