Teng : More will be exposed if state government do not provide answers. Graphics by Dayang Norazhar/The Mole
KUALA LUMPUR : Penang Barisan Nasional chief Teng Chang Yeow has warned the state government that there will be more damaging expose if questions on the construction of Victoria Hospital is not answered.
The hospital, which is said being planned on a piece of land originally allocated for a low-cost housing project, has created much controversies for the DAP-led Penang government.
Teng, who was called a liar by Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh recently, questioned the state government on how it is so easy to sell the land allocated for low-cost homes to private companies.
“We will keep on revealing more about the matter until the state government comes clean with answers,’’ Teng told The Mole.
On July 25, Phee refuted claims by Teng that the state government was lying over matters involving an approval of licence for the development of a 30-storey private hospital complex comprising a six-storey hospital, five-storey car park and a 19-storey hotel.
Phee who is chairman for the state Environment, Health and Welfare committee said Teng was “either lazy or did not do his homework or is a liar.’’
Phee had produced a letter sent by the Ministry of Health (MOH) director-general Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman on July 12, 2012 to the private company Victoria International Medical Centre Sdn Bhd (VMC) stating that the MOH had “no objections’’ on the proposal to set up the hospital.
“The letter stated clearly that there were no objections, it was not an approval. How could Teng assume an approval was given on June 5, 2012, “ Phee questioned.
Teng responded by saying: “The Health Minister himself (Datuk Seri Liong Tiong Lai) replied to me via a text message stating that the ministry found the location to build the hospital complex in Jalan Zainal Abidin was ‘ok’.’’
“In approving hospital licences by the MOH there are a few stages, first and foremost the location to build a project is looked into by the ministry, then other matters are taken into consideration,” he stated.
Prior to this, Teng in a news report on July 24 had accused the state’s chief minister Lim Guan Eng of twisting facts by claiming that Penang had been unable to secure a single operating licence for a new private hospital since DAP took over the state from BN in 2008.
Teng said the MOH had issued five operating licences to private hospitals in the state since 2008 and also revealed that the ministry had approved 36 out of 40 applications from 15 existing hospitals for re-development projects in Penang.
A blog post at Stop The Lies wrote that the chief minister was attempting to paint the MOH as biased and unwilling to assist the state in developing its health industry.
The blogger further wrote : “You see LGE wants this hospital to be built on land that is supposed to be for low cost housing. And he did not only want to build a private hospital…the hospital is supposed to act as a hotel too. To boost health tourism, you see.’’
“LGE’s excuse is that the plot of land is too small for low cost flats. But how can a land that is too small for low cost flats be big enough for a 30-storey complex?!” the blogger wrote.