Release Dr. Basmullah immediately as he has paid over RM21,000 fine with 16 days’ jail

In asking the medical fraternity not to blame him for the jailing of Dr. Basmullah Yusom who failed to register his clinic under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) 1998, former Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek is guilty of a grave injustice to Dr. Baharom.

Chua said the PHFSA was never intended to criminalize doctors. He said PHFSA, which came into force on May 1, 2006 when he was Health Minister, was intended to weed out bogus doctors who posed a threat to public health and safety.

Now that a qualified doctor, who has an annual practicing certificate issued by the Malaysian Medical Council has been criminalized and sentenced to three months jail for his inability to pay RM120,000 fine, why has Chua failed to speak up firstly, to admit that the enforcement of the PHFSA should be suspended until there is iron-clad guarantee that there would not be another case of criminalizing of a doctor like that of Dr. Basmullah; and secondly, that it is grossly unjust for Dr. Basmullah to spend another day in jail.

Dr. Basmullah has been jailed for 16 days which is equivalent to paying a fine of over RM21,000 – which is already too hefty a fine for a technical offence committed by Dr. Basmullah.

Is Chua prepared to publicly state that as Dr. Basmullah has paid an equivalent of over RM21,000 fine in serving 16 day’s jail sentence, justice demand that he be released immediately without any extra day in Kajang Prison?

I am very disappointed that for more than two weeks, there has been deafening silence from the Acting Health Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting on the Dr. Basmullah case – whether he is utterly indifferent about the sufferings imposed on the father of eight or whether he is totally lost as to how to rectify the injustice suffered by Dr. Basmullah.

The least Chua should do is to phone up Ong to do justice to Dr. Basmullah, by asking the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail to invoke his revisionary powers by applying to the court to vary the sentence imposed on Dr. Basmullah to less than RM21,000 fine, which would mean that Dr. Basmullah would be able to walk out as a free man from Kajang Prison immediately.

  1. #1 by zack on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 7:31 pm

    why didn’t the doctor register his business like any law abiding citizen in the first place?

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 7:32 pm

    “The least Chua should do is to phone up Ong to do justice to Dr. Basmullah, by asking the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail to invoke his revisionary powers” – YB Kit

    The fact is even if Dr Chua does not phone up Dato Ong Ka Ting, the latter as acting Health Minister should know what to do, if he were desrving to hold that position.

    The reasons why I say this were posted in the earlier thread on this subject which I take the opportunity to re-post here as follows:

    Dr Chua Soi Lek was reported to have said: “During the talks, the director-general and I agreed on giving doctors some flexibility, and we did. We had stressed that the ministry had no intention of making doctors look like criminals.” He said that the ministry had also given ample time to doctors to register their clinics. “I am not to be blamed if a doctor does not abide by the law and fails to register his clinic. “Nobody is above the law although I was shocked and surprised when I read that Dr Basmullah was in jail.”

    Reading behind the lines Dr Chua must have meant and reasonably be taken to mean:-

    1) that he confirmed allegations that Ministry of Health/government had represented to the medical community that doctors be given “some flexibility” in enforcement of PHFSA (pending ironing out of some of its more contentious provisions and amendment in due course);

    2) that he couldn’t now do much as law had to run its course (the part on “nobody is above the law”) but nevertheless he was “shocked and surprised”.

    Now why would he be so “shocked and surprised” if it were not for some “screw up” along the way in the enforcement of PHFSA that led to a doctor with practising certificate licensed by the Malaysian Medical Council being jailed like a common criminal?

    We know that there’s nothing he could do more since this is an area in the province of those familiar with the workings of the law or rather its poor workings and also the fact that he is no more the Health Minister.

    However it clearly shows where Dr Chua’s sympathies lie, having regard to all circumstances, by (a) his clear confirmation that the Ministry had confirmed “flexibility” and (b) his expression of shock and surprise and (c) his confirmation that he had received many “telephone calls from doctors accusing him of criminalising medical practitioners who failed to register their clinics…that they have also taken him to task for Dr Basmullah’s incarceration in Kajang Prison” – meaning that Dr. Basmullah Yusom’s conviction is not a run of the mill criminal case but one at which the medical community or large sections of it are outraged by a sense of injustice being done, and hence the many phone calls villifying him.

