Chua Jui Meng is only further antagonsing the public by making the baseless charge blaming the parents for the 27 deaths arising from viral myocarditis


Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday):
The mysterious virus in Sarawak has claimed another victim, the 27th, with the death of a 22-month Bidayuh boy at the Kuching Hospital, who died on Sunday four hours after being admitted in a state of shock.

However, the Health Minister, Datuk Chua Jui Meng, has not helped in any manner whether in controlling the viral outbreak or restoring public confidence when he lashed out against parents for the 27 deaths arising from the deadly viral epidemic.

The Star today reported:

Chua Jui Meng is being most unfair to blame the 27 deaths on the parents for their tidak apa attitude. Such baseless charges in blaming the 27 deaths on the parents will only antagonise the parents concerned as well as the general public, without making any contribution whatsoever to bring the viral epidemic under control or to restore public confidence in the Health Minister’s handling of the viral epidemic.

There have been many cases of the deaths where the parents had brought them to the attention of the medical authorities, whether private or public, at the first available opportunity - and still this could not save their lives. How can Chua Jui Meng now blame the 27 parents for being responsible for the death of the infants because of their tidak apa attitude, as if this blanket charge could exonerate the Health Ministry from all responsibility for the 27 deaths?

The latest death arising from the viral epidemic has made world news - which is news Malaysia can do without, especially as international comments about the way the Health Ministry had handled the viral epidemic had not been very flattering.

The University of Nebraska Medical Centre in the United States, for instance, which has a web site tracking developments about the disease, said the following in its latest update on Sunday before the announcement of the latest 27th death:

This is clear proof that the Health Minister has not only lost public confidence in the country in his handling of the viral epidemic, he has also lost the confidence of the international medical community as well.

(24/6/97)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong