Dinosaur Chinese educationists should be frozen in the museum

Dinosaur Chinese educationists

should be frozen in the museum

COMMENT: Last 20 years ago, when the Chinese College students from TAR, could not communicate with me in English, Malay and Cantonese Chinese dialects, my nurses scold them. They pointed out that even a foreigner could use the three common languages using in KL, why they could not understand but Mandarin only. The nurses even questioned their citizenship, asking whether they are really Malaysians.

Nowadays they are improved but those  Chinese educationists wish to wrap them BACK in time whirl and stop their participation in the globalization. Those Dinosaur Chinese educationists were once put into ISA by the previous government but as I do not believe in ISA, they should be frozen in the museum freezer.

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World marks UN Human Rights Day

UN General Assembly, Paris 1948

By Paul Reynolds

The UN Human Rights Declaration has stood up remarkably well to the test of the 60 years since it was agreed in Paris on 10 December 1948.

Its main strength lies in its simplicity.

In a preamble and 30 articles, none of them very long, it lists the rights to which each individual is entitled. It is also wide-ranging, emphasising rights to education and health as well as to freedom and protection.

Read more>>

AFP:Indonesia to ratify ASEAN charter: foreign ministry

JAKARTA (AFP) — Indonesia is to sign up to a regional charter committing Southeast Asian nations to the principles of democracy and human rights despite doubts over its implementation, an official said Wednesday.

After lengthy debate the ASEAN charter should be ratified next week, foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said.

Indonesia is the last member of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that has not ratified the charter, after the Philippines signed up on Tuesday.

ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Read more>>

Let’s vote NO like this! (Posters in Burmese)

Let’s vote NO like this!

From Khin Ma Ma Myo’s web

 

 

 

 

Detained Myanmar Asylum seekers riots because of injustices

Detained Myanmar Asylum seekers riots

because of injustices

Briefly on the Lenggeng detention center riots (see latest Malaysiakini article). I’ve personally been to these detention centers and can tell you that living there will drive anyone mad. Compound that with the fact that human beings, with lives, families and dignity of their own, are detained there indefinitely.

What this means is that for all they know, detainees could be left to spend the rest of their lives in that shithole.

This is not just.

The detainees who rose up are said to be mostly Burmese. I’ve also personally interviewed a number of Burmese refugees, and have read a fair bit about the country. I’ve studied many horrible conflict zones in Africa, but I would still say that Burma is literally one of the worst places in the world to live.

We need a better solution to this problem. Yes, we cannot simply allow in a flood of refugees, but what we are doing now is inhumane, and not doing anything to change it will only come to cause even more longer term problems in Malaysia.

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One Response to “Lenggeng Uprising”

  1. The government is led by people (Sorry, I changed because of fear) who were born with silver spoons in their mouth (and up their ass). They cannot for a moment emphatise with the poor, be they local or foreign, even if they are of the same race (No, No, No, they care about same race: see Indonesians, Malay Thai, Malay Cambodia, Malay Burmese, Malay Philipino and Malay Viet Nam) they profess to ‘champion’. Other Non Malay Muslims from Myanmar are ignored.

    This is why they rather build the worlds tallest buildings (for their future office), send a UMNOputra to space (solely for the right to brag to the world about it) or jump from aeroplanes over the south pole than give the money to the poor (eg through decent wages).

    They tell the poor to ‘tighten their belts’ while they eat to their hearts content in 5-star hotels all over the world.

  2. Malaysians who believe in God should never support such evil people by voying them into the government.

Lenggeng riot: ‘A disaster waiting to happen’

Malaysiakini Fauwaz Abdul Aziz

It was only a matter of time before trouble broke out at the 14 immigration detention centres taken over earlier this year by voluntary corps Rela – as the Lenggeng incident in Negri Sembilan has proved.
            
alex ong“We anticipated it to happen sooner or later. Lenggeng is only the beginning of worse things to come,” said Migrant Care coordinator Alex Ong when contacted yesterday.

Ong was commenting on the riot on Monday in which about 60 Burmese detainees reportedly tried to pull down the perimeter fence and afterwards torched an administration building.

More than 100 Rela members, riot police, civil defence department and fire and rescue service personnel had to be called in to contain the riot.

According to state police chief Osman Salleh, the detainees had vented their anger against the authorities after their application for resettlement to a third country had been denied. (Need to PUNISH HIM if he he had mislead the authorities to cover the crimes or atrocities of RELA members)

lenggeng detention camp myanmar burmese detainees incarcerated 220408Ong, however, questioned this version of the story and said the more likely reasons involve the poor living conditions and treatment that migrants receive in such detention centres.   

