Probe delay in action over measles outbreak in Kuala Koh, says MCA


PETALING JAYA: MCA wants the Health Ministry to investigate the reason behind the delay in action over the measles outbreak that hit the Orang Asli from Kuala Koh in Gua Musang Kelantan, says its deputy president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.

He said the delay was a disgrace as it is known that the ministry has a well-established standard operating procedure (SOP) to monitor any contagious disease or outbreak.

"According to news report since May 2, there have already been reports of Orang Asli deaths from the disease in Kampung Kuala Koh, Kelantan, but the Health Ministry only responded more than a month later on June 10.

"Clearly, the ministry's monitoring system has a fatal flaw," he said in a statement Tuesday (June 18).

Dr Mah also urged the Health Ministry to give full explanation over the incident including other possible diseases and ways to prevent transmission in the future.

"We can understand that the Orang Asli's living environment and practices pose a certain challenge for their medical needs to be met.

"However, this cannot be the omnipotent excuse for the ministry's tardiness and incompetence in duty," said Dr Mah.

"As the Orang Asli's grief witnessing their kindred's passing, one innocent life after another, we too cannot bear to stomach this injustice served by the Health Ministry.

"The truth must be brought to light, because it is only if the ministry is transparent, professional, can the public place their trust in them," he said, adding that the incident had left "a blemish to its records."

So far, there were three deaths among the Orang Asli of Kampung Kuala Koh, with the most recent case being the death of a three-year-old toddler on Sunday (June 16) due to measles and pneumonia with multi-organ failure.