Sarawak will continue to request Putrajaya for funds

Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: The Sarawak government will continue to request for federal funds to procure more medical supplies and upgrading of health facilities.

Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said although Sarawak has the money, but the state must also get its fair share from the federal government as Sarawak has contributed a substantial amount of revenues to the country.

“Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) director (Dr Ngian Hie Ung) has forwarded a long list (of the items needed) which cost about RM4 million to RM5 million to the state government. We will look into it, and we will sit down with the federal government (to talk about this).

“We know that from the National Security Council, the federal government has given quite a substantial amount of money to the Ministry of Health.

“So, Sarawak should get a share, even though we’ve got the money, right?,” he said after witnessing the handing over of high quality humidifier from the Malaysian Buddhist Association Sarawak to SGH today.

He added that due to urgency during this Covid-19 pandemic, the state government has funded more than RM1.5 million to renovate the oxygen point in the hospital wards.

“Six weeks ago, I had also visited an oxygen plant in Bintawa to ensure that they scale up the oxygen production for us. We really need everybody to come together and help in this war against Covid-19.

“So, if you want to contribute, please contribute positively and not put people down or bully people,” he said.

He stressed that now is not the time to create disunity but to encourage all Sarawakians to come together in fighting Covid-19.

When asked if public places such as shopping malls could be turned into a vaccination centre (PPV), Dr Sim said that it depends on the resources available and the requirement.

“We cannot be bringing all the equipment to set up the PPV and then just a few people would go to the malls to get vaccinated,” he said.

He added that to set up a PPV, there must also be enough qualified nurses and doctors to man the centre.

“Otherwise, if something happens to the vaccine recipient, who would be responsible? That is why there must be qualified doctors and nurses,” said Dr Sim.