MIRI: SUPP is strongly against the federal government’s decision to stop sending veterinary officers to Sarawak to help in vaccination as the war against rabies virus is a long battle.
The federal government had quoted budget constraint as a reason for the move.
In criticising the decision, SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting, who is Piasau assemblyman, said it showed that the federal government was ignorant towards the welfare of Sarawakians.
“To date, there are new cases being reported in Sarawak, thus it is high time for us to beef up all the necessary action to battle rabies virus.
“For PH government to make such announcement had us questioning whether they did not even take the initiative to protect the Sarawakian people.”
Ting wants the government to put aside any political interest to focus on the welfare of the people in Sarawak.
“Sarawakians are part of Malaysia. They deserve to be taken care of by the federal government and surely, they deserve a fair treatment just like other Malaysians.
“Thus, the federal government cannot use the ‘budget constraint’ as excuse to stop the vaccination,” said Ting in a press statement yesterday.
He revealed that based on a record released by Ministry of Health in May this year, there had been 10 rabies positive cases with eight deaths since July last year.
Apart from that, as of May 8, 30 areas in Sarawak had been identified as rabies epidemic areas, including Serian, Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman and Sarikei.
Meanwhile, more than 1,630 mass anti-rabies and vaccination campaigns had been held throughout the state, where over 71,523 canines and 8,301 cats were vaccinated.
“The PH government cannot overlook this matter, as they have already profited a lot from Sarawak’s oil and gas. It is time for them to do what they need to,” Ting added.
Miri Indian Society president Karambir Singh also criticised the federal government for ceasing to provide funding for the anti-rabies campaign.
“In fact, this actually relates to matters of life and death. Once a person gets rabies, they are almost certain to die. Therefore, the only solution is prevention,” he said.
Karambir opined that the excuse of budget cuts given by the federal government was ridiculous and questioned the morale behind the decision.
“However, we are fortunate that the Sarawak Government is still actively pursuing their awareness campaigns and closely monitoring the situation,” he said, adding that he hopes the federal government will reverse the decision.
Karambir urged all dog owners to have their pet vaccinated as a preventive measure.
In Miri, there are no reported cases of rabies despite many cases of dog bites happening recently.