The destruction of SMILES in the Land Below the Wind

by P.S. Nathan

I served as the Timbalan Pengarah Kesihatan (Pergigian) for Negeri Sabah from August 1987 to Nov 1990, In short I was posted from Johore to Sabah to take charge of the Dental Service there.

In 1985 a Survey of Dental Health of the School Children in Sabah was carried out, and I was part of that team that conducted that survey. My team covered mainly the East Coast area of Lahad Datu, Semporna and Padang Tunku area.I was also a member of the Committee that drafted the Survey report, and the Committee made Recommendations for the improvement of the Status of Dental Health of the School Children of Sabah.One of the main recomendations was that all Public Water Supplies should be Fluoridated.

In 1989 the then Sabah State Government took the most Unfortunate step of ‘discontinuing the Fluoridation of Public Water supplies in the State of Sabah’ Because “Water” was a state matter, the Ministry of Health could not do anything besides presenting the Report of the Special Committee of the World Health Organisation’ that did indeed recommend the “Fluridation (the optimisation of Fluoride levels) of the Public Water Supplies.That Special Committee of the World Health Organisation also noted that ‘Fluoridation of Public water supplies was the Most Cost-Effective Public Health Measure known to man’.

Recently I received an e-mail from one of the Dental staff informing me that there was still no Fluoridation of Water Supplies in Sabah!!….even after a 20 years! That was SHOCKING NEWS to me!….for the following reasons:

*All the other states in Malaysia have long since enjoyed the Benefits of Fluoridated Water supplies, including Sarawak…Singapore,Hong Kong,Australia, New Zealand etc; have been enjoying the Benefits of Water Fluoridation for some 50+ years now.

*The Sabah Population has the WORST Dental Health in the Whole of Malaysia!…and the ‘Caries (tooth decay) levels are easily Twice that of the the rest of MaLAYSIA! The Dentist to Population ratio is also the Worst in Malaysia!

*I estimate that in the last 20 years some 300-350,thousand Permanant Teeth have probably been Extracted among the school going population of Sabah.\ and probably another 700,000 Milk teeth extracted,among the Children of Sabah!!…and maybe another One Million teeth among the rest of Sabah’s Population!

I doubt if anyone in his right senses would consider this Dental Care because such astounding levels of Extractions can only mean the destruction of SMILES of the people of the ‘Land Below the Wind’!!

So here I am a non-Sabahan, e-mailing this appeal, hoping to highlight the URGENT Need to Re-Think, and re-introduce the ‘Fluoridation’ of ALL Public Water Supplies in the State of Sabah,as soon as possible. I think that WE Owe the Children of Sabah at least this Social Responsibilty and to Help Them Keep Their Smiles for Life!!

So let us stop this destructive Health Care, Stop the Pain, The Blood, the Tears, and the anguish, that has been going on for far too long!!

Let us l not let down the some 450,000 School Children of Sabah .

I would also like to draw attention to an article entitled “Towards a State of Toothless Citizens” that appeared in Daily Express, Sabah sometime in the year 1988/89 on this same problem. Unfortunately nothing seems to have changed since then.

This message must be got across to the very people that would really matter – the politicians of Sabah and the people of Sabah.

  1. #1 by dagen on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 8:41 am

    Yup. Its umno at work. Bears all the hallmarks of umno. Let them make noise. At least they would be toothless. Cant bite dude! Yeah. They cant bite. Wont hurt even if they do.

    Jib Jib Boleh!

  2. #2 by HOHOHO on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 9:57 am

    Ho Ho Ho
    OMG! This B-eNd bumNO really cause all this destruction and even Limbang block L&M deal with Brunei!!! and no more part of MALAYSIA!!! SOLD!!! WTF selling 1 by 1 sure this bumNO boleh in BODOHLAND !!!!!!
    Ho Ho Ho

  3. #3 by k1980 on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 10:00 am

    The Health Ministry would probably send a reply like this:–
    The Fluoridation of Public Water supplies in the State of Sabah costs $$$. The Ministry has no objections should Mr P.S. Nathan wishes to personally cover the cost of fluoridating the public water supplies in Sabah. As you are aware of, Sabah MPs never ever raise such issues in Parliament. They are more inclined to be involved in Illicit polygamy, which when caught, only involves a fine of RM1,000.

  4. #4 by monsterball on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 10:10 am

    No fluoridation water supplies and dental health care to some rural areas in Sabah …at this so call Space age of Malaysian under UMNO B government?
    There are many more facts that we know…Najib’s
    “People First. Performance Now”….is full of sh.t.
    Zaid Ibrahim said he never expect to win the law suit he made against UMNO B on the Hulu Selangor result. He just want to let all Malaysians know the facts. not expect MACC to do what we expect them to do justice on our complaints on Najib… bribing Rajang Park voters.
    It always side shows to cool off Malaysian angers..know after a while..we move on and forget.
    Look at Port Klang Free Zone RM12.5 billion corruptions….all suspects released…case closed…no corruptions.
    Are we not sick of all these people treating Malaysians like suckers and idiots?

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 10:35 am

    The SMILES went away a long time ago when the politicians started to play their hopping games for their self-interest.

    The welfare of the people and of the state are really secondary to their interests which is to make a lot of hay why their suns shine.

    How else would you account for the fact that one of the richest states is so backward and poor and there is a very big gap between the rich and the poor? And a lot of money is leaked out to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and everywhere else?

    Since independence 50 year ago, Sabah has not made much progress and is plagued by 1001 problems.

    The state’s people need to bring about a big change and put the SMILES back to their faces. Do it quickly.

  6. #6 by k1980 on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 10:45 am

    Sabahans should signal their disgust by flashing the 1/2/3….malaysia sign—
    1 finger means 1 tooth lost due to non-fluoridation

    2 fingers mean 2 teeth lost due to non-fluoridation

    10 fingers mean 10 teeth lost due to non-fluoridation

    More than 10 teeth lost, they should take off their shoes and show their toes

  7. #7 by monsterball on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 11:21 am

    yea size 10 shoe….right foot up to good for nothing Health Minister.

  8. #8 by baochingtian on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 1:30 pm

    So Sabahans, what r u waiting for? U do not deserve a gomen that does not look into your well beings. Just change! U do not have a comfort zone in the first place, so there’s not risk of moving away from where u r now. Don’t fall for “u help me, i help u”. It has to be u help yourself first.

  9. #9 by baochingtian on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 2:00 pm

    Burung kakak tua,
    Lama hinggap di jendela,
    Anak belum tua,
    Giginya tinggal dua.

    Lechum Lechum Lechum
    Mu la la (2x)

    Burung kakak tua,
    Terbanglah mencari,
    Bila nenek sudah tua,
    Giginya masih berseri.

  10. #10 by House Victim on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 3:01 pm

    What will PR do after receiving this type of Responsible Professional and Citizen?

    PR is no more a Political party only but are in the Administration and has more than 1/3 in the Parliament!!

    People should not hear only the voice but what will be taken by those MP or Assemblyman being elected by the People!!

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 3:03 pm

    Tiger, tiger, burning bright
    Toothless tiger, toothless tiger, kuai kuai diam diam

  12. #12 by House Victim on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 - 3:45 pm

    “What will PR do after receiving this type of Complaint or Report from Responsible Professional Citizen?”

    sorry for mistyped!!

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 - 3:56 am

    Yes, giginya tinggal dua, wonderful

  14. #14 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 - 4:00 am

    2 survive in dis F-up nation, SMILE n vote against BN, no use crying

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