Liow Tiong Lai – take leave from all MCA duties to spearhead war against dengue


Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai flew into a rage over my suggestion that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appoint a new Health Minister if Liow is incapable of being an effective commander-in-chief in an all-out war against the worsening dengue epidemic to check continuing avoidable loss of lives.

Liow descended to a very personal level, resorting to abuses and invective, such as calling me a “poisonous political mosquito”.

I will not go down to Liow’s puerile level as my priority concern is to puncture Liow’s phoney war against dengue which could only lead to more avoidable dengue deaths and sufferings, which had already reached an unprecedented level last year, so that the Health Minister can take full responsibility to mobilize the nation to wage an all-out and successful war against dengue.

Liow failed Malaysians as a Health Minister last year in failing to spearhead a war against dengue, which recorded the highest number of 49,335 dengue cases and 112 dengue deaths in the nation’s history.

If Liow had fully focussed on his duties and responsibilities last year as Health Minister with regard to the dengue epidemic and did not allow the MCA’s power-struggle to distract him, many lives would have been saved as the motto of the Ministry’s campaign should be: “A dengue death which is avoidable is one too many!”

No rational person will have any quarrel with a belated “war on dengue” declared by Liow this month as it is better late than never, although this is no excuse for refusing to admit the Health Minister’s failure to lead a national campaign against dengue last year.

The question is whether even now, the so-called “war against dengue” is a serious one or is it a phoney one more on P.R. than to mobilize all sectors of the population to win the war against dengue with the motto that a dengue death is one too many!

I am puzzled by two press reports in the past two days, on statements by the Health director-general, Tan Sri Dr. Ismail Merican, viz:

· Bernama report from Kota Bharu quoting Dr. Ismail as saying that “the epidemic on dengue and chikungunya in the country is still under control and has yet to reach a critical stage”; and

· Malaysiakini report today quoting Dr. Ismail as saying that the counry is battling “its worst-ever outbreak of dengue fever”.

Dr. Ismail is also quoted in Kota Baharu as saying that “Last year, 120 people died due to dengue fever” – which is different from the figure of 112 dengue deaths for last year which had been used by the Health Minister.

In the Malaysiakini report today, Dr. Ismail has come out with another new figure – that the number of dengue deaths for this month has increased to 14 with 5,062 dengue cases as compared to five dengue deaths and 2,855 cases in the same period a year ago.

These conflicting figures of dengue cases and deaths for different periods, whether caused by the Health authorities or the media, can have only one effect – to undermine public confidence in the seriousness of the Health Ministry to wage an all-out war against dengue.

Instead of flying into a rage over my proposal that the Prime Minister should appoint a new Health Minister unless Liow could single-mindedly spearhead an all-out war against dengue, Liow should prove he is capable of being an effective commander-in-chief in the anti-dengue campaign.

For a start, Liow should take leave from all MCA duties and concentrate on waging and winning the war against dengue to prevent any avoidable dengue death, especially as it could seriously undermine Malaysia’s international competitiveness.

  1. #1 by LBJ on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 8:19 pm

    I agree. Liow whatever his name is a useless Heath Minister. He should be fired. He is payed to do a job but spent him time on MCA politics. I gree with YB. Either he resigned as Heath Minister and concentrate on his MCA post. Or He take leave from his MCA post and concentrate on the urgent health problem.

    When there is this dengue, he should be focusing to fix it. That is his obligation and responsibility to the people. If he is not doing his job, then the people should not vote for him. Why wast a good vote on an uncaring selfish politician.

    Down with Liow whathisname.

  2. #2 by ktteokt on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 10:46 pm

    MCA or rather the whole of BN are too busy with politicking and that includes LTL. So where he got time to look into matters of his ministry! He has to take care of his “seat” and “buttocks” first!

  3. #3 by gofortruth on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:15 pm

    “49,335 dengue cases and 112 dengue deaths in the nation’s history in 2008.
    ————————
    What a frightening record!

    Uncle Lim, can you get someone to put up to date info on our national map clearly indicating which are the dengue infested areas by different colours (from black, red, yellow to green) to show the degree of severity. That way travellers can take extra precaution in areas considered as dangerous (black & red). Thanks!

  4. #4 by klaikw on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:46 pm

    Pls fogging this LTL out ASAP!

  5. #5 by raven77 on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:47 pm

    Although Liow bashing may be warranted, the real culprits are the HP6 civil service that he and the rest of us are stuck with. In Selangor, the Pengarah must be hauled up, similarly in KL too, the Pengarah must be hauled up and of course the DG himself…..all these people should be charged for dereliction of duty and/ or criminal negligence…..their favourite phrase currently appears to be to blame the public….then what the hell tax payers are paying you for……

  6. #6 by monsterball on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 1:04 am

    With 49335 cases and 113 died….you can never get this important news from newspapers!!
    Who is this..Liow?
    That MCA guy….dare not resign to be a man.
    It’s that way…all long in UMNO and BN.
    Yet these are so call leaders…expecting government servants to be work hard..be honest and truthful.
    Dirty lousy farmers ..expecting good harvest.

