A(H1N1) and Dengue killer epidemics – Tiong Lai should take leave from MCA party duties to lead a 24/7 national campaign, resign as Health Minister or take leave as Health Minister so that a “full time” Health Minister can provide leadership


It is shocking that instead of leading the national war against the double epidemics of A(H1N1) and dengue, the Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai is leading the national blame game with the MCA-owned Star putting him on the front-page headline news blaming “the lack of vigilance by members of the public and even some doctors”.

Let me tell Tiong Lai. Don’t blame others. If you want to blame somebody, blame yourself for failing to provide the needed leadership to mobilize Malaysians to fight the double epidemics as Health Minister.

Liow does not seem to be a Health Minister who is confronted with the two killer epidemics, with A(H1N1) claiming four deaths and recording a total number of 1,302 cases while dengue has killed 64 and recorded 26,446 cases since January, set to break even last year’s worst dengue epidemic of 49,335 cases and 112 casualties.

The worse is yet to come for both deadly epidemics.

At a recent briefing to the National Influenza Pandemic Task Force meeting (July 27, 2009), Dr Tee Ah Sian, director of communicable diseases of WHO, painted a possible scenario for the Malaysian A (H1N1) pandemic.

For our 27.7 million population, if simply 20% are at risk and exposed, then some 5.5 million people will contract the A (H1N1) flu. Based on other serious influenza statistics, if 2% to 9% require hospitalisation then, some 110,000 to 500,000, respectively, would need hospital care.

If the case fatality rate is estimated to be from 0.1% to 0.5%, then some 5,500 to 28,000 of infected patients would die, respectively.

In the latest updates of the most seriously ill patients identified and confirmed infections, the global case fatality rate has risen from the 0.4% to 0.66%.

As Health Minister facing such a possible national catastrophe, Liow should fully focus all his time and energies to lead and mobilize Malaysians to combat the A(H1N1) and dengue epidemics, even on a 24/7 basis, doing nothing else but getting the two killer epidemics under control.

But Liow is not doing this as he is more engrossed with the MCA internal power struggle between the MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and the MCA Deputy President Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek, ignoring his responsibilities as Health Minister who should be spending every ounce of his energy and every second of his waking hours on the two killer epidemics!

Liow should seriously take leave from all MCA party duties so as to be able to concentrate fully and completely on combating the A(H1N1) and dengue epidemics or he should resign and let another person take over as Health Minister who is prepared to completely focus on the two killer epidemics until they are brought under check.

Yesterday, my blog received a typical complaint by a distraught parent, viz:

On the Influenza A(H1N1): I find that what the minister of health and the DG of MMC say is not what is being practiced at the government hospitals.

My girl is sick since Monday night and has been to 2 private clinics three times, and one clinic, the Dr. said to wait for three days for the antibiotic to take effect.

As she continued to have high fever, and as advised by the Dr in the 2nd private clinic, today she went to Malacca Hospital.

After waiting for three hours, she finally gets to see the Dr. only to be told to wait another three days, and new medicine issued. When asked, they said she did not have to undergo the swab test. This inspite of the several cases of the A(H1N1) at her university in Bukit Beruang.

Dato’ Seri Liow is quoted as having said that all those with symptoms should undergo the swab test. However, sad to say, the message is not going to the ground level, where a totally different stance is being taken. They call it the ‘mitigation phase’.

I ask: What if three days or one week is too late? (My girl is underweight and not terribly strong.) Is that how the other deaths occurred?

Why minister and DG say one thing, but hospitals and IMR not listening? Does it surprise you then that the number of cases are escalating day by day?
DG of MMC today said the people are not doing enough. I was informed by a doctor in private practice that countries like Hong Kong are doing a great job in containing this pandemic. Why Malaysia cannot do? How many more deaths is it going to take?

Over to you, Liow. If Liow is not prepared to go “full time” as Health Minister to spearhead the national war against these two killer epidemics and wants to continue to dabble in the MCA power struggle, and also not prepared to resign as Health Minister, he should take leave as Health Minister from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak so that a “full time” Health Minister can take over the battle against the two killer epidemics.

  1. #1 by SpeakUp on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 3:20 pm

    When I was young I remember watching anti-dengue ads on RTM1 and its non-stop. What happened today? Wasting time on other nonsense such as spinning stories, fighting with PR etc.

