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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Adham Baba fends off jabs on a tamer second day

 

Dr Adham Baba came out with his head held high, winning points by promising that no action would be taken against the doctors who went on strike yesterday. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The second day of the Dewan Rakyat sitting was not as fiery as the first but the MPs were still shooting verbal abuse at each other, with health minister Dr Adham Baba bearing the brunt of the attacks.

Still, Adham came out with his head held high, winning points by promising that no action would be taken against the doctors who went on strike yesterday, and refusing to back down when confronted by Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs wanting the Ivermectin drug approved for Covid-19 treatment.

If anyone had to cover his face in shame, it was Umno’s Tajuddin Abdul Rahman who did not wear a mask in Parliament. His party veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was also in the news, asking to be seated among the independents.

Nga Kor Ming (PH-Teluk Intan) brought up Adham’s old gaffes involving the “Spanish fly” and “warm water” saying he could tolerate those mistakes but not the over 8,000 Covid-19 deaths so far under his watch.

Saying there was a lack of attempt by the government to analyse why it had failed, Nga told Adham to resign and allow others who are more capable to handle and manage the crisis.

Tony Pua (PH-Damansara) also grilled Adham over why the ministry took so long to order vaccines as Singapore, United States, United Kingdom and Israel had placed their vaccine orders by July last year.

The Malaysian government, Pua said, had their first agreement to buy Sinovac from China in November and Pfizer in December, thus causing a delay in the national vaccination programme.

Contract doctors

This was hotly discussed among MPs today with former health minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad asking the government to extend the contracts of the affected doctors to eight years compared with the present two years to complete their specialist training.

But Adham said the two-year contract extension was an interim solution.

While junior doctors unhappy with the interim solution had organised a strike, Adham gave an assurance that no disciplinary action would be taken against them by the ministry.

PAS MP Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman was also quick to take praise, saying only Perikatan Nasional (PN) – and not Barisan Nasional or PH – had responded to the contract doctors’ plight.

Pressure to use Ivermectin

Adham stood firm on this despite pressure from MPs for the medication to be used immediately.

These opposition MPs said it had successfully been used in India and the Philippines to treat Covid-19 patients without any side effects but Adham asked the opposition to wait a little longer until clinical trials conclude in September.

Hearing this, the MPs, who were from PKR and Amanah, asked Adham if the government is waiting for more people to die as clinical results may only be released in October. They pushed him to use his ministerial powers during the Emergency but in return he asked them to write to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) for approval.

India and the Philippines have not acknowledged Ivermectin as a “miracle cure” and WHO has reported that the data is sketchy at best.

Malaysia recorded over 200 Covid-19 deaths for the second day in a row, bringing the total number of fatalities to 8,408.

Oops, Tajuddin does it again

Controversial Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman is set to be fined for not wearing a face mask inside the Parliament building.

This is the second time the Umno man will face action for breaching the SOP. He was first compounded for not wearing a face mask during the LRT crash press conference at the end of May.

Silence on Emergency ordinances

The shockwaves from the revocation of the Emergency ordinance continued with Umno MP Noh Omar saying that if the ordinance had been lifted on July 21, there was no point in organising the five-day “special sitting” to discuss the Emergency ordinance covering health, finance and social issues.

Opposition MPs also demanded law minister Takiyuddin Hassan to answer immediately if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had been presented with the revocation request and had approved it.

Takiyuddin told MPs that he could not answer because the speaker had made a ruling that he should reply on Monday. This prompted opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to urge the speaker to do the right thing and not allow the minister to hide behind the speaker’s chair.

While the public waits for Monday, it is not known if those with court cases found breaching the Emergency ordinances will need to attend their hearings or pay fines of up to RM10,000.

While all this was happening, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (BN-Gua Musang) threw a spanner in the works for the government, submitting an application to move his seat away from the government to the independent bloc, leaving everyone guessing if the government still has the numbers to rule.

Four other MPs from Umno, including party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi – were also said to have done the same thing but speaker Azhar Azizan Harun said he had not received any notice. - FMT

Malaysia in world-first Hepatitis C self-testing kit pilot

 

A finger-prick type self-testing kit prototype being used. (Photo by Malaysian AIDS Council)

GEORGE TOWN: The health ministry will give out self-testing kits for Hepatitis C (HCV) from next week, as part of a world-first trial in an attempt to identify the “undiagnosed millions” who may have the virus.

The testing kit will see 700 persons in the country tested through mail-in test kits, where people are required to prick their fingers for a blood sample or an oral test, and send it back for testing.

The pilot project, from August to December, will capitalise on the country’s present HIV self-testing framework via the Jom Test portal. Aside from Malaysia, two other countries – Georgia and Pakistan – were chosen to participate in this pilot project under the World Health Organization (WHO).

The virus, spread through contact with blood from an infected person, can lead to chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, cancer, and death, affecting about 58 million people worldwide, with only about 13% having received treatment to date, reports show.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the self-diagnosis kit would allow those who are not close to a health facility to get themselves tested and receive quick treatment if they are found to be positive.

He said more testing would allow the country to reduce infections, cut down deaths and find the ‘missing millions’ who are living with the virus”, as the HCV was asymptomatic.

“Malaysia is proud to be at the cutting edge of innovations to tackle Hepatitis C and all this is possible because of strong political will.

“Self-testing will allow us to decentralise HCV testing and treatment to as close as possible to the people in the community, and they will stop falling through the
cracks.

“It is an additional tool option that we can use to ensure equity in our Hepatitis C response,” he said in a webinar today.

A Hepatitis C test being carried out on a person. (Photo by Fadza Ishak/FIND)

The webinar, titled “Hepatitis C can’t wait, Malaysia isn’t waiting” was hosted by the global alliance for diagnostics FIND and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), Malaysian AIDS Council and the health ministry.

WHO’s global HIV, hepatitis and STI programme director Dr Meg Doherty said Malaysia’s swift action should be applauded for being one of the first to take up WHO’s self-testing guidelines for HCV on July 18.

“This has implications for scaling-up testing coverage among key and vulnerable populations as well as among groups with a higher burden on Hepatitis C virus infections and can facilitate national action towards elimination of the disease by 2030,” she said.

FIND CEO Dr Bill Rodriguez said Malaysia was once again leading the way in assessing strategies to defeat the disease and providing critical information for many other countries to follow.

Earlier in June, the country announced conditional approval for the antiviral drug, Ravidasvir, to treat HCV. It is estimated that there are more than 400,000 people living with the virus in the country, but only 1% of them have been treated.

Since the end of 2019, the country has adopted decentralised care for HCV by enabling primary healthcare facilities, such as government hospitals and clinics, to test and treat the disease. - FMT

Unfair to mock Liu Ying-Peng Soon - minister

 


Youth and Sports Minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican has expressed disappointment over the criticisms hurled by netizens against shuttlers Goh Liu Ying-Chan Peng Soon when they had given their best at the Tokyo Olympics and also contributed a lot to the country.

He said it was wrong to mock them just because they failed to make an impact at this Olympics after having brought glory to the country previously.

“Personally, I’m very disappointed (with the negative comments) because they have done their best. We must remember that five years ago, they were praised for raising the Jalur Gemilang (at Rio 2016 Olympics) … our country was honoured because of them.

“It was not easy for them to return for the Tokyo edition five years later. In fact, Liu Ying and Peng Soon have made three appearances in the Olympics spanning 12 years, and this is a long time for them to bring glory to the country,” he said when met at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.

Rio 2016 silver medallist Peng Soon-Liu Ying failed to win any of their three group matches at the Tokyo Olympics and that resulted in netizens hurling online abuses on the pair on social media.

In their opening match, the national number one pair fell 18-21, 21-10, 16-21 to Hong Kong’s Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet. They then went down 12-21, 15-21 to Germans Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich.

In their final group match on Monday (July 26), world number seven Peng Soon-Liu Ying lost 13-21, 19-21 to China’s world number three pair Wang Yilyu-Huang Dong Ping.

Reezal said such negative comments should not have happened as they could demoralise other national athletes who are still fighting for glory at the Games.

“It’s unfortunate that when our athletes do well, they are praised sky high but when they do not perform up to expectations, they are criticised. This is what has happened to Liu Ying and Peng Soon,” he said.

“We still have Lee Zii Jia (men’s singles), Mohd Azizulhasni Awang and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom (track cycling) and many more. Thirty Malaysian athletes - that’s like a family representing the Malaysian people’s aspirations. Mock one, the others will feel it too,” he said.

As such, he urged Malaysian sports fans to continue to give their full support to the national athletes in Tokyo.

“They win, we win. They lose, we are part of their disappointment too. Don’t think that we are the only ones disappointed, they are 100 times more disappointed,” he said.

- Bernama

Health DG hopeful contract doctors made permanent in 2 years or less

 

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said he would prefer an amicable solution via negotiations rather than protests, as was carried out by doctors yesterday.

PETALING JAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah this evening expressed hope that contract doctors would be absorbed into permanent employment in “two years or less”.

On the heels of calls by MPs for the doctors’ contracts to be extended beyond four years, Noor Hisham also hopes that a special task force headed by the ministry and the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) would lead to permanent employment with contributions to the Employees Provident Fund for all the doctors affected.

Noor Hisham said the ministry had “high hopes” that within two years of the extension given to all 23,000 contract medical officers, the Pension Act would be amended and tabled in Parliament.

“I believe all parliamentarians will support this wholeheartedly for the future of the nation,” he added.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

In the meantime, he said, contract medical officers can still continue their postgraduate studies.

“It is our utmost hope that in two years or less, they will be absorbed into permanent employment under EPF.”

Yesterday, contract doctors in several major hospitals staged a walkout as part of the Hartal Doktor Kontrak strike, to demand a fair career path and for contract doctors to be offered the same benefits as medical officers in permanent positions.

The strike came days after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that contract doctors, dentists and pharmacists will be offered a two-year extension to their current contract of service, with fully sponsored study leave to pursue specialisation.

He also said the government would extend the contracts of medical and dental officers who have been accepted into specialisation programmes in the first two years of their contract for up to four years.

Noor Hisham went on to say that in the push for better working conditions and a better future for contract medical officers, “we might suffer and get hurt in our journey”.

“However I would prefer an amicable solution via negotiations rather than demonstration, more so during these difficult times and the movement control order.” - FMT

Pesakit Covid-19 kuarantin kendiri ditemui meninggal dunia

 

Beberapa anggota bomba cuba membuka rumah mangsa di Kampung Kenangan Tun Syed Nasir. (Gambar JBPM)

PETALING JAYA: Pesakit Covid-19 yang sedang menjalani kuarantin kendiri di rumahnya ditemui meninggal dunia oleh anak saudaranya, dalam kejadian di Tangkak, Johor.

Kematian Zuraimi Abd Aziz, 51, itu disedari ketika anak saudaranya ingin menghantar makanan ke rumahnya di Jalan Bayan, Kampung Kenangan Tun Syed Nasir, hari ini.

Menurut Ketua Balai Bomba dan Penyelamat Tangkak Rafiah Aziz, sepasukan bomba terdiri daripada 13 anggota dihantar ke lokasi sebaik menerima panggilan kecemasan pada jam 11.48 pagi.

Katanya, mangsa ditemui terbaring di atas sofa dalam keadaan tidak sedarkan diri.

“Kejadian disedari anak saudaranya yang datang menghantar makanan, namun dia berasa curiga apabila makanan sebelum ini tidak disentuh.

“Dia kemudiannya menjenguk dari tingkap dan melihat bapa saudaranya terbaring di atas sofa dalam keadaan tidak sedarkan diri,” katanya menurut laporan Harian Metro.

Rafiah berkata anak saudara itu terus menghubungi bomba untuk mendapatkan bantuan dan menyerahkan kunci rumah untuk melihat keadaan mangsa.

“Mangsa disahkan meninggal dunia oleh pegawai perubatan yang turut berada di lokasi. Mayat diserahkan kepada polis untuk tindakan lanjut,” katanya. - FMT

Kerajaan tetapkan harga runcit maksimum minyak masak

 

Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna berkata, langkah itu menjamin harga minyak masak tanpa mengira kedudukan harga sawit semasa.

PUTRAJAYA: Kerajaan menetapkan harga runcit maksimum bagi minyak masak sawit tulen dalam kemasan botol berkuat kuasa 1 Ogos ini, dengan jaminan pengguna akan mendapat minyak masak di bawah harga RM30 untuk botol 5kg.

Dalam pengumumannya hari ini, Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna (KPDNHEP) menyenaraikan harga runcit maksimum bagi minyak masak sawit dalam kemasan botol 5kg pada harga RM29.70 sebotol, botol 1kg (RM6.70), 2kg (RM12.70) dan 3kg (RM18.70).

KPDNHEP dalam kenyataannya berkata kerajaan telah bersetuju melaksanakan program harga kawalan berasaskan nilai ambang minyak sawit mentah (CPO) dengan harga minyak masak sawit botol 5kg diputuskan untuk dikawal supaya harganya tidak melebihi RM30 sebotol.

Kementerian itu berkata pelaksanaan harga kawalan itu dibuat susulan pengumuman Perdana Menteri Muhyiddin Yassin mengenai komitmen kerajaan membantu rakyat meringankan kos sara hidup.

Kata kenyataan itu lagi, ia juga bagi menangani isu kenaikan harga CPO di pasaran dunia yang mempengaruhi harga minyak masak sawit tulen tidak bersubsidi di pasaran tempatan.

“Dengan pelaksanaan harga kawalan untuk minyak masak tulen, pengguna adalah dijamin untuk mendapatkan minyak masak tersebut dibawah harga RM30 bagi 5kg dan pada lain-lain kuantiti juga tanpa mengira kepada kedudukan harga sawit semasa,” kata KPDNHEP.

KPDNHEP berkata penetapan harga runcit maksimum minyak masak itu dibuat di bawah Perintah Kawalan Harga dan Antipencatutan (Penentuan Harga Maksimum Bagi Minyak Masak) 2021 dengan turut mengambil kira pandangan agensi-agensi, industri dan trend harga di pasaran. - FMT

Covid-19: Sabah on track to have 60pct of its population vaccinated by Oct

 


Sabah is on track to achieve the target of having 60 percent of its population vaccinated by October, says Chief Minister Hajiji Nor.

He said this was based on statistics of the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) mobile outreach vaccination programme with the total vaccinations exceeding the targeted 30,000 daily doses for four consecutive days since July 21.

He said on July 21, 31,375 first and second doses of the vaccines were given to the state’s residents, followed by 32,293 on July 22, July 23 (35,749) and July 24 (32,504).

“With the arrival of the single-dose CanSino vaccine expected next month, Sabah is now on track to achieve the target,” he said in a statement after visiting a vaccine administering centre (PPV) in Keningau today.

Also, the opening of the first integrated PPV in the state at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) in Kota Kinabalu tomorrow would help increase the vaccination rate, he added.

“Together with the existing programmes, the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas) for industrial workers and the integrated PPV, which involve two private healthcare organisations, we hope to increase the vaccination rate from 1,500 until 10,000 a day,” he said.

Hajiji also said that Sabah would receive one million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 1.8 million doses of CanSino vaccine next month.

He was previously reported to have said that Sabah hoped to achieve herd immunity of 80 percent of its population by the end of the year to curb the spread of the disease in the state.

According to the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply website, 646,420 or 16.5 percent of Sabah’s population have received the first Covid-19 vaccine dose till yesterday.

Meanwhile, Hajiji said 84.25 percent or RM88,815,600 out of RM120,469,481 allocated under the Bantuan Sabah Prihatin (BSP) 3.0 that was announced on June 9 had been channelled to help residents in the state who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

- Bernama

We did our best, but mistakes proved costly - Pandelela

“We have done our very best, perhaps luck deserted us this time for a medal. We have no regrets,” national diving queen Pandelela Rinong said after the women's 10-metre synchronised platform event at the Tokyo Olympic Games today.

Pandelela, 28, said everything went smoothly during the warm-up session at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre, but during the actual event with Leong Mun Yee, each of them made a mistake which eventually proved costly.

“We went into action without any pressure as we are used to such conditions… but during the dive, it just went wrong slightly,” said the Sarawak-born diver.

Malaysians’ hopes of seeing Pandelela and Mun Yee contribute a medal took a dive after the pair could only complete the event in the eighth position.

They could only score 277.98 points and failed to defend the silver medal won by Malaysia in the Rio 2016 edition.

The gold medal was won by Chinese divers Chen Yuxi and Zhang Jiaqi who scored 363.78 points.

In the Rio 2016 edition, Pandelela won a silver medal in the same event with Cheong Jun Hoong.

To make up for today’s disappointment, Pandelela said she would go all out in the 10-metre individual platform event on Aug 4.

“I am going to learn from this setback and will motivate myself to train better in the next few days and to remain mentally strong.

“I need to be consistent in each of my dives if I want to make the top three,” she said.

Mun Yee, 36, meanwhile acknowledged that Tokyo would be her final Olympic Games after her participation in the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 editions.

She said the Covid-19 pandemic had to a certain extent affected preparations for the Tokyo Games.

"Our synchronisation was okay, but we both made mistakes in our dives and this affected our performance.

“Usually before we compete in the Olympics, we will have training camp overseas, but this time around we are unable to do so, and not many international competitions...(and) it affected our preparations slightly,” said Mun Yee.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican, who was present to witness the action, said the national diving squad’s challenge in Tokyo was far from over.

He has high hopes that diving was still capable of contributing a medal through Nur Dhabitah Sabri and Ng Yan Yee in the preliminary round of the women's individual 3m springboard event on Friday (July 30), and also Pandelela and Cheong Jun Hoong in the women's individual 10m platform preliminary round.

“There were many surprises today… (our) first two dives were very good, but unexpectedly, the divers from the United States and Mexico improved gradually, while the Chinese divers were in a class of their own.

“I hope Malaysians will remain patient and continue to support our athletes,” he said.

- Bernama

Whopping 35 localities nationwide come under EMCO

 Thirty-five localities, mostly in Sabah, will be placed under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) from July 29 to Aug 11 to contain the spread of Covid-19. - Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Thirty-five localities, mostly in Sabah, will be placed under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) from July 29 to Aug 11 to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the EMCO would affect 27 localities in Sabah, three in Sarawak, three in Johor, one in Kelantan and one in Pahang.

He said the government had decided to enforce EMCO at these areas following risk assessment presented by the Health Ministry.

There are 11 localities that would be affected by EMCO in Kota Kinabalu alone – Bandar Sierra, Kampung Unggun, Kampung Kalasanan, Lorong Cina 1, 2 & 3, Kampung Tebobon, Plaza Kingfisher, Polytechnic Commercial Centre, Kampung Pulau Penampang, Bandaran Segama, Taman Bukit Setia and Taman Putera Jaya.

Another eight areas would in Penampang – Country Height Fasa 1, Cyber City Fasa 1, Kampung Nabangkung, Kampung Ramayah, Taman Vista Kiranau, Kampung Sarapung Kolopis, Vista Minitod and Kampung Tuunon.

There are also four areas to be under EMCO in Beaufort – Kampung Lumadan, Kampung Kebulu Petani, Kampung Beaufort Selatan and Taman Arjuna.

The remaining three areas are in Tawau – Kampung Blok 31, Kampung Tanjung Batu Darat and Kampung Inderasabah as well as Tinabau estate living quarters in Kinabatangan.

In Kuching, affected localities are Kampung Jawa Batu 12, Kampung Bumbok and Kampung Telaga Air.

Meanwhile, in the peninsula, three areas affected in Johor are Taman Bukit Perdana construction site workers' quarters in Kluang, Kampung Pertanian and Kampung Separa in Kulai.

The remaining two areas are Ladang Kerilla, Tanah Merah in Kelantan and Felda Jengka 7, Maran, Pahang.

Hishammuddin said the existing EMCO Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) would be enforced.

He also announced that the EMCO in PPR Lintas Sibuga, Sandakan; Kampung Telaga and Kampung Pituru in Pitas, Sabah; Felda Jengka 8, Jerantut; Kampung Jagoi Duyoh, Kuching, will be lifted as scheduled on July 28, while the one in Taman Samudera, Gombak, would end tomorrow.

On SOP compliance operations, he said the task force led by the police yesterday held 80,341 inspections and snap checks nationwide.

"The inspections included checks at 1,736 factories, 15,572 business premises, 990 construction sites and 344 workers' living quarters.

"Due to SOP violations, 60 premises involving 12 factories, 40 business premises and eight construction sites were ordered to shut down," he said.

Hishammuddin said at the same time, 465 individuals were detained for violating the SOP.

Of the total, 438 were issued compounds and 27 were remanded.

On Op Benteng, he said 14 undocumented migrants and four land vehicles were seized during Op Benteng and 890 roadblocks were set up nationwide yesterday.

On Malaysian returnees, Hishammuddin said 380 arrived at international entry points yesterday and all were instructed to undergo mandatory quarantine at designated centres.

There are 9,280 returnees still being quarantined at 83 hotels as well as 11 public training institutes and private education institutes.

Hishammuddin has been tasked to issue security updates starting today after taking over the portfolio from Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. - NST

Police hunt for Covid-positive detainee who escaped while being transferred to quarantine centre

 In the incident at 5.45pm yesterday, Lo Hin Khiong, 38, was being taken to the quarantine centre using a Sabah Health Department vehicle from Penampang police station.  - Pic courtesy of PDRM

KOTA KINABALU: Police are hunting for a Covid-positive detainee who escaped while being sent to the Likas quarantine centre.

In the incident at 5.45pm yesterday, Lo Hin Khiong, 38, was being taken to the quarantine centre using a Sabah Health Department vehicle from Penampang police station.

However, he fled when the vehicle was stopped at a traffic light junction near the Likas Sports Complex.

District police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Zaidi Abdullah said Lo was detained by a Penampang police headquarters team on Friday to assist investigations into a burglary.

He said the man was remanded for four days before being released on police bail after being confirmed positive for Covid-19.

During the incident, the man was sitting in the back passenger seat when the Health Department vehicle came to a stop at the traffic light. He then opened the door and fled.

"Efforts to track down the suspect are underway and investigation papers have been opened in accordance with Section 269 of the Penal Code for actions likely to spread the infection of a disease.

"Anyone who has information about the suspect is asked to come forward and channel it to the Health Ministry and the police to assist in further investigations," he said. - NST

Dewan Rakyat Speaker denies rejecting bid by four Umno MPs to sit with independents

 Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun issued a statement this evening ‘staunchly’ denying the allegation. He claimed no such application had been made as suggested by the report. — Bernama pic

Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun issued a statement this evening ‘staunchly’ denying the allegation. He claimed no such application had been made as suggested by the report. — Bernama pic



KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun today rubbished a news report that he rejected applications from four Umno lawmakers who wanted to sit with independent MPs in Parliament.

The allegation was reported by the website Malaysia Dateline, which claimed the four MPs had formally asked that they be placed alongside other Independents. The report further alleged that the request had been rejected a week before the ongoing Special Sitting that began yesterday.

According to the news portal, one of the MPs who purportedly made the request was Bagan Datok MP and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Azhar issued a statement this evening “staunchly” denying the allegation. He claimed no such application had been made as suggested by the report.

“I would like to staunchly deny the news report and would like to state that I had never received such requests from the said members of Parliament,” he said.

“I consider the report a lie and defamation against myself,” he added.

The Malaysia Dateline report, written in Bahasa Malaysia and titled “Zahid and three other MPs also requested to sit with the Independent bloc”, was published at around 2pm today.

Citing a party insider, the report named Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (Pontian), Datuk Ahmad Nazlan Idris (Jerantut) dan Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub (Machang), as the other three Umno applicants.

Yesterday, Gua Musang MP Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had formally asked to be seated among other Independents, effectively becoming the first Umno federal lawmaker to do so following the party’s decision to retract its support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

The formal request was stated in an official letter to Azhar dated July 26 and sighted by Malay Mail.

In the letter, Tengku Razaleigh outlined his intention to not be associated with other members of Parliament seated with the ruling bloc where his current seat is located. - malaymail

Health Minister to revisit Klang hospital following allegations of dire conditions

 

PETALING JAYA: Following claims that conditions at a Klang hospital are "dismal" – with some patients allegedly not getting food – Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba says he will be making an unscheduled visit there with Charles Santiago.

Santiago (PH-Klang) had raised the issue of limited resources at Covid-19 hospitals in the Klang Valley, including the Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) in Klang, to the attention of Dr Adham and suggested that they be given an emergency allocation of RM20mil each.

"This is because there is a lack of ambulances, equipment, medicine, extension of new ICUs, appointment of new doctors and more," said Santiago in Parliament on Tuesday (July 27).

Santiago also said he had seen tweets about the situation at HTAR.

One of the tweets, he said was from a family member of a patient under quarantine at the hospital, who claimed that dinner was not served to patients at his zone on Monday (July 26) night.

He claimed he had just seen another tweet which made a similar claim.

"This shows there is a serious lack of funds at HTAR. You have to give the money urgently," said Santiago.

Dr Adham replied that the Health Ministry would be assessing each of the hospitals' need for extra allocations and added that he had visited HTAR recently.

"I went there two weeks ago and we also did repurposing of emergency department for Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients.

"But I will go there again – maybe I will go there with you," said Dr Adham, referring to Santiago, who replied: "That would be very nice."

However, Santiago pointed out that when Dr Adham and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin visited HTAR, everything looked orderly but as soon as they left, lines of Covid-19 patients waiting to be admitted began to build up again.

To this, Dr Adham replied: "We won't tell them before we go."

Dr Adham also told Parliament that the field hospital in Labuan will be closed and set up in Melaka, which is facing an outbreak of Covid-19 cases.

He said that Labuan, which has seen a drop in infections following high vaccination rates, no longer needed the field hospital.

"In Melaka, we have already set up 10 modular intensive care units (ICU) and they are in operation, I paid a visit there last weekend," said Dr Adham (BN-Tenggara) in a reply to Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka). - Star

Pembatalan Ordinan Darurat oleh kerajaan tak berperlembagaan, kata Tok Mat

 

Mohamad Hasan berkata, tindakan dilakukan kerajaan PN sangat merisaukan kerana jika dibiarkan berterusan akan mengakibatkan Malaysia menuju ke kancah ‘stealth authoritarianism’.

PETALING JAYA: Timbalan Presiden Umno Mohamad Hasan menyifatkan pembatalan Ordinan Darurat oleh kerajaan sebagai satu perbuatan tidak berperlembagaan.

Beliau berkata, ini kerana pembentangan Ordinan Darurat dijadualkan untuk dibentangkan dalam sidang khas Parlimen bagaimanapun dibatalkan secara tiba-tiba.

“Semua dilakukan tanpa ketelusan. Tiada pengumuman rasmi, tiada pembentangan di Parlimen, tiada makluman dari Istana Negara dan pewartaan.

“Parlimen bukan medan persendaan. Kerajaan PN menggunakan Parlimen hanya untuk memenuhi kepentingan mereka dan bukan kepentingan nasional,” katanya di Facebook.

Mohamad berkata, tindakan dilakukan kerajaan PN itu sangat merisaukan kerana jika dibiarkan berterusan akan mengakibatkan Malaysia menuju ke kancah “stealth authoritarianism”.

“Ia adalah keadaan di mana dalam waktu krisis, kerajaan menggunakan undang-undang mengikut citarasa mereka. Di kala mereka wajar lebih telus, mereka melakukan sebaliknya. Apa lagi bila mereka menggunakan krisis untuk melemahkan pelbagai instrumen semak dan imbang.

“Atau menggunakan krisis untuk mengukuhkan lagi kuasa eksekutif dan bukannya memberdayakan kepercayaan nasional melalui pelbagai kerjasama demokratik rentas politik dan ideologi,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, Ordinan Darurat dilaksanakan tanpa dibentangkan di Parlimen, tidak didebatkan dan pelaksanaannya tidak dapat disemak dan diimbang oleh Parlimen.

“Pembatalannya juga hanya dimaklumkan di Parlimen. Sejak bila Parlimen hanya menjadi ‘rubber stamp’ kepada keputusan Kabinet?

“Umno telah melakukan tugasnya senafas dengan desakan rakyat. Menentang perisytiharan darurat, mendesak pembatalannya, mengembalikan persidangan Parlimen dan mengembalikan fungsi Perlembagaan,” katanya.

Mohamad berkata, apa yang jelas, pendirian Umno yang konsisten ini telah meletakkan kerajaan PN dalam kedudukannya yang terdesak dan sangat rapuh dan pembatalan Ordinan Darurat membuktikan kebenaran pendirian Umno bahawa darurat dari awal lagi adalah salah dan tidak perlu.

Katanya, Umno ternyata betul bahawa menggantung Parlimen dan melumpuhkan Perlembagaan bukan caranya untuk menguruskan krisis dan natijahnya Parlimen mula bersidang.

“Pendirian Umno juga benar bahawa menyelesaikan krisis ekonomi dan kesihatan negara memerlukan penglibatan semua dan bukan hanya tindakan eksekutif. Semua ini meyakinkan Umno bahawa ia telah jadi suara pencerahan kepada Malaysia yang sedang gelap dan malap,” katanya. - FMT