Are frontliners dealing with Covid 19 being put at severe risk by a shady deal that saw critical supplies of PPEs being procured cheaply?

PARTI Negara have sounded the alarm over alleged discrepancies in the government’s direct dealings to procure critical supplies of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontliners battling Covid 19.

Its protem vice president S. Gobi Krishnan in a statement today urged Health Minister Adham Baba and senior Minister (economy) Azmin Ali to come clean over leaked information that point to a consignment worth more than RM20 million procured by the ministry rejected for use by frontliners, having failed fit tests by the National Infection and Antibiotics Control Committee on April 8.

“We received complaints and concerns raised by several quarters, including some from the Ministry of Health over a large consignment of PPEs, specifically the N95 and KN95 face masks which were either contributed or procured through donated funds had failed the fit tests,” said Gobi Krishnan.

“Internal information that we received, showed that the PPEs which failed the fit tests, we still being used by frontliners in government hospitals. If this information is true, then this is an irresponsible act by the government and the Ministry of Health who are putting the health and lives of hospital staff and frontliners at risk in the effort to curb the spread of Covid 19,” he added.

Gobi Krishnan added that his party was informed of alleged discrepancies in the procurement of of the face masks which incurred a cost of more than RM20 million.

“If these allegations are true, this is pilferage and misappropriation of public funds at a time of crisis. We urge the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to swiftly investigate this matter,” said Gobi Krishnan.

“We urge Senior Minister Azmin Ali and Health Minister Adham Baba to come forward with an explanation urgently as it involves the lives of frontliners.”

Gobi Krishnan said such allegations also highlight the need to monitor closely the implementation process in procurement and distribution of PPEs and test kits to all 3,000 Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) panel clinics, who as Azmin announced last week, are to undertake the screening of employees under industries approved to resume operations under the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Meanwhile, a Facebook posting from the page seemingly concerning the same subject, has been making its rounds since last night.

The posting alleges the involvement of the infamous carpet salesman Deepak Jaikishan as a middle man in the botched PPE deal, claiming it was worth RM24 million.

The page suggests that Deepak, had sourced the shipment from China for Pharmaniaga Logistics Sdn Bhd, a government-linked phamaceutical supplier, to be supplied to the Health Ministry.

It provides similar details to Parti Negara’s suggestions, but states the KN95 facemasks had been rejected for use by frontliners, by the Health Department and directed to be declassified as N95 face masks, the required standard for frontliners dealing with Covid 19 cases, and only be used as surgical masks for normal health services.

It states the items cost the government RM24 million.

Health service frontliners have, as Parti Negara suggest, been voicing concerns over the stressed supplies of PPEs across the country.

A Perikatan Nasional government narrative has been strung around calls for the opposition bloc to not politicise matters as the nation deals with Covid 19, can also be seen as an effort to deflect such questions.