    [email protected] useless Minister. What is so hard, call the ad agency, present a campaign, prepare the media schedule, book the media and its done! TV ads, paper ads, radio ads, buntings, billboards, go to markets & malls to educate people, pasar malam in rural areas too. Is that so hard to do? No money to be made on the side issit?

    Also, what the hell is the use of PR’s new Ministry Committees, esp the one for health? What the hell are they doing? No comments? Come on … want to start something then show that it works la! Not talk only. Hammer BN at least with some workable solutions.

  2. #2 by Joshua on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 3:36 pm

    You all want to believe this or not?

    If it is God’s will not blaming God but ourselves for our own disobedience these kinds of health issues have a spiritual dimension often denied.

    No matter how much we work on these, we as human may fail. I hope the previous health ministers esp CJM would provide some inputs rather than in new found ‘devotion’.

    We need to resolve these health issues which are draining the national natural resources dry together with God.

    Of course tamiflu and all other herbs may /can help but what come first? But some people are condemning the pigs as the blame with hidden agenda as inevitable.

    pw: rachael and

  3. #3 by -ec- on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 4:00 pm

    hong kong is not a country, but hong kong reported a case of mutated brisbane strain h3n2 flu virus today.

    where is the vaccines? where is the vaccines for h1n1? this is not a mitigation phase. this is no-eye-see phase and you-die-your-business phase.

    ltl should resign! the entire bn cabinet should collectively resign!

  4. #4 by wesuffer on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 4:22 pm

    i curious why they like to use ‘war’ to something ah.. declare war should be taking action. but they dont.
    they only seriously war is to arrest opposition only. this MCA ppl really joker infront of media

  5. #5 by i_love_malaysia on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 4:55 pm

    All the wrong priority by the BN govt!!!

    The biggest bill board in town was used to put up Najis’s face instead of informing the Rakyat of the danger of dengue and AH1N1 !!!

  6. #6 by i_love_malaysia on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 5:00 pm

    Not only one bill board was used to put up Najis’s face but so many around Malaysia!!!

    One question is who is paying for the publicity of Najis??? Dont you think this is another form of wasting Rakyat’s money and misused of resources for the publicity of one man only!!!

    MACC should investigate the misused of power and corruption element in putting up Najis’s face on bill boards all over the country!!!

  7. #7 by raven77 on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 5:11 pm

    Ok…folks…it’s emergency time..

    Time to drown Liow and hang Merican….

    They should bring back Khalid Sahan, Tan Sri Taha….or some public health guru..

    Otherwise we are all dead with these two clowns…….

  8. #8 by i_love_malaysia on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 5:21 pm

    Side track a bit here – The road block this morning around Klang Valley had wasted all the tax payer money plus the time and petrol money of drivers!!!

    Musa Hassan is really incompetent to the core!!! It seemed that there’s no other more urgent and important things to do by the police other than creating road blocks blocking Rakyat going about their normal works!!!

  9. #9 by palmdoc on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 5:28 pm

  10. #10 by taiking on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 6:21 pm

    Immediate pre-occupation – containment of the pkfz virus.

  11. #11 by yhsiew on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 7:21 pm

    27 million lives in Liow Tiong Lai’s hand, he should take Kit’s advice seriously!

  12. #12 by DAP man on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 7:40 pm

    Honestly, which MCA Minister is good for anything. They are plain useless to the government and to their community.
    Health and Transport are in real shit and these MCA opportunists have failed miserably..

  13. #13 by c730427 on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 8:43 pm

    internal politic suggest the minister is only a puppet figure. his deputy is running the show. he has no real job in the health dept, therefore he has to find job in mca…

  14. #14 by the reds on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 10:10 pm

    It is a disaster for Malaysians for having Liow as Health Minister!

    You all think Liow Tiong Lai knows everything about H1N1? He knows nothing, but just reads the script provided by others!

  15. #15 by ultrafreez on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 10:29 pm

    It is a given that in these times of turmoil (political), the current ministerial line-up is more concerned about their political survival than to perform their duties responsibly.
    What I want to know is, and what I hope to see from PR is that after chastising the Health Minister for his incompetence, what does the PR parliamentary “shadow” committee have planned to combat this pandemic?

    The time for rhetoric is over. The rakyat demands concrete, plausible, workable solutions to all our problems. And I, like many middle class Malaysians truly believe that PR are our ONLY hope for such realistic governance, and leadership.

    It was great when DAP was able to put together a proposal backed with facts on how to nationalized PLUS, and it really put BN and particularly MCA in bad light. I hope PR can keep it up; analyzing, proposing, and offering feasible solutions to Malaysians’ problem.

    Kudos to DAP for this and the more realistic solutions are provided by PR and shoved down the throats of the BN leadership, then the more credibility and goodwill they will gain come the next GE.

  16. #16 by nostradamus on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 11:12 pm

    My daughter had fever, sore throat and cough after visiting KL and Malacca. We brought her to a private hospital in Kuching and she was given antibiotics and sent home.

    At night, she developed high fever, chills, headache and nose block and I was horrified after searching on the internet that she was displaying symptoms of H1N1. We went back to the hospital and was advised to go to SGH, as they did not have the checking facilities.

    At the SGH, it was chaotic with babies and other cases all waiting to be seen at the same place. They were totally unprepared, understaffed, and one staff was angry to see us waiting at the H1n1 area, shouting, “another one? I havent even eaten.
    We were told they were at the “mitigation stage”. When I asked what that means, it means the H1n1 is too prevalent, they are treating it as the normal flu. They would not be doing any blood test, or throat swab. We were told to quarantine ourselves, continue taking the private hospital medication, and they would only treat us if we have blue lips, vomiting blood or have difficulty breathing!
    They said this direction came from up.

    Today, I read in the news paper, 14 new cases discovered. I wonder how do they know when they dont conduct checks?

    This Government is a joke!

  17. #17 by dawsheng on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 11:16 pm

    A Health Minister with no particular experience in the subject of health.

    Biodata
    Personal Particulars
    Name : Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai SSAP, DIMP, SMP
    Date of Birth : October 1961
    Martial Status : Married with 1 daughter and 2 sons

    Academic Qualifications
    B.Sc (Hons) 1986 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
    MBA 1994 Universiti Malaya

    Political Career
    1986 – ’88 Employed as Research Assistant in INSAP based in Party HQ.
    1988 – ’89 Appointed Personal Assistant to Deputy President, Tan Sri Lee Kim Sai.
    1989 – ’96 Appointed Press Secretary to Minister of Labour, Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek.
    1996 – ’99 Appointed Political Secretary Minister of Human Resources, Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek.
    1999 – ’04 Elected Member of Parliament of Bentong
    2004 – Present Re-elected Member of Parliament for Bentong
    2006 – Elected as Deputy Minister of Youth & Sports
    2008 – Elected as Minister of Health
    2009 – Re-appointed as Minister of Health

    Party Posts
    1981 – Joined MCA as an ordinary member
    1990 – Chairman, Caw. Batu 1 Bentong Youth.
    CC member, National Youth.
    Committee member, National Youth Cadre Training & Publicity Bureau.
    1993 – Organising Secretary, Pahang State Youth.
    1996 – Chairman, Bhg. Raub Youth.
    Secretary, Pahang State Youth.
    Organising Secretary, National Youth.
    1999 – Youth Chairman, Pahang State.
    Deputy Secretary-General, National Youth.
    Head, National Youth Piblicity Bureau.
    2002 – Secretary-General, National Youth.
    2005- Elected as MCA Youth Chairman
    2008 – Elected as MCA Vice President

    General Elections Participation
    1982 – Participated in the General election preparatory and campaign work.
    1986 – Assisted in the General elections in Party HQ Operations Room.
    1987 – Assisted in Gopeng By-election.
    1988 – Assisted in the Ampang and Bentong By-elections.
    1990 – Coordinator, Operations Room for Bentong.
    1995 – Director, Operations Room for Bentong.
    2001 – Director, Operations Room for Ketari By-election.
    1999 – Candidate for Bentong.
    2004 – Candidate for Bentong. Also assisted in campaigning in various DAP strongholds in
    other parts of the country.

    Noteworthy Party / BN activities
    1992
    · Founded the Youth Public Speaking Forum

    1993
    · Attended the International Youth Exchange Programme, Taiwan.

    1996
    · Involved in the setting up of The Youth Activities Centre nationwide.
    · Was very active in the various fund raising campaigns for TAR College, including the
    Langkawi Project for Educational Excellence.
    · Member of the Youth delegation in a special dialogue with the Prime Minister and Deputy
    Prime Minister.

