Use RM35m hall construction allocation for Johor healthcare facilities instead, Kluang MP says

Jerry Choong
·2-min read
Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi said the prime minister should spend the RM35 million originally allocated to build three multipurpose halls in Johor to upgrade the state’s capability to handle Covid-19 cases. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi said the prime minister should spend the RM35 million originally allocated to build three multipurpose halls in Johor to upgrade the state’s capability to handle Covid-19 cases. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should spend the RM35 million originally allocated to build three multipurpose halls in Johor to upgrade the state’s capability to handle Covid-19 cases, said Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi today.

She said the Enche’ Besar Hajjah Khalsom Hospital in her constituency has served as a Covid-19 hospital since last year, but its 10th floor remains vacant without any hospital beds.

“I was informed by the hospital previously that it is possible to install 38 beds with full equipment at the cost of RM38 million. Our Malaysian hospitals are overwhelmed and need urgent capacity upgrade,” Wong said in a statement.

Since the hospital’s conversion into a Covid-19 treatment facility, she said other patients in Kluang have been diverted to the nearest Mengkibol Health Clinic, which was designed to cater for a maximum of just 300 patients a day.

“However it had to serve more than 800 patients a day even before the virus outbreak, with the situation much more dire after March 2020.

“Though I am glad the PM explained himself promptly over the viral letter, I would also like to advise him to spend the amount 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,” Wong said.

She added that China has recently managed to finish the construction of a 1,500-room hospital in five days for Covid-19 patients, and suggested that Malaysia also hold similar priorities.

“There is a proposal to build another Type Three health clinic 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, and I hope the PM can make his choice wisely,” Wong said.

The viral letter last week was purportedly from the Implementation Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department to the Works director-general, in which RM35 million was to be used to construct a multipurpose hall in Muhyiddin’s constituency of Pagoh.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement yesterday that the letter is false and malicious, and that the funds were actually intended to go to the construction of three halls in Johor, including one in Tangkak for RM13 million, and two in Muar for a total of RM22.4 million.

The PMO also added that the contracts were awarded via a tender process supervised by the Finance Ministry and not through direct negotiations.

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