IPOH, Jan 6 — Perak state lawmaker Chong Zhemin today chided MCA for challenging him to make good on his RM150 million misappropriation accusation against Barisan Nasional (BN) over a hospital project in Kampar.
The Keranji assemblyman told MCA that the state legislative assembly transcripts prove he was not shooting from the hip as claimed, but that a planned medical facility for the town was cancelled after the Health Ministry was told that a similar private initiative would be built near the proposed location to serve the public.
“In the state assembly hansard, it was stated the Health Ministry has been informed of the proposed non-profit private hospital, which is approximately 4km from the initial proposed government hospital by the ministry.
“Considering the proposal by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar), the ministry did not approve the initial Kampar government hospital,” the DAP elected representative said in a statement.
He attached a copy of the hansard dated November 27, 2017 — when BN still ran the Perak government — highlighting a portion concerning a government-private joint venture to build a public hospital to serve Kampar town in 2014.
Chong said that Perak MCA chairman Mah Hang Soon, who was then state health executive councillor, had told the state assembly that the state government cancelled its public-private hospital venture after being given assurances that a non-profit, private one would be built nearby.
However, he noted there were gaps in the BN narrative regarding the hospital project that he insisted supported his misappropriation claim against MCA.
“The BN government announced the construction of the Kampar government hospital in 2012 with an allocation of RM150 million, but Utar only announced the construction of a private hospital in 2014.
“It is unreasonable for the BN government to cancel the federal government hospital project just because of the Utar private hospital and at the same time affecting the people’s medical welfare,” he said.
Chong demanded again that MCA explain what happened to the RM150 million that was announced and approved in 2012 by then health minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Earlier today, Perak MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau chief Low Guo Nan dared Chong to file complaints with the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission instead of just alleging that MCA had misappropriated RM150 million in public funds.
Low said Chong’s allegation that MCA had “hijacked” the allocation in order to build a private hospital with the collaboration of MCA-linked Utar to be baseless.
Asked if he would file a report with the two law enforcement bodies, Chong said MCA was free to so if it wished, but he wanted no part of what he called its “monkey political ploy”.