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Thursday, August 27, 2009

H1N1 pandemic: get comparable statistics for Malaysia

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Health Ministry to sort out the statistics on patients infected with Influenza A H1N1 virus.

If we use the same yardsticks as 182 other nations, the figures can be compared. Otherwise, these figures can be misused to put Malaysia in a bad light, affecting such industries as tourism.

Dr Tan comments on the statistics issued by the Health Ministry on pandemic cases in the country.

Never before in the history of the world has a viral disease spread so fast in the globe. From the time the outbreak was reported in Mexico, it has taken about six weeks for the virus to go universal. Now, the diease is seen in 182 countries.

Many infected people scarcely have symptoms. They do not see doctors. Hitherto, over 7,000 patients are recorded in Malaysia with 72 deaths.

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) recorded 239,985 cases of H1N1 worldwide with 2,601 deaths. But then figures from countries like China, India and Indonesia do not show the true picture. They do not use the same standard. Neither do they report in the same way as Malaysia.

WHO personnel are in Kuala Lumpur to look into the real picture. The Government has set up a task force to inquire into the figures including the causes of deaths among the patients.

Besides using comparable figures for H1N1 cases, we would like to see measures taken by the Health Ministry carried out correctly. For instance, only those patients who have symptoms such as persistent cough and fever need to wear surgical masks. But, the press such as Utusan Malaysia ask the people to wear masks. In addition, it has used the pandemic to attack the Opposition.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Make face masks a controlled item immediately

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Federal Government to place face masks in the controlled items immediately because of profiteers inflating the price.

Just as everyone, Dr Tan is concerned with some traders inflating the price of face masks, not only from 30 sen to 60 sen each, but also to higher price such as RM5 or more. The price of health items used to fight the pandemic should not be deliberately increased.

The influenza A H1N1 pandemic marches on relentlessly. More Malaysians will be infected. The official figures show 4,225 cases with 64 deaths. There may be thousands more carrying the virus. The Government may have to declare a health emergency.

Meanwhile, the measures taken include the wearing of masks. The type of masks worn by the public, including those seen at the nomination of candidates for the Permatang Pasir by-election yesterday, do not stop the virus going through the pores. They can reduce the amount of droplets in the atmosphere. The Health Ministry should explain the effectiveness of the different types of masks.

As the pandemic spreads, we hope that the public cooperate, complying with the measures. Can traders charge consumers at cost for face masks?

The Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin felt that it was daylight robbery if the price was raised from 40 sen to RM 5 each. Let us hope that he immediately take the necessary steps to make face masks a controlled item.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A H1N1 'Flu Pandemic: ensure doctors & others treat patients who seek help well.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Health Ministry to try its best to ensure that doctors and other personnel treating the patients who seek help properly. During this Influenza A H1N1 Pandemic, busy personnel may be tired, showing attitude that is unacceptable.

Private hospitals and clinics should cooperate with the Health Ministry, raising the standard of identifying and treating H1N1 patients.

As the number of patients has increased by leaps and bounds, the speed of diagnosis and tests must be faster, if possible.

Local governments have health departments. These should rise up to the occasion, helping the ministry to cope with the pandemic.

Yesterday, the Director-General of Health Tan Sri Ismail Merican said that as HIN1 was a new strain of virus, the second wave of attack might affect many more people, because they did not have the immunity.

Although the authority gives the incidence as 3,575 cases with 59 deaths, the actual figure may be tens of thousands. If the Government wants to declare certain places as dark areas, it has to stduy the spread of the disease very carefully. This virus is invisible to naked eye. It mutates, causing more fatalities.

Before we talk about drastic action, the ministry must improve the effectiveness of its current measures. For example, its Operation Room in Kuala Lumpur must improve the effectiveness. The telephone number is 03 26983757 which tends to be engaged. Are there other numbers?

According to Ismail, the measures taken include public education, raising public consciousness, examination and treatment as well as social isolation such as a patient confined to home for 7 days. The people must make it their responsibility to face the pandemic.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Let the public have access to the Report on PKFZ by the Special Task Force

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw urges the Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat to let the public have full access to the Report by the Special Task Force on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), so that they will know the actual situation.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government must consider the need for a Royal Commission to investigate the complicated matters of the PKFZ. It is a multibillion scandal. Are the discrepancies amounting to RM 930 million billed by Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd which is the developer for the project?

On 11.8.2009, Dr Tan comments on the findings of the Special Task Force report on the PKFZ.

It seems that the Force has discovered discrepancies in the bills of the developer, ranging between RM 500 million and RM 1 billion.

The Port Klang Authority (PKA) Chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng has lodged a police report on the matter today. The findings were announced by the Transport Minister yesterday.

Over the last six years, many things have happened to the PKFZ. The people are interested in the findings of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on it.

Tomorrow, the Public Account Committee (PAC) will be questioning the Attorney-General over his recommendations to the Cabinet on the PKFZ. For ecxample, he suggested that the Government acquired the land for PKFZ. Instead, PKA bought the land at a high market price.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, August 10, 2009

Let Muhyiddin explain clearly the use of English in Maths and Science

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reminds the Education Minister YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to explain clearly the new policy of teaching of Mathematics and Science in all Malaysian schools.

Dr Tan refers to today's media headline, 'Cabinet has decided that students who started studying Mathematics and Science in English can continue to do so until the end of their secondary school education.'

For one month, the Federal Government has reversed the six-year policy of using English to teach Maths and Science (PPSMI), beginning in 2012: students in Year One to Year Four and Form One to Form Four in national primary and secondary schools study the two subjects in Bahasa Malaysia while those in Chinese and Tamil schools will revert back to mother tongue.'

The previous policy, PPSMI, caused contoversy. One major factor has been the need of quality teachers. While many teachers are good, some must improve their standard. With dedicated teachers, all subjects including Maths and Science are taught well.

The adjustment allowing stduents who started to learn the two subjects in English to finish in English seems ambiguous. Muhyiddin must define well what he means. We need a clear guideline and effective implementation to raise the standard of English, Science and Maths and other subjects.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw