Reinstate Sabah’s Very Own Health Ministry To Combat COVID-19 Efficiently

KOTA KINABALU: The reinstatement of Sabah’s very own Health Ministry, as done during the Warisan era, is vital to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samuel Wong who is Warisan Kota Kinabalu Branch Chief on Tuesday said, this is important to avoid conflicting announcements and SOPs in future.

“Sabah needs a sole correspondent in charge of combatting COVID-19, because the current arrangement has resulted in conflicting announcements.”

For the record, Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun who is Sabah’s Local Government and Housing Minister, is also the de facto COVID-19 Minister for Sabah.

“Will Sabah’s efforts to combat COVID-19 be diluted because Masidi is too busy solving sewerage problems in Keningau, rubbish collection problems in Sandakan, people’s housing problems in Kota Kinabalu and so forth?”

“Just look at what is happening. Masidi told Sabahans that MITI’s letter is not needed for those in essential services.”

“But is he aware that in reality, bakery shop operators, coffee shop workers, farmers and so forth are being stopped at roadblocks?”

“Sabahans in the essential services sector are worried to go to work, despite being told that MITI’s letter is not needed.”

“Is Masidi also aware that hospitals and quarantine centres are facing a shortage of supply of clean drinking water?”

“A number of patients and officers told me, the sudden surge in people admitted has caused hospitals and quarantine centres not being able to supply sufficient clean drinking water.”

“But does Masidi have the time to go and check out and know all these ground issues?”

Samuel added, Masidi is not the only one in crosshairs. He cited a few other Ministers giving conflicting statements.

“Just recently, even the Works Minister, Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin has decided to join the fray. He issued a statement telling Putrajaya to allow Sabah purchase its own vaccine.”

“Works Minister talking about vaccines? Very weird.”

“And just two days ago, the announcement regarding operation hours created a lot of confusion among the rakyat. Is it 5pm? 6pm? Or 7pm?”

“Sabah’s National Security Council (NSC) is headed by the Finance Minister who is also the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.”

“So everyone is talking about different things.”

“One minute the Housing Minister says this, another minute the Works Minister says something else, then the Finance Minister makes a different decision!”

Samuel also put to task the GRS administration, questioning where is Sabah headed to.

“Sabah needs a clear direction and a game plan. But what is our game plan to bend the curve? What is our exit strategy to economic recovery? Any aid packages to cushion from this MCO3.0 impact? What is our long term ‘New Normal Plan’?

“Nobody knows because we are all being turned round and round like roundabouts and roti canai!”

“When will we see an end to all of these?”

Moving forward, Samuel urged GRS to reinstate Sabah’s very own Health Ministry, as per during the Warisan era.

“The leaders in Warisan foresaw the importance of Sabah having it’s own Health Ministry. Not only to handle COVID-19, but also many health issues down the road as health is a very important aspect of human lives.”

“That is why between 2018 to 2020, Sabah had our own Health Ministry and Health Minister. Unfortunately, it was abolished by GRS.”

“The reinstated Sabah Health Minister should be the sole person responsible in making announcements on daily cases, SOPs, business operation hours, vaccine procurement, vaccine registration and so forth.”

“The reinstated Sabah Health Minister should also be responsible of liasing between the different Ministries in Sabah and liasing with national level committees.”

“Very importantly, the reinstated Sabah Health Minister should engage with agencies, NGOs and NGIs to create awarenes and conduct vaccine registration drives, especially in the rural areas with no internet access.”

“May God save Sabah from destruction.”