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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Nov 25: Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen is questioning the Sarawak government’s involvement in a child specialist hospital project in Kuala Lumpur.
He said it was ironic that the state government has been having issues in building hospitals in the state, particularly the troubled and delayed Petra Jaya Hospital project, but still has the resources to build a hospital in the peninsula while complaining that Kuala Lumpur has been siphoning the state’s resources.
“I got a report from the Ministry of Finance that the Sarawak government is involved in the development of a child specialist hospital in Kuala Lumpur through a joint venture between the state government and Zecon Medicare Sdn Bhd.
“There is no business for the state government to be involved in hospital development outside of Sarawak when they are complaining about poor healthcare standards in the state,” he told reporters after chairing the state Democratic Action Party (DAP) committee meeting here this afternoon.
Chong said what was even more ironic was that Zecon Medicare Sdn Bhd was the same company that did the delayed Petra Jaya Hospital project.
He revealed that the child specialist hospital costs about RM606 million to build, where the state’s Financial Secretary Office owns 3.92 million shares of the project, while Zecon Medicare Sdn Bhd owns 4.8 million shares.
Chong revealed that the federal project commenced on May 24, 2014, and the state’s Financial Secretary Office and Zecon Medicare Sdn Bhd only stepped in early this year.
The project is scheduled to be completed in 54 months after the commencement date and is now at about 70 per cent completed. Once completed, it will have 243 beds and 54 units of apartments for staff.
Chong opined that even the cost of that proposed hospital might have been inflated so high that the Ministry of Finance was contemplating slashing the cost.
“So Abang Jo (Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) has to explain to Sarawakians, in general, why is he continuing the BN (Barisan Nasional) way, neglecting Sarawak healthcare while investing in a hospital in Kuala Lumpur,” he said. — DayakDaily