Inquiry into death of Madam Ong Kwee Hian

Call for inquiry into death of Madam Ong Kwee Hian, whom the Tampin General Hospital ambulance refuse to take to Malacca General Hospital on grounds that the ambulance cannot cross state borders

The local press (Sin Chew Jit Poh) today carried a shocking report of the death of a Malacca woman rubber tapper.

The woman tapper, Madam Ong Kwee Hian of Batang Malacca, was bicycling to work in Ayer Kuning Estate with her husband in the early hours of yesterday morning, when she fell and sustained severe head injuries.

Her husband took her to the near-by Tampin General Hospital, where he was advised by the medical officer that her condition was very serious and that he should take her to the Malacca General Hospital, about 30 miles away.

Despite the husband’s pleas, the Tampin General Hospital refused to send Madam Ong to the Malacca General Hospital by its ambulance, on the ground that Tampin is in Negri Sembilan, and that the ambulance could not cross state borders.

In desperation, the husband had to pawn the wife’s necklace to get expenses to hire a taxi to Malacca General Hospital. The wife died before arrival at the Malacca General Hospital, about four hours after the fall.

This is indeed a shocking state of affairs, and all decent Malaysians must condemn such inhuman and callous refusal on the part of the Tampin General Hospital authorities to allow its ambulance to rush Madam Ong to Malacca General Hospital.

I call on the Minister of Health, Dato Haji Sardon bin Jubir, to immediate cause investigations to be made into this case to find out whether the Tampin General Hospital’s red-tape, bureaucracy and inhuman disregard of human life has contributed, or even responsible, for the death of the 22-year-old woman rubber tapper. If so, then those responsible must be severely punished.

The public would want to know whether it is policy of the government that ambulances should not cross borders, even to save human lives.

I also call on the Minister of Health to immediately take steps to see to it that no such recurrence leading to loss of human lives.