VOL. 20 No. 3
Table of Contents
|Master||Dr Chang Keng Wee|
|Deputy Master||Dato' Dr N Arumugam|
|Scribe||Dato' Dr Khoo Kah Lin|
|Bursar||Prof Dato' P Kandasami|
|Deputy Scribe & Chief Censor||Prof Rosmawati Mohamed|
|Council Members||Dato' Dr P Boopalan
Dr Chan Kheng Khim
Dr Evelyn Ho
Prof Datuk Looi Lai Meng
Prof Victor Lim
Dr Ng Char Hong
Assoc Prof Razman Jarmin
|Presidents||Assoc Prof Datin Norsidah Abd Manap
Prof Dato' Lian Chin Boon
Dato' Dr Abu Hassan Asaari
Dr Johan Thambu Malek
(O & G)
Prof Lee Way Seah
Prof Cheong Soon Keng
Prof Dato' Khalid Yusoff
Prof Lekhraj Rampal
Prof Dato' Humairah Cheung
Prof Yip Cheng Har
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Message from the Master
Dr Chang Keng Wee
First and foremost, I would like to thank members for electing me as Master of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia at our 45th AGM on 22nd September 2011. It is indeed a great honour to be elected to this august position and I pledge to serve to the best of my ability.
I think it is not nice to put the office bearers in a front page message. May I amend as follows
The list of newly elected office bearers is published in this issue of the newsletter. We will aspire to do out utmost for the Academy.
With the intended full liberalization of medical specialist services to foreign registered doctors, we in the Academy are working closely with the Malaysian Medical Association and the Ministry of Health Malaysia to ensure that proper legislation is in place. This is to ensure that the ‘rakyat’ are protected against ‘unqualified’ so called specialists. There must be legislation to ensure mandatory pre-National Specialist Register registration assessment prior to admitting such individuals. This is in place even in advanced economies like the USA and Australia. The European Union countries have enforced a point system to assess one’s eligibility. We in the medical fraternity are not afraid of foreign competition. Many of our specialists are of international standard and are well sought after by their former institutions where they trained and practised.
Of late, there has been a concern regarding the adequacy of houseman training. With the introduction of a two- year mandatory housemanship, all of a sudden, there was a flood of housemen in the available training places. This is aggravated by the large number of returning foreign graduates intending to do their housemanship. There is even a waiting list; some for up to six months. The question of adequate exposure and supervised training is of concern. There have been proposals to rethink about postgraduate training of our medical graduates. Would a residency programme be a better option? These are some of the issues that the new council shall be looking into.
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9th Ministry of Health Malaysia Academy of Medicine of Malaysia Scientific Meeting 2011
incorporating the 14th Scientific Meeting of the National Institutes of Health
Report by Dr Shahnaz Murad and Prof Lim Thiam Aun, Organising Chairpersons
Every alternate year, the Ministry of Health Malaysia and the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia join efforts to organise a combined meeting. The 9th MOH-AMM Scientific Meeting (incorporating the 14th Scientific Meeting of the National Institutes of Health) was held on 22nd and 23rd September 2011. The theme for the meeting was “Equity in Healthcare Unites the Nation”. The meeting was held at the T J Danaraj Auditorium in the new Medical Academies of Malaysia Building. This was the first time such a big event was held in this premise.
The scientific programme has been planned to cover topics of current national interest which include the concept and updates of 1Care, equity in healthcare, sustainable healthcare financing structures and clinical research. The lectures were delivered by eminent speakers, both from local and abroad.
The Keynote Address on the theme of the conference was delivered by Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman, Deputy Director-General of Health (Public Health) on behalf of the Director-General of Health Malaysia who was overseas. He also declared open the meeting. This was followed by the conferment and induction ceremony of the Academy of Medicine. Twenty-one Fellows and 116 Members attended the ceremony.
The 11th Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Lecture was delivered by Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Ramon Navaratnam on “What Would The Tunku Say, If He Was Here Today?” The lecture was well received.
There were a total of 391 registrants for the conference. Forty-three posters were put up and prizes were given to the three best posters:
The National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia took the opportunity to publicise and display information on the research and services which they carry out.
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13th Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Lecture
"What Would the Tunku Say if he was here Today?"
by Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr) Ramon Navaratnam
22nd September 2011
Dr Lockman Hakim, Dato' Maimunah, Prof Victor Lim, Dr Shanaz Murad, and Prof Lim Thiam Aun
Saudara, saudari sekelian
I am greatly honoured, to be invited to give this year’s Tunku Abdul Rahman Lecture, especially to the prestigious Academy of Medicine.
Let me say at the outset that I admire our late beloved Tunku Abdul Rahman greatly and feel that I cannot do enough justice to such a great leader.
I have also to make another admission - doctors generally scare me as I am always a prospective patient. The Academy of Medicine has also held me in some awe, perhaps because my first MCS posting was to the Ministry of Health.
Then, we had formidable leaders like Tun Omar Ong Yoke Lin as Minister of Health, Tan Sri Dr Mohd Din Bin Ahmad, Dr Tan Hor Kee, Dr Hj Mohammed Bin Mohd Ibrahim, Dr Karim Bin Nawab Din and Dr Walter Jesudason. Of course, there was another luminary, Tan Sri Dr Ismail Majid, of "Coco's Mess" fame.
I well remember this - as I had to draft replies to parliamentary questions that I prepared for the Minister, Tun Omar Ong Yoke Lin. Even a junior civil servant like me, had some sleepless nights, because of that mess!
2. Why Invited Me To Speak?
Is it because - at my age there are only a few of us left, who served under Tunku’s premiership? Or is it because I believe in Tunku’s values and achievements?
Indeed, I was a university student when I was thrilled to hear him shout “Merdeka” seven times at the Merdeka Stadium on the first Merdeka Day in 1957.
3. So What Is The Title Of My TAR Address?
To commemorate the Tunku’s memory and his great contribution to Malaya and Malaysia, I asked myself, what would be the suitable subject for this memorable occasion.
After only a little thought, I decided on the subject -- "What Would The Tunku Say If He Was Here Today?"
At the outset, let me say that, I believe that Malaysia would be a better and happier country - if we followed the Tunku’s golden rules and values.
4. What Then Were The Tunku’s Values And Stand In His Life?
What were his aspirations and his dreams for our beloved Malaysia - and what are they today?
The late Tun Suffian, our former Chief Justice, in the book “Prince Among Men” - described the Tunku thus –
“Though a prince, he was a democrat, though he was a politician, he was a gentleman and a statesman - and history will forever record his great contribution towards his country and people”.
And so how do we remember the Tunku?
Firstly, we all remember him fondly as a true Malay Malaysian.
He did not have qualms about being, first a Malay and then a Malaysian. Indeed he was both at the same time.
He was indeed a true Malaysian Malay.
Secondly, he was as he described himself - "The happiest Prime Minister in the world".
He did not have a mean bone in him. That cannot be said so easily of many politicians today.
Thirdly, while he felt strongly about uplifting the poor and the underprivileged - he was never racial.
It’s difficult to attribute this rare quality to most of our politicians, on either side of the divide, today.
Fourthly, the Tunku was greatly loved by all Malaysians regardless of race and religion, despite his love for everything “fast, i.e. fast cars, horses and fast women”. Today, we have definitely slowed down – We have far more hang-ups.
For instance, he loved joget, like the late Tun Razak.
I for one, miss it today, especially the joget dances with Ministers of Health, Khir Johari and Bahaman Shamsuddin at the nurses hostels at the General Hospital in Kuala Lumpur.
Fifthly, because he was a modern Muslim, he was not parochial and narrow-minded. He boldly encouraged great religious freedom. He was not bigotted like many leaders today!
Sixthly, he regarded all of us as Malaysians, first and foremost. He therefore, promoted and practised the fundamental principles of egalitarianism and justice, even before the NEP was officially adopted after the May 13th riots. In other words, he always stood up for fairness to all. This was because of his basic and intrisic goodness of heart and his rich inner spirituality. He was not a “pretender”! He was always true to himself.
Seventhly, he upheld the principles of meritocracy and competition while caring for the poor and the underpriviledged. That is why we enjoyed immense confidence, both at home and abroad. That is how he laid firm foundations for political stability, national unity and economic progress and great religious understanding and tolerance.
Eighthly, he enjoyed enormous international goodwill and stature. He was admired both in the developing South nations as well as the rich North or Western nations - without stirring rancour or being regarded as recalcitrant.
5(i) So What Would The Dear Tunku Say To Us Today
After 54 years of Merdeka, that he so graciously and grandly achieved, for our beloved country - from our protectorate or colonial status?
Even this is being debated after all these years!
I honestly believe that he would have “mixed feelings” for the following reasons:
On the positive side - firstly, as ‘Bapa Kemerdekaan’, he would be happy and proud that, his Malaya of 1957, and then Malaysia in 1963, is still here and alive and kicking.
I say this because many people and nations thought we would go down the tube on many occassions in the past. Even now, there are many serious doubters – who have some misgivings about our future.
For example, my own late dear father although a loyal civil servant, would not allow me to go to the Merdeka Stadium for the declaration of Merdeka on August 31st, 1957.
He advised me that there might be riots! It was my late dear mother who persuaded my father to let me, as an adult university student, to walk just across to the Merdeka Stadium, from our government house at Hose Road, next to Dewan Bahasa and Tunku’s old residence at Hose Road. Then, there were doubts in 1963. Many countries and people felt that Malaysia would be overun by Indonesia during confrontation.
Then again, when Singapore was expelled by the Tunku’s government in 1965.
Then again, doubts emerged during the racial riots on May 13th, 1969.
Then again, during the severe financial crisis in 1968 and 1997!
So, we have gone through several acute challenges in our relatively short history.
That is why I believe that Malaysia is a very complex and complicated country that Tunku put together with a relatively pragmatic and workable Federal Constitution. Malaysia therefore, has been greatly blessed. Not only has it survived but Malaysia has prospered considerably - despite its inherent fragility.
So, I think the Tunku would be proud to witness Malaysia’s intrinsic resilience and vibrancy. He would see us as a country like a fast car that has negotiated tricky bends inspite of having some careless drivers!
Secondly, the Tunku would be proud of our socio economic development.
We have to accept that we have done remarkably well by the standards of most other developing countries, despite our unique internal problems of nevertheless to be fair, our poverty has been reduced from about 50% of the population to less than 5% since Merdeka and we are now an advanced developing country.
On restructuring, there have also been vast strides taken by the Bumis in all fields.
Race and religion and geographical diversity and increasing income disparities.
However, I accept that with greater adoption of the Tunku’s socio economic policies and the better implementation of the original philosophy of Tun Razak’s the NEP, (without the abuses), Malaysia would have achieved much more than hitherto and the Tunku’s aspirations would have been realised.
But that is now in the realm of speculation and high hopes. Unfortunately, too much water has flowed under the bridge of destiny. That is now history. Our present status has evolved from that history, with less likelihood that the Tunku’s dreams will be fulfilled!
Thirdly, the Barisan National government is now a far cry from the Tunku’s alliance party and his brand of the BN, he must be smiling from up there and looking down upon us all, with some surprise, to witness the BN strength for 54 years so far, especially with its 2/3rd majority up to 2008.
I seriously doubt that even dear Tunku would have envisaged the quite unique BN experience of longevity and resilience so far.
Fourthly, as a leading Muslim leader, he would be very proud to see that the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) that the Tunku himself helped to establish and advance, has progressed so much in size, stature and influence with its great impact on the world scene.
