JAMESJG.COM thanks YB Andy Chia, the state assemblyman for Pujut for raising up the issue of Miri’s Mother and Child Clinic which we emailed him before the August House.
We hope the government will look into the relocation of this clinic as soon as possible. The crowded clinic has been an issue to Mirians since it was relocated to a shophouse near the Miri City Medical Centre. Not only the nearest bus stops are at a distance, the mothers and children who patronise this clinic will need at least half a day to get a 2-3 mins of medical attention or treatment. This should not be happening today!
JAMESJG.COM also wish to thank YB for his continuous effort in making the Citizen Shelter a reality. Being part of MERCY Malaysia, we certainly welcome the State Government’s assistance in this matter.
Here is YB Andy Chia Chu Fatt, ADUN N-64 Pujut’s, text during the August House on 20 May 2010.
Debate Speech on the Motion of Appreciation to T.Y.T. Yang di-Pertua Negeri Address on 17th May, 2010
Thank you, Dato Sri Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to join other honourable members to debate on the gracious address by Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak in this august House on 17th May, 2010.
I wish to join T. Y. T. Yang di-Pertua Negeri in praising and supporting the policies and strategies introduced by YAB Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as the country moves towards 2020. The 1 Malaysia Concept, Government Transformation Programme (GTP), and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) are important policies that will unite all Malaysians and help us achieve the visions of 2020.
Dato Sri Speaker,
According to the Edge news today, “Malaysia has emerged as the world’s 10th most competitive nation from 18th previously, due to significant improvements in its economic performance such as an influx of quality investments, pragmatic government policies and low risk political instability.
In giving Malaysia high marks, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in its World Competitiveness Yearbook 2010, said other telling factors were its effective implementation of government decisions due to the stewardship of the economy by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Incidentally, Hon Member for Kidurong, who had asked us to follow Taiwan, Malaysia is ranked no.10, 2 behind Taiwan at no.8 in the rating. We do acknowledge the success of Taiwan’s economic success, but we do not accept the bad behaviour of some of their politicians. We have seen occasional unaccepted behaviour from some honourable members of the opposition in this august House that look like those in Taiwan. We hope we will not pick up those bad behaviour for the sake of the dignity and respectability of this House.
Dato Sri Speaker,
Health Facilities in Sarawak
T. Y. T. Yang di-Pertua Negeri had called on the people to practise healthy lifestyle and had raised the issues of health facilities and hospital beds. Our hospitals and clinics have improved over the years. The charges in the hospitals and clinics are heavily subsidised by the government and are amongst the cheapest in the world. For example, the charges for outpatients are RM1 per case, the charges for hospital are RM5 per case, and the charges for hospital bed including meals and nursing care are RM3 per day for Class 3. It is affordable even for the very poor. This is the result of a caring BN government in Malaysia which has the welfare of the people at heart.
The General Hospital in Miri is the main hospital for the northern Sarawak. Patients from Miri, Baram, Limbang and as far as Lawas are referred to this hospital. While facilities and services have improved, the hospital still lacks sufficient doctors and specialists, for example, Orthopaedic Specialist, Orthodontics, Oncologist, Psychiatrist, Emergency Care specialist, Trauma specialist, Radiologists, Endocrinologist, Heart specialist, Nephrologists and health professionals like clinical psychologist and counsellors. The lack of sufficient Medical Officers mean that they have to do more frequent ‘on call’, apart from having to supervise 2 to 3 Houseman Officers.
About 70% of the specialists in Miri Hospital are contract, foreign specialists from India, Myanmar, Pakistan and Egypt. We should encourage more local doctors and specialists to the Miri General Hospital. The common complaints from doctors are housing and other allowances which do not encourage these doctors to serve in Miri. Perhaps the State can provide the incentives in terms of Housing or extra allowance on top of current allowances to encourage the doctors to come to Miri.
It is reported that the patient loads are increasing in the Miri General Hospital and all the other clinics. This results in an often overcrowded Klinik Merbau, Maternity Clinic near Jalan Kwantung, and the Klinik Kesihatan Tudan. Patients have to wait a long time in overcrowding conditions in Klinik Merbau. The car parks are often insufficient too. As we move towards 2020, we must also improve the conditions and size of the clinics, especially the Maternity Clinic where there are so many mothers and babies. This group of people deserves our urgent attention for a better clinic environment and services.
While most Malaysia government departments are computerised, the general hospital still adopts handwritten paperwork. Doctors, nurses and patients have to carry handwritten documents from wards to wards, and to pharmacy. It will be more efficient for everyone if the paperwork is converted to computerised softcopies through a computer network. We need to move forward as we approach 2020.
We must increase the number of Operating theatres in Miri General Hospital. At present, Miri General Hospital has 2 operating theatres to be shared by all departments. One of the theatres is reserved for Accident & Emergency (A&E) and another one is for “Elektif”. This is definitely not enough for this hospital.
The orthopaedic department is only being allocated 1 theatre every Friday starting from 8:00 am until 8:00pm. The orthopaedic surgery normally consumes time (4-6 hours) and only limited operations are being carried on for the whole day to cater the big pool of patients from Northern Sarawak, and not from Miri alone. If a patient’s case is considered not urgent, his operating schedule will normally be postponed for few times to give way to the more emergency cases. This has often caused discomfort, inconvenience and obvious unhappiness for the patient.
An important medical equipment like MRI scan is not available in Miri. I hope the government will give priority for this equipment to be made available in Miri General Hospital as soon as possible for the convenience and faster services for the patients.
Shelter for the outstation people is needed near the Miri General Hospital
There is an urgent need for the Ulu people from the interior coming to Miri General Hospital. What is needed is a house with rooms, kitchens and basic facilities like beds for people from the rural areas, especially when their loved ones are being hospitalized. The main problem the Penans and other ethnic groups from various rural areas face is that the jungle tracks they use may not be passable through the rainy seasons. Thus, a shelter is really needed if these patients have to come back to the hospital for regular follow-ups checks so that their family members have a place to stay for a while. The Mercy Malaysia in Miri is raising fund to build a home to meet the needs of the outstation people. I hope that the government will give full support so that the rural people have a proper place to stay when they seek treatment in the General Hospital.
Protection of Marine Resources
TYT Tuan Yang di-Pertua Negeri also covered foreign trawlers in our waters. I wish to echo the concerns shared by both the fishermen and the hobby anglers in Miri. It is often reported that the foreign trawlers show no concern of the damage of the fish resources by their illegal fishing methods. The locals feared that these foreign trawlers are causing irreparable damage to our fishing resources. I fully support the call for strict enforcements by the relevant agencies to protect our fish stocks and resources before it is too late.
Preservation of Historical Buildings and Geological Outcrops
Our YAB Chief Minister had recently stated that Sarawak will improve and preserve the infrastructure of its historical buildings, forts and caves to sustain their tourism value at the Pacific Travel Association Annual Meeting in Kuching.
I fully support this important statement, and urge all relevant agencies to immediately identify all such buildings in the state to place them under the call by YAB Chief Minister for their preservation and protection. As mentioned in the previous DUN sitting, I hope that the Government Rest House on top of Tanjong Lobang hill in Miri, and the Resident and District office buildings along Jalan Raja in Miri be included in the list of historical buildings. We should not forget the old Mosque at Jalan Merbau, Miri, and the Tuah Phek Kong (Chinese Temple) at China Street, Miri, which should be preserved too.
In Miri, there is a very special 20 million years old geological feature which is well known by the world’s geologists, but not treasured by the local. The said setting is commonly known as the Miri Airport Road Outcrop. It is located on the Miri Hill opposite Taman Awam, along the Miri-Airport Road. It is a unique geological exhibit that exposes the rocks of the Miri Formation at the surface. This rock formation exists also deep below Miri City and was the reservoir rock for the oil that resulted in Miri becoming the first Oil Town in Malaysia and now a city. It is a heritage that needs to be preserved and conserved due to its very significant scientific and social values.
The outcrop is important in that many of the geological features associated with the study and interpretation of how oil is trapped in reservoir rocks can be seen at the surface. This includes the complex faulting (breaking) and folding (bending) of such rock layers deep beneath the surface due to the tremendous pressures exerted on them. Studying and understanding these features helps geologist understand what happens underground and helps them predict better where oil can be found.
There have been many foreign visitors who travelled long distances to come to Miri to see this outcrop. In 2002, 3rd year Petroleum Technology students from the Norwegian Technical University in Trondheim came all the way from Norway to study this site. In 2000-2001, Wouter van der Zee from the University of Aachen (Germany) studied the Airport Road outcrop in detail as part of his Ph.D thesis “Dynamics of fault gouge development in layered sand-clay sequences”. There is much discussion in his thesis but is aptly summarised by this remark of his “The Airport Road outcrop is an unique natural laboratory to study the complexities of normal fault systems.” There were also several visits by Shell and other oil companies for local field trips as well as for visiting geologists. Under the circumstances, I hope that the site will be officially recognised and run by an appropriate department such as the Heritage Geology section under the Department of Minerals and Geosciences of Sarawak, and to gazette this outcrop as Geosites within the Geopark framework. The site needs to be properly managed and administered as a geotourism attraction. Regular educational tours for local schools and residents should be done to make our public aware of how interesting and significant our local nature is.
Public Facilities for the Handicap in Sarawak
As our state progresses and modernises, let’s not forget the physically disabled in our community. We should plan proper facilities at public places for this unfortunate group of people. At the moment, there is a lack of designated parking space for the physically disabled at Miri General Hospital, Polyclinic, shopping complexes, and in public places such as parks, hotels etc., and a lack of designated toilets in hospital and polyclinic for these people. Perhaps they should be given priority in the Miri Hospital and polyclinics while seeking treatment instead of having to wait for their turn in their regular check-ups and treatment as such trips could take many hours. The long hours mean they had another obstacle on their way in going to toilets unsuitable for them presently. Additionally, they have to struggle or be pushed up long ramps at Miri Hospital to reach the orthopedic, surgical or medical wards on the first floor. More physically disabled-friendly facilities such as ramps at utilities payment counters, banks, supermarkets, markets etc to enable them to be more Independent in carrying out their daily chore must be encouraged. Perhaps there should be special arrangement to enable them to acquire valid driving licence, and special Handicap person stickers may be issued by the Miri City Council for their vehicles. There should also be ATM machines at banks that are disabled person-friendly. Most ATM machines are too high for those seated in their wheelchairs. The banks should address the need of this handicap people.
Day Care Home for the Aged
As our population ages, and the community gets more affluent with modern lifestyle, there is an urgent need to establish ‘Day Care Home’ for the elderly. In the old days, women stay home as housewives and were great companion for the elders in the house. Nowadays, like the men, most women take up employment and manage businesses, so there is nobody at home to look after the elders in the house. It is also common for young families to travel on holidays annually, leaving behind the elders, home on their own as they may not wish to travel. It is therefore time for the government to set up Day Care Home for the aged or encourage private institutions to set up such homes to cater for the needs of the modern society.
Infrastructure in Miri
The main busy roads in my kawasan are Jalan Piasau , Jalan Bulatan and Jalan Krokop. Heavy traffic along these roads is taking tolls on the condition of these roads which are in urgent need of resurfacing. I hope the relevant agencies concerned will give priority to these roads.
I hope the government will expedite the road improvements program to tackle the congestions along the Pujut 7 roundabout, the Jalan Pujut 7 and the Permai Jaya area as soon as possible. The daily congestions along these roads have caused great inconvenience to the people.
Oil & Gas Industry
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is the highest earner among government-owned companies (GOCs) and the highest financial contributor to the Malaysian government.
I am proud to inform this august House that a Sarawakian, Datuk Wee Yaw Hin, formerly the Managing Director of Sarawak Shell Bhd, was appointed as the Executive Vice President, Exploration & Production, of PETRONAS, from 1st May, 2010. He is effectively the second man in Petronas. This is the first time that a Sarawakian, and a non-bumiputera, has been appointed in such a senior position in Petronas. This appointment is made strictly based on merit. And this is in line with the YAB Prime Minister’s 1 Malaysia and New Economic Plans policies. Our Prime Minister is getting the best people for the jobs. This augurs well for the country. This augurs well for Petronas, the biggest corporation in Malaysia and single biggest financial contributor to the Malaysian government.
Sarawak is an oil producing state. There are many local Sarawakian businessmen and companies which are providing supporting services and supplies to the oil & gas industry. The federal government has identified Sarawak and Sabah as growth areas in Malaysia and has given various tax incentives to help the businesses here prosper. It is therefore only natural for Petronas to also give Sarawak based companies special privileges in the award of contracts for works in Sarawak. Sarawak companies are facing strong competitions for works here with the rest of Malaysia. There is nothing wrong with this competition. However, it is noted that companies based in oil producing Terrengannu and Sabah have been given some privileges in works awarded in those states. It gets to the ridiculous when even office refreshment contracts in Miri are awarded to non-Sarawakian companies only for these services to be later sub-contracted to local companies. We need to give our local companies an advantage in the resource based industries.
It is well recognized that the local Sarawakian owned small & medium size oil & gas companies are considered some of the better managed local companies as they have to meet the high standards of management, services, safety and administration procedures as required by the industry. It is time that we get this group organized so that we can assist them and to help them grow, prosper and provide more jobs and supporting works for other local based companies. I urge the state government to set up an agency solely to assist these companies in their business development. The agency must be headed by good experience professionals. Hopefully, this will help to promote successful business developments for local companies that will eventually act as multiplying catalyst for other companies in Sarawak.
The Adoption Ordinance in Sarawak is different from that of the Federal legislation. Birth certificates of adopted children here still have the word ‘adopted child’ stated on them. This can cause unthinkable emotional stress for the affected families. I wish to appeal to the State to amend the Adoption Ordinance so that it is in line with that of the Federal legislation, and the word ‘adopted child’ be permanently erased from the birth certificate.
The recent announcements by YAB Chief Minister on the new premium rates for land lease renewal with effective from 14th May, 2010 brought welcome delight to the people of Sarawak. The premium rates are amongst the lowest in Malaysia. We wish to thank YAB Chief Minister for his understanding and caring approach to reduce the premium rates. House owners can now renew leases with any worries of financial constraints.
Perhaps the honourable members from DAP who had been trying to champion the land issues as political gimmicks should now make their stand known on this matter and ask their Penang counterparts to match the premium rates of Sarawak. They must act on what they preach. If their Penang colleagues cannot match what have been offered by the Sarawak government, they should shut up and not pretend to raise the matter again. The DAP leaders in Sarawak have been asking for automatic and free renewal. Now that they are in government in Penang and Selangor, are they giving automatic and free renewal there? No! So please do not fool the people of Sarawak of what you can do. Be responsible with your statements!
Dato Sri Speaker,
As the Dayak festive season is drawing near, I wish to take this opportunity to wish all our Dayak friends “Selamat Hari Gawai Gayu Guyu Gerai Nyamai”.
With these comments, I wish to express my full support for the motion of thanks of the address of T.Y.T Yang di-Pertua Negeri in this august House on 17th May, 2010.