    It is obvious to all Dr Basmullah’s sentencing and MOH prosecutor’s call for deterrence occurred in the transition period at the uncertain and turbulent period of Dr Chuah’s resignation and Dato Ong Kah Ting’s assuming acting Minister of Health position.

    As the Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr. Ismail Merican’s comments are entirely unsatisfactory, is Ong Kah Ting going to hide behind Dr. Ismail Merican’s comments and refuse to acknowledge the nuances and message behind what his predecessor Dr Chuah had publicly said?

    OKT can do much as Cabinet Minister in 2 portfolios to highlight to cabinet the injustice of this case so that the cabinet could direct its chief government legal officer, the honourable Attorney General Gani Patail to do the right thing.

    But why is OKT keeping quiet? Has he no opinion – no stand or judgment on this matter affecting the Medical Community now that his predecesor has already spoken?

    For everyday that passes when nothing is done, the injustice of Dr Basmullah’s incarceration us aggravated.

    YB, you should take OKT directly to task for shirking responsibility as acting Minister of Health for not coming out to make a stand – a correct stand on principles – in light of the nuances and hidden message behind what Dr Chuah Soi Lek just said publicly and reported in NST!

    He does not need to be prodded by any phone call by Dr Chua to act. He can form a judgment on the nuances of what Dr Chua publicly said. He cannot be so obtuse to be unable to form a judgment. If he has no opinion or judgment on the issue, either way, he has no business holding on to the post of Minister of Health, albeit acting minister.

  3. #3 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 8:05 pm

    With due respect, your intervention in this matter may in fact be working against the interest of this doctor. Politicizing the issue which is one essentially of law, is likely to work to prevent his early release as the BN government does not want to appear to be wrong in passing legislation which is inherently flawed perhaps due to the haste and the lack of discussion and consultation before it is passed by Parliament.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 8:20 pm

    When election is near the BN government, which is interested in not being cast in an insensitive and callous light, may respond to such intervention or ‘politicisation’.

    It is equally possible they will forget about this isolated case of a supposedly impoverised and indigent doctor wearing an “Al-Arqam” serban unable to pay the license fee of RM1500 if no political or public pressure is brought to bear during, as I said, this election period.

  5. #5 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 8:26 pm

    “Why didn’t the doctor register his business like any law abiding citizen in the first place?” Zack

    The issue here is not that he has not committed any wrong under the said Act but that with a fine that seems grossly out of proportion to the offense committed, it is as good as a jail sentence.

    The argument by the prosecutor in pressing for a deterrent sentence apparently, is so that others contemplating breaches of the law under the Act will now take heed. But in this particular case and having regard to the circumstances of the case, it is similar to imposing a $1.5 million bail on someone accused of say, an illegal extension of his house without prior approval of the authorities.

    True, the doctor who is now a convicted felon, has to take some of the blame since he refused the offer by the prosecuting officer for installment payments that would mean avoiding jail time. But I think injustice has been caused when the defendant was allowed to proceed unrepresented by counsel. He should have been warned by the judge that he would have to return with a counsel as the charges are serious.

    This raises another issue – that of legal aid for those who cannot afford the cost of legal counsel.

    LKS would do better to look into the issue of legal aid for indigent clients in similar positions. There are cases in the past of remand prisoners who could not afford a lawyer and are languishing in jail waiting for their trial which never came. It involves a human rights issue which the Opposition could capitalize on.

  6. #6 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 8:28 pm

    “When election is near the BN government, which is interested in not being cast in an insensitive and callous light, may respond to such intervention or ‘politicisation’.” Jeffrey QC

    But then on the other hand, they may not. It is a judgment call.

  7. #7 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 8:30 pm

    Meanwhile, it is possible that the good doctor is languishing in jail longer than he should be because of this intervention by the DAP.

  8. #8 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 8:36 pm

    Anyone accused of a serious offense should not be allowed by the court to proceed to trial without counsel. The judge should have required the defendant to return to court with counsel. Is there not legal aid for such defendants?

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 8:59 pm

    “Why didn’t the doctor register his business like any law abiding citizen in the first place?” – Zack

    I have given speculated some possible scenarios in my posting February 1st, 2008 (2 days ago) at 18: 11.49 under earlier thread “Dr. Basmullah’s jailing – Ismail Merican inconsiderate, callous, heartless and unbecoming of top civil servant” and shan’t repeat them here.

    However Zack should brief himself on the background to the controversy behind PHFSA.

    If you follow MMR forums, PHFSA was gazetted for enforcement on 1st May 2006. Dr Basmullah’s clinic was investigated in May 2006 & found to be unregistered. At that time many doctors and private clinics were also unregistered with many thinking rightly or wrongly that they were was given 1 year from May 2006 to be registered ! [What Dr Chua Soi Lek said about “some flexibility” appears to confirm this].

    So if true, Dr. Basmullah was randomly selected more by chance [because some law firm enquired about his case to Ministry of Health (“MOH”)] and he was made scapegoat and deterent to persuade other skeptics in the profession to comply.

    This was because there was much controversy at that time running until now about this PHFSA. It was brought at least twice in this blog – this issue. The understanding was that doctors should accept the law whilst negotiations would continue to fine-tune the parts not right. Even then not many doctors accepted in principle this PHFSA. They wondered aloud why Dr Chua Soi Lek would force it down on his professional colleagues’ throat. The core argument is that if a doctor having a private clinic is already qualified and licensed by the Malaysian Medical Council (whose president is also the Director General of Health in the Ministry of Health) why should the doctor and his clinic be regulated another time by another tier of regulatory authority like the MOH under the PHFSA subjecting themselves to oversight of MOH’s bureaucrats (something that government doctors are exempted)?

    Because of these reservations, many thought the PHFSA was still “in flux” awaiting further amendments after consultation with al stakehoilders before being enforced rigourously in final amended form by MOH – and not before. It was during time time of uncertainty that Dr. Basmullah happened to be unlucky.

    According to a poster “Palmdoc” in Malysian Resources Blog, “those who participated in the Malaysian Doctors’ Only Bulletin Board System (DOBBS) were privy to the latest news about PHFSA developments, as well as the ongoing negotiations with the MOH on doctors’ feedback and proposals for amendments. However I think many doctors were kept in the dark due to non-involvement in such forums. Even if they were MMA members, there was precious little information from that organisation.
    From forum feedback from the time of the implementation of the PHFSA, I would say there was very little support (indeed practically ZERO support) for the MOH’s actions”.

  10. #10 by aiD_kamikuP on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 9:35 pm

    It is sad to see 2 doctors getting ‘stuffed’ not by their deeds but by mere ‘technicalities’ and both happening within the same month.

    It is abhorrent to us seeing the unjust punishment both of them received.

    It is even more disgusting to see the common denominator, who is truely living to his glorified ‘kata nothing’ nickname.

  11. #11 by Saint on Sunday, 3 February 2008 - 9:36 pm

    What is the Bar Council doing?
    Why is it keeping silent?
    Do we not have even one compassionate lawyer who will look itno this case for justice and humanitarian grounds?
    What a county have we become?

  12. #12 by HB Lim on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 12:10 am

    Even if the intrusion of the DAP into Dr Basmullah’s case may in fact prolong his incarceration, what do you expect the DAP to do when such an atrocious law and such injustice are staring at and so glaring to the DAP and all right thinking people?

    The attitude of looking the other way when the government does something wrong and the solution of resorting to get a crony or a middleman to ‘kau tim’ government officers through either political influence or financial rewards have kept us stuck in this rut where unjust law and policies remain unrepealed and unabated which are applied generally but can be circumvented by those who are politically connected or who are financially able.

    Selective application or non-application of unjust laws and policies based on political connectedness or financial consideration fueled by general selfishness and apathy of the citizenry opens up a gap for the flourishing of corruption and discrimination and the perpetuation of the terror and tyranny over the weak and helpless.

    If Dr Basmullah has to suffer a little more because of the publicity of his case or because of DAP’s intervention into it, then I say it is worth it, although I can expect some disagreement from some quarters. Although I cannot speak for Dr Basmullah since I am not him and I am not the direct victim and not suffering directly from the atrocity, I can say that if his incarceration directly or indirectly causes a repeal of or an amendment to that draconian law, in years to come, he can feel good and meaningful about his life because he and his case have caused the government to be stirred and agitated to do something to spare many more doctors of similar miseries. He would have done something significant to address and redress an injustice.

    And it is very disheartening, in fact painful, to wait for that one man who should be immediately saying or doing something about this matter. The Acting Health Minister should be jailed for a few days to make him realise how life is like to be imprisoned, totally separated from his loved ones. This case and Dr Basmullah’s plight are now furthest from his mind which is now pre-occupied solely by thoughts and plans of how to hoodwink the Chinese voters one more time.

  13. #13 by DarkHorse on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 1:23 am

    “Even if the intrusion of the DAP into Dr Basmullah’s case may in fact prolong his incarceration, what do you expect the DAP to do when such an atrocious law and such injustice are staring at and so glaring to the DAP and all right thinking people?”

    It is perfectly understandable that the Opposition would want to make maximum political capital out of this case, but if the DAP, for example, is truly concerned with the welfare of his family and his children, perhaps it should first explore the possibilities that behind the scene negotiations have to offer.

    Did it?

  14. #14 by Richard Teo on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 1:25 am

    We seem to be guided by the misconception that every doctor’s practice is a gold mine.Apparently this is not true especially with regards to Dr.Basmullah.In short he is a struggling doctor trying to earn a decent living to support a family of eight.Kit siang is right, he dont deserve to spend another extra day in prison.For heaven sake will the Health Ministry come out and do something for this unfortunate man?I really feel sorry for his family.Can anyone start a fund to help his family go thru this difficult period?

  15. #15 by DarkHorse on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 1:44 am

    I suggest all donations meant for the suit, YB Kit is contemplating be diverted for this purpose. It makes more sense.

  16. #16 by DarkHorse on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 1:45 am

    Especially since DAP’s public intervention in the case has in fact caused the doctor to languish in jail longer than necessary.

  17. #17 by HB Lim on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 2:13 am

    DarkHorse, how can we say that DAP’s intervention has IN FACT caused the doctor to languish in jail longer than necessary? It is to me a most unfair thing to say vis-vis the DAP. Of course other quarters have also brought up and pursue the issue of Dr Basmullah but DAP has helped highlight it and brought it to the notice of the authority and the public. I venture to think that without the DAP harping on his plight, he would have been conveniently forgotten or his case would have been given short shrift by the government. At least now it has become a political sore point for the BN and hopefully with the election just around the corner, the BN would see it fit to quickly remove this by quickly arranging for his release.

    The contemplated suit concerning the point of a caretaker government is for the benefit of the whole nation and is or concerns a different matter altogether. Hence, the donations sought for the suit should not be mixed up with Dr Basmullah’s matter. We have to be fair to the DAP and Uncle Kit. I feel it is unfair to try to push the DAP into a corner which I feel DarkHorse is doing when DAP, leaving aside its political ambitions, has generally and traditionally been championing our rights. And quite thanklessly too.

  18. #18 by chiakchua on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 7:13 am

    Dr. Basmullah has been victimised due to some reason which we may not know. This is always the Malaysian system. It depends on who you know, not who you are. They are the one who wield the axe; if you are not alienated to them, watch out!

    If the registration is aimed at controlling the ‘bogus’ doctor, what a hell then the severe punishment was meted on Dr. Basmullah who is a genuine doctor? This I believe goes beyond the ‘usual’ sensible punishment.

    RM120000 or 3-months jail? I will opt for jail term! I think Ismail Merican is making hell lot of money. He must have been born into this world with a golden spoon! Or he is also one of those Malays who ‘senang lupa’ had he been from a poor family!

    Please release Dr. Basmullah immediately if the authority still has sense!

  19. #19 by undergrad2 on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 8:08 am

    Dr. Basmullah is probably an ordinary Joe eking a living like the rest of us. He has no influence and no patients with the right kind of influence to help him out of the hole which he has dug for himself by ignoring the law. He could even be guilty of having the NEP mindset, thinking he could get away just for being who he is. I don’t know. He could have miscalculated.

    That having been said no one deserves to be made a convicted felon just for failing to register his business. Like DarkHorse said, the judge should have made available a lawyer at government expense since he could not afford one. What happens to the constitutional right to due process? None?

    The fine is as good as a jail sentence.

    DAP’s public intervention, it is true, MAY have caused the doctor to languish in jail longer than it would have been without it. Nobody knows. Do you?

