Archive for December 19th, 2008

IJN – No to privatization

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

When Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) – National Heart Institute – was launched in 1992, the Malaysian government promised that IJN would be a centre to serve all people with heart diseases, irrespective of race and with due care and treatment for the poor.

Assurance was given that heart patients would be treated fairly as in all government-run hospitals and that IJN would not be an exclusive hospital for the rich and well-to-do. People from all walks of life would be allowed to enjoy the facilities in the special heart hospital.

This aspiration of IJT to help poor heart cases is now shattered by the announcement that IJN would be handed to a private company, albeit the largest corporation in the country – Sime Darby. Read the rest of this entry »


RM4.6b PKFZ scandal – OTK should answer five questions and not just rehash chronology of events

Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Kiat should not dilly-dally or backtrack from his repeated promises eight months ago to “tell all” about the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

For instance, the Star report of April 8, 2008 headlined “Ong to tell all on Port Klang Free Zone” quoted him as saying:

“I wish to inform the rakyat about the true situation – whether it was actually squandered, not squandered, and where it has gone to, as well as the breakdown of the budget.”

Now, Ong is backpedaling from his promise, as he said yesterday that he would announce the chronology of events in the PKFZ issue but not into its financial aspects – allegedly because PricewaterhouseCoopers “is still finetuning its report on the financial aspects involving PKFZ as there are some formalities it needs to look through before concluding the report”.

This is a most extraordinary turn of events as more than a month ago, Ong had said publicly that the PricewaterhouseCoopers report into the PKFZ scandal was ready to be made public “soon”. Read the rest of this entry »


100 dead and over 45,000 dengue cases this year – “conspiracy of silence” outrageous

I feel totally outraged at the conspiracy of silence involving the government headed by the Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai and even the media to play down the worst dengue epidemic in the country’s history which has to date claimed 100 lives and recorded over 45,000 dengue cases.

It came as a shock to me, as it must be to all Malaysians, that 100 lives have been lost to dengue in the first 50 weeks of this year.

No mainstream newspaper headlined or even reported this shocking news or that the country is facing the worst dengue epidemic in history, which has been confirmed by the latest dengue statistics by the Director, Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health, Datuk Dr. Hassan Abdul Rahman yesterday that dengue fever claimed two more victims last week, bringing the number of fatal cases in the country to 100.

Dr. Hassan did not give the latest total number of dengue cases in the country as on December 13, 2008 when they have also established a dubious new record of exceeding 45,000 cases – which is another shocker that the total number of dengue cases have crossed the 40,000 mark even before the full year is over.

Liow should explain why there is a conspiracy of silence to play down the worst dengue epidemic in the country when he should be spearheading a nation-wide anti-dengue public campaign to save lives by reducing avoidable deaths as well as mitigate considerable unnecessary sufferings? Read the rest of this entry »