By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, May 5: Julian Tan, the special assistant to Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen has questioned the motive of Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian for blaming the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government over the uncompleted Petra Jaya Hospital project in a Facebook post yesterday.
Tan in a statement today defended the PH government’s decision to cancel the Petra Jaya Hospital project, which he said was done to put a stop to ‘sick’ projects that cost Sarawakians millions of ringgit, while arguing that Dr Sim — who was the sole SUPP senator in Parliament from 2014 to 2018 during the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government — was silent and should have raised the issue during a Parliament sitting.
“Dr Sim should speak the truth about the Petra Jaya Hospital project and not mislead the public by blaming the PH federal government. The PH federal government did the very things that SUPP failed and will not have the guts to do.
“That is to put a stop to sick projects that had cost Sarawakians hundreds of millions of ringgit,” he said.
Tan stressed that DAP Sarawak has always fought for more healthcare facilities in Sarawak especially dealing with public healthcare issues in Sarawak.
Tan, who was former Stampin MP, recalled that the official statement he received from Parliament was that the Petra Jaya Hospital was initially scheduled for completion in November 2016 at a cost of RM378 million but was delayed to June 2017 with the cost increased to RM495 million.
In the meantime, Tan gathered that the BN government’s benchmark in building a 300-bed hospital then was around RM150 million.
Tan added with inflation factored in to the cost of the Petra Jaya hospital, the construction cost should not be more than RM190 million.
At RM495 million, Tan estimated that Sarawak should be able to construct two hospitals with 300 beds with well-equipped facilities as well as have savings of more than 100 millions.
Meanwhile, he noted that as of June 2017, the Petra Jaya Hospital project was just 48 per cent completed. — DayakDaily