KUALA LUMPUR,Nov 11: A heated argument erupted at the Dewan Rakyat today after an MP accused health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah of seeking publicity with his daily health briefings.

The incident started when Tiong King Sing (GPS-Bintulu) questioned why Noor Hisham was not visiting hospitals to provide moral support to medical teams.

“He is sending others (to visit hospitals) but he is not visiting. Is he afraid of dying?

“His daily briefings can also be read by his office boy,” he said during the debate on the 2021 budget proposals.

Tiong said the Covid-19 situation in Sabah is worsening and Noor Hisham should be paying visits. “Don’t just send doctors and nurses. Oh, they are not afraid of dying but DG is afraid of dying.”

He said Noor Hisham’s daily briefings could be handled by another officer and claimed that the health DG “wants to be the World Health Organization’s secretary-general”.

“He is not qualified, I feel,” Tiong said.

This prompted an angry response from RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong), who demanded an apology from Tiong for criticising a civil servant.

“Don’t criticise the DG. He is a frontliner,” Rayer said, raising his voice over his microphone which had been muted.

Deputy speaker Azalina Othman Said repeatedly instructed Rayer to be silent and after several warnings, he was asked to leave the hall.


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