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Suspend e-kesihatan scheme until an independent inquiry including medical and consumer representatives are satisfied that it is not a RM450 million � RM500 million middlemen rent-seeking scam and other ethical and public-interest issues addressed

Media Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Wednesday) : The week-long controversy over the e-kesihatan scheme has created more doubts and confusion, with the public presented with a plethora of conflicting accounts while the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy emerged from the controversy in a very sorry and worst possible light. 

From the present  RM10 payment for renewal of public service vehicle (PSV), goods driving licence (GDL) and conductor licence (KON) holders, the Road Transport Department is to introduce a new mandatory health screening scheme beginning on Oct. 1 which would cost RM80 a year for a million commercial drivers. 

In the latest revised figures in the Sun today, Datuk Nordin Yahaya, the  executive director of Supremme Systems Sdn. Bhd, the concessionaire awarded the monopoly for this scheme, claims that of the RM80, the company gets RM8 and Pos Malaysia RM2, while RM10 is for operating costs, RM35 go to the doctors and RM25 to laboratories. 

Only three days earlier on Sunday, Nordin had given different breakdowns � i.e. doctors paid between RM35 and RM45, laboratories between RM25 and RM35,  Post Malaysia RM2 and Supreme Systems Sdn. Bhd between RM8 and RM10. 

These figures have been disputed by the Koperasi Doktor Malaysia Bhd chairman Dr. J. S. Deo who said that the laboratory tests for the e-Kesihatan screening cost less than RM7, and not between RM25 and RM35 as claimed by Nordin earlier. 

Dr. Deo said that the tests to detect the presence of morphine, marijuana, amphetamines, methamphetamine and phencycledine, could be performed by a laboratory for a fee of RM5.90 for a minimum order of 1,000 units, or even lower with larger volumes. Two other tests would cost an additional RM1. 

Assuming that Supremme Systems paid the lab RM10 and doctors RM40 (gone down to RM35 in the Sun today), Dr.Deo estimates that the company would still enjoy a profit of RM30. 

With a million applicants a year (i.e. taxi, bus and express bus drivers nationwide), this will rake in for Supreme Systems between RM450 million and RM500 million for the 15-year monopoly concession. 

Malaysian Medical Council President Tan Sri Dr. Ismail Merican had  criticized the Road Transport Department for being too hasty in carrying out the e-Kesihatan scheme, as there were ethical and or public interest issues which had not been given proper consideration, including confidentiality of information. 

The most irresponsible and disgraceful statement had come from  Chan Kong Choy demonstrating either the Transport Minister is quite at sea and knows next to nothing about the e-Kesihatan scheme or he is just putting up a front of ignorance. 

When asked on Saturday as to why Road Transport Department wanted the doctors involved in the scheme to register with a private company, Chan gave a most shocking answer: �I don�t think they are registering the doctors�. 

When asked why a third party company was being given the right to operate the new system, Chan disarmingly replied: �I don�t have the details�. 

Is Chan the Transport Minister or not? Why is Chan so bent on creating another scandal, the e-Kesihatan scandal so soon after the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone bailout scandal? 

Since Chan is so ignorant about the e-Kesihatan controversy, this is an added reason why the e-kesihatan scheme should be suspended until an independent inquiry including medical and consumer representatives are satisfied that it is not a middlemen rent-seeking scam to fleece the public and other ethical and public interest issues have been addressed.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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