SAPP to PM: Walk your talk, resolve QEH crisis
KOTA KINABALU, 30 April,
2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has called on the Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to immediately intervene to
resolve the ongoing crisis besieging the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH)
which is now running into its 176th days.
Urging this was SAPP Women Chief, Melanie Chia while speaking to
reporters at the unveiling of its "QEH crisis signboard cum days
counter" at its Headquarters in Bornion Centre, Luyang here today.
Melanie who is also the Luyang State assemblywoman stressed that
this was also in line with the Prime Minister's now popular slogans
of "1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now".
"This is indeed a good opportunity for our PM to prove that he can
really walk his talks. Perhaps he should conduct a 'spot check' on
the QEH during his first official visit to Sabah scheduled for next
week, so as to better understand the real situation affecting the
people of Sabah," she urged.
She reiterated that since till to-date both the Federal Ministry of
Health and the State government still could not come up with an
effective-and-comprehensive measure to resolve the issue, since the
only General Hospital in the State Capital and a main referral
hospital for the state was decanted last November, after it was
declared unsafe, perhaps it's time for the Prime Minister to step in
to resolve the pressing issue, once and for all.
While concurring with her suggestion, SAPP Deputy President cum
Likas State assemblyman Datuk Liew Teck Chan who was also present at
the occasion described the issue as another testimony of "Sabahans
being treated like the step children", unlike Malaysians in
Peninsular Malaysia who would always get the immediate and full
attention from the Federal leaders and Ministers, should they face
the similar problem.
"I truly sympathise with the suffering of our people and I hope our
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib could personally look into the
matter and to resolve it as soon as possible," he said.
Meanwhile, in his briefing to the media, SAPP Information Chief,
Chong Pit Fah explained that the said signboard and days counter is
part of the party's ongoing effort to remind the Government and
leaders in the state over the plight of Kota Kinabalu folks and the
people of Sabah, as a whole, over the pressing issue affecting them
and the need to resolve it without any further delay.
"Kota Kinabalu is probably the only city in the world without a
general hospital, which is a basic requirement for a city," he
He continued that the "Days" counter will be updated at noon each
day to record the number of days that Kota Kinabalu City people have
been deprived a general hospital.
"The billboard also aims to remind the people of the dire
consequence that they might face should they fall sick or become
seriously ill," he added.
He regretted that the residents of Kota Kinabalu are currently
deprived of fundamental healthcare services, following the decanting
of QEH last year after its Tower Block was declared unsafe and its
patients relocated to various district hospitals and Sabah Medical
"It has been 176 days now since the QEH was declared unsafe and yet
the Government, both at the Federal and State levels still couldn't
come out with any effective-and-comprehensive solution to the
problem, while the patients continue to suffer as well as putting
their lives in danger.
"This unnecessary inconveniences has caused long waiting lists,
increasing suffering of patients awaiting much needed surgeries," he
lamented this at the unveiling of the billboard and counter of the
QEH crisis at SAPP headquarters, in Bornion Centre, Luyang here
He also noted that a majority of the QEH patients were those from
the lower income group and can't afford to undergo treatment in
private medical institutions or overseas.
He thus described the government's failure to resolve the QEH crisis
as being grossly unfair and cruel to the rakyat.
Chong also questioned what is the relevant authorities going to do
in the event that Sabah is hit by the swine flu outbreak that is
currently causing great havoc in many countries including Mexico ,
United States of America , New Zealand , Canada , Spain and United
"Where is our quarantine facility and crisis response centre now
following the decanting of the QEH? "he asked.
He also reiterated that there's no excuse for the government not to
be able to resolve the problem quickly when it could afford to spend
hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money to carry out the gas
pipeline project in Kimanis, Papar to channel our natural gas in
Sabah to Bintulu for processing and to be exported later, besides
having no problem in paying the highway concessionaires
multi-million ringgit in damages when the Federal government
deferred the introduction of new toll rates.
He reminded that the longer it takes for the Government to come up
with an effective solution to the QEH crisis it would incur more
cost to the Government, citing the recent revelation by the Chief
Minister Datuk Seri Musa Hj Aman that it was estimated to cost the
Government a whopping RM70 million a year, just to relocate and
'outsource' the QEH patients, as a short-term measure to deal with
On the long-term measure to resolve the issue as mentioned by the
Chief Minister, that is to proceed with the construction of the
'twin towers' at the premises of QEH under the 10th Malaysia Plan
(2011 – 2015), to provide for 661 beds, Chong contended that it is
just too slow a solution to deal with the pressing situation facing
the QEH patients.
"The Chief Minister also failed to mention whether such a plan would
take place at the beginning or the end of the 10th Malaysia Plan, as
well as the actual time needed to complete the 'twin towers'," he
He stressed that by right, the construction of the 'twin towers'
should be carried out as soon as possible, in order to resolve the
ongoing healthcare crisis facing the residents of Kota Kinabalu and
the state as a whole.
He also maintained that the State government's plan to convert the
now-abandoned Wisma Khidmat here into a general hospital is
inappropriate, and a waste of time and money.