M'sian hospital apologises for poster asking visitors if they've been to S'pore, Sabah amid virus outbreak


Syahindah Ishak | February 06, 2020, 06:13 PM

A controversial poster located in a Malaysian hospital has been making its rounds on Facebook since Tuesday (Feb. 4).

Here's what it looks like:

"China, Wuhan, Singapore or Sabah"

The poster, which was placed at the lobby of KPJ Rawang Specialist Hospital in Selangor, requests visitors to declare if they have been to "China, Wuhan, Singapore or Sabah" in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The poster states:

“Dear valued customers, please inform us if you have been to China, Wuhan, Singapore or Sabah, or if you have close contact with positive novel coronavirus patients in the past 14 days."

With 28 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of Feb. 5 and currently at third place globally, it is understandable why other countries are taking precautionary measures when dealing with visitors from Singapore.

In India, for instance, its airports are screening passengers arriving from Singapore.

Singaporeans angry

Nevertheless, several Singaporeans have been offended by the poster.

Mistakes in the poster

The poster also went viral for its information blunders.

It inexplicably included Sabah, a state in Malaysia which currently has no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

This triggered a number of Sabahans who shared their confusion online.

Translation: "Sabah have meh?"

Someone also pointed out that Wuhan is in China and thus, it is redundant to separate the two.

Among those who were displeased by the errors was Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Youth chief, Jamain Sarudin.

According to Free Malaysia Today (FMT), Jamain said that the poster falsely depicts Sabah as one of the hotspots for the novel coronavirus.

He added via FMT:

“This mistake should not have occurred at a well-known and prestigious medical centre such as KPJ. Surely, I think the health ministry did not list Sabah as a high-risk area for coronavirus infection."

Apology from the hospital

In a Facebook post dated Feb. 5, KPJ Rawang Specialist Hospital issued an apology in English and Malay for the controversy it caused.

The hospital said that it had "no intention of offending any individual or state or country...We deeply regret and apologise for this oversight."

The poster has also been removed.

You can read the hospital's full statement here:

Top image from KPJ Rawang Specialist Hospital/FB & Chong Chee How/FB.