SAPP: Get the RM1 billion and solve the QEH
KOTA KINABALU, March 4, 2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) reiterates
its call to the State government to pursue the additional RM1 billion
development allocation which was promised by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in last May.
Reiterating this was its Information Chief Chong Pit Fah, while responding
to the statement by Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad on
Monday that the government could not do much to resolve the ongoing
debacle besieging the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) as there is no
provision for the construction of a new general hospital under the 9th
Malaysia Plan, which is expiring next year.
Chong argued that with the ongoing debacle besieging QEH rendering the
city without a general hospital now, it is even more pressing and urgent
now that the State government should pursue the RM1 billion additional
Since the QEH, which is the main referral hospital in the state, was
declared unsafe last December and its patients evacuated and transferred
to the various district hospitals, as well as the privately-owned Sabah
Medical Centre (SMC), the medical and healthcare in the state was
literally in a mess and has come under fire by many quarters, the
"With the said RM1 billion allocations, the state government can then
decide on the best option to resolve the QEH issue, whether to build a new
general hospital or to buy an existing private hospital," he pointed out
in a statement issued here yesterday.
He thus urged both the Federal and state governments to stop the rhetoric
and to immediately come out with an effective solution to the issue,
citing that presently many patients were suffering or, might even face
untimely demise due to the lack of medical and healthcare facilities
following the closure of the QEH.
"It is appalling that although the authorities concerned, both state and
federal, knew about the problems in QEH as far back as two years ago and
that evacuation was imminent, they did nothing as if the health and lives
of the people in Sabah can wait for the convenience of the politicians and
planners," he lambasted, adding that no more excuses can be tolerated.
He especially took to task the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Hj Aman over
his recent statement urging the people to be patience while waiting for
the QEH issue to be resolved, describing it as callous, absurd and
"How can the people be patience if they are sick and needed to be treated
urgently? The Chief Minister might as well tell the people not to fall
sick until a new hospital is built," he quipped.
He also finds Musa's assigning of one of his Assistant Ministers to liaise
with the Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Loi in addressing the issue
peculiar, when there present three senior Sabah ministers in the Federal
cabinet namely Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the Minister in the Prime Minister
Department, Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, the Minister of Science, Technology
and Innovation and Datuk Shafie Apdal, the Minister of National Unity,
Culture, Arts and Heritage.
He thus wondered whether Musa has problem working with the trio that he
had no choice but to enlist the Assistant Minister concerned to carry out
the said task.
Chong who is also SAPP Kepayan CLC Chairman earlier also argued that
citing a lack of funds is unacceptable and it clearly showed that the
Federal government considered Sabah at best a 'fringe state'.
"It is obvious that we are an incidental problem to them. We are never in
their serious agenda. That is why you see the Federal government
unhesitatingly deferred the introduction of new toll rates and chose to
pay the concessionaire multi-million ringgit in damages yet they tell
Sabahans that they have no money to save lives in Sabah ," he charged.
He also described Dr Abdul Latif's "no provision under the 9th Malaysia
Plan" claim as a lame excuse and an insult to the intelligence of Sabahans.
"Were the Sabah Development Corridor, the RM1 billion additional
allocations and the multi-million ringgit compensation to the toll
concessionaires originally listed in the 9th Malaysia Plan?" he
Chong also reiterated that in the interest of the people of Sabah, SAPP
will consider rallying mass protests as well as launching a signature
campaign, to compel the government to resolve the issue effectively
without any further delay.