Sarawak’s push for legislative, administrative and budgetary autonomy from Putrajaya must be done with greater urgency, and it must include all sectors affecting public wellbeing.
Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said the recent case where a school block collapsed into the river and that of an 18-year-old girl having to deliver her baby in a broken-down lift at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) were wake-up calls.
See, who is also state PKR vice chairman, said these facilities were under the ambit of the federal government; as such, the state government must not fall for the federal government number one excuse – insufficient development funds.
“Our country is rich, but we are let down by poor governance. The expose of the corruption case involving RM3.3 billion in Sabah this week has laid bare the serious misadministration and misappropriation of public funds by the federal government,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.
See also commented on the embarrassing episode of the mother delivering her baby inside a lift that got stuck for nearly an hour, saying it should serve as a reminder to the state government to pick up discussion pace with the federal government for autonomy and devolution of powers to the state.
See opined that it was improper to blame either the director of SGH or the Health Department for the incident as these two individuals were people who cared the most for the availability and serviceability of whatever facilities there are in the hospitals.
“They are always mindful that the unreliable and unsatisfactory facilities are a risk to the health of patients and visitors.”
The lifts at SGH, he said, were not only monuments of neglect but probably also the oldest still in service in Kuching.
See said the federal government must stop the ‘repairing’ stance attitude and get the hospital new lifts. “It is to my knowledge that the Health Department had for a long time made numerous requests for the aged lifts at SGH replaced. However, allocations from the Ministry of Health have always been for repairs only,” he said.
“When all the six lifts were down at the beginning of this year, the federal government gave an allocation – for repairs, again.”
See said these were clear evidence that the federal government was neglecting needed public facilities and services in Sarawak.
Hence, the state government should demand that the lifts, together with other aged facilities and equipment at the SGH, be replaced immediately.
Jonathan Chia, firstname.lastname@example.org