DAP to send strong protests to the two Ministries of Health and Local Government/Housing for the systematic campaign of misinformation about the virulent dengue outbreak in the past six months causing avoidable human suffering and loss of lives which could have been prevented by an early nation-wide alert
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Wednesday): The first thing the DAP will do in the new year will be to send strong protests to two Ministries, the Health Ministry and the Local Government and Housing Ministry, for the systematic campaign of misinformation about the virulent dengue outbreak in the past six months causing avoidable human suffering and loss of lives which could have been prevented by an early nation-wide alert.
In yesterday’s Berita Harian report, which quoted the director-general of the Local Government Department in the Housing and Local Government Ministry, Datuk Mohamad Saib, making the hackneyed statement that all local authorities nationwide had been directed to increase monitoring and enforcement activities against aedes-breeding locations following the rise in the number of dengue cases, the figure of 26 deaths from the dengue outbreak last year (13 in Selangor, 10 in Perak and 3 in Sarawak) was again used.
This is most shocking when the figure of 26 deaths from the dengue outbreak last year is less than half of the actual fatalities, and its continued use is a grave disservice to the people and country in misleading them into complacency about the gravity of the continuing dengue outbreak.
The use of the grossly low figure of 26 dengue deaths in the whole country last year, ignoring the fatalities in the other states, is trebly irresponsible for three reasons:
Both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, which are jointly responsible for combating the dengue menace, must be censured for continuing to trifle with human lives by refusing to give regular, true, full and accurate information about the dengue outbreak in the past six months so as to create the necessary nation-wide awareness to bring the dengue outbreak under control.
The jump to 54 deaths by December (which is not the final figure for the whole of last year) from 34 deaths at the end of August casts a most adverse aspersion on the competence, effectiveness and sense of responsibility of these two Ministries to combat the dengue outbreak for which the two Ministers concerned, Datuk Chua Jui Meng and Datuk Ong Ka Ting, owe the people of Malaysia a full explanation and accountability.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman