PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry says it has yet to receive the RM150mil allocation meant for a new hospital in Kampar, quashing allegations made by DAP's Keranji assemblyman Chong Zhemin that the funds had been misappropriated.
The ministry said although the Government had approved the construction of the hospital when tabling Budget 2020 last year, land transfer matters had yet to be completed.
"The land meant for the hospital is state land which needs to be transferred to the Federal Lands Commissioner.
"The Economic Affairs Ministry will only prepare the budget according to the ceiling prescribed in the 12th Malaysia Plan once land transfer matters are completed," the ministry said in a statement Tuesday (Jan 7).
It further noted that there was no issue involving the RM150mil allocation because the funds are currently being held by the Finance Ministry and had not been disbursed to the Health Ministry.
"There is no issue here because the Finance Ministry has yet to approve the disbursement of the allocation to the Health Ministry," it said.
It also noted that the original project and budget, which was first announced by then health minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai in 2012, was cancelled as the initial site was found to be unsuitable.
A fresh budget for the newly-revived project was only approved after Budget 2020 was tabled.
The Health Ministry's clarification debunked Chong's claim that MCA had misappropriated the RM150mil allocation for the Kampar hospital, which he claimed was replaced with the party's plan for a private hospital in collaboration with Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.
His allegations on Jan 2 sparked a spat between him and MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon who demanded evidence that MCA had misappropriated the funds.
Chong reportedly responded by showing a letter that the construction of the hospital was cancelled in 2016 after the proposed site was found to be unsuitable but allegedly did not mention the allocation.
On Jan 4, Dr Mah retaliated by criticising Chong for providing irrelevant answers and called for his resignation if he could not provide strong evidence.
He also demanded Chong's apology and threatened to take legal action if it was not issued within 48 hours.
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