SUNGAI BULOH, Nov 7 – Paya Jaras state assemblyman Mohd Khairuddin Othman yesterday complained about the Paya Jaras public health clinic here diverting patients to other government clinics further away.
Khairuddin from PKR, who was stumping for Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Sungai Buloh candidate Ramanan Ramakrishnan during a ceramah at Paya Jaras last night, claimed that this has been happening for many years.
“Why has Klinik Kesihatan Paya Jaras, which is just 200 to 300 metres from here, been prohibiting patients from going there?” Khairuddin said in his speech at the site of Pasar Malam Paya Jaras.
“They have to go to Kuang clinic instead, which is further away.”
When approached after the campaign event, Khairuddin told CodeBlue that he has received many complaints from Paya Jaras residents over the years about being diverted from Klinik Kesihatan Paya Jaras to other public health clinics, including Klinik Kesihatan Kuang that is more than 5km away.
“There’s no public transport and taking a taxi is quite expensive,” he said.
Khairuddin, who said the Paya Jaras public health clinic is typically very crowded, suspected understaffing to be the reason for the facility to divert patients, as he urged former Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is contesting Sungai Buloh, to clarify the issue.
Khairuddin – during his stump for Ramanan at the campaign event where attendees overflowed to outside the marquee tent – told voters that he and Kota Damansara state assemblyman Shatiri Mansor (also from PKR) would continue upholding their welfare if Ramanan was elected Sungai Buloh MP.
“If Khairy Jamaluddin or Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) candidate wins, it is not certain that there will be cooperation between the state and the representative from Parliament. Who will face difficulties? It will be the people,” Khairuddin warned voters.
PH currently controls the Selangor state government headed by Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari. The coalition decided not to dissolve the state legislative assembly to coincide with the 15th general election, choosing instead to only go for dissolution next year when its term ends.
At the ceramah, Khairuddin also accused the PN government of failing to control the Covid-19 epidemic well. Malaysia’s Covid-19 death rate is among the highest in Asia per capita, with nearly 36,500 fatalities officially recorded as of yesterday.
Ramanan, fielded by PKR, pointed out that Khairy did not object to the emergency declaration made by PN chairman and then-Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ramanan also criticised Khairy for not taking any action when contract doctors across the country held a strike in July last year, even though the health minister then was Dr Adham Baba, not Khairy, who was then the science, technology and innovation minister.
“Look at the state of our hospitals. Now that he’s thrown here to be a candidate, your only last choice, he wants to fix them. Why didn’t he do it earlier?” Ramanan said at the ceramah.
Contrary to Ramanan’s allegations, Khairy had undertaken multiple hospital and clinic projects before the dissolution of Parliament last October 10 and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) subsequent candidate announcement on November 1.
BN sent Khairy to Sungai Buloh, a PH stronghold, from Rembau, a seat he had held for three terms that would be contested instead by Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan in the 15th general election.
The list of hospital and clinic upgrades launched by Khairy during his one-year plus tenure as health minister includes a new heart centre at Serdang Hospital in Selangor; an operating theatre at Bera Hospital in Pahang; upgrades of the Semera and Sadong Jaya public health clinics, as well as Simunjan Hospital in Sarawak; upgrade of Rembau Hospital in Negeri Sembilan from a district to minor specialist hospital; and turning Cyberjaya Hospital into a fully public facility, among others.
Khairy also announced last September that the Health Ministry has launched a proactive task force to monitor the development of health care facilities in 13 “sick” projects involving public clinics, hospitals, and staff living quarters.
“Let’s remove the vaccine minister from Parliament!” Ramanan declared at the end of his ceramah.
Besides Ramanan and Khairy, the Sungai Buloh parliamentary seat will be contested by Mohd Ghazali Md Hamin (PN-PAS), Mohd Akmal Mohd Yusof (GTA-Pejuang), Ahmad Jufliz Faiza (PRM), as well as two independent candidates.