Archive for February 9th, 2012

Let MPs have a free vote when Parliament reconvenes on 12th March on whether Shahrizat should resign as Minister over the RM330 million NFC “cattle condo” scandal

Now, even Gerakan, the political party whose President had to get into Cabinet by the backdoor of Parliament, has joined the pack of wolves in Barisan Nasional demanding for the resignation of Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil as Minister for Women, Family and Community Development.

Although couched in the sweetest of words, calling on Shahrizat to “sacrifice” for Barisan Nasional and expressing “much sympathy” for her, the Gerakan Deputy President Datuk Chang Ko Youn hoped that the Wanita UMNO chief will have the “magnanimity to vacate her position as a minister in the cabinet and focus her energy on combating this…assault on her family”.

It will not be long before Gerakan leaders themselves will be asked by their Umno counterparts to make “sacrifices” for the larger interests of UMNO and Barisan Nasional.

Be that as it may, it is clear that the Gerakan Deputy President has either not heard or believed Shahrizat protesting in the loudest of voices that she is married to the chairperson of National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) which has nothing to do with her official duties as Minister of the Cabinet.

The question is how many Ministers, Members of Parliament and Barisan Nasional leaders at all levels are of the same mind – not heard or believed Shahrizat’s protestations. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia health reform socio-economics (Part 3)

— David Quek
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 09, 2012

FEB 9 — Ability-to-pay model in healthcare financing

Ability-to-pay encompasses the concept that people or households would choose an economic activity or service according to their capacity to afford such an activity based on their perceived hierarchy of needs, and also what goods or services to give up or sacrifice.

If healthcare or medical services are priced too high and are perceived as too unaffordable, health care considerations might be placed under such a low hierarchy of needs that it could be sacrificed for more urgent day-to-day needs and essentials.

That is why most countries around the world, if not all, offer a basic basket of health services (safe clean water supply and sanitation, childhood vaccinations, preventive child-maternal health services, etc), which are not taxed and are freely accessible to all, without the need to consider affordability or ability-to-pay. Thus, there is no question of having to consider these basic health services as an economic sacrifice for all income groups. The question arises as to how big or wide a basket of such health services, any country can afford to provide, without the need to impose co-payment mechanisms or additional taxes. Read the rest of this entry »