25 C
Kota Kinabalu
Isnin, Jun 24, 2024

Undermining a PH comrade is uncalled-for, says Tawau MP

KOTA KINABALU: It is most unwarranted on the part of Tawau DAP Youth Chief, Thien Ee Hang to “attack” her in the media, said Tawau MP Datuk Christina Liew.

She said she can accept constructive criticism but that was uncalled-for as DAP and PKR are component parties in Sabah Pakatan Harapan, of which she is Chairperson.

“Thien had the audacity to undermine a PH comrade and question my absence from some of the parliamentary sittings without bothering to do his ‘homework’ first. 

“Secondly, for him to belittle my work in the Tawau parliamentary constituency as MP since being elected in May 2018, shows his ignorance of my presence on the ground, and the media coverage for what I have done so far for Tawau, in both the national and local media.

“He conveniently chose to be oblivious to the concerns and issues I have raised in both the Parliament and State Legislative Assembly as he probably has ulterior motives.

“It is totally misleading to claim that I have asked only two questions in the Dewan Rakyat,” Liew said in a statement here on Wednesday.

According to her, she missed the tabling of Budget 2022 last October because she had a fall and fractured her left wrist while visiting her constituency earlier. “I was admitted for surgery, followed by a period of recuperation in hospital.”

The parliamentary sitting in March this year, she added, had partially clashed with the 16th State Legislative Assembly sitting.

In retrospect, Liew said she had consistently pushed for the installation of a new mammogram screening machine for the Tawau Hospital since 2018, the last being in October 2021 when debating on the 12th Malaysia Plan in the Dewan Rakyat. The long overdue equipment was eventually installed before the end of last year.

“I had also persisted in questioning the Federal Government on the delay in completing the Tawau Hospital Construction and Upgrade Project which was initially scheduled for completion in May 2020 under the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020).

“In March this year, during the First Meeting of the Fifth Session of the 14th Parliament, Health Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin in a written reply to me said that the project was 69pc completed as of January 31 this year compared with the schedule of 96pc. I had wanted to know the progress of work and whether the project will be completed this year as it is behind schedule,” she said.

According to Liew, some of her questions submitted to Parliament prior to the sittings were not answered, either orally or in writing. 

“It is the prerogative of the respective federal ministries to answer questions or otherwise. For instance, I had asked the Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources what is the current status and progress of the RM300 million for Tawau flood mitigation projects, and what the packages of works involve. The Federal Government through the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources had allocated the sum for two packages of flood prevention projects in Tawau,” she explained.

Other issues that were brought to the attention of the Federal Government by Liew through parliamentary sittings since 2018 include proposed devolution of powers to the State Government (related to issuance of licence for tourism business operation, among other aspects), proposed expansion of the Tawau Airport, more fire and rescue stations for Tawau, proposed rehabilitation work on several primary schools, laptops for school children from the B40 category, inadequate supplies of Covid-19 vaccines resulting in Sabah having been the lowest vaccinated state, the need to boost the vaccination rate in Tawau, other healthcare needs as well as on enhancing the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill 2021.

Meanwhile, the Tawau MP clarified that she had set up the Tawau Parliamentary People’s Service Centre in 2018 to serve the needs of her constituents. “I have a team of officials on the ground to receive complaints from the people, and we duly consider their requests for assistance as far as possible.”

On record, she was the first elected representative from the area to have visited and extended help to the fire victims of Kg Kurnia, Batu 4, Jaya Apas last month.

“Where was armchair critic Thien, then? I didn’t see his face. For the benefit of the people, we (Tawau Parliamentary People’s Service Centre) set up a temporary clinic at the site in collaboration with a private clinic. We also put up four canopies to serve as a food aid distribution centre.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, Liew and her team from the People’s Service Centre had gone on their rounds to urban and rural areas to hand out food baskets to needy families in Sri Tanjung, Apas and Balung state constituencies.

“All in all, we had distributed thousands of bags of rice, apart from basic groceries. I had cooperated with Sri Tanjung Assemblyman Justin Wong in providing rice supplies and food baskets to those impacted by the pandemic in his constituency.

“The last distribution of 5,000 rice bags and food baskets to Tawau folks spanned the months of  August, September, October and November 2021,” she said.