Healthcare in rural Sarawak suffers while Federal funds MPKKP, says Wan Junaidi

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING, Jan 8: Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar holds that the federal government should not act like a spoiled child but serve the people fairly.

He said this in the context of the federal government not allocating funds to Sarawak in much-needed areas such as infrastructure. Instead, the federal government channelled a huge allocation to set up Federal Village Community Management Council (MPKKP).

“But the Federal government should not behave like a spoiled child, only serving the people by means of getting political returns. For example, the MPKKP is a waste money for political purpose, which could be channelled for social and well being of the people, fox example, building clinics and district hospitals,” said Wan Junaidi in a press statement.

He said to provide adequate rural health was a great challenge in view of the inadequate roads and basic connecting infrastructure to about 45 per cent of the rural population in widely scattered areas of nearly 6,000 longhouses, villages and settlements.

Wan Junaidi who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council member said that for the last 50 years, Sarawak had been relying on the rural development policies of the federal government whose planners and strategists were ill-informed or had no knowledge of rural Sarawak, which he termed “West Malaysian centric planners and strategies”.

“They failed miserably to see that Sarawak needs different set of planning, programs and strategies to provide public amenities including health. For example, Clinic 1Malaysia, which works well in urban and suburban Peninsula Malaysia, could not be implemented in rural and sub-urban Sarawak. Yet the federal government did not have the alternative to this clinic for sub-urban and rural Sarawak.

“The failure to emphasise on rural road infrastructure resulting in Sarawak still relying on riverine transport. Thus Sarawak was not able to provide regular medical care,” said Wan Junaidi.

He went on to comment that presently Sarawak was relying much on Medical Air Service which he believed was not meant to be a permanent or long-term solution.

Furthermore, he highlighted that Medical Air Service was “periodical” and the service provided was at two-week intervals, subject to weather conditions.

“That is why the present Sarawak government is now taking it upon themselves to develop infrastructure in rural Sarawak. With roads, electricity and fresh treated water in place, the other facilities, especially healthcare could easily follow,” said Wan Junaidi. —DayakDaily