The proposed 'Khidmat Hospital' not a good idea, says SAPP
KOTA KINABALU, March 13, 2009: The Proposed taking over of the deserted
Wisma Khidmat by the State Government to convert it into a general
hospital announced by Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai on Monday, may
not be practical one and wise decision, said Sabah Progressive Party
(SAPP) Information Chief, Chong Pit Fah.
He described the proposal as ill-conceived, short sighted and flip-flop.
"The Khidmat Building has been vacated for years for reasons best known to
its owner and previous occupants. In the first place, the building was not
designed for the purpose of a hospital and is located in a very awkward
location with very limited parking spaces," he said in a statement issued
He noted out that the building is approximately 30 odd years old and that
many parts of its steel structure could have been badly corroded by
chlorine content and no longer safe for occupation, due to the fact that
it was built in the age where sea sand was widely used for building
"This is exactly how the QEH (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) problems came
about. It would be a costly price to be paid for by Sabahans if same
problem were to happen 10 or 20 years later, after the conversion and
commission of the Khidmat Building," he said in voicing his concern over
the suitability of the building itself, adding that there are set of very
stringent requirements and standards to be followed.
He also described the State Government decision as flip-flopping.
"One day, they are talking of building a brand new hospital, and now they
plan to buy and convert a 30-years old building into a hospital," he said.
He thus questioned the basis of the decision especially on how could a
proper fact based decision vary within days and with such a drastic
He called on policy makers not to make decision solely based on political
"Leave the specialist work to the professionals, in this case the medical
planner in Ministry of Health. Politicians should restraint themselves
from getting involved in areas where required expert knowledge," he stressed.
Chong, who is also the SAPP Kepayan CLC Chairman urged the Government and
Ministry to take a holistic and professional approach in handling the
healthcare problem affecting the people of Sabah.
He also censured the Health Minister for playing down the current health
crisis facing the people of Sabah, by saying that it was not as bad as
what was described by the opposition in the state.
"But, on the other hand, he (Health Minister) and several top officials
from the Ministry flew in from Kuala Lumpur on a national Public Holiday
to conduct an emergency meeting on the issue with the Chief Minister and
his entire Cabinet," he said.
He doubted there would have been swift response and decision had not for
SAPP's continuous monitoring of the issue and its repeated calls to both
the Federal and the State governments to act on it.