Current Affairs, National

Musa Aman’s shifting of blame unwarranted, time for the GRS/PN to start work

Press Statement by Chan Foong Hin, Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu and DAP Sabah Secretary on 20 October 2020:

Musa Aman’s shifting of blame unwarranted, time for the GRS/PN to start work

I refer to the former BN Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman’s statement in absolving himself of any blame for causing the latest wave of Covid-19 cases. It is annoying to read the statement issued, as Tan Sri Musa Aman is the one who had attempted a coup on the previous Warisan-led Sabah state government.

Musa Aman’s “open letter to the people of Malaysia” can only be described as being obnoxious and demeaning, especially when issued three weeks after Gagasan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), the loose coalition of PN, BN and PBS, have won the state election and formed the Sabah government. Enough is enough.

A NST report screenshot of Musa Aman’s open letter

In the said open letter, Musa blamed the then Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, for calling a state election rather than “handing back” the government to him.

Musa’s statement is totally uncalled for. Why make such a statement, especially when the people are struggling with more than 800 positive cases a day for the past few days consecutively? Isn’t it a clear case of shirking of responsibilities by GRS?

This is not the time for politicking, and that Musa Aman’s denial of liability right now is absolutely not welcomed, is an afterthought, and does not help in reducing the impact of Covid-19.

He should take a leaf from another former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak who had yesterday reminded politicians to focus at tackling the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic instead of engaging in self-serving politicking.

What Salleh said is true, that the people are starting to see politicians as being greedy and selfish. The people are tired of them politicking 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

What Musa Aman and other GRS leader should do right now is to start working and not to play up the blame game.

Instead, they should urge the Federal Government to expedite the gazetting process for the RM45 billion Covid-19 bill which has been passed in Parliament almost two months ago back in August, so that the funds could be put to good use right now in acquiring and procuring the relevant medical equipments such as beds, ventilators, test kits, etc to treat Covid-19 positive patients.

On 25 August 2020, the Malaysian Parliament had passed the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019) (Covid-19) Bill 2020 to set up a Covid-19 fund in which RM45 billion had been approved. Even then, the Members of Parliament from Pakatan Harapan (PH), including myself, felt that the allocation of RM45 billion was insufficient to deal with the impact of Covid-19. In return, we had suggested a sum of RM90 billion instead.

However, PN federal government had then been rather adamant with the RM45 billion sum being sufficient so as to brush-off and had refused to even consider the RM90 billion proposal by PH Members of Parliament.

But now, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is struggling with a severe lack of funding. Not only the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) issued a statement on 18th October urging the federal government to release emergency funds in order to manage the worsening COVID-19 situation in Sabah, the MOH had to also reactivate its special COVID-19 account to solicit donations from the public and offering tax reliefs for the same.

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It’s really alarming for the Sabah public health care system that, the occupancy rate of 1,018 beds across nine COVID-19 hospitals in Sabah had reached 71 per cent, and that 72 per cent of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in the state’s public hospitals were in use. There were positive cases in Kinarut but who have been left at home for two days before being taken to the hospital for treatment.

This kind of delay, which is mainly attributed to the lack of resources, is unacceptable. Once again, I urge the Federal Government to speed up the gazetting of the Covid-19 funding bill and to release the funds urgently to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to enable the ministry to deal with the increasing Covid-19 patients at public hospitals in Sabah.

Enough politicking already. It would have been better if Musa Aman just stayed silent and not make the worthless attempt to defend himself.

Chan Foong Hin,
Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu,
DAP Sabah Secretary.

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