http://dapmalaysia.org Forward Feedback
Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang at the Jalan Duta Courts, Kuala Lumpur on the filing of an application to release from Kajang Prison Dr. Basmullah Yusoff, the first doctor to be jailed for a technical offence on Tuesday, 5th Feb. 2008 at 9.30 am:
Dr. Basmullah’s jailing in Kajang Prison – Is Ka Ting the worst Acting Health Minister in nation’s history?
I am here with Norliza binti Hassan, 44, wife of Dr. Basmullah Yusoff – the first doctor be to criminalized and jailed under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) – her counsel Karpal Singh (DAP National Chairman) and Dr. Lo’Lo Mohd Gazali, Dr. Basmullah’s medical colleague (PAS Wanita leader) for an application to the High Court to get Dr. Basmullah out of Kajang Prison.
Two days ago, New Sunday Times quoted former Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek as asking the medical fraternity not to blame him for the jailing of Dr. Basmullah who failed to register his clinic under the PHFSA 1998.
Chua said the PHFSA was never intended to criminalize doctors. He said PHFSA, which came into force on May 1, 2006 when he was Health Minister, was intended to weed out bogus doctors who posed a threat to public health and safety.
Now that a qualified doctor, who has an annual practicing certificate issued by the Malaysian Medical Council has been criminalized and sentenced to three months jail for his inability to pay RM120,000 fine, why has Chua failed to speak up firstly, to admit that the enforcement of the PHFSA should be suspended until there is iron-clad guarantee that there would not be another case of criminalizing of a doctor like that of Dr. Basmullah; and secondly, that it is grossly unjust for Dr. Basmullah to spend another day in jail.
Dr. Basmullah has been jailed for 18 days which is equivalent to paying a fine of over RM24,000 – which is already too hefty a fine for a technical offence committed by Dr. Basmullah.
Is Chua prepared to publicly state that as Dr. Basmullah has paid an equivalent of over RM24,000 fine in serving 18 day’s jail sentence, justice demand that he be released immediately without any extra day in Kajang Prison?
I am very disappointed that for more than two weeks, there has been deafening silence from the Acting Health Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting on the Dr. Basmullah case – whether he is utterly indifferent about the sufferings imposed on the father of eight or whether he is totally lost as to how to rectify the injustice suffered by Dr. Basmullah.
Is Ka Ting prepared to carry out his duties as Acting Health Minister diligently, conscientiously and responsibly by asking the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail to invoke his revisionary powers by applying to the court to vary the sentence imposed on Dr. Basmullah to RM24,000 fine, which would mean that Dr. Basmullah would be able to walk out as a free man from Kajang Prison immediately.
If the Acting Health Minister and the Attorney-General are prepared to take the initiative to ensure that Dr. Basmullah can walk out of Kajang Prison immediately, there would be no need for any action by Norliza and Karpal.
Is Ka Ting in support of the call that Dr. Basmullah should not stay an extra day in Kajang Prison? An additional day in jail for Dr. Basmullah is an additional day of dereliction of duty by Ka Ting as Acting Health Minister!
If Ka Ting cannot carry out his duties as Acting Health Minister diligently, conscientiously and responsibly, he should ask the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to relieve him of this acting portfolio and appoint another Minister who is not afraid to come forward to back the call for Dr. Basmullah’s immediate release from jail!
Otherwise, Ka Ting will become the worst Acting Health Minister in the nation’s history – a notoriety which the MCA President must give full accounting in the 12th general election!
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman