Sarawak assistant education minister chides Sibu MP over questions on how RM5.3 billion for Covid-19 used

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Sarawak assistant education minister chides Sibu MP over questions on how RM5.3 billion for Covid-19 used

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The Assistant Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development I Dr Annuar Rapaee. — Borneo Post pic SIBU, Jan 30 — Dr Annuar Rapaee has yest

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The Assistant Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development I Dr Annuar Rapaee. — Borneo Post pic
The Assistant Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development I Dr Annuar Rapaee. — Borneo Post pic

SIBU, Jan 30 — Dr Annuar Rapaee has yesterday taken Sibu MP Oscar Ling to task over his recent statement, asking the state government for details on how RM5.3 billion for Covid-19 was spent.

The Assistant Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development I (Education and Innovation) likened Ling to having just awaken from his sleep, seemingly unaware of things that had occurred around him.

“And people of Sibu also want to know where he was and what were the contributions he had done for them when Covid-19 spread was at its height in Sibu?” Dr Annuar asked.

Recently, according to Ling, most of the funds spent for the frontliners came from the federal government and the people have the right to know the details on the spending and where has it gone, and at such, the state government therefore, had to explain to the people the details on the spending as the amount of money involved is a huge sum of RM5.3 billion.

Additionally, Ling also questioned the setting up of the temporary building/structure housed at Sibu Hospital compound, said to be able to accommodate 80 severe Covid-19 patients at the new car park, which he claimed that the government’s initiative came too late especially now when the usage was low.

Ling had further claimed that the structure was affecting the parking capacity at the hospital, causing huge congestion.

In response, Dr Annuar asked if Ling as an MP was ignorant, as the facility was equipped with 100 beds and not 80 beds.

The Nangka assemblyman said: “It is not true (what Ling said). It was not built during the peak period of Covid-19.

“At peak of Covid-19 infection in September last year, we already got approval to build this semi permanent hospital of which, during that period, we used the army field hospital to cater the surge in cases.”

He pointed out that the army field hospital had already been dismantled because cases are low currently.

“The current semi permanent hospital has yet to be utilised, and not that it is under utilised.

“Any extra facilities at hospital should not be considered as a waste, but it shows we have a contingency plan and more importantly, we have learned from past experience of difficult times.

“We are preparing for the worse, which nobody know what will come next. And now, MOH (Ministry of Health) has declared that Malaysia is facing the Omicron wave, where the spike in the number of infection cases is expected,” he stressed.

Towards this end, Dr Annuar does not deny the structure takes up certain parking spaces in the hospital.

“But in the long term, this inadequate parking bays needs to be addressed even without the construction of the temporary hospital,” he said. — Borneo Post

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