Conditions in Pulau Bruit appalling


Chief Minister calls for immediate actions to help the villagers, especially in the provision of better health facilities

KUCHING: Apparently appalled by the depressing conditions in Pulau Bruit, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has called for immediate actions to be taken to improve health facilities for the people there.

In his recent visit to the island in Daro District, he said he found the people were mostly suffering from malnutrition and that there were cases of high blood pressure even among the younger generation due to improper food intake and frequent consumption of salted fish.

“The situation is quite bad as the population is cut off from the mainstream of our activities and they are isolated and depend so much on fishing. Even their basic necessities are limited.

“During the monsoon, the catch is not as good and due to this, the people have to depend so much on preserved food. For the people here, the best way to preserve food is to salt them. The excessive consumption of salted fish is not good for the blood pressure and lots of other medical complications might arise due to their diet,” he pointed out.

He was speaking at the launch of ‘The First 100 Years of Hospital Service in Sarawak’ coffee table book at the new State Legislative Assembly complex at Petra Jaya on Saturday evening.

Disclosing that cases of heart diseases also occurred among the young people there, Taib stressed that the situation should not be allowed to continue.

Requesting for immediate attention from the health industry while also offering his assistance, he added: “If possible, I would like to appeal to the medical services in Sarawak to start something for the people there.

“I can allocate some supplementary provision to allow the people of Pulau Bruit to get proper health treatments, screenings and other services to curb the serious case of malnutrition of the people which seems to have escaped our radar.”

Lamenting that the long term solution for Pulau Bruit would not take place until the development plans for Tanjung Manis take off within three to five years, he stressed that the suffering of the people there must be alleviated at all costs.

Although he was quick to acknowledge that certain quarters, especially private hospitals, had come up with initiatives to provide health screenings there, Taib suggested that the government health sector ought to implement some plans for the people. Referring to Pulau Bruit community’s predicament as an emergency situation, the chief minister said that the health sector here had the ability to solve the problem.

“Maybe we can come up with something similar to the 1Malaysia Clinic programme,” he suggested.