KOTA BARU, Malaysia - A PAS assemblyman said the current dengue fever outbreak is a calamity that came about because the government does not fully adhere to Islamic principles.
Without specifying whether he meant the state or federal government, Tawang representative Hasan Mahmood said the outbreak happened not because of the lack of environmental cleanliness or hygiene.
It was, he added, a calamity from God.
"Through the ages, God had brought disasters to those who transgressed His laws and it is the same in these present times, where any spread of a disease stems from non-compliance of God's laws," he told the state legislative meeting at Kota Darul Naim here yesterday.
Hasan was reacting to a question by Dr Md Yusnan Yusof (PAS-Melor) who asked the state government about the steps taken by the authorities to curb the dengue scourge in Kelantan.
State Local Government, Health, Housing and Environment committee chairman Datuk Abdul Fattah Mahmood said 17 people had died of the disease so far this year while 12 others were warded at hospital intensive care units.
"Some 13,200 people in the state had contracted dengue since January. The dirty environment and apathy towards home cleanliness are among the reasons. So are clogged drains," he added.
Mohd Adhan Kechik (BN-Bukit Bunga) said despite the state government using Islam as its platform to manage the state, the surroundings remained dirty and shameful.
Abdul Fattah said efforts made to curb the dengue menace were to no avail due to public apathy.
"Reminders were included in Friday sermons at mosques throughout the state. Major gotong-royong activities were also held. But the problem still persists."
Meanwhile, Barisan Nasional's newly-elected Pengkalan Kubor assemblyman Mat Razi Mat Ail, 49, was sworn in before assembly Speaker Datuk Abdullah Yaakub.