5(ii) Now, What Would Make The Tunku Unhappy To See In His Beloved Malaysia Today?
Let me answer loudly what many of you may agree with me silently.
Firstly, he would be unhappy to see that there is much more doubt and pessimism amongst a higher proportion of Malaysians today, as compared to the time of the Tunku’s premiership?
Secondly, he would be sad to see the excessive politicking, dirty politics, racism and religious bigotry and corruption.
Thirdly, the polarisation and disunity would trouble him, as he was always for harmony and national unity, from the very beginning of our nationhood.
Fourthly, he would see a Malaysia that is declining rather than ascending compared to other countries in the middle income group – in fact, we are now caught in - “the middle income trap” from which we are trying to escape!
6. How Could We Realise The Tunku's Dream For A Happy And United Malaysia?
Firstly, the government has to be more fair to all races, ethnic and religions groups.
Secondly, the government must help the poor develop to be more independent through more relevant education and training and let them not become dependent on pampering/manja2.
Thirdly, remove the ketuananship and protection and subsidy mentality, in all aspects of our daily living.
Fourthly, combat cronyism – let there be more competition especially amongst Malays, once they get employment.
Fifthly, let’s go for more meritocracy and strengthen the national institutions – the judiciary, the MACC, the education system, the police, the civil service, etc. (including the medical and health services)
7. Now, What Could We As Malaysian Citizens And Especially You - As Part Of The Malaysian Elite Do, To Make Malaysia A Better Country?
Firstly, we must determine to strive for a “Better Malaysia”. Please don’t encourage your children to migrate but to show some commitment to the land of their birth.
Secondly, we must reduce our grumbling and griping. But if you have to grumble, which is natural, – then do something about it.
Instead of expecting others to do the hard and dirty work and to sacrifice for you, while you enjoy the fruits of the land. Let’s all resolve to do our share to get Malaysia moving forward!
You are very special professionals. I believe that you have considerable influence. So you need to take a more active leadership role as individuals and collectively as the distinguished Academy of Medicine, in future!
Thirdly, please don’t give up excel in whatever you do, so that those who try to keep you down will have to come to you instead, because of your higher quality, you will be the leaders in your careers and occupations.
Fourthly, work with “moderates” of all races and religions, to reject “extremism and extremists”.
It may be difficult as some of them come in all kinds of disguise. Some show up as clown in disguise
I personally support the concept of moderation that Tunku had always stood for. Our Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, is trying hard, against many odds, to actively promote moderation! The abolishment of the ISA and the Emergency Regulations are cases in point. We only hope that the government will get on with the job of reforms, as a matter of the highest priority.
Fifthly, please look positively ahead and try harder to make this unique and blessed land, with all its beauty and bounty, to become an example to the world for “unity and progress in diversity”.
Finally, we recall regretfully that we have nearly four million Malaysians who have not yet registered to vote!
If there is just one thing you can do as a Malaysian – please make strong efforts to persuade your relatives and friends to register to vote, and to vote wisely. This would be in the spirit of our dear Tunku’s philosophy for a lively happy democracy.
So, in commemorating the Tunku’s memory, let us all pledge to please – reject racists, religious bigots and corrupt political candidates at the next elections - that is coming very soon!
I’d like to end with a quotation from the Tunku himself in his great speech on Merdeka Day -
“High confidence has been reposed in us. Let us unitedly face the challenges of the years ahead and so, with remembrance for the past and with confidence in the future, under the providence of God – we shall succeed!”
We can pay tribute to our beloved Tunku’s memory - only by doing our best for our beloved Malaysia – and then leave it to our creator to take us all forward, as a more united, peaceful and progressive and happy country. May God bless Malaysia and the Tunku’s legacy - and may God bless us all!
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46th Malaysia-Singapore Congress of Medicine
12th to 14th July 2012
Anti-Hypertensive Drugs That Increase Glucose Level Should Be Avoided!
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