KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah saw “red” after a hospital cancelled the party’s planned blood donation campaign and an Umno deputy minister supported the decision.
Warisan aborted the campaign on July 16 after the director of Papar hospital cancelled it at the last minute.
The director reportedly posted on Facebook that Warisan had attempted to exploit the event to garner political support.
Netizens lambasted the cancellation, but deputy works minister Rosnah Shirlin defended the decision, citing regulations that prohibited public servants from “participating in political activities or carrying any logo of a political party”.
Rosnah, who is the Papar MP, suggested that Warisan partner with a non-political NGO for such activities.
Warisan Youth chief Azis Jamman said saving lives should be above politics and that humanitarian efforts should cross all political divides.
“It’s very sad when an Umno minister placed politics above the dire need for blood at the Papar hospital’s blood bank,” he told FMT.
He accused Umno of practising double standards since it had carried out many blood donation drives.
“Puteri Umno conducted blood donation drives before, like in 2012, when Rosnah was its chief.
“There was a blood donation campaign organised by Umno Youth and Puteri wings in Kalabakan in 2012. Umno’s official website said Puteri Umno had worked with the National Blood Bank many times. There was also a drive during the Umno general assembly last year.
“Just Google it. You can see many photos that show party banners carrying images of Umno leaders displayed in their blood donation events.
“How come they could? This is a sign of Umno paranoia and hypocrisy.
“Umno has made a ‘rojak’ out of the law, where there are different sets of laws for Umno followers and opposition supporters.”
Azis said Warisan did not set conditions in their campaign which was planned in response to the concern of the hospital staff that their blood supply was at a critical level.
“We didn’t say recipients must be a Warisan member or ask the hospital to inform the recipients that the blood came from Warisan.
“As concerned Malaysians, Warisan just wanted to take an initiative for members to help save the lives of fellow Malaysians, who may well be Umno members and supporters, who will never be bothered with the origin of the donated blood.
“Such a humanitarian effort should be blind to political differences. Umno even previously worked with PAS in the mission to send humanitarian aid to Myanmar.”
Rosnah was reported as saying that Warisan should clearly understand public service regulations or circulars when organising such events.
“This is to avoid conflict with the principle of neutrality and impartiality practised in the civil service. This may also create a disharmonious environment at work,” she said in a statement.