Why as a doctor I want this government to go away

by CSK

I am a local graduate and have been in practice for 31 years. I am basically a physician by training and received my qualifications from the Royal Colleges in 1985. I see mainly kidney ailments and their predisposing illnesses which usually are high blood pressure, diabetes and heart ailments.

I was in government service for twenty years and the remainder now in private practice. I run a clinic in Penang and have visitation rights to private hospitals.

When I was in government service, yes, there was much bureaucracy. But nothing of the sort we see today. There was a greater deal of camaraderie. And although there were differences with private hospitals or clinics, generally everyone learned to work together.

When I first opened my clinic, it was fairly a straightforward affair. Apart from my APC (Annual Practicing Certificate), it was just ensuring the clinic was adequately equipped to treat the type of patients which I knew I would be treating, and making certain I had the type of medication I wanted to prescribe to my patients generally.

My first brush with the law, if you can call it that, came when a group of government medical assistants and health inspectors walked into my clinic without notice and brusquely gave me a warning regarding a new rule regarding toxic waste and how we should dispose them in yellow containers recommended by the ministry. I complied.

About two years later, there were problems regarding my X-ray machine, when third parties who appeared not so knowledgeable but apparently approved by the Ministry of Health, started walking in and out of my clinic for purposes of calibration and licence renewals. I could not quite understand why the supplier or manufacturer himself was not allowed to service or calibrate these machines. The cost ran into thousands of ringgit which I had to pay.

To add insult to injury, I was forced to attend Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs run by what looked like staff who didn’t know much about the programs they were conducting despite myself having a qualified radiographer to do the X-Rays. The cost of the CME programs again had to be borne by me.

And then came the PHFSA (Private Health Care, Facilities and Services Act). No one understood the need for this Act. In this respect I must praise ex-Health Minister, Chua Jui Meng, for putting this nonsensical Act into cold storage. However Chua Soi Lek and a couple of not so clever ministry staff, typically without the approval of the very people it was going to affect in the private sector, got together and convinced the government to pass this Act in parliament.

They say that an idiot is a stupid person with a mental age below three years, while a moron is a stupid person with a mental age of between seven to twelve years. I am uncertain which category the Ministry staff who conjured these laws belonged to. Even the opposition didn’t or could not make much noise.

Doctors were forced to register clinics, made to pay hefty registration fees, comply by doing expensive renovations and buy unnecessary equipment unrelated to the type of practice they had. And despite this, the authorities can still choose to provide or not provide a license as and when they please. Many unnecessary trips had to be made to the Ministry which these days seemed to be staffed by Indonesian and Manipal graduates or by doctors who have not worked a single day as an independent doctor in a clinic of their own.

Politics was certainly not standing at the door of my clinic anymore. It had come right in and engulfed my practice with a red tape which I could not keep up with any certainty.

Despite all the noise regarding a Dr. Basmullah who apparently was jailed pertaining to this Act, the Pakatan Rakyat has not made any clear statements if they would repeal this law and the many other restrictions placed on medical practices by qualified, fully registered Malaysian doctors if they came to power.

It is uncertain if Malaysian doctors would be squeezed out first by our own government or by AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area) when full implementation with regard to the liberalization of medical services takes place soon.

As for now, at least, I think I have heard and seen enough. Despite the scandalous mortality and morbidity the country faces due to the largely ignored dengue scourge and possibly many other illnesses, and despite knowing from past and current experiences regarding the tacky standards in government hospitals, they appear to be above the law without accountability nor transparency.

For now, I have decided to take more time off from my medical practice and spend sometime now instead to focus on helping remove this government. As a doctor in private practice, I just want this government with all its Little Napoleons and conniving, corrupted, incompetent, Ketuanan Melayu civil servants gone.

I believe now that this government is incorrigible and beyond redemption. The time to work as friends within the system has long since passed. If we are to save this once beautiful and free country, it is apparent at least to me now that this government must first be removed.


  1. #1 by ktteokt on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 10:50 am

    Malaysia is one typical nation where they enact laws not for the purpose of simplifying things but complicating them. The many Acts of parliament, rules and regulations are meant to create problems for the people concerned so as to create “opportunities” for those with “solutions” to earn some extra income! This can be seen in the many Acts of Parliament which have so far been enacted by the BN government. In fact, the more complicated it is, the more money these people stand to gain!

    Not only the medical profession has been affected by these stupid Acts of parliament, other professions too face similar problems and the worst are the rakyat who have become victims of public servants each time they seek compliance with the law at government departments. This is in fact what gives rise to the long queues at government departments each day. Attitudes of public servants have been arrogant, perhaps an inheritance from their superiors. They seemed to have forgotten their personality as “public servants” – people who serve the public and not people who give the public headaches!!!!

  2. #2 by Justin Cho on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:02 am


    Good on you. We certainly need more professionals like you to send the final message loud and clear.

  3. #3 by PHUAKL on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:05 am

    Dear YB Lim

    Sorry to go off-topic:
    I’m worried about the BN regime’s lack of action in tackling the
    worsening economy. May I suggest that you get your DAP economic experts such as Tony Pua to take a look at what
    Takahashi Korekiyo and Hjalmar Schacht did in Japan and Germany during the 1930s Great Depression?
    Although both countries were under loathsome fascist regimes, their economic policies seemed to help the two countries to rebound quickly. One can even learn useful things from loathsome regimes (including Stalinist Russia)!

    Phua Kai Lit

  4. #4 by Mr Smith on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:06 am

    Dr CSK,
    I am confident if Pakatan forms the next government things WILL change.
    The BN government relishes in enforcing rules after rules so that its men are seen to be doing something.
    The Health Ministry is in such a sorry state because it has been in MCA hands all these years. Remember, the Malay civil service do not give much respect to a Chinese Minister. But then, it would have been worse, had the portfolio been held by UMNO.
    Perhaps, he was among the best of the lot in terms of his ability, diligence and concern.

  5. #5 by Borneorosette on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:20 am


    It is one way for the umno government to squeeze any squeezeble penny from your pocket. Umno peole has been making tonnes of RM from the health industry. Just check on the suppliers of medications and health industry equipments… guess who are the owners? UMNO people of course. And the RM runs into billions of RM. What is PR going to do about this?

    In my home town, the so called doctor that we have now is from INDIA (not Malaysian Indian but Indian from India). Before that it was a doctor from Burma. And they were working at the umno run government clinic servicing the people of Malaysian. My question is WHY?


  6. #6 by juno on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:20 am

    This Govt has to go away as the “UMNO malignant tumor” is spreading to the forensics wholesale in the Country. Before the Doctors are branded twins in crime as” Josef Mengeles”. Their noble righteousness is being stifled. because this was exposed , -how many may have dissapeared with no name and faces?? http://sjsandteam.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/go-to-hell-khalid-bakar/

  7. #7 by vsp on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:31 am

    The government we have now is not interested to serve the people. They have conveniently privatise their roles over to some powerful private interests and have become subsidiaries of these entities. They become the protectors and rent collectors of these powerful people, which might be from their own family members or relatives or some cronies. Laws are passed to serve these interest and to inconvenient the public.

    How do you explain when many laws which were initially been drafted to protect the public were slowly being eroded by these guardians of the people to serve some powerful interests?

    Just look at our Constitution which is supposed to be supreme: how can laws such as the ISA, OSA, the Police Act, etc become more relevant and finally relegate the Constitution into a piece of toilet paper?

    Malaysia is in deep shit because of such a rent-a-payola government.

  8. #8 by bystander on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:54 am

    fully concur with csk. if things are simplified, how to cari makan for these ketuanan melayu morons?

  9. #9 by dawsheng on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 12:07 pm

    “For now, I have decided to take more time off from my medical practice and spend sometime now instead to focus on helping remove this government.” – CSK

    I am glad you finally woke up.

  10. #10 by k1980 on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 12:20 pm

    //I just want this government with all its Little Napoleons and conniving, corrupted, incompetent, Ketuanan Melayu civil servants gone. //

    It is mind-boggling that SPM-level “tuans” are given the power to dictate terms and conditions to medical officers such as csk.

  11. #11 by just a moment on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 12:35 pm

    Thanks Dr CSK, Its inevitable now, this Gov’t has to be removed by all means. Be it from within their own or from beyond, this bunch of hopless ‘tyrans’ have outlived its time. The people have seen enough, heard enough, experience enough, but sadly not all are bold and honest enough as you. Next GE will be the expiry date for these goons, anything sooner will be a bonus.

  12. #12 by drngsc on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 1:08 pm

    Many of us, like you reached the same conclusion years ago. We are still here ( not emigrated ) because we love Malaysia.
    Thanks for sharing. Obviously we need a change. A big change, but are we up to it? Is Malaysia up to it? Is the alternative better?
    God help Malaysia.

  13. #13 by wanderer on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 1:48 pm

    This incompetent govt have policies to inconvenient the rakyat, rather then, offer first class professional services. Whether it is intentional or otherwise, it only encourages corruption or is it, employing sub-standard personals with inferior complex but, projecting arrogance to shield their inadequacies. Malaysia Boleh, lah!
    Either, we tolerate these so call “Katuanan Melayu” in actions or simply remove them.

  14. #14 by Taxidriver on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 1:59 pm

    And who says this government do not serve the people? Besides serving themselves, they have helped many people become multi-millionaires. They don’t serve people like you and me because we are not their people. To be recognised as one of their own you must keep your big mouth shut and be an experienced caddie like OTK, LTL, Sai Abba who can make themselves look stupid and don’t mind being laughed at. These are their people, don’t you know that?

  15. #15 by bystander on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 2:08 pm

    umno/bn is kaput and irrelevant come next election.

  16. #16 by just a moment on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 2:11 pm

    Dear drngsc Says:, Allow me if you don’t mind. Over the months, many people have been asking me the same question. Would the alternate ‘Government’ be any any better.
    Let’s be very clear what are the rakyat going after.
    1. Can the New Alternate Government be better?
    Ans: Nobody knows, only time can tell. So far, so good?
    2. Although its an important question, its not a priority one.
    The more important question that everyone can be assured (I can bet my last dollar here) is…

    The rest can be iron-out, behind close door?

  17. #17 by computation on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 2:25 pm

    CSK mentions the ministry being staffed by a lot
    of people he perceives to have inferior qualifications.
    not to be racist are they mostly malays?
    are they muslims? is this a “sensitive” issue?
    if so i suggest the malays and muslims start getting less
    sensitive and dealing with the real issues. are not
    muslims supposed to be concerned with the truth.
    the truth hurts. deal with it. if not God will deal with them

  18. #18 by computation on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 2:26 pm

    not to be racist or anything the questions are
    these : are they mostly malays? are they muslims? is this a “sensitive” issue?

    if so i suggest the malays and muslims start getting less
    sensitive and start dealing with the real issues.

  19. #19 by whattheheckman on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 3:03 pm

    CSK you are right in all the things you stated except for one. Your comment on Manipal graduates is uncalled for. Manipal graduates are recognised world wide. Which catergory can we place you, idiot, moron or just plain stupid.

  20. #20 by ALLAN THAM on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 4:04 pm

    This was very common. This is what creative is all about. This the way to create opportunity to assist those to who are not good in business to do business thus achieve equality but not the advancement of our economy.

  21. #21 by ringthetill on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 5:25 pm

    Generally any laws and rules passed, are to improve service delivery to the public. I think there is a tendency for our politicians and senior civil servants to be overzealous so much so everyone is overwhelmed, and the plot is lost. A good test would be to ask, what does it fix, will the affected parties be unnecessarily inconvenienced, who will benefit? The less one has to deal with officialdom the better, because they are a pain in Malaysia.

  22. #22 by rockdaboat on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 5:31 pm

    “…sub-standard personnels with inferiority complex but, projecting arrogance to shield their inadequacies….” – Wanderer

    Spot on, wanderer.
    BUT these people are not born inferior, they are brought up and trained to be inferior by the very same group of people who claimed to be fighting for and defending them for their rights.

    This is the most cruel thing they could have done to their own kind; all because of their own selfish agenda.

  23. #23 by melurian on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 7:58 pm

    i bet when p-r takes over the gov, the author will cursing himself and nostalgic bout the good old bn days……

    it’s the system, and system’s made for benefit of all…

  24. #24 by shamshul anuar on Friday, 30 January 2009 - 11:02 pm

    Dear Mr smith,

    Ah Yes. You are right. One MCA Minister, Dr Chua Soi Lek, is not highly regarded by Malaysians , not only Malays. No need to play racial issue here.

    It is quite simple actually. He was caught with pants down, literally of course. Therefore, do not expect people to respect him. It has nothing to do with him being Chinese or Malay. It is just that average Malaysians do not tolerate politicians caught doing sexual act.

    That simple. No need to find scapegoat here. No need to blame UMNO if a MCa minister committed adultery.

    I used to study in USA. In this so called “land of plenty and land of freedom”, reality can sometimes make us thankful for being Malaysians.

    Almost 40% of Americans do not have health insurance. In USA, health sector is in the mess. Govt spending on medical is minimal. There is no such thing as paying RM5 to get doses of medicines like what we get in Hospital selayang.

    Oh yes. They have private hospitals. Private and expensive. There is no such thing getting prenatal advice free in USA like what would be mothers can attest here.

    As for Borneorossete, calm down. Eventually all doctors in Govt hospitals( your term UMNO run hospital is a reflection of ill mannerism) will be Malaysians. It is just a matter of time. I take it you are not aware that there thousands of medical students produced every year to cater the need of the nation.

    And if you cant stand “UMNO run hospital” , then nobody is stopping you from getting medical service from private hospital.

    As for Rockdabout, no “these” people( I gather you must refer to the Malays as it is deemed OK for Uncle Lim and people like you to insult them are not inferior. They got the job because they apllied and they also have qualification, courtesy of the Govt of the day. Without the help of the Govt of the day( meaning UMNO led Govt) ,they are more likely to end up tapping rubber just like what Nizar’s parent did.

    But because UMNO feels that it has the duty to help its own race, then people like Nizar was then given chance to study in UK. Surely, it is suicidal for Nizar to ever think that DAP will help him as he is a Malay( aptly said in Sin Chew Jit Poh that “Chinese to vote Chinese only).

    As for Melurian, yes you are spot on. Many in this forum are consumed with hatred with UMNO. As goes the saying “Hatred will kill humanity”.

  25. #25 by cemerlang on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 1:06 am

    A lot of bureaucrazy, a lot of red tape, a lot of screwing up business from all sides, neopotism, cronyism, unfairness, manipulation, misuse of power, misuse of position, misuse of money, misuse of assets, misuse of human resources, a lot of Little Napoleons and people who do not want to admit that there are problems and issues and mistakes. In fact, the complaint section is not functioning because no action will be taken to rectify the problems. Unless and until someone who has the power to do the right thing or else it is no go. Someone with a strong conviction that the right must be done and the wrong must never happen. I agree with you. God Bless Malaysia. In fact, God must help Malaysia.

  26. #26 by kerishamuddinitis on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 1:59 pm


    So that each time I or my kin fall sick and we have to look for the services of a doctor, I do NOT have to first look at the SOURCE of the qualifications of the doctor, then look at the race of the doctor in question and finally find out if the doctor is young or fairly ‘old.’ Am I being racist? NOOOOOOO. I am just aware that (i) if the medical qualifications are from a reputed source, then the doctor is more likely to have met stringent standards for his qualification, (ii) if he is non-Malay, then it is more likely that he has not received any under-handed assitance in obtaining his medical degree, and (iii) if he is a fairly ‘old’ Malay doctor with a degree from a reputed source, then he will have met the stringent standards of qualifications for his medical degree at a time when ‘ketuanan melayu’ did not interfere with the quality of medical education and qualifications.

    I will gladly (and I have) place my faith and health in the hands of a Malay doctor with qualifications (and experience) I can trust. There are many excellent Malay doctors but one just has to look VERY carefully first and be sure who are the ones likely to be competent ones vs those who are likely to be products of a twisted education system that churns out half-baked quacks.

  27. #27 by PureMalaysian on Saturday, 31 January 2009 - 5:12 pm

    A little off topic, but probably I should voice out here:

    Burmese, Pakistani and Egyptian doctors are hired in our govt services, with uncountable post-grad degrees following their names, printed on their name cards; but when comes to practical knowledge, its totally hopeless and “kosong”.

    And doctors hired by UiTM (the so called “hak Melayu” university) are paid RM8000+ per month as salary – even my Malay friends who didn’t get a post there complained a lot about the unfairness – coz all the other doctors work as hard, but only paid probably 1/3rd of that pay!

    And with all these PHFSA and whats not, it is of no surprise that more and more doctors are being driven away from public service, or even to neigbouring countries. Brain drain.

    If u ask me, what I would do if I get my post-grad degree, I would tell u the same thing – it’s either the govt out, or I am out (of this country for good).

  28. #28 by alaneth on Sunday, 1 February 2009 - 1:27 am

    I couldn’t agree more with PureMalaysian on his ‘off topic’ post of Brain Drain of doctors… In my univ 10 yrs back, there was this Burmese doctor who is a Muslim & a Pakistani lady doctor who I find very difficult to examine male patients – even putting her stethoscopes on my chest….!!! Also found a Viet doctor in Hussein Onn Eye Hosp who is …. u know what. Where are all the good doctors??? Brain drain I believe…

  29. #29 by shamshul anuar on Monday, 2 February 2009 - 4:27 pm

    Dear alenath,

    I agree with some of the points. Health Ministery must ensure that foreign doctors employed meet the international standard. I read that some of them do not even able to comprehend basic medical routine produce anyone would expect from a doctor.

    And only an idiot doctor will not touch a person of opposite sex. Please do not join this profession should you refuse to touch an opposite sex. Islam does not put such idiotic practice. Rather , narrow minded people abuse the faith and in the process damaging good name of religion.

    Brain drain is a serious issue. What needed is super scale salary as inducement for them to stay in civil service. Super scale meaning that their salaries would not be much difference from private service.

    Salary is one issue. Inconsistent policy is another issue.

  30. #30 by tuanlokong on Tuesday, 3 February 2009 - 8:47 pm

    Not only that, to this day I am still confused what is Puspacom and JPJ or rather just to check if my lorry produce smoke!.
    Then come Bernas the so called control the rice productions is making more money than those farmers. This comes to Sukat dan Timbang a young boy maybe the son of the officer in charge, was asked to ensure my Weight machine or timbang is up to standard and paid some fees enough for my family two days of food allowance.

    No wonder Malaysia is getting more and more expensive to live in. What next? extra bags for primary one school children hehe..

  31. #31 by IbnAbdHalim on Saturday, 14 February 2009 - 3:22 pm


    You’re one hundred percent right that the the current federal government must be removed, and may I add, at all cost, the sooner the better.

  32. #32 by gys on Saturday, 14 February 2009 - 7:51 pm

    Dr CSK….greeting from fellow private doctor….Majority doctors are non confrontational as we don’t want to waste our years of study in a blink of eye. We would like a comfortable life to work either in private or government to make a living. That’s why we had a bunch of doctors leader which is leading our medical society which is often called as toothless tiger. They are there for a purpose to get their name added with a Dato instead of Dr. They doesn’t seems to be able to do anything about the PHFSA except discussion and discussion and on the ground this group of MA are threatening to close down clinic and hospital. The guys in the KKM are not all coming from manipal or Indonesian grad. Is the individual involved which don’t have head or tail of their job. I’m from manipal and I’m as competent as you as a doctor and I’m proud of it. So please don’t be a racist, we don’t want a racist pakatan government…

  33. #33 by homeblogger on Saturday, 14 February 2009 - 11:59 pm

    Quote : I believe now that this government is incorrigible and beyond redemption. If we are to save this once beautiful and free country, it is apparent at least to me now that this government must first be removed.

    Incorrect. It should read :

    WE believe now that this government is incorrigible and beyond redemption. If we are to save this once beautiful and free country, it is apparent at least to US now that this government must first be removed.

  34. #34 by Gehirnlappen on Sunday, 15 February 2009 - 2:49 pm

    Dear CSK,

    You know what you should do? Move. Migrate. I’m sure there are many countires that would be happy to welcome an experienced physician. This country of ours doesn’t recognize talent. It doesn’t recognize skill or intelligence. It only knows how to enforce quotas.

    The quality of doctors in Malaysia is going DOWN the drain. We have twits and donkeys so desperate to become doctors but neither possessing the brains nor the financial means to enroll in reputable medical schools going to highly questionable and suspect places like Russia, Ukraine and of all places, Indonesia, to get their medical degrees. To top if off, the quality of medical graduates from local universities is falling faster than Najib’s reputation thanks to lousy lecturers (products of local universities themselves) and racist systems that favor mediocrity rather than excellence.

    If I were a doctor, the last place on earth besides Zimabwe, that I would want to be trapped in and be forced to practice in is none other than: MALAYSIA.

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