Cabinet today should approve the  payment of all hospital expenses incurred by the victims of virus epidemic disaster and a special programme to ensure no studentís education is affected by the viral disaster


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): During the debate on the White Paper on the "Status of the Malaysian economy"  yesterday, I referred to the aid formula between MCA and three Chinese organisations as reported in the front-page of the Star yesterday for families affected by the viral encephalitis outbreak.

Under this formula, the amount of aid includes RM3,000 for the next-of-kin of those who died, RM1,000 for hospitalisation fee, RM1,000 for those who had to move out of the affected areas and education aid.

As I told Parliament before I ended my speech yesterday evening, the sums of aid under this formula is grossly inadequate.  What is needed are RM200,000 compensation to the surviving family of each death victim, full payment of hospitalisation costs incurred by the victims of the viral encephalitis outbreak and not just RM1,000, and RM1,000 a month a family for six months for those who had to move out of the affected areas as a result of the mass pig destruction order.

As for education, the government must bear full responsibility to ensure that no student has to stop his or her education, whether primary, secondary or tertiary as a result of the viral encephalitis disaster, which has killed 90 people and brought untold avoidable misery, hardship and sufferings to tens of thousands of Malaysian families.

I call on the Education Ministry to set up a special bureau to help all students affected by the viral encephalitis outbreak  and who face financial hardships and are forced to discontinue their studies because of the disaster suddenly descending on their families.

The Cabinet meeting today should approve the  payment of all hospital expenses incurred by the victims of virus epidemic disaster, whether public or private hospitals,  both those who died and those who survived. The Cabinet should also direct the Education Minister, Datuk Najib Tun Razak  to set up a special bureau to ensure that no student has to drop out of primary, secondary or tertiary education because of the disaster by providing them full financial aid.
 
(7/4/99)


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