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LETTER

LETTER | Minister of health is the first-in-command

Hafiz Hassan

Published

LETTER | Based on the Hansard (Nov 11), the following was what was said by MP for Bintulu, Tiong King Sing:

"Tuan Yang di-Pertua, pertama sekali saya hendak ucapkan terima kasih yang tidak terhingga kepada semua front liners dalam usaha kita perangi pandemik Covid-19. Dalam Covid-19 ini, kita nampak sekarang memang grafnya bukan alang-alang. Kita sekarang sudah sampai empat digit. Saya sendiri berpandangan, saya nampak kali ini bukan kata rakyat tidak bekerjasama, saya rasa KKM ada kelemahan, human error. Kita hari-hari umum dalam berita kata kluster sini sana, berapa kluster ada.

"Kenapa kita tidak lockdown tempat kluster itu? Kita test semua terlibat ataupun samasama ataupun satu kampung ataupun satu taman. Kita kasi test, jangan bagi mereka pusing satu dunia. Sekarang semua negeri lockdown.

"Ini DG hari-hari buat berita saja, bikin apa? Kalau kita itu berita, bagi itu office boy dia pun boleh baca. Kenapa dia tidak turun padang? Macam sekarang di KK, Sabah, begitu teruk, begitu hebat pandemik Covid-19. Kenapa dia tidak turun melawat tiap-tiap hospital? Temporary hospital, kita pergi tengok. Berbincang bagi moral support front liners juga. Doktor, jururawat, mereka semua bekerja sana. Jangan hantar sahaja doktor pergi, jururawat pergi. Oh, itu orang tidak takut mati, tetapi DG takut mati. Timbalan DG pun tidak pergi. Apa sudah jadi? Tak usahlah hari-hari hendak buat publisiti [...]."

Under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), it is the health minister who, if he is satisfied that there is an outbreak of an infectious disease in any area in the country, or that any area is threatened with an epidemic of any infectious disease, declares such area to be an infected local area.

That every state in the country continues to be a local infected area is simply because the minister has so declared as such by an order in the Gazette.

It is also the minister who prescribes the measures to be taken to control or prevent the spread of any infectious disease within or from an infected local area.

That every state in the country is under some forms of movement control order - conditional, restricted or enhanced - is simply because the minister has so prescribed regulations made under the act and published in the Gazette.

That the minister is empowered with more than the above is well spelt out in the act.

So the minister is the first frontliner, so to speak. If the country is at war with Covid-19, he is the general - the first-in-command. The health director-general is also a general but second-in-command.

It's mind-boggling that Bintulu instead first went for the health director-general and his deputies.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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