KOTA BARU, March 2 — Do not blame neighbouring countries for the spike in HIV cases among heterosexuals and homosexuals in Kelantan, says state Umno liaison deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub. 

He said this when commenting on a statement yesterday by Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah that one reason for the increase in HIV cases in Kelantan was its proximity to Thailand.

Ahmad Jazlan, who is also rural and regional development deputy minister and Machang MP, described Mohd Amar’s statement as merely rhetoric and an unfounded allegation.

“I want to ask the deputy Mentri Besar something...if he lives next door to a robber, and his son steals, would he blame the neighbour or is it because he did not bring his son up well?

“So, don’t (the people should not) try to look pious, (or) religious but when asked a question, we (tend to) twist our words,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the Kota Baru Kolej Poly-Tech MARA (KPTM) Hostel Open Day and the Health Education Outreach Programme at Lembah Sireh here today.

Also present were Kota Baru KPTM director Mohd Sahidi Yaakob and Kelantan Health Department director Datuk Ahmad Razin Ahmad Mahir.

Last Tuesday, Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat was quoted as saying the number of HIV cases among heterosexual persons rose from 40 in 2015 to 50 last year.

The number of HIV cases among homosexuals in the state increased from 10 in 2015 to 20 last year.

Ahmad Jazlan said the state government was responsible in this matter and should not leave it to the Federal Government to arrest the problem.

“We (the federal government) have conducted many awareness programmes, using various approaches but the state government must (also) be seen to take action and not just talk,” he said. — Bernama