Wednesday, August 12, 2009

high child mortality rate to be reduced : Health Minister

KOTA KINABALU: Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai hopes that the renaming of Hospital Likas to Hospital Wanita dan Kanak-Kanak Sabah will help his ministry in enhancing the health of women and children as well as bringing down the high child mortality rate of 10.8 per 1,000 deliveries in Sabah to 6.5 per 1,000 deliveries.

"I was made to understand that every year, there are about 40,000 births in Sabah. With the existence of this specialist hospital for women and children, this can improve their health," Liow said.

He said that the mother and child's mortality rates in Sabah are still considered high and he hoped that the rates can be reduced.

"Now our mother mortality rate in the country is about 30 per 100,000 deliveries and the child mortality rate is about six per 1,000 deliveries based on the statistics in 2008,” he said.

"I am of the view that these mortality rates among mothers and children could be reduced with the availability of excellent health services in the country," he added.

Liow said that the ministry has already achieved its target for the whole nation but for Sabah, there is still a need for improvement in terms of reducing the mother and child's mortality rates.

“This is the reason why Sabah needs this hospital to train more specialists and doctors and also to give emphasis on these woman and child care,” he said.

Liow said the health of mothers and children in the country has improved a lot.

"I think back to 1970s, our mother mortality rate was very high which was about 300 per 100,000 deliveries. Now we have managed to reduce to 30. It's a lot of reduction," he said.

Asked whether similar hospital will be opened in other states in the country, Liow said: "It depends on the need of the states. Like in Sabah, the needs for woman and child care is very high."

Earlier in his speech when launching the ceremony to re-name Hospital Likas to Hospital Wanita dan Kanak-Kanak Sabah, Liow said that Hospital Likas is an unique hospital as it provides specialist services for women and children.

Besides its several other sub-specialist services, the hospital also became a referral centre for district hospitals in the State as well as Lawas Hospital in Sarawak, he said.

He said the Obstetric and Gynecologic Department of the hospital is also involved in teaching students from the Medicine Faculty of Universiti Malaysia Sabah as well as medical officers in O&G field from several local universities and overseas universities such as United Kingdom.

Liow said that at the moment, the hospital has 504 beds and in terms of development and medical services, this hospital is on par with other hospitals in the country.

He said that his ministry is working hard to upgrade and to add the relevant facilities to provide better services to the patients, the public and the staff of the hospital itself, adding that this would ease the burden of those who cannot afford the rising cost of medical treatment.

dulu Hospital Likas, kini Hospital Wanita dan Kanak-Kanak Sabah

Photo caption: Liow menurunkan tandatangannya di atas sebuah plak (plaque) sebagai tanda rasminya penamaan semula Hospital Likas kepada Hospital Wanita dan Kanak-Kanak Sabah.

Pada 9 Ogos yang lalu, secara rasminya nama Hospital Likas telah diubah kepada Hospital Wanita dan Kanak-Kanak Sabah. Mungkin masih ramai penduduk Sabah yang masih belum menyedari akan pertukaran nama hospital ini.

Tambahan pula, papan tanda Hospital Likas masih lagi terpampang di atas bangunan hospital tersebut. Saya tidak pasti bila agaknya papan tanda itu akan ditukar.

Majlis penamaan semula hospital ini telah dirasmikan oleh Menteri Kesihatan Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Dengan adanya pengkhususan hospital dalam bidang wanita dan kanak-kanak, kita berharap tahap kesihatan wanita dan kanak-kanak semakin baik dan seterusnya dapat menurunkan kadar mortaliti ibu dan kanak-kanak di Sabah.
Nota1: Walaupun nama hospital ini Hospital Wanita dan Kanak-Kanak Sabah, hospital ini turut menyediakan rawatan kepada pesakit lelaki.

Nota2: Harap papan tanda tersebut ditukar secepat mungkin untuk mengelak kekeliruan.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Musa won his appeal to strike out Chong's suit over the stoppage of Mazu statue project in Kudat

Photo caption: Chong with his counsel Raja Aziz leaving the courtroom after the proceedings yesterday

By Kelimen Sawatan

KOTA KINABALU: The Court of Appeal here today struck out with cost the two suits brought by former Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat against his successor Datuk Seri Musa Hj Aman and Kudat Town Board over the stoppage of the Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) statue construction project in Kudat.

Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Md Raus b Sharif who sat together with Judges Datuk Abdul Hamid b Embong and Datuk Sulong Matjeraie unanimously allowed the appeal by Musa and three other appellants to set aside the High Court Judicial Commissioner's decision in rejecting their application to strike out the suit against them.

