Chong finds explanations for hospital project in KL issue perplexing

Chong Chieng Jen

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KUCHING, Nov 28: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen today continued to pound on the child specialist hospital project in Kuala Lumpur, describing the involvement of the state government as hypocrisy of the highest degree.

He argued that Petra Jaya MP Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof’s explanation that it was an ‘investment’ was no justification for the Sarawak government to inject RM300 million into this project when the standard of healthcare in Sarawak is still lagging far behind the city after 55 years of Barisan Nasional’s rule.

“It is hypocrisy of the highest degree for the state government to complain about the poor healthcare service in Sarawak on the one hand and to use the funds to invest in the development of healthcare services in Kuala Lumpur on the other hand.

“This is especially so when the Sarawak government is complaining that the federal government has been allocating too much funds for projects in West Malaysia. Yet, the state government is now guilty of moving our state funds to finance a project in West Malaysia.”

In a statement, Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, substantiated his argument by pointing out that to enter into the joint venture (JV) with Zecon Medicare Sdn Bhd in the building of the hospital in Kuala Lumpur, the state government needed to allocate at least RM300 million into the JV, given that the project costs RM606 million and the state government was taking a 49 per cent stake in the JV.

“With RM300 million, the state government can build at least one full-fledged hospital with 300 beds that can effectively serve a major town in Sarawak or a few second-tier hospitals to serve the rural folks. With the money, the state government can also choose to set up a heart or cancer unit in Sibu and Miri.

“The fact that the state government chose to invest the money in KL rather than improving the healthcare service in Sarawak goes to show that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government has its priority all wrong,” said Chong.

Chong next alleged that many of Zecon’s hospital projects were having problems, including the paediatric hospital in Kuala Lumpur and the Petra Jaya Hospital.

“In all JVs, the credibility and performance of the JV partner are of utmost importance. Why did the Sarawak government choose to invest in a project when it is already in trouble or delayed and also when the JV partner concerned had a ‘failed project’ right here in Sarawak? That is not called investment but ‘bailout’,” said Chong.

Chong also wondered why Fadillah had issued a statement to clarify that the hospital project was an investment when he (Fadillah) is not a state minister. On the other hand, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing had no knowledge of this project in Kuala Lumpur.

“Up to this very moment, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his cabinet ministers are still keeping mum on this investment and refusing to provide any explanation or justification for the state spending state funds in building a hospital in Kuala Lumpur. This is not good governance and accountability,” said Chong. — DayakDaily