Many human rights and migrant groups have long decried the harsh treatment, overcrowding, poor sanitation, and inadequate food and medical facilities.

Since Jan 15 when Rela took over the running of Lenggeng from the prison department, the plight of those detained has gotten from bad to worse, Ong claimed.

“We have always opposed Rela taking over because we expected the move to be accompanied by complaints of more human rights abuses and abusive treatment,” he said.

Rela is already saddled with a poor track record in relation to treatment of migrants, given its previous role in rounding up undocumented foreigners in Malaysia and the number of complaints this attracted.

‘Detainee beaten’

Lending strength to Ong’s contention that the riot was not over the issue of resettlement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that no refugees in Lenggeng have been told that their resettlement request had been denied.

“Our records indicate that their cases are still being actively processed by our office,” said spokesperson Yante Ismail when contacted.

There are 75 refugees and asylum-seekers known to UNHCR in Lenggeng, of whom seven are non-Burmese and 68 are mostly Chin Burmese. It is still unclear whether and how many of these were involved in the riot, said Yante.

rela 290507 women being checkedAll-Burma Democratic Force vice-chairperson Mohammad Sadek pointed out that it is not usually the Chin – who are predominantly Christian – whose applications for resettlement in Western countries are denied. This is also UN AGENCY SHAMELESSLY practicing discriminations against Muslims.

“It is the Burmese Rohingyas who have complained that their applications for resettlement have been turned down,” said Mohammad.

A social worker who had visited the centre a few weeks ago said a day-long hunger strike had been held on April 3 by a large number of refugees, to protest the severe beating of a Burmese detainee by Rela officers.

“It took a senior immigration officer to come to the detention centre to persuade them to call off their hunger strike,” said the worker, who declined to be identified.

(Please investigate and PUNISH THE CRIMINAL RELA. DON”T COVER UP RELA DG. Your Cabinet and HM could protect you here but ALLAH would severely punish all of you.

And what do you investigate about Rohingya family’s (involed in Myanmar Embassy protest) complaint to the “JUDGE” about torture or beatings by POLICE? We need to wait till JUDGEMENT day of ALLAH?

“I think things only got worse after that, which is why the riot happened.”

Osman said 14 foreigners – six Burmese, six Indonesians, one Vietnamese and one Cambodian – have been called in for questioning over the riot.  

He said they were arrested under Sections 148 (possession of dangerous weapons) and 438 (committing mischief by fire or use of explosive substance) of the Penal Code.

UPDATE:

Lenggeng detainees in a state of tension

Malaysiakini, Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | Apr 24, 08 2:15pm

Overcrowding in the Lenggeng immigration depot – scene of a riot last weekend – is causing the foreign detainees held there to be in a ‘state of tension’, said Suhakam commissioner N Sivasubramaniam today.

suhakam lenggeng camp visit 240408 03At the time of the riot, the facility was bursting at its seams with 1,090 detainees from 14 countries and suffered from chronic disruptions of water supply – two to three times a month – each disruption lasting for up to three days.

The human rights commissioner came to these preliminary findings following a visit to the detention centre this morning.

The riot occurred last Sunday in which about 60 detainees reportedly tried to pull down the perimeter fence and afterwards torched an administration building.

“Too many detainees, their accommodation, their food, management of these detainees, water supply. These are the root issues,” Siva told a press conference at the depot after the visit.

Inexperienced personnel

Citing newspaper reports, Siva conceded that a number of the 17 depots, including Lenggeng, were veritable ‘time bombs’.

On the dire lack of personnel to manage and guard the facility, Siva said out of a total of 208 positions that are supposed to be filled by Immigration Department personnel, only 40 posts have been taken.

lenggeng detention camp myanmar burmese detainees incarcerated 220408Of these, many of them were fresh from their recruitment interviews, he said.

“They recently came from their (respective) villages or city homes and posted here, without enough training to manage certain situations (when they arise),” said Siva.

While the detainees did indeed hold a hunger strike on April 3, Siva said Suhakam has yet to be presented with evidence of any physical abuse of the detainees by voluntary law enforcement corps Rela personnel who are guarding the depot.

“There was a hunger strike, (but it was) generally because of their living conditions,” he said.

“At this time, there is no evidence (of beatings). But if we can be given evidence, we will investigate,” he said.

He also said there was no evidence to suggest any such beatings led to Sunday’s riot.

“We don’t want to make assumptions about this case because it is currently being investigated by the police,” he added.

suhakam lenggeng camp visit 240408 04(Siva later told Malaysiakini that Suhakam was “taking the claim (of assaults) seriously” and called for any parties with information on the matter to come forward.)

