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Spend RM35 million on the Covid-19 hospital in Johor instead

Media Statement by MP for Kluang, Wong Shu Qi on 17 January 2021:

Spend RM35 million wisely to garner a greater impact for the nation good. 

I am glad that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin explained himself promptly on the viral letter of a RM35 million allocation in his constituency yesterday. However, I would like to advise the Prime Minister to spend the amount, which is at his disposal, wisely to portray a better image of himself. More importantly, the amount should be spent to create a larger impact on our economy or public health institution. 

Yesterday, it was reported that China government finished building a 1,500-room hospital in five days for COVID-19 patients to fight a surge in of infections in that country. At the same time, we in Malaysia were told that three community halls will be built in the Prime Minister’s constituency as soon as possible. It is obviously a priority totally misplaced.

New York Post article screenshot on China building a hospital within 5 days.

In Johor, the Hospital Enche’ Besar Hajjah Khalsom (HEBHK) in Kluang has serve as a COVID-19 hospital since last year. The hospital is new compared to many other hospitals in the country. However, the 10th floor of the block is vacant and is not equipped with hospital beds. I was informed by the hospital previously that it is possible to install 38 beds with full equipment at the cost of RM 38 million. 

Our Malaysian hospitals are overwhelmed and need urgent capacity upgrade. I sincerely hope that Prime Minister can act wisely and decisively to cancel the RM35 million community halls project and spend it on our Johor COVID-19 hospital to fight the pandemic instead.

For illustrative purposes.

Since HEBHK was chosen as the COVID-19 hospital in Johor, other patients in Kluang have been diverted to the nearest Klinik Kesihatan Mengkibol which was designed to cater for a maximum 300 patients a day. However, it had to serve more than 800 patients a day even before the virus outbreak. The situation is much more dire after March 2020. 

There is proposal to build another Klinik Kesihatan (type 3) in Kluang at the cost of RM25 million. The need at this moment to build clinics and hospitals definitely exceeds that of building community halls. It is a simple policy thinking. I hope the Prime Minister can make his choice wisely. 

Wong Shu Qi
MP for Kluang

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