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Sarawak's Julian Tan booted out of Dewan Rakyat over rabies vaccines issue

KUALA LUMPUR: An Opposition MP from Sarawak was thrown out of Parliament today over mad dogs issue.
Julian Tan Kok Ping (DAP-Stampin) was ejected for insisting to discuss claims of rabies vaccines shortage in Sarawak following an outbreak in the small town of Serian.
Citing Standing Order 36 (12), Tan claimed that Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam had given confusing statements on the availability of the vaccine.
Standing Order 36 (12) stated that any member who imputes statements that mislead the House is deemed to be in contempt of the House and the member may be referred to the Committee of Privileges for the offence.
Tan was then rebuked by Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee for not understanding the Standing Order and was instructed to sit down.
It fell on deaf ears as Tan replied to Kiandee: "Speaker, statement said there's not enough vaccine, the minister said got enough vaccine.
That proved to be the last straw as Kiandee then ejected him from Parliament.
Tan continued his verbal outburst despite the order.
“Why you ask me to 'keluar dewan' (leave the hall)? I'm raising a crisis. There is a crisis in my area, people have died. There's statement in newspaper saying there's enough vaccine, but there's not enough vaccine,” said Tan.
Earlier on, Dr Subramaniam told Parliament that there were adequate stockpiles of rabies vaccines used for humans and animals.
The minister noted that the Veterinary Services Department, in working together with the Sarawak government, have prepared sufficient vaccine for humans.
He stressed that allegations of insufficient vaccine supplies were not true.
On another question by Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Bandar Kuching), Dr Subramaniam said doctors would provide vaccination if the shot will prove beneficial.
He said the immunoglobulin (antibody) would be administered if the dog bites are recent, as it would not be effective otherwise.
"If the wound is three weeks or four weeks old, whether immunoglobulin is given or not, there will be no differences," he said.
Dr Subramaniam was responding to Chong's allegation that doctors declined to vaccinate a former lawmaker in Sarawak even after she visited the hospital three times to get treatment for a dog bite.
Last week, Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry has always ensured that all states store the minimum quantity of the vaccine at all times as precautionary measure.
He explained that the vaccines are stored in General Hospital in Sarawak as preparation should there be a rabies infection.
The federal and state governments had spent almost RM3 million to contain the outbreak in Serian since last month.
A total of RM2.4 million was spent by the Federal government to purchase anti-rabies vaccines to be used by the state Veterinary Services Department.
The state government spent RM500,000 to purchase vaccines and equipments for frontline workers involved in the vaccination effort.

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