    His incarceration provides the Opposition with the political capital it needs to win votes. That no one can deny. But what of the welfare of his family? What financial assistance has been given to this family by the DAP?

  20. #20 by Tickler on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 9:45 am

    The doctor has been jailed in lieu of the fine imposed on the tecnicality of not having registered his medical practice, which he was in the process of transferring to Putrajaya.

    Compare that to the case of Klang UMNO state assemblyman who was freed of charges for a technicality at the ROC is enjoying his mansion:

    PETALING JAYA (June 28, 2007): The High Court (Commercial Division) has held that Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros committed a criminal act for holding and performing the role of a company director while a bankrupt.

  21. #21 by Libra2 on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 10:31 am

    The “flexibility” thing is to help doctors linked to UMNO, MCA or MIC or related to some VIPs.
    These people can get favours from the police, AG chambers and the courts.
    Woe betide if the poor doctor has no connections or cables to pull.

  22. #22 by scorpian6666 on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 11:28 am

    If your kid piss on the door step, do you cut off his penis.
    The bank make hell lot of money charging late payments. Why?
    This doctor just happened to be like the rest of us and for the that kind of heavy penaty, if the government or even Dap just stay idle, they would be judged as Plain evil.
    What amazed any people here is the way this case is being handled . STupIDITY is all you could said and if DAP is not crying foul .. it would go not the same path. TOO BAD for Malaysia .. should go down the Guiness Book of RECORDs

  23. #23 by scorpian6666 on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 11:31 am

    go down the same path .. sorry

  24. #24 by madmix on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 12:22 pm

    Is it to late to submit an appeal against the quantum of penalty and ask for bail?

  25. #25 by raven77 on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 12:51 pm

    Chua Soi Lek and Merican must take the ultimate blame for this “Law”. It was a completely unnecessary law….but you see there are lunatics in the Amalan Perubatan division of the Health Ministry who were campaigning for this law although none of them owned, set-up or worked in a private clinic….they will not know the issues. And Merican is a weak DG who swallowed their arguments lock stock and barrel….but the greater reason why he swallowed it was to show that he was more Melayu then Melayu…..enter Chua Soi Lek…wanting to be a hero and an issue to make him look like a strongman….Merican and co had no problems at all selling the PHFSA to Soi Lek. Merican and co had a gala time painting the evils of the private sector to Chua Soi Lek bought all this despite being “busy”…….and rammed it down the throats of every doctor in the private sector in Malaysia to show that he is stronger then Viagra… that it is quite obvious that a HP6 written law that was draughted by a couple of medical officers at the Amalan Perubatan division managed to get past Merican, Chua , AG’s chambers, parliment ending with a registered doctor thrown in jail…..It is obvious someone must pay for this cock up. Chua is the ultimate culprit….but Merican and the two medical officers at the Amalan Perubatan division who were responsible for this must be sacked……the root of the problem lies with the governments lousy civil service….. which is why we need another government…..

  26. #26 by dranony on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 12:52 pm

    I would have thought that CSL could have come to Dr Basmullah’s aid, as well as score some “brownie points” politically with the electorate (who would undoubtedly be siding with the poor doctor), simply by having a journalist interview him for his _personal opinions_, and have him admitting that he “regrets” that Dr Basmullah in in jail, and that “it was never the his intention that as Minister, to jail doctors for technical infringements, etc etc…”
    He would then be seen as more “people-friendly” and “doctor-friendly” thereby gaining considerable goodwill among the electorate, which may be useful should he consider a political comeback at some later point.

    Simply by this act, he will also “binding the DG’s hands” (even if only by public opinion and public perception) to act as he intends. Of course, this public call will not be formally binding upon the DG or Ministry, or by any letter of the law, but I’d be counting on the publicity (negative publicity, rather) should the Ministry appear to have broken its verbal promises, even when the former Minister who had made the promises admits them publicly.

    I am pretty sure that it will ALSO be in CSL’s own political interest, esp if he can “show up” Ong Ka Ting as uncaring or apathetic towards poor Dr Basmullah’s predicaments.

