Seventh email and eighth question to Khir Toyo on the worst dengue
epidemic in Selangor state - who is telling the truth, the Deputy Health
Minister Datuk Sulaiman Mohamad or the Selangor State Exco Datuk Tang See
by Lim Kit Siang
Monday): In my seventh email and
eighth question to the Selangor Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr. Mohamad Khir
Toyo on the worst dengue epidemic in Selangor state, I asked him who was
telling the truth about the dengue epidemic - the Deputy Health Minister
Datuk Sulaiman Mohamad or the Selangor State Executive Councillor in charge
of Health, Datuk Tang See Hang?
Yesterday, Sulaiman said in Ampang Jaya in Selangor that the incidence of
dengue cases this year was less than the comparative period last year, but
he would not give any figures which are in the hands of the Health Ministry
as dengue had been gazetted as a notifiable disease as far back as 1973.
However, if Sulaiman was right that the incidence of dengue cases in
Selangor was very much less than last year, then Tang had told a lie about
the dengue situation in the state..
On 17th January, 2003, Tang was reported in the local press as saying that
in the first full week of January from January 5 to 11, 2003, there were 683
dengue cases reported in Selangor 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.
In March last year, the Selangor State Government had shown a great 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 in 2001.
From the most unsatisfactory and selective release of information on the
incidence of dengue, we get the following sets of facts about dengue cases
in Selangor state:
(1) 1.1.01 - 9.3.01 - 536 cases; 1.1.02 - 9.3.02 - 823 cases
(2) 5.1.02 - 12.1.02 - 147 cases; 5.1.03 - 12.1.03 - 683 cases
The only other factual information publicly available is the
report in early February 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)
Even without the actual figures at hand, we can conclude that it is the
Deputy Health Minister who is not telling the truth when he claimed that in
the seven-and-a-half weeks this year, there are less number of dengue cases
as compared to the same period last year.
In the first full week of January this year from 5th to 11th January, there
were already 683 cases. If this was the average number of dengue cases per
week in Selangor, we will get a total of 683 x 7 1/2 = 5,122 cases for the
first 53 days of the year as compared to 823 cases from 1.1.02 to 9.3.02
We do not have the weekly average of dengue cases in Selangor, but we know
that Subang Jaya had 173 cases for the whole of January, i.e. another 90
cases from the first full week of January when Subang Jaya had 83 cases.
Is Sulaiman seriously suggesting that with these figures, the incidence of
dengue cases in Selangor this year is less than the same period for last
Either Sulaiman or Tang is not telling the truth - for both cannot be right.
If it is Tang, then YAB should censure him and release the true figures. If
it is Sulaiman, then the Deputy Health Minister should be censured in
Parliament when it meets on March 10 - and I hope that Khir Toyo will
expressly support DAP MPs in such a move in the name of the long list of
unnecessary and avoidable dengue deaths from all races in the Selangor state
in the current dengue epidemic.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National