IJN – No to privatization

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

When Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) – National Heart Institute – was launched in 1992, the Malaysian government promised that IJN would be a centre to serve all people with heart diseases, irrespective of race and with due care and treatment for the poor.

Assurance was given that heart patients would be treated fairly as in all government-run hospitals and that IJN would not be an exclusive hospital for the rich and well-to-do. People from all walks of life would be allowed to enjoy the facilities in the special heart hospital.

This aspiration of IJT to help poor heart cases is now shattered by the announcement that IJN would be handed to a private company, albeit the largest corporation in the country – Sime Darby.


It is unlikely that Sime Darby will run IJN as a social and charitable hospital, like a government hospital. Its objective is to earn as much profits as possible. There are too many private hospitals in the country which charge substantially, which only the rich could afford.

With Sime Darby at the controls of IJN, the poor who form the majority of the patients will suffer, and being unable to pay, they will not have access to health care offered by IJN as of today.

The government stands to lose by giving control of IJN away:-

1 IJN is a going concern and successfully managed and bringing great benefits to the people and a sound reputation internationally as a well-organised heart centre.

2. as an institute with excellent facilities and world class medical expertise, it is well placed to lead the battle against the threat of heart disease as the number one killer in the country. This is the sacred duty of IJN. This role cannot be performed by a private hospital whose aim is to make profits.

3. The government must not relinquish its responsibility by giving up the one place where heart patients look confidently for care and treatment, in particular the poor of this country.

  1. #1 by seage on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 7:29 pm

    It is just another bailout project.

  2. #2 by ktteokt on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 7:34 pm

    Privatization or PIRATIZATION?

  3. #3 by chengho on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 7:39 pm

    This time Mahathir was on right ..IJN for the Rakyat..

  4. #4 by madmix on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 7:40 pm

    I think PM and DPM have heard the voice of the people. The project is canned.
    Najib has not learned that the rakyat will no longer tolerate the credo of privatise the profits and nationalise the loses. There are lots of greedy people out there like Sime darby with all kinds of proposals to take over government assets. They must be resisted at all costs. If Sime wishes to expand their medical business, let them build their own heart centre.
    The financial crisis that is brewing today should be the signal for NO MORE PRIVATISATION.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 7:45 pm

    UMNO is famous to break promises.
    Check up .who really own Sime Darby now.
    Tan Cheng Lock started Sime Darby.
    I am sure….it does not belong to Tan Siew Sin family anymore.
    Latest news…Najib dare not complete the deal….sure to loose alot of poor Malaysian votes.
    Endless nonsense from UMNO is sickening.

  6. #6 by comingto50 on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 8:46 pm

    I have a proposal. The five PR states Selangor, Perak, Penang, Kelantan and Kedah should takeover Sime Darby.


  7. #7 by shortie kiasu on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 9:13 pm

    There is no reason at all to privatise the IJN.

    All the ‘justifications’ given by Najib & Liow are bull-**** and could not hold water.

    We do not know what are some of the hidden agenda of all this nonsense of selling IJN to Sime Darby.

    If Sime Darby (SD) is really keen to provide the best heart hospital in the country, why cannot it start a new on at that? Another heart hospital will be good for the people in this country!! Why SD wanted to take over a ready and running heart hospital? Is it that SD has no conficence in building from scratch?

    When BN once wanted to privatise the General Hospitals, it was shot down. BN had to shelf the idea for good.

    Such basic medical care service providers should never be privatised to the detriment of the very fabric of the society and the fundamental rights of people to the basic affordable medical care.

    Otherwise, why not BN privatise the BN government so that they can have better facilities, and the ministers can be better paid as what Najib argued for the case of IJN.

  8. #8 by Jong on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 9:58 pm

    Privatising IJN? This sickening news is heartbreaking!

    The People(Rakyat) has had enough! We are once again betrayed by this UMNO-led government. Are all BN component parties in agreement with this move?
    If not, please stand up and be counted, speak your piece or just leave this government.

  9. #9 by raven77 on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 10:01 pm

    Yep…anyone can start a heart hospital…Assunta..Tung Shin…Sime Darby….even Genting….but will MOF give or share that lucrative contract monopolised by IJN out…….that’s what this is all about……the current IJN fee contract is way above the average private hospital fees except perhaps for Gleneagles and SJMC.

  10. #10 by anna brella on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 10:08 pm

    Based on the very hard experience learned at great cost in the UK, any privatisation of a public general or teaching post-graduate research-centred hospital will fail disastrously.

    Medical facilities are need-based, learning-oriented and research-centred, NOT profit-based, greed-oriented and maximisation of shareholders’ wealth-centred.

    That is not a loose opinion but a solid, informed fact based on direct experience.

    So try to stop this privatisation because the IJN seems to be worth saving from the claws of greed, as it seems to have the good reputation of being one of the better public hospitals around for those who cannot afford to pay through no-fault of their own, the extortionate private hospital medical rip-off fees.

    And I know as a matter of fact through hard experience and great personal cost that the IJN is certainly better than that heartless hell-hole called the University hospital where incompetence and reckless negligence festers and breeds like the deadly MRSA-virus.

    “Imagine Power To The People” John Lennon.

  11. #11 by kcb on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 10:12 pm

    Those makes chinese angry political beggars cannot wait to claim credit.

    Chk Chk Chk, really pathetic.

  12. #12 by kcb on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 10:13 pm


  13. #13 by taxpayer on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 10:50 pm

    The CEO of Sime darby can make all the proposals he wants but for the PM and DPM to agree to it, it shows how uncaring and heartless they are for the poor. It is a good business proposal for Sime Darby because it will kill off IJN. To believe that Sime Darby will not increase the fees after the takeover is to believe that the cow can jump over the moon.

  14. #14 by ahluck on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 10:55 pm

    IJN – no to privatisation but Polis akan di privatise! ops! sorry sudah di privatised by UMNO.

  15. #15 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 19 December 2008 - 11:15 pm

    Well, if Sime is adamant, then all concerned Malaysians should learn how to handle such commercial outfit. You know what I mean!
    As pointed out, if they are keen, start a new one, with it you can compete by having the latest equipment.
    Don’t deprive the country’s poor of their lives!!
    Just check their out fit at Subang; affordable to the very poor!!??
    It looks like these GLCs have not gut nor imagination to venture outside the country. Just looking for monopolistics option.

  16. #16 by One4All4One on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 12:05 am

    The very notion or slightest idea that an institution of the stature, fundamental importance, influence, far-reaching effect and affect, and great public and community service, such as the IJN would be taken over by a commercial and business concern such as Sime Darby, or just any other private concerns, in another privatisation effort is totally unacceptable and unthinkable, to say the least.

    Over time, there are just too many privatisation of government outfits which had seemingly taken the burden off the government shoulders ( due to a lack or shortage of capable management capabilities ), but which had burdened the rakyat in untold ways, in return.

    Not that “privatisations” are bad and evil in themselves, but the way and nature they had been dished out and managed which made the public paying heavily for services which should and could be available at more acceptable levels, raised a lot of questions.

    The rich and influential are forever not affected, for obvious reasons, not matter what the situation may be.

    The underprivileged, the unfortunate, the down and trodden, the poor, these are the very people the government should always endeavour to focus their attention on. Isn’t the government the protector, the guardian and the defender of the poor and underprivileged?

    Looking beyond the magnificent façades of corporations and conglomerates, it is always the rank and file who contribute immensely to the workings, running and existence of the organisations themselves. Without them, whole organisation would collapse and doomed to failure. For that reason alone, the rank and file are the ones who should always be given more protection and benefits. It is also a known fact that these very people are always the least paid in the organisations.

    In order to do justice, these people should have access to medical and other services at discounted and special rates. The fact that they contribute immensely to the organisations, and ultimately the nation, should be a factor that matters in all negotiations and decisions. As such, organisations should be made to contribute to funds which are ultimately used for meeting the needs, welfare and well-being of workers who made the organisations survive and running.

    Institutions such as the IJN must be built and refined to levels of excellence which should cater to the needs of each and every deserving member of our society, regardless of ethnicity, religious or cultural backgrounds. It should be run on funds generated through means which are sustainable and dependable, with major input from government’s coffers itself (which are public funds, in reality).

    Profitability and profiteering should not be the concern of such an institution, which should focus, instead, on the well-being and health of the citizenry. A healthy nation is indeed made up of a healthy people.

    For the above reason alone, the privatisation of IJN should be disallowed and discouraged. On the contrary, they should be expanded and further developed to reach and cater to a wider spectrum of the rakyat. And it should be made into an excellent and reference centre for all related health needs. This is also in view of the fact that heart diseases are becoming a major cause of death and disability among the rakyat.

    IJN should also position itself as a centre of education and training which would have a far-reaching effect on the awareness and importance of healthy living and habits.

  17. #17 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 12:21 am

    How many UMNO Big shots own shares in Sime Darby? Can YB Lim or somebody check it out and publish their names so that those who blindly vote for UMNO will see UMNO’s true colour. If MCA and the other component parties do not voice their strong opposition, then it is very clear that they have only been carrying UMNO’s balls the past 50 years. Also, since IJN is the brain-child of Mahatir, now is the time for him to comment. They didn’t want his crooked bridge. Now they don’t want his idea of having set up IJN for the rakyat.

  18. #18 by Kongseemik on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 12:40 am

    Make hay while the sun shines!! The days are numbered. Otherwise there’s no chance to fill up one’s own side pockets once the Pakatan Rakyat Government takes over. Never mind the dying heart patients! One must look at own interests first…

  19. #19 by AhPek on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 12:48 am

    Pray tell which privatisation scheme is not a masquerade for piratisation?

  20. #20 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 3:35 am

    Once upon a time, in a land called Mamamia, some wise farmers came together and decided to plant a tree. They wanted for the tree to grow big someday to provide good fruits for the future generation. Indeed. the tree grew, grew and grew; giving good shade and abundant fruits to many people for many years. And on the 35th year that the tree was planted, along came a man who thought to himself, “what if one day the tree should stop bearing fruits” So he started to pluck very, very much more fruits than he was able to eat; the rest he safely kept away in place called Hindia. Now, seeing what this sharp-nosed man was doing, the other people did likewise. This act of greed went on for a long, long time. 22 years!………Fast forward 6 years…….The tree is not producing enough fruits for all the people like before. There is much unhappiness and quarrelings. Worse than that,the leaves of this tree is withering; it’s branches drying up. This tree is dying. It is dying because the people who take shelter and rest under the shade of the tree…….they also eat, urinate and defecate there! The soil has become too salty, causing the roots to rot. The shit covering the top area of the soil surrounding the tree is so thick so that the tree cannot breath,suffocating. It has been said that outsiders don’t like to go near this place because…..because it stinks-O! Taxidrivers comment: Tee ti ngeh gai ( sure to die, hopeless )

  21. #21 by monsterball on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 4:06 am

    In all honest and sincere government that is blessed to manage a wealthy country….it gives the said government …great pleasures and pride…able to offer free educations and medical treatments to the young and old…and needy.
    UMNO is really smart and cunning to give free educations…after more than 45 years. They need to please the future young voters.
    The poor and sickly are getting less and useless……where mostly poor vote for oppositions.
    And most of all…UMNO must make RM billions …to buy votes.
    So go to hell with free medical treatments by this pack of corrupted hyenas.
    However…the People’s Power is getting stronger and fearless.
    One false move from those munafiks…thousands will take to the streets again and again.

  22. #22 by lakshy on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 5:00 am

    Sime Darby already owns and runs the most expensive healthcare centre in the country……..the former Subang Jaya Medical Centre.
    (an expensive place to go to die. Some of the doctors are quite courteous. They give you a running tab to see how long you can keep your relatives alive, and to let you see by when you wish to pull the plug)

    Why does SD need to take IJN? Why does a profit based operating company such as SD-SJMC need to take over its “competitor”. To have a monopoly I guess! This would not be allowed in many parts of the world. But in Malaysia………..boleh!

    If SD wants a heart centre, why not use its money and build a new one? Why take over IJN?

    Barisan Najis govt will proceed with it regardless of the objections from the rakyat. Since thats the case, why are other parties not allowed to bid for IJN? Why is it being handed over on a silver platter to Sime Darby? Lets have a competetive bid, but first get some professionals to evaluate what it is worth.

    At this rate, better watch out. Its only a matter of time before GH and UH also go in the same direction.

  23. #23 by Loh on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 5:21 am

    Since the advent of NEP, Bumi investors have been choosing profit making non-bumi business invest their 30% quota. It was like betting on open cards. Now that there are no more profit making non-bumi companies to take advantage of, the natural target of daylight robbery is the government. Negotiated contracts are getting competitive, and monopolies are drying up, hospitals run by government whether as department or corporate body is an obvious choice. IJN is a rich source of income since there are more private paying patients than the privatised hospitals could handle. To the rich and powerful, the poor should go to government hospitals.

    When the DPM had to appeal to housing developers not to pressurize governments, with money, for project approval, the government will find it hard to resist pressure from commercial giant such as Sime Darby. This is especially so when Sime Darby is a bumi company. When ordinary Malaysians can be denied the right to free import of cheap motor vehicles through APs, how should they deny a bumi company making sound investments They should remember that Malaysian government is of the powerful, by the powerful and for the powerful, but voted in by the wonderful.

  24. #24 by k1980 on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 7:07 am

    “Never mind if you cannot go to school,
    “Never mind if you cannot get a new heart,
    “Never mind if you cannot pee or poo,

    “Never mind if you cannot buy new clothes,
    “Never mind if you cannot buy new cars.
    “Never mind if you cannot change new cushions
    “we must have enough food …
    “This is important!

    Yeah, eat and eat and eat! (That’s if you can afford the high price of food nowadays)

  25. #25 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 7:43 am

    34 IJM medical consultants clarified that they shouldn ‘t be made srapegoat ; that the privatisation proposal had anything to do with any of medical staff’s demands for higher remuneration. First chairman of IJM Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Sahan is against this “negative development”.

    Our Father of Privatisation, TDM (who had his heat o peration in IJM) also opposes the move in his blog Che Det.

    Cabinet now according Najib Tun Razak defers the privatisation pending further indepth study – page 4 The Star 20th December.
    With the upcoming Kuala Terengganu by-election, which has been called following the death of its Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Razali Ismail, BN/UMNO need to be seen as not neglecting its social responsibilities to rakyat.

    Aiya look for other projects to privatize : maybe PDRM! :)

  26. #26 by luking on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 8:21 am

    we,the raayats are getting worried now.Both leaders are potentially future pm of our country.One calling for the abolishing of vanacular school and one calling for the privatization of ijn.Where bn is leading us to in the future?

  27. #27 by monsterball on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 9:56 am

    Subang Medical Center wants some services from my company.. on credit.
    I said no….as they charge everyone COD.
    It’s just a very small mount…they want 30 days credit.
    I said ..use their petty cash funds…and be done with it.
    They said no way.
    So no deal.
    Few big companies…that charge people COD…..like cars…oil companies…I also do not give credit…on big orders.
    The boss phoned me up…and accepted my explainations….then..asking for 7 days credit.
    I said OK….provide I get 7 days credit for all my car repairs…or oil pumping. He laughed and said…OK. We understand each other now.
    I hope many thousand small traders do not be controlled by big fish companies.
    Think and don’t let them bully you.
    Banks apply demands on payments so swiftly..yet when come to deposits or payments…banks is one of the worst to deal with.
    Such are some of small traders sufferings…unless you are a Bumiputra…dealing with the government…you may get RM1 million advance…with something that Muslims knows next to nothing..and pass the job to a Malaysia Chinese ….Malay..sitting pretty…becomes…instant millionaire.
    They call it “ali baba’…but infact…UMNO encourages that…yet they say..they help Malays??
    Is that not…making them dumb and lazy..getting easy money…..on going… on an on??

  28. #28 by madmix on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 10:39 am

    I suspect this is how the deal will work:
    1. Government servants: free IJN services, but gomen will pay private IJN full fees (i.e. tax-payers’ money). Before IJN was self-sustaining costing tax-payers nothing. The money from the sale of IJN to Sime will be gone in a few years from this scheme.
    2. The poor gets subsidised treatment: Eveybody who hasn’t got full insurance coverage or whose tab will be paid by their companies will claim to be poor. Again, the difference will be topped up by the government with tax-payers’ funds.
    This is like the toll highways where the corporations ask the government to top up when there is inadequate profits. Or the IPPs who force Tenaga to pay for their excess capacity. Guaranteed profits for Sime at tax-payers’ expense.

    There are always people who will think of schemes to collect from the ordinary citizens. Like the hologram stickers on all medicine on the pretext that this sticker proves genuineness. It is actually a private company collecting STAMP DUTY. If the government is sincere, they could have issued the stamps themselves.

  29. #29 by wanderer on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 12:00 pm

    Let us challenge UMNO-BN regime to come out openly at the KT by-election, that they will NEVER and EVER going to privatise IJN… to show their sincerity having the poor rakyat at heart.
    It should be difficult for the UMNOputeras, afterall, the very first instance, IJN was built for this purpose.

  30. #30 by wanderer on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 12:02 pm

    sorry, “It should not be difficult’ mistyped.

  31. #31 by Jong on Saturday, 20 December 2008 - 9:16 pm

    Five years under his ‘flip-flop’ boss Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, Mohd Najib Tun Razak has learnt flip-floping pretty well too. Two days ago he confirmed(see Malaysiakini video) that this UMNO-led government has give greenlight to IJN privation but today he announced the privatisation will be put on hold.

    Lies, more lies and why, why not scrap it altogether? So it must be the Kuala Trengganu’s by-election that they are afraid of, that this IJN issue will adversely affect their chance of keeping the KT seat, now finds it necessary to lie low for a while?

  32. #32 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 21 December 2008 - 10:25 am

    Naj*ib has been caught many times in his pink underpants and his Japanese flip flops trying to sneak out in the middle of the night by Rosmah – the latest convert to flip-flop politics.

  33. #33 by mendela on Sunday, 21 December 2008 - 1:12 pm

    undergrad2, can you elaborate further on ” his Japanese flip flops trying to sneak out….” ?

    Can’t wait to know the details…

  34. #34 by undergrad2 on Monday, 22 December 2008 - 6:29 am

    The helicopte Naj*ib was testing went into a dive because Rosmah wouldn’t let go of his joystick.

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