He noted, however, that there was a lot of “suspicions” on the part of the detainees towards Rela personnel guarding the depot because the former felt the Rela guards were “the same people who caught them in the first place”.

“Rela personnel are good intentioned when carrying out their tasks. It is the perception towards them (that needs to be redressed),” he said.

Make drastic changes

Since the riot, said Siva, the authorities have moved the male detainees to several other depots and this has alleviated the immediate stresses on the facility.

The incident, nevertheless, accords the opportunity for all quarters responsible to come together to address the overall issues and problems that have plagued immigration depots, he said.

suhakam lenggeng camp visit 240408 01“We can only overcome this situation by getting assistance and support from all parties involved. This is incident opportunity to make drastic changes,” said Siva.

For this purpose, Suhakam hopes to have a roundtable discussion with representatives from the Home Ministry, Rela, Immigration Department as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Negeri Sembilan police had earlier suggested that among the reasons for Monday’s riot was that the detainees were angry at the authorities after their application for resettlement to a third country had been denied.

Met after the press conference, depot commandant Abdul Aziz Mansur denied the detainees are violently treated by either Rela personnel or immigration officers.

RELA thugs to run detention centres

Burma’s NLD Calls for a Referendum “No” Vote

Burma’s NLD Calls for a Referendum “No” Vote

Posted by Ka Daung Nyin Thar

Burma’s NLD Calls for a Referendum “No” Vote
Source : Irrawaddy News Agency

Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), called on the electorate for the first time on Wednesday to cast a “No” vote in the constitutional referendum in May.

The party, headed by pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, said a “No” vote was necessary because the proposed constitution had not been written by elected representatives of the people but by “hand-picked puppets” of the regime.

The draft constitution, drawn up by the regime-constituted National Convention, and a general election to be held in May are the fourth and fifth steps of the junta’s seven-step “road map to a disciplined democracy”.

The NLD’s announcement on Wednesday said the proposed constitution broke a basic principle of democracy, under which authority had to come from the people. It also failed to guarantee democratic values and human rights.

By voting against the draft constitution, the people would be practicing their rights, said NLD spokesman Thein Nyunt. The state powers being exercised by the regime had not originated with the people, he told The Irrawaddy —“Therefore it is the responsibility of all citizens to take back people-power.”

The NLD had been criticized for failing to take an early stand on the referendum. Aung Naing Oo, a Burmese political commentator based in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, welcomed the NLD’s call now for a “No” vote and said it increased the party’s credibility.

Another Burmese political analyst, Htay Aung, said that dissidents inside Burma had called for a “No” vote, and predicted a “confrontation” ahead of the referendum.

Several activists had been attacked in Rangoon because of their views, he said—“These violent acts by the security forces and thugs backed by the junta don’t seem to stop,” he said.

Fourteen members of the Committee Representing the Peoples’ Parliament (CRPP), which was formed by successful candidates in the 1990 election, have also called for rejection of the proposed constitution by the Burmese people as well as internationally.

The document had been written without the participation of the NLD or ethnic party representatives and without meeting the expectations of ethnic nationalities, the CRPP members said.

They described the draft constitution as “a sham,” and said they expected the junta to claim a referendum victory “by cheating and fraud.”

 

 

 

The worst National Registration Department in the world

The worst National Registration Department in the world

Although the Malaysian National Registration Department got the best delivery award amongst all the Government Agencies, we found out a lot of delaying tactics and ever increasing RED TAPE RULES for us in this department. Shamefully may be one of the worst NRD department in the WHOLE WORLD.

The most inefficient delivery system for us but curiously the best for the YAB AAB’s Administration. For us they take few years just to issue or to change ICs. May be deliberate delaying tactics for us only because I had read in the Newspapers that they just take one hour to replace an IC, My Card during election times.

 

It takes a dozen of years to get a RED IC or PR and we need to wait exactly TWELVE YEARS from the date of getting PR, to be JUST eligible to APPLY for the citizenship. And it would take FEW DOZENS of years again to get the approval or to be accepted as the citizens. So, most of the NON INDON, NON THAI MALAY MUSLIM or NON PHILLIPINO MALAYS, first migrants would die before getting BLUE ICs. It is especially difficult for Myanmars even if one is the Muslim Professional.

 

This is clear case of discrimination on foreigners. Where is transparency? Where is Rule of Law? Where is Justice? Where are Human Rights? Where is the ASEAN spirit? Where is MUSLIM BROTHER HOOD?

