PKR claims that billions of ringgit that could be used to complete hospital constructions nationwide have instead been channelled into masking BN scandals.PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have been cheated out of multi-billion ringgit hospital projects because the funds were instead used to cover up BN’s scandals, PKR claimed today.
The party’s consumer bureau chief Mohd Yahya Mat Sahri said BN had channelled RM153,476,989,353 worth of taxpayers’ money towards covering up more than 50 cases, among them the Port Klang Free Zone scandal, the purchase of government-linked company Sime Darby’s assets, and submarine commissions.
As a result, the construction and renovation of numerous hospitals nationwide have stuttered for years; many sites comprise of a solitary construction sign, with nary a hospital in sight, said Mohd Yahya.
“If it weren’t for those scandals, then there is no doubt that all hospitals in Malaysia would have a new look and would be able to provide the best medical services to consumers and the rakyat,” he told reporters at a press conference here.
“Instead, many of the hospitals that BN had promised to construct or turn into new hospital complexes remain promises uttered only to garner votes in elections.”
As examples, he cited the Tanjung Karang Hospital in Kuala Selangor, the Parit Buntar hospital in Perak, the Rembau Hospital in Negeri Sembilan, the Bera Pahang hospital, two hospitals in Kedah and three hospitals in Sarawak.
“A new complex was meant to be built at the Tanjung Karang Hospital costing more than RM100 million. News of it spread since before the 10th general election in 1999, yet nothing has happened.
“The sign they put up years ago has now worn out and will surely be knocked over very soon by the cows that constantly stray into the site.
“The rakyat and consumers of Tanjung Karang continue to wait and wonder when the new hospital will be completed, because the current hospital’s facilities are not sufficient,” said Mohd Yahya.
He said the people of Parit Buntar, Perak, were facing a similar fate . Former Perak Menteri Besar Tajol Rosli Ghazali had announced prior to the 2008 general election the construction of a new hospital costing more than RM150 million.
The proposed hospital was meant to replace an older one that had operated since 1931, yet no action has been taken since the announcement, said Mohd Yahya.
“In fact, the promise continues to float around; Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak along with Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir have once again announced the construction of the Parit Buntar hospital.”
Sultan unhappy as well
Meanwhile, patients anticipating the construction of the RM100 million Rembau Hospital to begin eventually passed away during their long wait, and the hospital remains incomplete, said Mohd Yahya.
“This project was brought up in parliament and the state assembly, yet we received all sorts of answers.
“One answer was that the location will be changed, one replied that the land takeover remains unresolved, another highlighted the issue of land compensation, one said that they still do not have an approved budget,” said Yahya.
Strangely, in Pahang, the Bera hospital construction project worth RM60 million was officiated twice in the span of two years, yet the project remains incomplete since first announced in 2008, said Mohd Yahya.
Meanwhile, he said, the Sultan of Kedah himself had expressed his disappointment over the plans to construct two hospital in Pendang and Bandar Bahru, which remain unfinished.
“In Sarawak, the people await the emergence of a new hospital in Petra Jaya worth RM500 million..,the Sri Aman hospital project worth RM200 million to replace a hospital that has been operating since 1957. The same goes for the Lawas Sarawak project worth RM121 million…” said Yahya.
“In Terengganu it is the same, the project involving the construction of the Dungun hospital that was promised such a long time ago…has not been realised,” he added.
More promises unfulfilled
Several incongruities surrounding the projects had caused the delays and cost the rakyat millions of ringgit, added Mohd Yahya.
Chief among them were the materials and tools worth RM11.64 million imported without the International Trade and Industry Ministry’s green light, said Mohd Yahya, which had incurred a minimum loss of RM2.11 million.
He also zeroed in on the negotiators involved in the project; he claimed that the recruitment took 66 months and they were paid their fee of RM0.75 million before the contract was even signed.
Meanwhile, the construction quality was low, he said.
“The PKR consumer bureau is very disappointed with what consumers and the rakyat must go through. They are supposed to be given good and sufficient healthcare, yet it still remains far from reality and has even turned into a nightmare,” said Mohd Yahya.
“BN has also failed to fulfil its promise of providing a ratio of two hospital beds for every 1,000 citizens. We need 60,000 hospital beds for some 30 million people, but so far only 34,794 or 58% of beds are available.”
He urged the government to take immediate action over this so that the public’s healthcare was not jeapordised.