Bintulu MP claims ‘unseen hands’ tampered with Covid-19 data

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Tiong has been on the offensive over the issue of the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing has yet again slammed the Health Ministry in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, this time implying that the data on deaths and Covid-19 cases were being manipulated by “unseen hands”.

Tiong claimed that 31,696 people (as of Jan 10) in the country have died unnecessarily as a result of this pandemic, adding that it was merely the figure that was reported and published.

“It would be even more heartbreaking to add in those numbers that were unreported. This high mortality rate is not something we can deny, excuse, or normalise.

“How can we continue on like this? How many more lives must be sacrificed before our ministers really start to prevent more deaths?

“It does not take a genius to know that data on deaths and confirmed cases are being manipulated by some unseen hands,” he claimed in a statement today.

The prime minister’s special envoy to China did not elaborate on the matter nor provide evidence to back his allegation.

Tiong has been on the offensive over the issue of the government’s handling of the pandemic.

On Monday, he lambasted Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah for not learning enough from China’s response to the pandemic.

This led to a response from Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who clarified that the government’s strategy to contain the pandemic was to implement mitigation strategies.

This differed from China’s “Zero Covid” strategy which leads to a total lockdown in areas with only a few positive cases.

Khairy said Malaysia could not afford, in economic and welfare aspects, to implement a lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Dissatisfied with KJ’s response

Tiong said he was taken aback by Khairy’s response to the matter, claiming the minister did not answer his questions.

“I was truly taken aback when, instead of responding to my questions, Khairy simply said Malaysia is not able to use lockdowns and zero-tolerance strategies and resort to defending shoe-polishers.

“I have merely urged the Health Ministry to at least communicate with China to adopt the appropriate and effective portions of their strategy to reduce our mortality rates of Covid in Malaysia, rather than dressing up the mortality rates to justify the ministry’s strategies,” he added.

Health DG Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (left) and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin

Tiong has hit out at Noor Hisham before by accusing him of being “afraid to die” for not visiting Sabah at the height of the pandemic in November 2020.

“When Selangor had the highest number of Covid-19 cases in 2020 due to large clusters in a number of glove factories, did Noor Hisham have any rapid response strategy to that?

“Besides helplessly letting those infections break out one after another, factories were incredulously told to close in stages while human lives were at stake.

“In other countries, such negligence would have resulted in the minister and directors being forced to resign immediately. Here in Malaysia, he was praised for taking it easy and doing things ‘in stages’,” the lawmaker said.

He called on Khairy to provide clarification on the following matters: Malaysia’s alleged disproportionate reaction to China, and data on the number of vaccine doses purchased by the Health Ministry since Khairy took office.

Malaysiakini has contacted the Health Ministry for comment. – Malaysiakini

Earlier report:

Jan 9, KJ defends Noor Hisham against Tiong’s tirade over Covid-19 strategy