Health issues a federal concern, Batu Lintang rep reminded

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Jan 22: State Reform Party (STAR) says that health is under the federal jurisdiction and both state and federal governments have failed in managing the rabies outbreak in Sarawak.

Its president, Lina Soo, expressed shock at Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How’s suggestion to the Sarawak government to meet Deputy Minister of Health Dr Lee Boon Chye in order to set up a national committee to control and eradicate rabies in Sarawak.

“If the Deputy Minister of Health doesn’t come to Sarawak at all, does this mean the national effort to eradicate rabies will never happen?

“Health and disease are under the federal jurisdiction, and it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to provide for the health and well-being of Malaysians and to contain any threats of disease outbreaks,” emphasised Soo in a statement today.

She said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had now been in charge for eight months and questioned why it took so long for a Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) assemblyman to acknowledge the rabies outbreak as a national concern only upon Dr Lee’s impending visit to Sarawak.

“If the Barisan Nasional regime under former Prime Minister Najib (Razak) had been uncaring and negligent to do anything for eight months from the first rabies case in July 2017 until May 2018, then the PH federal government has also failed Sarawak in doing nothing in the following eight months since it has assumed power.

“Both federal and state governments have shown their callous disregard for human lives in Sarawak as shown by their failed crisis management. This uncaring attitude must not be allowed to continue.

“Both governments must admit their failure to control the rabies outbreak, which has taken 16 precious Sarawak lives so far and which continue to endanger the lives of Sarawakians in many more affected areas,” Soo asserted.

In this respect, Soo called upon the State Disaster Management Committee chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas to step down from the position as he had proven incompetent to tackle the rabies outbreak and he be replaced by a professional with the competency to deal with the situation.

“Surely, one life lost is one life too many, not to mention 16 lives needlessly lost so far,” she said. — DayakDaily