Health Ministry’s statement proves claim that MCA hijacked govt hospital project, says DAP man

Keranji assemblyman Chong Zhemin speaks to reporters during a press conference at Hotel Casuarina Meru, Ipoh March 27, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Keranji assemblyman Chong Zhemin speaks to reporters during a press conference at Hotel Casuarina Meru, Ipoh March 27, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Jan 8 — Perak state lawmaker Chong Zhemin today said the Health Ministry’s statement that RM150 million announced by the then Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai in 2012 was never disbursed does not contradict his stand that MCA hijacked the government hospital project to build Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) private hospital.

Instead, the Keranji assemblyman said that the statement proves that MCA has never been serious in finding a suitable land to build a government hospital in Kampar from 2012 to 2017.

“If the proposed land is not suitable, why can’t MCA look for an alternate land which is suitable?

“After the change of government in 2018, the Pakatan Harapan government managed to identify a new suitable land in Kampung Changkat Baru within a short span of three months and revived the Kampar government hospital plan,” he said in a statement.

“This proves that MCA is not sincere to build a government hospital in Kampar,” he added.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Health Ministry has yet to receive the RM150 million allocation meant for a new hospital in Kampar.

The Health Ministry said that the Finance Ministry has yet to approve the disbursement of the allocation, quashing the allegation made by Chong that the funds had been misappropriated by MCA.

However, Chong today said that the fact that Barisan Nasional (BN) government cancelled the government hospital and cooperate with UTAR to build a private hospital substantiated his claim.

“In 2012, Liow had announced that BN will build a government hospital in Taman Kampar Putra, Kampar. However, after BN cancelled the project in 2016 due to unsuitable land condition, the then deputy health minister Hilmi Yahya announced in 2017 that BN will cooperate with UTAR to build a private hospital to save cost.

“In 2017, Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, the former Perak Exco in charge of health portfolio also stated in the Perak state assembly that the BN government cancelled the government hospital project after the Health Ministry was informed of the proposed non-profit private hospital by UTAR,” he said.

“This proves that BN government intended to use the allocation that was never disbursed to cooperate with UTAR to build a private hospital,” he added.

Chong also said that all his statements are based on BN’s then minister, deputy minister and exco’s news report and statements.

“I stand by my claims. 96 hours have passed since Dr Mah issued the 48-hour ultimatum to me. MCA has issued another fresh 48-hour notice to me which is a joke. MCA should stop talking and take action.

“I am ready to prove the truth and reveal the truth in court so that the people can clearly understand the whole issue of Kampar hospital,” he said.

On Jan 4, Dr Mah demanded Chong issue an apology if he could not provide strong evidence and threatened to take legal action if it was not issued within 48 hours.

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