Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
Jaya on Thursday, 1st January 2009:
Agree with Chua Soi Lek - Liow not doing
enough to inform Malaysians about a deadly dengue epidemic in the
I agree with the former Health Minister,
Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek that the Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong
Lai has not done enough to inform the public about a deadly dengue
epidemic in the country.
In fact, I had expressed my outrage 12 days ago at the “conspiracy of
silence” perpetrated by Liow “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”.
After Chua expressed his alarm at the lack of publicity surrounding 106
dengue-related deaths recorded at Dec. 15, Liow has come out with the
latest statistics of a total of 108 deaths out of 48,178 dengue cases
reported as at Dec. 27.
Why is Liow so niggardly with data about dengue cases and deaths that he
had to be compelled to release the latest statistics, when he should be
constantly on radio, television and the printed media using these
figures to warn Malaysians of the deadly dengue epidemic as well as the
new chikungunya outbreak?
Liow is taking his responsibilities as Health Minister and the high
dengue fatality too lightly!
How many times, for instance, had Liow seriously warned Malaysians about
the deadly dengue epidemic since he became Health Minister so that they
become national news whether in the various mass media?
Couldn’t Liow have done more in the past nine months to reduce the
dengue cases and fatality rate with a high-powered nation-wide campaign
involving all the relevant authorities to mobilize the public against
the dengue epidemic, instead of stewing in a “conspiracy of silence”?
Twelve days ago, I had called on Liow to 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.
But Liow is not yet prepared to do this, even after 108 dengue deaths
this year as at Dec. 27!
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor