TAWAU: Sri Tanjong Warisan Assemblyman Justin Wong slammed the health authorities for keeping Tawau residents in the dark on what could potentially be a life-threatening problem in the district as they remained silent even after up to 80 diarrhoea cases daily were reported here over the past week.
He said the problem started on September 26 and had left the locals perplexed.
Despite that, the health authority kept mum on the issue, prompting residents here to conclude that their piped water supply is the main source of the problem.
Justin also said many residents have complained of dark-brown-coloured water from the tap around the same time diarrhoea cases surged drastically in the district.
“Locals took to social media to highlight this problem and it had gone viral.
“I have contacted the Tawau Health Office for clarification, but was told that they need to wait statement from the Sabah Health Department’s director on this issue.
“I have also contacted the Sabah Water Department to get the water sampling results conducted recently, but they remained tight-lipped even after over a week,” Justin lamented in a statement.
As he could not get the official data from public health authorities, his investigations found out that about 80 diarrhoea cases including children were reported daily by 2 private clinics here from September 26 to date.
Justin said it is completely unacceptable for the authorities to keep people in the dark about the real situation, as this issue involves their safety and health.
He said concerned residents resorted to buying mineral water for their daily consumption.
“It is only too peculiar for people residing in different areas to be experiencing similar symptoms.
“The people are waiting for an official announcement from the government, but until today, the Sabah Health Department or Health Ministry remained silent,” he said.
The affected areas were said to be Sin On and Bunga Raya as well as students from three primary schools here.
Justin urged the health authorities to handle the matter with accountability and
transparency and be held responsible for their inactions.
“Tawau people deserve to know what is going on to enable them to take the necessary precautionary steps,” he added.