I am very disappointed with the performance of Deputy Minister of Transport, Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas, during the winding up reply to the speeches and questions raised by MPs in the debate of committee stage of Transport Ministry yesterday. He seemed ignorant about a lot of questions raised by MPs, and he was just busy running away from the critical questions, particularly questions raised by Chong Eng, MP for Bukit Mertajam and me.
I was particularly dissatisfied with his reply on the issue of e-Kesihatan, a health check on commercial transport drivers scheme initiated by Road Transport Department (JPJ). JPJ has appointed Supreme System Sdn Bhd to undertake the project. The e-Kesihatan project was announced by Minister of Transport on September 3, but it was then halted by the Cabinet and referred to EPU for proper study on September19 after much hue and cry from affected parties.
The reasons the Cabinet objected to the e-Kesihatan scheme was because JPJ has violated the standard operation procedure of the government, where the JPJ has never submitted cabinet paper, and JPJ did not conduct any consultation with Ministry of Health and it did not get approval from MMA, MMC and the EPU.
In my speech during the Transport Ministry committee stage debate, I raised a few important points:
i. Who authorized JPJ to sign agreement with SUPREME SYSTEM SDN BHD to implement the E-KESIHATAN scheme without following standard operation procedure and getting cabinet approval?
ii. On September 19, the deputy head of JPJ Solah Hassan told the press that the Ministry of Health, MMA and MMC have endorsed this programme and the E-Kesihatan programme will be launched on October 1, which was denied by all these agencies later. I wish to know whether disciplinary action has been taken against JPJ officials, in particular Haji Solah Hassan who has misled the cabinet and the public.
To my disappointment, Douglas Unggah just gave a short reply to me in Dewan Rakyat by saying that the Cabinet has postponed the scheme and it has been referred to EPU for further study. When I pressed him further, he then said that this was the only reply that can be given by his ministry at this stage.
I said that if the government has been supposedly promoting integrity among civil service, and the Prime Minister has urged the people to ‘tell him the truth’, how then can the Ministry of Transport give me such an answer. It is as good as giving me no answer at all.
Why did the Deputy Minister of Transport run away from this important issue? Does he have anything to hide from the public? Dewan Rakyat should be the venue for all ministries to answer questions raised by MPs, especially an important case such as this which has misled various important government agencies and even the Cabinet. Isn’t that important enough for the Deputy Minister to give us an answer? Is that because the answer to e-Kesihatan scheme will involve higher up officers and thus open up a can of worms?
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