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Media Statement (4) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 4th August 2009: 

What a shame, would Muhyiddin be another “Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned” if he had been Health Minister and faced with two killer epidemics, A (H1N1) and dengue?

What a shame! The MCA Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai has to seek refuge in an UMNO leader to come to his defence in the face of criticism of his playing truant from his ministerial duties when Malaysians are faced with two killer epidemics – A(N1H1) and dengue – to the extent that there are people who liken him to “Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned”!

And what a poor, outrageous and unprofessional defence.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin defended Liow’s Ministerial performance with the declaration: "Even if I am health minister, I cannot guarantee your safety."

Is this an admission and even confession by Muhyiddin that he would be another “Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned” if he had been Health Minister and similarly faced with two killer epidemics, A (H1N1) and dengue?

Is this meant to be a testimonial that Liow had fallen too far below the standards expected of the Ministers in the Najib Cabinet?

If so, the Malaysian Cabinet must have the lowest standards of performance expected of Ministers – no wonder the portfolio of KPI (Key Performance Index) of Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon has rapidly become a national joke!

Muhyiddin and Liow must be reminded that the two killer epidemics are no trivial matters to the people of Malaysia, especially as the death toll of f A(H1N1) flu has risen to eight from zero in a matter of two weeks, with the total number of recorded cases having shot up to 1,446 - with 574 imported cases while the rest being local transmissions.

The seventh victim was a 24-year-old native woman who died at the Miri Hospital’s intensive care unit, two weeks after giving birth to her first child. She was the first A(H1N1) fatality in Sarawak.

The eighth victim was a 51-year-old school teacher who died in Seremban on Sunday.

Let Muhyiddin, who is the chairman of the inter-ministerial committee for A(H1N1) and Health Minister Liow be deadly serious about the two killer epidemics as no Malaysian will take kindly to their taking lightly their responsibilities to protect them from the ravages of these two killer epidemics.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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