Sabah so-called Ministry of Health did not help in combating Covid-19

The so-called Sabah Health Ministry did not help combat the Covid-19 pandemic when the pandemic broke out in February this year. When the pandemic first struck, it was treated as a tourism issue and not a health issue. The then tourism minister was at the driver’s seat instead of the health minister. Ex-Tourism Minister, Datuk Christina Liew, who is now pretending to be disappointed that there is no health ministry, should not forget that.

In fact, that health ministry only added confusion to the frantic efforts to contain and combat the pandemic.

People should be reminded that, at the time, there were three separate sources of information and directions. The so-called Ministry of Health was not one of them.

One was the Command Centre headed by the State Secretary. Another was the federal Medical Services Director. The third one was the National Security Council (MKN) giving daily updates by the (federal) Minister of Defence. The so-called Sabah Ministry of Health had no role to play.

As proof, the then so-called minister of health, Frankie Poon, had excused himself in a news reports (www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/03/577758/sabah-minister-clears-air-handling-covid-19-state.

Newspaper report in the Borneo Post dated 25th March 2020 – “Only director can reveal Covid-19 info in Sabah” and Daily Express heading “Minister tells why info slow in coming” (Photos attached)

The outbursts by an Assistant Minister (Datuk Jimmy Wong Sze Phin) lamenting the closure of oil palm plantations and jetties was the tip of the iceberg of the chaos besetting in the then Warisan government. RM900 million assistance was announced but where have this RM900 million gone to?

During the election campaign, the then Chief Minister insisted that the Covid-19 patients be allowed to come out and vote. His colleague, Datuk Mohameddin Ketapi, a former federal minister, claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic is a hoax that will disappear after the elections.

During the entire period, there was silence from the so-called Sabah Minister of Health who is from Sandakan, where piles of rubbish are uncollected, creating health risks. So, let’s drop the political talk and stop pretending that the current wave of the pandemic would be solved if there were a Sabah Ministry of Health.

Look at the Sabah government website for the functions of the Ministry of Health.

This is what the so-called Ministry of Health had under its portfolio – welfare (with old folks homes), PEMADAM, Women’s Council. The Ministry headed by Frankie Poon had nothing to do with medical or health. In fact, public health comes under the Ministry of Local Government, which is now headed by Datuk Masidi Manjun in the new government.

The Warisan government have been misleading the Sabah people for 2 years that there was a Sabah Ministry of Health.

Jamain sarudin
SAPP Youth Chief
Kota Kinabalu, Friday, 16 October 2020

Author: Johnny Chin