  7. #7 by Godfather on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 8:56 am

    That’s the BN way – watch your own ricebowl first, and worry about the rakyat later.

    Why should Liow take responsibility for dengue when Ong Ta Kut can’t even take responsibility for the [email protected] fiasco ?

  8. #8 by lee wee tak_ on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 9:00 am

    the Health Minister post seems to be a poison pill, eh? Previously, one was tragically taken away from his loved one playing badminton, another bid farewell and I’ll be back (and he did) because of a video tape. Is the little insect going to be the pivotal item after a shuttlecock and a hidden camera.

    to be fair to the minister, he has no control over construction site, the conduct of local municipals, foreign labourers and the general public. We Malaysians hardly care about our environment and we reap what we sow. who and what has caused our civic mindedness to regress over the decades. I am sure uncle kit remember how clean Malaysia was back in the 1960’s. Now I see rubbish everywhere, people spitting like mainland Chinese in the 1950’s etc.

    If PR comes into power, I will support any stringent punitive measure against litter bugs, like er…public whipping, be-heading or just fines and public community services

  9. #9 by alikim on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 9:15 am

    “To be fair to the minister, he has no control over construction site, the conduct of local municipals, foreign labourers and the general public.”

    If so, let some one to take over! If there is no one from BN, replace BN with PR, that is all we rakyat can do besides improving our civic mindedness.

  10. #10 by waterfrontcoolie on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 9:50 am

    We must admit that it is touch trying to change a system of some TIGA PULUH TAHUN! Everytime an order to work ethically is given, the subordinate will look at the boss in his eyes and without saying a word: ‘You want me to do this? What have you being doing?
    Since SEMUA SUDAH BERES, don’t ask me to do something the political bosses had never wanted to do!
    The BUCK will never stop at any point, eventually putting the blame on any entity that comes to their mind. You can’t find a truthful solution when you had never intended to find one in the first place.
    On the current scenario, no MOH can do anything. The machinery has been geared towards finding LUBANG to collect their divine dividends. MALAYSIA BOLEH!!

  11. #11 by waterfrontcoolie on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 9:52 am

    It should read ‘tough’ instead of ‘touch’

  12. #12 by ALLAN THAM on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 10:40 am

    MCA was hopeless, they use to have a capable HM but has since sideline to cold storage because of sex scandal. Now we have this young idiot we only now how to simile but no nothing else to do and totally has no leadership. Not even know how to control a mosquito.

    he is just a gang of the dengue mosquito.

  13. #13 by yhsiew on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 12:03 pm

    27 million lives in Datuk Liow Tiong Lai’s hand. Kit’s reminder to Liow is timely.

  14. #14 by limkamput on Sunday, 1 February 2009 - 12:02 am

    Is the Ministry of Health responsible for all the mosquito breeding grounds? Who are responsible for all the clogged drains and uncollected rubbish? The war against dengue is not just on the treatment of dengue. I am sure many of you know that.

  15. #15 by alaneth on Sunday, 1 February 2009 - 1:20 am

    I believe Chua Soi Lek will have handled this dengue cases much better.

  16. #16 by lee wee tak_ on Sunday, 1 February 2009 - 9:50 am

    “alikim Says:

    If so, let some one to take over! If there is no one from BN, replace BN with PR, that is all we rakyat can do besides improving our civic mindedness.”

    you read my mind. I wonder, if PR do take over and be tough with litter bugs, would some rakyat felt “cheated” and will vote against PR for trying to correct a wrong?

    People might laugh at Lee Kuan Yew style of disciplining his population but in Malaysia’s case, this is what we need. Look at the result in the little dot.

    Patriotism is only about waving the flags as some opportunists claim. It is about loving and caring the land on which you stepped on, and eventually buried in.

  17. #17 by lee wee tak_ on Sunday, 1 February 2009 - 9:53 am

    actually to correct this sad state of affairs, ideally a stringent set of rule must be made and a notice period given. Ok, for 2 weeks or a month, get used to looking for a trash can and keeping the litter until you reach home etc.

    when the D-Days come, any person so much as drop a piece of paper of the road would be rounded up, flogged, beheaded or just fined and given a broom to sweep the streets for a week wearing a clown’s wig.

    If I am caught, I would be happily sweeping the streets for 2 weeks wearing a wig and a clog

  18. #18 by Godfather on Sunday, 1 February 2009 - 12:45 pm

    “The war against dengue is not just on the treatment of dengue. I am sure many of you know that.” Limkaput

    Wow, this is such a change over CNY. In the previous year of the Rat, you would have said “….I am sure I’m the only one who knows that.”

  19. #19 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 1 February 2009 - 10:54 pm

    Struggling with one’s ego could be a tough job for some.

  20. #20 by disapointed86 on Monday, 2 February 2009 - 9:54 pm

    man…CSL is much better than this dumb guy..sometimes we need to understand and differentiate career and personal life …tiung lai..resign pls..¬¬

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