Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The ‘wizards’ of ‘Kota Cemerlang’

Recently I went to the Ayer Keroh Health Clinic. I headed straight to the Kota Cemerlang Complex in Lebuh Ayer Keroh, Malacca, because before hand I had the information the clinic was relocated at that building, some a kilometer away from its old premise in Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama.

After seeing the doctor, I went to the Pharmacy Unit to take my medications. On the counter I notice a bundle of leaflets. I took one, and read.

“Do you have excess medications at home? Return your medicines to the Pharmacy.

If you have excess medications stored at home, you are at risk of:-

*Taking extra/unnecessary medications at higher doses than those advised by your doctor/pharmacist.

* Storing or using medications that may have reached their expiry date.

* Not taking your medications appropriately.

As a way to reduce wastage, you are encouraged to return medicines that you are no longer taking which are still in good condition to the pharmacy at the hospital or clinic, Please place the unused medicines in the bin located in front of the pharmacy counter. Thank you. – Unit Farmasi Kesihatan Melaka Tengah (The Heath Pharmacy Unit of Central Malacca)”

Wow, what a smart way to avoid unnecessary wastage. Not only old newspapers, cardboards, plastics materials, tin cans and bottles could be recycled; unused medications too could be saved. I leave it to the doctors and experts on whether it was safe or not to recycle the unused medications.

Leaving the Kota Cemerlang Complex, I could not stop my curiosity from knowing what had happened to the ‘old’ premise. So I went there. At the main gate, nobody stopped me so I had the opportunity to go inside. I parked my vehicle at the porch and went inside the building.

Near the empty counter, was a big sign board on the wall. It was written that the ‘Poliklinik Komuniti Ayer Keroh’ (Ayer Keroh Community Polyclinic) was officially launched by ‘Ketua Menteri’ (Chief Minister) of Melaka, Dato’ Seri Mohd Ali Rustam on 8th July 2003 (8th Jamadilawal 1424).

The building was new; the launching date was less than six years ago; but why was it abandoned? At a cyber cafe, I searched in the internet, and I found this piece.

“Thursday January 15, 2009
Ayer Keroh clinic relocated to Kota Cemerlang Complex

MALACCA: The Ayer Keroh health clinic has been temporarily relocated at the new Kota Cemerlang Complex in Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama (actually it is in Lebuh Ayer Keroh) for several months to allow for fungal treatment at its premises.
From Jan 12, the Melaka Tengah Health Department has rented four lots on the ground floor and three lots on the second floor for the clinic to run its daily operations.

State Women Affairs, Family Development and Health Committee chairman Norpipah Abdol said the fungal treatment and other work on the clinic would start late February and take several months.

“The clinic will operate at the new location until the old premises is certified as safe.

“The reason for the relocation is a fungal attack in early 2006,” she said, adding that the clinic treated about 350 patients daily.

She said the temporary premise was easily accessible and there were lifts on both ends of the floors.

“The new location is next to the main road and public transport is easily accessible,” she said, adding that the cost of the relocation and rental was RM701,984.

She noted that outpatient, emergency, mother and child, school health, laboratory and pharmacy services had resumed as normal.

However, x-ray and dental services could not be provided and patients would be referred to Malacca Hospital and health clinics in Peringgit, Tanjung Kling and Klebang, she noted.”

After spending a few minutes inside the ‘old’ clinic’s building, I heard footsteps coming my way, so I headed for the entrance. A guard caught me up, so I pretended to read the notice put up on the glass door.

I asked him where the new clinic was, and he told me it was relocated in Kota Cemerlang Complex. He told me, in it’s effort to help the ‘rakyat’ (people), the government did not mind spending up to RM20,000 per month in rental of seven shop lots in Kota Cemerlang for the temporary clinic.

Wow, what a generous thing to do by spending RM20,000 per month for the benefit of the people. But wait, why must they spend such a huge amount and what actually had happened to the ‘not so old’ building in Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama? It was only six years old, and if a building of that age was declared not safe, then what could be said about its contractors and maintenance units?

I asked the guard to whom the rental was to be paid. He replied, to a private company that had bought the lots from Kumpulan Melaka Berhad, a subsidiary of the state government investment arm. He claimed Kumpulan Melaka had sold many of the lots in Kota Cemerlang to private companies and individuals including those from Singapore.

My inquires to officers of Kumpulan Melaka by phone, acknowledged almost all the lots, especially on the ground floor had been sold. They had only a few units left, and one officer told me if I would like to rent a unit, it would costs me RM5,000 per month. From this info, I assumed the rental for the Ayer Keroh Health Clinic amounted to more than $35,000 per month.

I left the guard with a thank you and headed for the main entrance where I met another guard. He told me the same story, and added some other information that was hard for me (man on the street) to swallow.

“Yes, they rent the lots for RM20,000 per month,” he said and added that the logistic and renovations of the lots in Kota Cemerlang in setting the clinic amounted to some RM770,000.

I could not believe it, but when I looked back at the news that reported the move, that guard was to be believed because the State Women Affairs, Family Development and Health Committee chairman Norpipah Abdol had said the cost of the relocation and rental was RM701,984.

So the government had spent a lot of money for the rakyat’s (people’s) welfare and in this case, the first guard I met, was right; acknowledging hundred thousands of ringgits were spent to move the clinic to Kota Cemerlang.

But for the thinking rakyats who had work hard and then contributed their hard earned money in form of taxes, a lot of questions popped inside their heads. Among others, what actually had happened to the complex (Ayer Keroh Health Clinic) after it was declared not save when it was built six years ago? If the authorities gave the reason that the fungal attack was beyond their control, then what were the maintenance people doing?

Then why must the government rent lots owned by private identities who had bought them from a semi government agency (Kumpulan Melaka Berhad)? To a lay man, this was very confusing. It was hard to swallow the on going transaction. May be those at helm of Kumpulan Melaka that had its office at the Kota Cemerlang building could explain for they were ‘wizards’ in their field.

As for me, I wish to appreciate the splendid work and service of the staff of the Ayer Keroh Clinic. Thank your sir and madam, and to be in line with their usury drive, I put in my excess mediations in the bin on the counter!

No comments: