Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the raid on a premises, DHA Healthcare Enterprise in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday was not racially motivated but to protect the health of the people.
“This involves the health of the general public, not the health of a race… this is done in the interest of the public and has nothing to do with racism, do not think that everything is related to racial issue because everyone can get sick,” he told a press conference after opening the Special Needs Across Life Span seminar at Fatimah Hospital in Ipoh today.
Lee said this when asked to comment on the raid which caught the public’s attention as well as criticism from the netizens because it was allegedly done in a non-civilised manner and seen as unfair.
Earlier, the owner of the premises, a gynaecologist, posted about the raid on his office on Facebook, saying that the officers came with neither notice nor clear motives and that he was taken aback by their harsh mannerism.
On Oct 3, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Federal Territories Health Department director Dr Param Jeeth Singh said in a statement that the inspection of the premises was carried out following public tip-off alleging it had healthcare products not registered with Ministry of Health (MOH).
‘Clinic’ and goods unregistered
Lee also defended the enforcement team who carried out the checks on the premises saying that they followed the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) set by the MOH and denied any elements of violence being used.
“For enforcement to be made, there is an SOP, this clinic has two issues, first it is not registered and secondly there are reports of selling items unregistered with MOH.
“So the raid was made in the interest of the public’s health. To have a different view is normal. If the related party wants to take legal action against the MOH, it is their right to do so,” he said.
Lee said the premises should not operate as a clinic because it was not licensed or registered under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (1998) and further action would be taken against the owner.
Ban e-cigarettes online
On a different note, Lee said MOH welcomed the suggestion by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo to ban the online sale and promotion of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and vape.
“We are concerned about the online promotion on the e-cigarette and vape, so we welcome the effort by MCMC to restrict the online sale of these products.
“We are constantly working with MCMC to take action against the sales of nicotine-containing vape liquid as this is prohibited under the Poisons Act 1952,” he said.
Lee said that there would be continued effort and cooperation with related quarters to ensure the sales of e-cigarettes and vape were not rampant especially among children.