by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on
Friday, 19th December 2008:
Outraged at over 100 dengue deaths and over
45,000 dengue cases with no leadership or public campaign by Health
Minister Liow Tiong Lai to stem the worst dengue epidemic in country’s
I feel totally outraged at the conspiracy of
silence involving the government headed by the Health Minister, Datuk
Liow Tiong Lai and even the media to play down the worst dengue epidemic
in the country’s history which has to date claimed 100 lives and
recorded over 45,000 dengue cases.
It came as a shock to me, as it must be to all Malaysians, that 100
lives have been lost to dengue in the first 50 weeks of this year.
No mainstream newspaper headlined or even reported this shocking news or
that the country is facing the worst dengue epidemic in history, which
has been confirmed by the latest dengue statistics by the Director,
Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health, Datuk Dr. Hassan Abdul
Rahman yesterday that dengue fever claimed two more victims last week,
bringing the number of fatal cases in the country to 100.
Dr. Hassan did not give the latest total number of dengue cases in the
country as on December 13, 2008 when they have also established a
dubious new record of exceeding 45,000 cases – which is another shocker
that the total number of dengue cases have crossed the 40,000 mark even
before the full year is over.
Liow should explain why there is a conspiracy of silence to play down
the worst dengue epidemic in the country when he should be spearheading
a nation-wide anti-dengue public campaign to save lives by reducing
avoidable deaths as well as mitigate considerable unnecessary
Liow should end this conspiracy of silence by spearheading a nation-wide
anti-dengue campaign as well as making public all the available facts
and figures about the worst dengue epidemic confronting the country,
with week-by-week data of dengue cases and fatalities, not only
nationally but also on a state-by-state basis.
It has been reported that Malaysia has the first fatal case of
Chikungunya, which was completely unheard of recently.
Again, no proper ministerial leadership had been provided by Liow to
educate the Malaysian public about this emerging disease in the country.
It will be sad and tragic if the Health Minister of the country is only
interested about Sime Darby Bhd’s takeover of the National Heart
Institute but not concerned about maintaining high standards of public
health in the country.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor