AN MP has once against launched a fresh tirade against the Health Ministry (MOH) and its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, this time alleging that there were “unseen hands” manipulating the data on deaths and COVID-19 cases in the country.
According to Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, 31,696 people (as at Jan 10) in the country had succumbed unnecessarily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, further noting it that this was merely the figure that was reported and published.
“It would be even more heartbreaking to add in the numbers that were unreported. This high mortality rate is not something we can deny, excuse or normalise.
“How can we continue on like this? How many more lives must be sacrificed before our ministers really start to prevent more deaths?
“It does not take a genius to know that data on deaths and confirmed cases are being manipulated by some unseen hands,” he alleged in a Facebook post.
The Progressive Democratic Party president went on to recall how a friend who tested positive for COVID-19 had asked the Health Ministry for assistance only to be told to simply self-isolate at home.
“He doesn’t even need an isolation bracelet! He was told that he doesn’t have to go to the hospital, only to do regular self-tests and only contact the ministry if his situation worsens,” Tiong remarked.
“This is nothing less than leaving the confirmed patients to their own devices. Is this what you call a successful pandemic prevention strategy?
“What happens if a patient refuses to stay put and goes out to the public? If this kind of strategy continues, is it really worth it to keep the Health Minister around?”
Lockdown not a viable solution
On Sunday (Jan 9) Tiong criticised Health director-general (DG) Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah for not learning enough from China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This had led to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar clarifying on the same day that the Government’s strategy to contain the pandemic was to implement mitigation strategies which differed from China’s “Zero COVID” strategy, which led to total lockdowns in areas with only a few positive cases.
Khairy went on to add that Malaysia could not afford – in the economic and welfare aspects – to implement a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Tiong, who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, took to Khairy to task over the matter, claiming that the latter did not answer his questions.
“I was truly taken aback when, instead of responding to my questions, Khairy simply said Malaysia is not able to use lockdowns and zero-tolerance strategies and resort to defending shoe-polishers,” he commented.
“I have merely urged the Health Ministry to at least communicate with China to adopt the appropriate and effective portions of their strategy to reduce our mortality rates of COVID-19 in Malaysia, rather than dressing up the mortality rates to justify the ministry’s strategies.”
Tiong further questioned the effectiveness of the lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
“How many lockdowns have been imposed in the past two years? What other strategies does the DG have? Khairy was also part of the Cabinet at that time and he is well aware that even then, there were other ministers who had questioned the DG on the pandemic prevention strategies,” he noted.
“China’s lockdowns were successful almost immediately but Malaysia was flooded with more and more cases even with lockdowns after lockdowns and this has made us an international laughing stock!” – Jan 12, 2022