    Instead, CSL’s most recent “Don’t blame me!” outburst in the NST serves only to cast himself as an uncaring or apathetic bureaucrat.
    Is he offering anything constructive to help Dr Basmullah?
    Or is he intent on keeping Dr Basmullah in jail, insisting that it’s all Dr Basmullah’s fault?

  27. #27 by raven77 on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 12:57 pm

    Chua Soi Lek is the guy responsible for the PHFSA seeing the light of day. CSL will be remembered in the annals of medicine as the Health Minister who passed this law and got caught with his pants down later……

  28. #28 by Tickler on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 2:15 pm

    Chua Soi Lek is definitely responsible:

    They threatened me with OSA

    Dr A Krishnamoorthy, MMA’s president for the 1993-94 term, said he quit after one year’s worth of discussions between the MMA and the Ministry of Health and their legal advisors over the controversial Act.
    “I had objected to most of the proposed legislation made by the ministry from the very start but they warned me against discussing the Act with my fellow doctors.
    “They cited the Official Secrets Act when I said I wanted to go back to my doctors to discuss these clauses. If I cannot go back to my doctors, there’s no point for me staying on the committee and so I resigned,” Krishnamoorthy told malaysiakini today.

  29. #29 by dranony on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 2:56 pm

    Zack asked, “why didn’t the doctor register his business like any law abiding citizen in the first place?”

    The conviction and jailing of Dr Basmullah, shows the ugly side of Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1988 (PHFSA1998).

    Doctors had been assured several times by Ministry of Health officials, that the PHFSA1998 was never intended to be used against real doctors, but only to weed out false clinics and false doctors. But here we have exactly the case where a piece of paper requirement was absent, yet a financially-struggling real doctor was punished severely enough to probably kill his career.

    When the PHFSA1998 was first implemented in 2006 and early 2007, Former Health Minister Dr Chua Soi Lek had chided doctors when they protested about the harshness of the Act.
    “Many doctors protested and even accused us of treating them like criminals,” he had said. “They did not realise that there were many bogus doctors out there treating patients.” (NST, Tuesday 23, Jan 2007.)

    However, since that Jan 23rd 2007 report, when he had also informed the public that six clinics run by non-doctors had been detected – there had been NO convictions of bogus doctors.
    Only a real doctor has now been convicted, and indeed being treated like a common criminal!

    Is public interest really served by the RM120,000 fine or by having the doctor jailed for three months in default of the fine?
    There were indeed mitigating circumstances as to why the poor doctor did not register the clinic. He was struggling financially, and was in debt. In fact it would appear that he could not even afford legal counsel to defend him in court.
    He was on the verge of selling the clinic and would probably have had difficulty affording the cost of unnecessary renovations that would be required before he could successfully register his clinic under the Act and its Regulations. The public should know that these new regulations were never an issue before, and his clinic and its specifications were perfectly legitimate until the Act came about. The poor doctor would probably also have been worried about any interruption of income during the period of renovations, as it might have involved work stoppage. The application fee of RM500 and approval fee of RM1,000 would also have been a heavy burden to him, as he already had unpaid utility bills.
    Had he been able to sell the clinic, the new doctor buyer would have to reapply for a new license anyway, and thus the RM1,500 registration fee spent would have been for nought. A new buyer might also wish to renovate further to his own preferences, in addition to legal specifications.

    Although we cannot condone intentional violation of the law, the punishment in this case far outweighs the violation.
    Would a lesser fine, or simply ordering the clinic closed permanently, cautioning the doctor with more severe punishment if repeated, have sufficed? Since it was a first offence, and especially since there was a plea of guilt thus saving the court time and expense, leniency would have been expected.

    It had been reported in the media and several blogs that the poor doctor had also been a volunteer and had aided disaster victims overseas, as a medical doctor.
    Is this how we treat doctors who contribute to society and to humanity, and who bring honour to our country?
    Without funds to start another new clinic, the poor doctor would have to look for employment upon release from jail. Would his status as a former convict, a doctor with a criminal record, hinder him sufficiently to effectively kill his career?

  30. #30 by dranony on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 3:03 pm

    Sorry the link should have been:
    (NST, Tuesday 23, Jan 2007.)

  31. #31 by raven77 on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 3:35 pm

    Krishnamoorthy did the right thing……….However his replacements, Teoh Siang Chin and Mary Cardosa, two governmnet servants whom private doctors entrusted at the MMA didnt. They sold the rights of almost 8000 doctors in the private sector to their bosses Ismail Merican and Chua Soi Lek so that they can get their Jusa B and C……..that is how principled a government doctor is at the KKM (which is why you should never trust their post-mortem reports)…….today Basmullah is in jail……current MMA members should make a police reports against these two for criminal breach of trust…….

  32. #32 by limkamput on Monday, 4 February 2008 - 11:58 pm

    HB LIm, what can you expect from darkhorse? He should rightly be called madhorse. A madhorse who think he has a final say on every damn thing here. Be careful with this group, they will use different handles just to irritate you – darkhorse, colonel, bodo, dracula, godamn, laifoong – they are all the same, equally useless.

  33. #33 by HB Lim on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 1:01 am

    limkamput, I do not wish to be dragged into the arena of your disputes with or dislike of the other. But seriously, this is not the place to ventilate very personal matters. It would be better if everyone would just stick to the issue or subject being discussed.

  34. #34 by UzMiNoOnist on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 1:27 am

    Oh oh… now any doctors who wants to start a clinic needs both a medical and a law degree. Furthermore, must have the acuteness of an unscrupulous businessman.
    Syabas BN, you have just served the rakyat well by increasing our medical cost.

  35. #35 by limkamput on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 1:53 am

    HB Lim, i did not ask for your support. I can fight my own battle. Please don’t behave like you are a great guy. I have told you several times regarding bank account and how to donate and you will keep asking how to do it as if you never read it before. But for this one particular case, you will immediately give me a response. Please don’t need to be a hypocrite.

  36. #36 by LadyGodiva on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 1:58 am

    Moron, hypocrite ….! When will it end?

  37. #37 by limkamput on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 2:12 am

    Ladygodiva, it will end when they end. As i said, i am just responding. I did not start anything. If you want to comment, I suggest you read carefully and in full first.

  38. #38 by LadyGodiva on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 2:50 am

    Then by all means do so. But do it a civil manner. Why the name calling?? And be relevant. Restrict your comments to the issues. You were condescending towards dark horse earlier, calling him “thambi” etc and making anti-Indian remarks.

    We do not need racial bigotry here.

  39. #39 by limkamput on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 3:06 am

    Godiva, did you read all? Do you know what they called me earlier? Don’t come to talk me about racism and political correctness. You must see how they castrated They are a group of Indian racists. Anyway, I expect you to be fair. If you can’t, just let go. The next time I will not be gentle with you again.

  40. #40 by DarkHorse on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 4:32 am

    Go ride your horse, Lady. This here poster is the peeping Tom who went blind 900 years ago just leering at you riding naked on that horse of yours in Coventry, England.

    Go ride away!

  41. #41 by HB Lim on Tuesday, 5 February 2008 - 11:19 pm

    limkamput, I took note of the Public Bank Acct you provided and recorded the no immediately in my hand phone. I asked only once and I thank you for supplying the info that I needed. I did not mean to behave like a great guy.I am not being hypocritical when I said what I said. I am sorry if I appeared that way to you. I am completely flabbergasted at your reaction towards me but that does not matter and I wish your misunderstanding of me will end here with this explanation.

  42. #42 by BlackEye on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 1:25 am

    “HB Lim, i did not ask for your support. I can fight my own battle.” limkamput

    I do not think you’re offering your support (or the issue ever arose) and I certainly do not think you’re offering to fight his battle for him!
    What support and what battle is he talking about??

    He has been battling with some commentators and insulting them as much as some felt they ought to themselves in even the score. Without him around, believe me interactions among commentators would return to being what they were before – civil.

  43. #43 by limkamput on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 1:38 pm

    Blackeyes rat what to talk about civility. We don’t talk civility with rats, we just annihilate them.

  44. #44 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 6 February 2008 - 9:57 pm

    Just not registering his clinic has resulted in Dr. Basmullah being thrown into jail. This is because he is a “small fry” nobody knows. Look at our hero Zakaria who never even submitted plans to build his palace. Has any action been taken against him? Has his building been declared illegal and demolished? Nothing has been done and till today, he lives like a king in his palace. This is because he is a “somebody” in UMNO and no one is able to touch him (better still call him an “untouchable”).

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