13 Oct 2011
KUCHING: What has happened to a clinic that was proposed to be built at Kampung Stungkor, Lundu before the 2002 state election? asked Foo Ah Kee, whose land was acquired for the clinic.
“I have no idea whether the government actually has any plan to construct this clinic, but I do know that there is a real and urgent need to cater for the medical needs of the people,” he said.
Another villager, known only as Madam Tapin, spoke of her problems when she got sick and needed to see a doctor during her husband’s absence.
“It is so difficult to look for someone to drive me to the Lundu or Bau hospitals to seek treatment, and it would be much easier if the clinic had been built as it would a walking distance from my house,” said Tapin, who is in her early 60s.
Their sentiments are shared by at least by 5,000 people from nine Bidayuh villages in the locality.
When the proposal to build the clinic was announced just before the state election in 2002, the people applauded it even though they knew it to be one of the election ‘goodies’.
Once completed, it would provide out-patient services, mother and child healthcare services and maternity wards for the villagers and at the same time it would help to reduce the pressure exerted on the accident and emergency (A& E) departments of Bau and Lundu district hospitals.
Now more than nine years later their joy turned into frustration and anger as they felt cheated by the State Barisan Nasional and its elected representatives for failing to fulfil their promises.
“This is another broken promise by the Barisan Nasional,” said Boniface Willy Anak Tumek, a member of Sarawak PKR political bureau.
Willy has been exposing the BN’s unfulfilled promises made during the state and parliamentary elections, and such projects included roads, bridges, water, electricity, rural growth centres (RGC) and land titles to native customary rights (NCR) land.
Checked with the medical department, Willy said that it is confirmed that such a clinic would be constructed under the 9th Malaysia Plan but it is given a low priority by the Ministry of Health.
According to Willy, the villagers are very upset with the way they have been treated for the past nine years.
“How is it that after nine years we are still not considered as deserving of this most basic of public service which every citizen by right is entitled to enjoy?
“Election after election we have proven our loyalty to the BN government and helped to return them to office. It is very upsetting to know that they have placed no value on our support at all.
“This is not the first time that we have been treated shabbily,” complained Tapin’s husband.
Willy said that the villagers are now demanding that the Minister of Health Liow Tiong Lai, the MP for Mas Gading Tiki Lafe, Assistant Minister of Public health Jerip Susil and their Opar assemblyman Ranum Mina to ensure that the clinic be built before the 10th Malaysia Plan expires.
“We would like to remind Ranum that the clinic was promised to us, in part, to persuade the voters to vote for him and elect him to high office.
“And he owes us this clinic,” said Willy, a committee member of PKR Mas Gading division.