Email to Chua Jui
Meng to extend to Monday challenge to a one-to-one "Tell and Clear All"
session to get to the bottom of the dengue epidemic
by Lim Kit Siang
I have emailed to the Health Minister, Datuk Chua Jui Meng, extending to
Monday my challenge to him to a one-to-one "Tell and Clear All" session to
get to the bottom of the worst dengue epidemic in the nation's history.
I had issued the challenge on Wednesday in response to Chua's 11-page
parliamentary answer on the dengue epidemic the previous day, where he
manipulated dengue statistics while giving a most dishonest and
unsatisfactory account of his mishandling of the worst dengue epidemic in
the nation's history.
Chua should welcome such a one-to-one "Tell and Clear All" session on the
dengue epidemic, as he has behind him the entire personnel and resources of
the Health Ministry, which was allocated the massive sums of RM6.3 billion
in the 2003 budget, together with all the facts and figures denied to
others, while I am completely alone, with no control of any research unit or
machinery or a single sen of fund to discover facts about the dengue
I should be the one who should be frightened in a one-to-one "Tell and Clear
All" session to get to the bottom of the dengue epidemic, and not him, since
I have no objection if he comes with an army of his top Health Ministry
professionals and experts.
But it would appear that it is Chua who is afraid of such a one-to-one "Tell
and Clear All" session to get to the bottom of the worst dengue epidemic
facing the country, and not me. Why is this so?
The answer is probably to be found in the saying, "True Gold is not afraid
of Furnace Fire".
In Parliament on Tuesday, Chua made the shocking admission that there were
11 dengue deaths this year till February 22, which should have made
front-page news headlines in all the newspapers the next day - when a single
life lost in a country which boasts of "First World Infrastructure" must be
taken as one death too many, especially when it is so unnecessary and
avoidable after some 10 months of the dengue epidemic!
But this was not the case, and Chua's shocking and sensational admission for
the first time of 11 dengue deaths was lost, hidden in some obscure news
column in all the press coverage - a sad indication of how cheap life in
Malaysia has become as in many Third World countries despite our "First
Today, the first hot news of Bernama online was "S'pore Monitoring Pneumonia
Cases After WHO Alert", following the global alert by the World Health
Organisation (WHO) issued in Geneva over a possible severe form of
pneumonia, following outbreaks in Vietnam and southern China which spread to
hospital staff treating patients.
The alert followed reports from health authorities in the countries involved
of "atypical pneumonia", including about 305 cases and five deaths since
November last year in China's southern Guangdong province, which borders
Chua could find the time last month to comment on the pneumonia outbreak in
China but remained utterly indifferent to the dengue epidemic at home which
according to him claimed 11 lives this year till February 22!
Chua had not only understated the actual number of dengue deaths this year
as well as last year, he had not told MPs the real truth about more dengue
deaths since February 22, although he gets weekly update on information
about the latest dengue cases and fatalities!
If Chua backs out of a a one-to-one session to establish the real truth
about the dengue epidemic despite the extension of the challenge to Monday,
I will not hesitate to give a full briefing to Members of Parliament about
Chua's irresponsible mishandling of the dengue epidemic.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National