KUCHING, Jan 12 ― Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has alleged that Covid-19 data on deaths and confirmed cases were “being manipulated by unseen hands” in his ongoing tirade on the handling of the pandemic by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Progressive Democratic Party president claimed in a statement that after a friend who tested positive for the virus had asked the Health Ministry (MoH) for assistance, he was simply told to self-isolate at home.
“He doesn’t even need an isolation bracelet! He was told that he doesn’t have to go to the hospital, only to do regular self-tests and only contact the ministry if his situation worsens.
“This is nothing less than leaving the confirmed patients to their own devices. Is this what you call a successful pandemic prevention strategy? What happens if a patient refuses to stay put and goes out to the public? If this kind of strategy continues, is this Minister of Health really worth keeping around?” he said.
Tiong, who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, demanded Khairy explain the disproportionate reaction to China’s Covid-19 vaccine and containment strategies.
“There is a lot of embarrassment towards China-designed vaccines. People can be vaccinated with vaccines from other countries for free, but why are they required to pay for Chinese vaccines? Is it true that some people are benefiting from the purchase of Western vaccines as rumoured?
“How many vaccine doses has the MoH purchased in total since Khairy took office? How much does it cost in total? What is the purchase price of each vaccine?” he asked.
Reacting to Khairy’s response to his call to learn from China’s Covid-19 response, Tiong said he did not ask Khairy to ape China’s lockdown strategies in tackling the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.
“On the contrary, I explicitly stated that a lockdown will not be viable because our people are already suffering. I was truly taken aback when, instead of responding to my questions, Khairy simply said Malaysia is not able to use lockdowns and zero-tolerance strategies and resort to defending shoe-polishers.
“I have merely urged the Ministry of Health to at least communicate with China to adopt the appropriate and effective portions of their strategy to reduce our mortality rates of Covid-19 in Malaysia, rather than dressing up the mortality rates to justify MoH’s strategies.
“In terms of medicine, Chinese and Western medicine have come up with a range of brands that allow people to choose, instead of being blindly forced to take whatever the MoH peddles out,” he said.
He said that if the strategy to prevent the spread of Omicron is truly effective, there would not be any local transmissions.
“Did this variant take a plane and jump off by itself into Malaysia?” he asked, slamming Khairy and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah for doing a poor job at fighting the pandemic.
Since the outbreak of this pandemic, he said a total of 31,696 people have died unnecessarily and when compared to Malaysia’s 32 million population, the number should be worrying.
“As far as I know, these only cover reported and published data. It would be even more heartbreaking to add in those numbers that were unreported. This high mortality rate is not something we can deny, excuse, or normalise. How could we continue on like this? How many more lives must be sacrificed before our ministers really start to prevent more deaths?” he questioned.
Tiong reminded Khairy not to wait for MPs to formally table a bill calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to thoroughly investigate the situation.
“This is what the people want and deserve to know,” he said. ― Borneo Post