GEORGE TOWN: All government hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities are syariah-compliant, says Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya (pix).
In fact, he said all that the Health Ministry had done were entirely in compliance with syariah principles.
As such, Dr Hilmi said he was shocked by the statement made by the Penang government that it would build the first syariah-compliant hospital in Malaysia.
"It seemed that the exco member (who made the statement) was either unaware or purposely denying all efforts taken by the ministry to ensure that all government hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities in the country are in compliance with the syariah principles," he said in a statement.
He was resonding to a statement by Penang Islamic Affairs, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim last November that the state government would build the first Islamic hospital on a Penang Islamic Religious Council-owned land in Bayan Baru.
Dr Hilmi, who is Balik Pulau MP, said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) had also assisted in defining the meaning of syariah compliance.
"Based on Jakim's explanation, I think what the ministry is doing now is almost fully syariah-compliant.
"The Muslim staff are covering their 'aurat' (parts of the body that must be covered in Islam), including wearing long-sleeved uniforms and head scarves.
"The non-Muslim staff are also wearing the same uniforms, but without the head scarves.
"At the maternity ward, fathers are allowed to recite azan or iqamat for their newborn children.
"But to have only female obstetricians handle all labour cases will not be possible for the time being as we have yet to have the sufficient number of female obstetricians," the deputy minister said.
Dr Hilmi also stressed that all medicines and vaccines used by the ministry were halal.
"Only the vaccine for rotavirus is non-halal and we did not have that. It is available only at certain private hospitals or clinics.
"The ministry's pharmacy department has also carried out DNA tests to ensure that the vaccines that we use are free from pork and pig derivatives.
"So, if the exco member wants to claim that the DAP-led Penang government would be the first to build a syariah-compliant hospital in Malaysia, I suggest that he take a look at what we have done at the ministry," he said.
It was reported that the DAP-led Penang government would build the Islamic hospital costing RM280mil in Bayan Baru and it is expected to begin operations in 2020. - Bernama
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