DAP calls on Selangor Mentri Besar to declare dengue as the Public Enemy No. 1 in the state and to give the latest figures on dengue cases and fatalities in Selangor for last year and the new year

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Saturday): Accompanied by DAP MP for Bukit Bintang, Fong Kui Lun, DAP MP for Cheras, Tan Kok Wai, DAP National Publicity Secretary, Ronnie Liu and DAP Selangor and Federal Territory officials, I visited Taman Nirwana, Ampang for two hours this morning and was most shocked by the atrocious dengue situation in the area.

In the past two months, there were at least five deaths in Taman Nirwana, which is not the full total of dengue fatalities for the area. We visited the families of three dengue fatalities but have not been able to visit the families of two other dengue deaths, a 35-year-old Malay teacher and a six-year-old Malay boy.

The three dengue fatalities, whose families we met, were:

  • Muzammir bin Mokhtar, 39, businessman, of No. 10, Jalan Nirwana 24, Taman Nirwana, Ampang, who died at Ampang Puteri Hospital, Ampang on 19th December 2002.

  • Wan Muhammad Riaz bin Borhannuddin, 10, of 16, Jalan Nirwana 15, Taman Nirwana, Ampang, who died at Kampung Baru Medical Centre on 17th January 2003.

  • Chai Nyak Lan, 45, housewife, of 12, Jalan Nirwana 15, Taman Nirwana, Ampang who died at Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital on 25th January 2003.

The case of the unnecessary and avoidable death of Muzammir is most heart-rending, as he is survived by his widow, Hayati Ismail, 40, former bank secretary but medically boarded out because of chronic illness, and four children, Mohamad Izat, 15, Form 2 student at St. John School, Kuala Lumpur; Mohamad Izzrin, 13, Form I boarding school student in Seremban who scored 5As in UPSR; Mohamad Izzam, 9, Std. 3 student at St. John School and Nurshakila, 8, Std. 2 at Bukit Nenas Convent, Kuala Lumpur. With Muzammir's sudden death from dengue, the entire family has lost its sole financial support and breadwinner.

Muzammir, together with Izzrin, came down with fever after Hari Raya holidays on 6th December, and after being treated by a private clinic for two consecutive days, where he was first diagnosed as suffering from "bacteria infection", he was admitted together with his son to the Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital on 14th December. His condition worsened and on 17th December, he was put in the ICU and died on 19th December at 11.02 a.m. Izzrin was discharged from the hospital a day before his father's death.

In the case of Wan Muhammad Rizq, Std. IV student at Sekolah Kebangsaan Desa Pandan, Ampang, he came down with high fever on 11th January, 2003, treated by private clinic on two consecutive days, with a blood test on 13th January 2003 which cleared him of dengue. On 13th night, his condition worsened, and his father, Borhanuddin Hj. Ahmad, 48, bank officer, took him to the Kampung Baru Medical Centre where he was informed that Rizq's "hati sudah bengkak". He died on 17th January at 2.45 p.m.

Chai Nyak Lan, mother of five, had bouts of fever for two weeks, admitted twice to the Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital by her husband, Yap Yew Fook, 55, locksmith - the last three days she was unconscious in the ICU. She died on 25th January 2003 at 5.40 p.m.

Taman Nirwana in Ampang is clearly a black area for dengue for quite some time, but the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council and the Selangor State Government failed to take the necessary measures to ensure that the locality is dengue-free. Fogging teams were sent to the houses concerned after each death - which were patently inadequate responses for an area notorious for dengue after at least five deaths in two months!

DAP calls on the Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr. Mohd Khir Toyo to personally visit Taman Nirwana to understand the reign of terror which envelopes the locality because of the lethal dengue epidemic and the killer aedes mosquitoes.

Khir Toyo should immediately give the latest figures on dengue cases and fatalities in the state, both for last year and the new year, as Selangor is one of the worst states in the worst dengue epidemic which is raging unchecked in the country, causing more and more deaths.

In March last year, the Selangor State Government had shown a sense of urgency when it convened an emergency meeting to deal with the deadly dengue outbreak because for the year till 9th March, 2002, there were 823 cases of dengue and two deaths, which was a 54 per cent increase from the 536 cases for the same period the previous year.

The present dengue situation in Selangor is most critical and many times more serious with a higher fatality rate than last year, but there is no similar sense of urgency on the part of the Selangor State Government to combat the killer dengue disease.

A local press report on 17th January, 2003 said that there were 698 dengue cases reported in Selangor in the week from 5th to 11th January 2003, or a 474.82% increase from the 147 cases for the same period last year. The worst areas were Gombak with 126 dengue and 12 dengue haemorrhage fever (DHF), Shah Alam with 114 dengue and 1 DHF, Subang Jaya with 83 dengue and 1 DHF.(Nanyang Siang Pao)

Last week, it was reported that the Subang Jaya Municipal Council topped all areas in the state with the most number of dengue cases for January - 173 cases as compared to 45 cases in January last year, or an increase of 284%.. (Sin Chew 7.2.03)

At this high rate of increase in the incidence of dengue for Subang Jaya, jumping from 84 dengue cases in the first week of January to 173 cases for the whole month of January, the whole Selangor state would have recorded over 1,000 dengue cases for January alone!

The Selangor State Exco should convene an emergency meeting to mobilize all resources to declare dengue as Public Enemy No. One in the state, and mobilize a combined government-community effort to launch a state-wide alert and awareness campaign to eliminate the dengue-carrying aedes mosquito and save lives by stopping the high toll of dengue fatalities in Selangor.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman