House in EMCO area first to raise white flag in Sabah capital

KOTA KINABALU: A house initially containing 18 people is believed to be the first in the state capital to raise the white flag after its occupants almost ran out of food supply.

But the terraced house at Taman Public in Likas here has since been left with only nine occupants with the rest having been sent to treatment centres after contracting Covid-19.

The house has been identified as a cluster at the housing area which will go under enhanced movement control order (EMCO) for 14 days starting today.

All the remaining occupants are under home quarantine while waiting their swab test results.

One of them, Azhar Mustapha, said the idea to raise the flag was mooted by his cousin and her husband, also living at the same house.

He said three families, who are related, are living in the house. They were originally from Semporna in east coast Sabah.

“Our food was running out after most of us were left without work since the MCO started on June 1,” Azhar, 22, a labourer, told FMT.

“Our finances were also running out. My cousin and her husband got the idea after reading about the white flag campaign on Facebook.”a group of people standing next to a fence: Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin (second from left) and Likas assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt (left) leaving the food items for Azhar Mustapha (in shorts) and a relative. (Sabah DAP pic)© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin (second from left) and Likas assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt (left) leaving the food items for Azhar Mustapha (in shorts) and a relative. (Sabah DAP pic)

Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin and Likas assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt were visiting the area yesterday before the total lockdown and came across the house.

“We needed to check on the situation before the EMCO (enhanced movement control order) was enforced and we saw the white flag. That was the first white flag I saw in Kota Kinabalu,” Chan said.

“We stopped by to ask and found out about their predicament.”

Their team gave food items to the occupants, he said, adding that they made sure there was no physical contact.

“We left the aid outside the gate for them to pick up after we left.”

Azhar said he is supporting his wife and child and his parents. His siblings also lost their jobs as cleaners after MCO 3.0 was imposed.

“We are grateful for the assistance but we don’t know how long it will last. We will just have to ration it out,” he said.

He said although they were worried about their test results, “our clothes are packed in case we have to be transferred to a treatment centre”. – FMT

by Durie Rainer Fong

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