Media Statement (3) by Lim Kit Siang
in Parliament on Wednesday, 30th January 2008:
One day of jail for Dr. Basmullah Yusom in Kajang Prison is
equivalent to paying RM1,333 fine (so far 12 days’ jail or RM15,996 of
Together with DAP MP for Ipoh Barat, M. Kulasegaran, I visited the
Kajang Prison and the authorities have confirmed that Dr. Basmullah
Yusom is serving three-month jail term for failing to pay RM120,000 fine
for operating a clinic without registering it under the Private Health
Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) 1998.
Every day of jail by Dr. Basmullah is equivalent to paying RM1, 333 of
the fine. He has been jailed for 12 days or equivalent to paying RM15,
996 of the RM120, 000 fines!
We were unable to see Dr. Basmullah and will try to contact his family
members to see how we can be of help to ensure that he should be
speedily freed from jail.
I find it most regrettable that there has been no response from the
Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail in the past three days to my appeal for his
intervention by invoking his revisionary powers to call up the case to
quash the most unfair and unjust three-month jail sentence – the first
doctor to be jailed under the PHFSA despite assurances by both the
Health Minister and Director-General of Health Services that private
practitioners would not be jailed over a technicality.
Why is the Acting Health Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting keeping quiet
about this gross injustice in the implementation of the PHFSA?
A “Don’t Jail Doctors Blog Campaign” has been launched by medical
practitioners on the Internet. The Malaysian public demand a response
from the Acting Health Minister as to what he is doing to end such
injustice by getting Dr. Busmallah out of jail without any delay – as
Dr. Basmullah, a Universiti Sains Malaysia-trained doctor and a father
of eight children, should not be spending time in Kajang Prison at all.
Kit Siang, Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman