Archive for December 31st, 2008

Malaysia at new crossroads – unite as one people to withstand the worst effects of the global economic tsunami

    2009 New Year Message

2008 is the year of the political tsunami in Malaysia – with five state governments under Pakatan Rakyat, the end of two-thirds parliamentary majority of Barisan Nasional and a totally new national mindset where the toppling of the Umno-Barisan Nasional coalition government at the national level is no more impossible or unthinkable but eminently possible and a matter of time.

In 2009, the world expects the worst economic tsunami in 80 years wreaking even greater economic devastation world-wide than that caused by the global financial crisis this year which had already plunged the United States, Europe and Japan into recession and slowed down world economic growth – and the two great economic powerhouses, China and Japan, will not be spared.

Malaysia is at a new crossroads. We have lost our way after half-a-century of nationhood as illustrated by the tragic fact that the objective of a Bangsa Malaysia as proclaimed in Vision 2020 has become a subject of discord rather than concord among Malaysians and our continued slippage in international competitiveness whether in terms of university rankings, corruption perception indices, human rights or good governance ratings. Read the rest of this entry »


No IJN privatization – apply IJN success to government hospital heart centres

by Balwant Singh

I read with great interest regarding plans to privatize the National Heart Institute announced recently. As a former heart patient, who had surgery performed in Penang Hospital Heart Centre, another government facility offering cardiac services, I would like to clarify a few points regarding this issue.

Firstly , the main reason IJN has been successful is the fact that it has managed to attract and keep a group of dedicated cardiologists and surgeons, who continued to develop the service and subsequently contribute to the success story it actually is today.

This is possible because IJN has managed to escape the long bureaucratic arms and clutches of the civil service which more often becomes a hindrance and certainly a push factor for doctors leaving for the more lucrative private sector.

By being a semi private entity, decisions for advancement of services, introduction of new treatment etc, training and even better remunerations for staff are more readily made, unlike the usual delays and difficulties encountered within the Ministry of Health framework.

Secondly , it has to be pointed out that services in IJN for civil servants and their families are borne by the government. Therefore, IJN is actually not providing any free healthcare, but instead charges the government normal market rates for decent cardiac care. Read the rest of this entry »