Sabah DAP questions dropping of health ministry portfolio amid Covid-19 pandemic

Phoong Jin Zhe says the government is relinquishing its responsibilities by not having a state health minister.

KOTA KINABALU: A former Sabah minister has questioned the new state government’s decision to do away with the state health ministry amid the worsening Covid-19 situation.

In a statement, Phoong Jin Zhe, the former Sabah youth and sports minister said the previous administration established the health and people’s well-being ministry to oversee matters concerning public health despite the matter being under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

The Luyang assemblyman said while healthcare came under Putrajaya’s purview, it was not right to abolish the health ministry in light of the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in the state.

“Today, Chief Minister Hajiji Noor abolished the ministry. Who will be taking care of health affairs and reporting to the public regarding the Covid-19 outbreak?” he asked.

Phoong called it a regressive move, saying that it also showed that the Sabah government was running away from its responsibilities.

He was responding to news reports on the swearing-in of the full state Cabinet earlier today, in which there was no health portfolio listed.

Sabah has been hit the hardest by Covid-19, with 271 cases recorded today and 3,291 cases to date.