In allowing the appeal, the three-judge bench unanimously held that the respondent (Chong) had no standing to maintain this action.

The three other appellants were former State Secretary Datuk KY Mustafa, Permanent Secretary of the State Housing and Local Government Ministry Datuk Ujang Sulani and the Kudat Town Board.

All the appellants were represented by counsel Datuk Shafee b Abdullah, Richard Barnes and Hasan Murtaza.

The second suit that was struck out with cost by the Court was Chong's originating motion against Kudat Town Board and Central Town and Country Planning Board.

The two Boards were also represented by Shafee, Richard Barnes and Hasan while Chong was represented by counsel Raja Aziz Addruse, Hj Ansari Abdullah and Erveana Ansari.

The court in its judgment held that the only question to be determined in this application made under Order 33, Rule 2, of Rules of High Corut 1980 was whether the respondent has the legal standing to initiate this suit.

"It is clear from the statement of claim that the respondent filed this suit in his name as "chairman of the Kudat Thean Hou Charitable Foundation. The appellants now say that this foundation is an unlawful society and as such has no standing to proceed with its suit.

"The respondent says that it is actually a private trust body and capable of maintaining this suit. This is however not its pleaded case," Md Raus said adding that Shafee had refered to two letters, one from the Amanah Raya Office and the other from the State Attorney General.

"Both confirmed that the Foundation remains unincorporated body. Yang Mulia Raja Aziz submitted that there are other facts that should be investigated by the High Court before coming to a decision on this preliminary issue.

"He (Raja Aziz) said that the learned Judicial Commissioner had not been wrong in deferring this matter until the trial proper. He further said that the learned Judicial Commissioner had properly exercised her discretion which this Court of Appeal should not disturb," Md Raus said.

"Order 33, Rule 2, of Rules of High Court, 1980 allows such an application as this one before us to be taken up at any stage of the proceedings. If a matter can be finally resolved without going through a full trial, then for the sake of expediency and cost saving, the Order should be utilised," he further said.

"To us the simple question that arises from this application is to determine who the respondent is and whether he has a standing in this court," Md Raus said adding that if the respondent was found to be an unlawful society then the court must act to strike down his suit, without the need to proceed with the trial.

"This is in keeping with the underlying rational of Order 33, Rule 2, of Rules of High Court, 1980. In our unanimous view, that the respondent has no standing to maintain this action," he said.

Md Raus contended that from the two letters mentioned earlier on, it was clear to them that the respondent was an unincorporated body.

"To us there is nothing further for the learned Judicial Commissioner to enquire into. It is therefore our finding that the respondent is neither a lawful society nor an incorporated trust foundation.

"For these reasons we allow the appeal with costs, and set aside the ruling made by the learned Judicial Commissioner, " Md Raus said in striking out both suits brought by Chong.
High Court Judicial Commissioner Yew Jen Kie had on April 21, this year, dismissed with cost the application to strke out the suit by Musa, KY Mustafa, Ujang Sulani and the Kudat Town Board who were the first, second, third and fourth defendents respectively.

At the same time, Yew also dismissed their appeal to stay the proceeding of the trial that has already been partly heard with three witnesses having testified, including Chong.

Chong filed the first suit against Musa and the three other defendents on Feb 6, 2008 to seek a declaration from the High Court that Musa had, in giving directions and orders to the other defendants acted mala fide and/or in abuse of his power as the Chief Minister and/or ultra vires the Local Government Ordinance and the Town and Country Planning Ordinance.

He is also seeking a declaration that a 'fatwa' issued by the State Mufti on July 7, 2006, is unconstitutional as it infringes upon Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, and a declaration that the letter of approval dated Feb 8, 2006 by the fourth defendant is valid.

Chong is further seeking a court declaration that the letter of withdrawal of approval dated Nov 15, 2007 also issued by the fourth defendant is null and void.

Meanwhile the second suit against Kudat Town Board and Country Planning Board who were the first and second defendents respectively, was filed on Dec 12, 2007.

In his originating motion, Chong is seeking a court order to revoke the letter of withdrawal of approval issued by the Kudat Town Board on Nov 15, 2007.

He is also seeking an order to confirm that the letter of approval dated Feb 8, 2006, was valid and binding on all parties concerned.

Meanwhile when met outside the court after the proceedings, Ansari said that they will be appealling against the Court of Appeal's decision at the Federal Court.