    1999
    · Founded The Youth Speaker’s Corner.
    · Member of BN Youth delegation in a special dialogue with Young PAP in Singapore.
    · Member of BN Youth delegation to China (the longest Malaysian flag was attached to the
    Great Wall)
    · Member of MCA Youth delegation in goodwill visits to North Korea, China and Taiwan.

    2002
    · Played a substantive role in various BN Youth activities like The Peace Malaysia
    Movement, Palestinian Issues, etc.
    · Assisted in the management of Youth campaigns such as ‘Proper English’
    Recruitment programme of young professionals and Life-long Learning
    · Member of Youth delegation on goodwill visits to Kunming Beijing in China.
    Established close links with the Chinese Communist Party youth Leadership.
    · Active participation in official discussions with various Ministries, including with the
    Entrepreneur Minister on the MRSM issue, with human Resources Minister on skill
    development programmes, with Works Minister on the hill slope and toll issues and with
    Youth & Sports Minister on the Youth Association Act.
    · Successfully expanded the Youth Public Speaking Forum with 14 training centers
    throughout the country. To-date, over 3,000 youths have benefited from the Forum.
    · Promoted the party’s Life-long Learning programme with youth members through a tie-up
    with the Malaysian Institute of Mgt.
    · Also established the Career Enhancement Programme in partnership with Jobstreet.com
    · As a member of the Nation Service supervisory committee, assisted in the setting up of a
    Trainers’ committee to recruit more trainers from the Chinese community.

    Honours
    Setia Mahkota Pahang (SMP) – 1997
    Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP) – 2004
    Sri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (SSAP) – 2009

  18. #18 by frankyapp on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 11:24 pm

    The MOH is being choked to near death by the RM 12.5 billion PKFZ mother of all scandals.What can we expect from a dying man ?. He blamed the pigs and the people for all these H1N1 and dengue deadly viruses.This kind of talk is relevant to a confused almost breathless man.Why the DMOH and DG of MMC not doing anything to publicly inform the people about this pandemics ? Why are we still keeping so many sitting ducks around in the MOH ? Where is the Prime minister and his leadership ? Do we need to have more death or a death of some VVIP’s son or daughter before NR takes concrete action against these deadly diseases ?. I’m pretty worry about this kind of “tiada apa attitude” especially by our ministers and government officials.Come on man,buck up before it’s too late.

  19. #19 by dawsheng on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 11:31 pm

    Go http://www.moh.gov.my to find out yourself whether Liow is serious about being a Health Minister.

  20. #20 by boh-liao on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 11:32 pm

    MOH is the certain burial ground of MCA ministers
    Digging is ongoing
    Dig, dig, dig
    almost 6 feet under ground
    Ding, dong, ding, dong
    For whom the bell toll
    Yes, minister, for thee, for thee

  21. #21 by dawsheng on Friday, 31 July 2009 - 11:34 pm

    Like that any Tom, Dick and Hairy also can become Heath Minister lah!

  22. #22 by oldman99 on Saturday, 1 August 2009 - 12:08 am

    this is typical attitude of all BN ministers. in japan, political hara-kiri would have to be performed by the minister who failed his duties to save some dignity. blaming others is more shameful. then again, it is usual culture of BN ministers that others are always in the wrong except themselves.

    at least YAB is being kind to tell our health minister politely…”please buck-up” or you will get your ass kicked.

    this kind of situation calls for a priority to set up a shadow health minister to give positive competition to the official health minister. in fact the shadow should be formed for critical areas such as finance/economy, health/medical, judiciary/law, security/police, energy/technology & education/vocation. they may be other areas of great importance that need great improvements but I believe these are at least 80% of what is in every Malaysian’s mind now.

    a shadow ministry – to me – is more effective than a KPI. KPI don’t talk back.

  23. #23 by bytemate on Saturday, 1 August 2009 - 12:26 am

    I been to 3 general hospitals in JB and waited 4 months to diagnos that I have a kidney stone that is too big and needed urgent surgery. Worst is that I have to wait until end of the year to get it remove (because, all booked), they say they will put a tube for temporary measure.

    Last 2 weeks, I have got it removed in Private Hospital with only 2 days upon diagnos & the stone is bigger than my thumb.

