Covid-19: Tiang slams PSB, Padungan rep for picking on Dr Sim ‘for cheap publicity’

Michael Tiang

KUCHING, May 3: Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei should focus on helping Sarawakians during this Covid-19 pandemic outbreak instead of playing politics, according to political secretary to the Chief Minister Micheal Tiang.

Tiang in a press statement today claimed that it was not a surprise that both PSB and Wong King Wei jumped on the opportunity to unleash their rants against Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian who is also Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president for his involvement in combating the pandemic on the frontlines.

According to Tiang who is also SUPP Youth chief, it is Dr Sim’s official duty to act as the state minister holding a watching brief over public health matters in Sarawak, whereby all public health issues and decisions are directly managed by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

“Nevertheless, both PSB and Wong are trying to mislead the public by labelling Dr Sim as only a mere politician who they claim to be unfit in involving (sic) in the efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Their calls are clearly politicking the issues, not to show their concerns for the fight against the pandemic but for their own political agenda,” he claimed.

Tiang also opined that it is any licensed medical practitioner’s professional duty to assist the Sarawak General Hospital if such need arises and Dr Sim, as a professional cardiologist, also owes such a professional duty to help the hospital, especially during this critical time of curbing the Covid-19 pandemic.

He claimed that both PSB and Wong are well aware that for the daily media session by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee, both Sarawak Health Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing, and Sarawak General Hospital director Dr Ngian Hie Ung are the two medical experts on the floor to answer media questions regarding medical aspects.

“But they (PSB and Wong) selectively and maliciously picked on Dr Sim to attack for political reasons and for cheap publicity.

“I would like to challenge both PSB and Democratic Action Party (DAP) leaders while staying at home during this challenging time, perhaps they could share with fellow Sarawakians their plans and strategies for Sarawak for the next two years while this Covid-19 crisis still persists,” he added.

In recent days, a letter purportedly written by a healthcare worker at Sarawak General Hospital has been going viral online. Unde the pseudonym ‘Burnt-Out HCW’, the writer alleged that there was mismanagement at the hospital which had exposed both healthcare workers and patients at the hospital to the risk of contracting Covid-19.

On another note, Tiang opined that PSB’s call for Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to establish an independent team of professionals to look into issues concerning healthcare workers at Sarawak General Hospital as ‘absurd’ when public health is a federal matter under the Ministry of Health (MoH) and not the state.

He asserted that PSB should have directed their appeals to MoH concerning the needs of Sarawak’s healthcare workers, and PSB being a Sarawak-based party should not be only good at “shooting in the house”.

“It should be seen to fight for the autonomy of public health to be given back to Sarawak when the previous Pakatan Harapan government failed to fulfill their promise to do so.

“I therefore urge every Sarawakian including politicians to work together and help each other on a non-partisan basis during this crisis rather than finger-pointing with ulterior motives as we are all standing on a common ground to fight to secure our home to be a safe place for everyone to live,” he added. — DayakDaily