DAP MP ejected from Dewan Rakyat over rabies vaccine issue

Julian-Tan-rabies-vaccineKUALA LUMPUR: An opposition MP was ejected from the Dewan Rakyat today after citing a standing order against the health minister for confusing the House by stating there was enough supply of the rabies vaccine in Malaysia.

Julian Tan (DAP-Stampin) raised the issue under Standing Order 36 (12) after Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam explained that the supply of rabies vaccine in the country was sufficient.

Tan said the minister had given contradicting statements to the Dewan.

“A contradicting statement given. If possible give me a chance to explain,” Tan said.

However, he was cut off by Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee who said the minister did not give any contradicting statement.

Tan questioned Ronald’s interruption, saying: “But you have not listened to my question. Just now the minister said there is enough vaccine but in reality, there is none.”

Following this, Kiandee said: “I rule there is no breaking of the standing order.”

“You must understand what is 36 (12). Sit down. (For it to be implemented) the minister must continue to repeat with bad intentions.

“That is why I ask you to sit down. (The minister) did not break any rules,” Kiandee said.

Tan persisted with his argument, saying: “(The minister) said it was under control but everything is out of control.”

To this Kiandee replied: “You are out of order.”

Kiandee then asked Tan to leave the Dewan after he continued to raise questions under the standing order.

Under Standing Order 36 (12) it states that any member who imputes statements that mislead the House is deemed to be in contempt of the House and the member may be referred to the Committee of Privileges for the offence.

Earlier, Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Bandar Kuching) said there are a lot of stray dogs in his constituency.

“There is not enough manpower to catch the stray dogs, and the doctors are not willing to provide immune globulin to those who were bitten by dogs,” Chong told the Dewan.

He cited a case yesterday where a former Sarawak state assemblyman had visited the hospital three times but the doctor had not given him the rabies injection.

“Once you can detect the symptoms the victim cannot be saved. Is there enough vaccine,” he asked.

Subramaniam had earlier told the Dewan that doctors will look at the treatment.

“From the science point of view, if the bite is current it is effective to provide immune globulin.

“The doctor has to treat based on science. We know the rabies vaccine has side effects, so the doctor has to make the decision,” he added.

Earlier, Subramaniam described the issue of rabies in Malaysia as being under control.

On July 22, the health ministry had rubbished several media reports claiming that it does not have anti-rabies vaccine in Sarawak following an outbreak in Serian recently.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had said the ministry always ensured that all states have sufficient vaccines at all times as a precautionary measure, including the Sarawak General Hospital.

He had said the ministry had identified 624 animal bite cases from April 1 until now. Of that, 108 were undergoing tests and checkups, while 115 did not meet the vaccination indication criteria.

A total of 401 cases have shown indications to be vaccinated, and of that figure, 395 (98.5%) biting cases have been given injections, while the remaining six will be given one soon,” he had said in a statement.