    Story behind on general hospital in Jb:

    unable to diagnos (first hospital after 3 days hospitalised)

    Send to second hospital then subsequent third hospital, stayed for 13 days for antibiotics then only send for MRI… unfortunately, it broken down, have to wait another one & half month (for it to get parts to fix it), after MRI, says that that particular hospital do not have urology specialist (whole of johor, only got one hospital for it).

    Upon presenting letter, straight given another month of appointment (the place is cramp like…cannot describe). on the said appointment (although having the MRI scan) need to go for x-ray, then says comeback 3 more weeks.

    After 3 more weeks, they says, it is dangerous need surgery but unfortunately have to wait until end of the year.

    Come on, is the doctor incompetent? or other circumstances (equipments, hospital utilities etc) render them unable to work properly….Motto…’LET’s Wait until thier life in on a thread, then, send for as Emergency case’

  24. #24 by raven77 on Saturday, 1 August 2009 - 12:43 am

    If pre-morbidity , especially obesity is a major criteria for getting your lungs cottoned out by H1N1…does it mean Rosmah is in serious trouble if she gets H1N1……

    Man plans….God decides…….

  25. #25 by Onlooker Politics on Saturday, 1 August 2009 - 1:23 am

    Malaysia doesn’t even have a lab test equipment in order to do a trace test on H1N1 virus. How sure can we be about the number of cases of H1N1 in existence in Malaysia now? The number of H1N1 cases seems to be increasing at a very fast rate. How much effort have Liow Tiong Lai really put in to the attempt of keeping Malaysian people on overseas travel alert?

    Liow Tiong Lai is a nutritionist. A Health Minister’s job is not simply telling people to cultivate a food habit of observing the balance of diet. This is the reason why he is unable to perform well in his position as Health Minister of Malaysia. He is said to be capable only to the extent of a low standard by only suggesting a cost-push inflationary measure of moving a bill in the Parliament (but his suggestion is aborted) for requiring the flour manufacturers in Malaysia to compulsorily add certain content of blood-making iron into wheat flour, which is said to be the most commonly eaten food in Malaysia.

  26. #26 by Onlooker Politics on Saturday, 1 August 2009 - 1:29 am

    raven77,
    The Malay people like to say “man plans, God decides” or “man proposes, God disposes.” However, for the case of replacing the existing Health Minister with another better capable one, all Malaysian people should believe in the religious doctrine which says that “ask, then you will be given!”

  27. #27 by frankyapp on Saturday, 1 August 2009 - 3:22 am

    Hi by Onlooker Politics,you are correct to say that “ask,then you will be given “.This is only true if you have great faith in God,through Jesus.On the contrary in Malaysia,when you ask for police protection,you are given a dead certificate.When you ask for a free and fair trial,you are given a biased judgement.It’s liken when you ask for food,you are given a snake.Hence not many people ask the Umno/Bn government unless you are one of their “ankat dua kaki type”

  28. #28 by intan on Saturday, 1 August 2009 - 4:50 pm

    What party duties? These so-called ministers’ main duty is to attend dinners and seek publicity. Even their ministerial duties are mianly carried out by the ksu and his staff!

  29. #29 by shortie kiasu on Saturday, 1 August 2009 - 6:24 pm

    LTL should in the first place put his ‘own house’ in order before started blaming others like private clinics and private practitioners.

    Pity that another ‘no-brainer’ manifest himself in time of crisis; which is when a real leadership quality shines.

    LTL does not shine at all in the current crisis instead he seems lost and in fact the whole ministry under him seems lost, even the direct general of health seems to be in daze as to what to do.

  30. #30 by SpeakUp on Sunday, 2 August 2009 - 4:00 pm

    Shortie … what about PR’s cabinet committees? What is its job for? Hahahahaahaa …

    Here is the meaning of a shadow cabinet as stated by Wikipedia:

    The Shadow Cabinet (also called the Shadow Front Bench) is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition form an alternative cabinet to the government’s, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the government. Members of a shadow cabinet are often but not always appointed to a Cabinet post if and when their party gets into government. It is the Shadow Cabinet’s responsibility to pass criticism on the current government and its respective legislation, as well as offering alternative policies.

    Where are the alternate policies?

  31. #31 by raven77 on Sunday, 2 August 2009 - 11:26 pm

    THe problem with aternative policies by the shadow cabinet is that they will be hijacked by UMNO to gain credibility and win elections again…..

You must be logged in to post a comment.