Chua Jui Meng should explain why and how the Health Ministry could
ensure that NAM Summit would be dengue-free and "aedes-mosquito no-fly zone"
but could not ensure that the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and country
are free of the worst dengue epidemic in nation's history after eights
months of WHO warning
by Lim Kit Siang
At his Chinese New Year Open House last Thursday, Health Minister, Datuk
Chua Jui Meng announced that his Ministry had set up a special anti-dengue
committee to ensure that the 13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit to be
held in Kuala Lumpur from Feb. 20 - 25 would be free of the dengue menace.
(Sin Chew 7.2.03)
Chua did not say how this special anti-dengue committee would go about
ensuring that the NAM Summit, the conference venue as well as the hotels
housing the NAM delegates and observers from 114 member countries and other
observer nations and international organizations, would be the only
"dengue-free area" and "aedes mosquito no-fly zone" in the country, whether
there would be saturation or aerial fogging of the entire NAM locality to
eliminate every single
dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito, pupa, larvae and egg.
DAP welcomes the establishment of such a high-powered anti-dengue unit to
make the NAM Summit dengue-free, as we do not want anyone of the foreign
delegates and observers to the 13th NAM Summit, in particular the heads of
governments or delegations and their spouses, to have any nasty experience
with the Malaysian dengue haemorrhage fever (DHF), especially as we have
such a high DHF case fatality rate (CFR) of 10 per cent, which will catapult
Malaysia into international infamy.
However, Chua Jui Meng should explain why and how the Health Ministry could
ensure that the NAM Summit could be dengue-free but could not ensure that
the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and country are free of the worst
dengue epidemic in nation's history after eights months of World Health
Organisation (WHO) warning to the governments in the region of a dengue
pandemic as bad as, if not worse, than the worst recorded dengue epidemic in
Chua's announcement is quite baffling, as it was only two weeks ago that he
disclaimed responsibility for the dengue epidemic in the country, saying
that this was the responsibility of another Ministry and department.
Do we have a division of responsibility of the healthcare system in Malaysia
where the Health Minister is only responsible for dengue as far as the NAM
Summit and other VIPs and VVIPs are concerned, but not for the welfare of
the 23 million ordinary Malaysians?
If so, then we should give Chua a new designation of Minister for Health
(dengue for VIPs).
Yesterday, when the DAP lodged a second report of human rights violations in
the government mishandling of the worst dengue epidemic in the nation's
history, the Suhakam Commissioner, Prof Mohd Hamdan Adnan admitted that his
daughter nearly died of dengue.
The dengue epidemic in the country has become so prevalent and
life-threatening that everyone knows or had heard of a relative, friend or
acquaintance who had been a victim of dengue attack in the current dengue
epidemic, with many hospitals overflowing with dengue cases.
It is time that the Health Minister raise in the Cabinet the urgency of
expanding the "dengue-free area" and "aedes mosquito no-fly zone" from just
the NAM site in Kuala Lumpur to the whole country without any more
unnecessary and avoidable deaths.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National