 

And except for allowed to stay and work in Malaysia, most of the other privileges of citizens are conveniently denied to the PR holders here, not like other countries around the world.

Please read my article_

Applying for Malaysian citizenship

 

MyPR card from July

PUTRAJAYA: The present permanent resident (PR) card will no longer be valid effective July, making way for the more technologically-sophisticated and highly secure MyPR, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar announced.

He said permanent residents had been given ample time to make the change to MyPR, which was introduced in June 2006.

“I believe we have been fair by giving more than sufficient time for them to make the change. We have extended the deadline from 2006 till last year and we have even further stretched the grace period till June this year.

“We have no plans to extend the deadline. After June, the old PR card will automatically be invalid as identity card for Malaysia’s permanent residents,” he said.

Syed Hamid was speaking to reporters after visiting the National Registration Department together with his deputies, Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid and Datuk Chor Chee Heung yesterday.

To date, there are 376,245 PR card holders, of whom 204,901 have yet to change to MyPR.

Syed Hamid said it was for permanent residents to change to MyPR to avoid confusion as the old PR card was of the same colour as the identity card issued to Malaysian citizens.

“The only difference between the two is the card for PRs has a red-coloured star on it, which can easily be overlooked.

“MyPR has a red background, is equipped with high-security features and has the country of origin of the holder stated on it,” he added.

Syed Hamid said since Independence, the Government has awarded citizenship to two million foreigners based on many criteria.

On another matter, he said some 190,000 people had yet to change their identity card and another 195,000 had not collected their MyKad over the past two years.

Please read this remark by Sami Vellu in Malaysiakini_

“The government is of the opinion that when you introduce a programme, everybody will benefit. It is not so. The programme is drafted in such a way that certain people will never benefit,” he said.

“Even if it is meant for everybody, the person who delivers it will never allow it to be delivered. This is the curse in the country, the delivery system.

“The government would like to give everything to everybody, but the man who delivers will never do it,” he added.

Samy Vellu stressed that while the government is not discriminatory, those in the civil service are.

“Anything for other races, they don’t like to see it … some of them don’t consider us (non-Malays) as Malaysians. They are the ones who brought the Barisan down in this elections.

 ‘Change the head’

Asked how this curse can be broken, Samy Vellu prescribed a startling remedy. “Barisan Nasional must change its head.”

Sensing that it can be misinterpreted, the MIC president promptly explained that “the head” was in reference to the mindset and not the leadership.

“A new thinking,” he continued. “The new thinking should be equal opportunities for Malaysians according to their percentage.”

(Note: must stop the different kind of treatment to different foreigners. We Burmese are least previliged foreigners in Malaysia)

At this juncture, the MIC president shifted his focus to the significant swing in votes, especially from the Malays, for the opposition.

“You see today the bumiputera votes went to the opposition. Why? Because they feel there should be equality in the country … I never expected in my life that Malays will move in such a big magnitude to the opposition.

“The Indians, of course, for the first time have also moved. The Chinese (votes) have always been up and down,” he said.

Use Olympic Games to educate China

Use Olympic Games to educate China

Concerned Netizen in Malaysiakini

I refer to the Malaysiakini article Fire on the roof of the world.

I am quite alarmed at China’s response to protests held in Tibet and surrounding regions. Daily we see protests about it along the Olympic torch run, and I wonder why we don’t hear more protests here in Malaysia. The Olympic games lend an excellent opportunity for the world to pressure China to do better in its treatment of others.

Some say that such a move is politicising the Olympic games when they are only about sport. But I beg to differ as there has always been a political element in the games. That’s why countries fight so hard to host them; so that they can show off their might and economic wealth on the world stage.

That’s why these games mean so much to the Chinese government today. From the moment they were granted the right to host the games, it has been a political issue for them. It’s not really about having a good natured contest between countries.

It’s about showing off economic clout, national power and glory. Good sportsmanship, peace and harmony are a very distant second. It’s China’s coming out party and they don’t want anyone to rain on it.

If China continues to go down the path of repression and violence, I don’t believe I can honestly turn on my television set and watch the games. It would be like taking part in a glamorous party while crowds of people outside are beaten, jailed and tortured.

It simply sickens me that we can go on with these games as if nothing is happening. Which to me is giving China the message that it can continue to have it’s cake (persecuting others or support persecution) and eat it too (world influence and ascendancy).

It’s as though that many countries and athletes in the world are saying that it doesn’t matter how China conducts itself as a nation, we will continue to support them and applaud them. I sincerely hope that heads of state will boycott the opening and closing ceremonies and that athletes will take a stand and not participate in the games.

It’s definitely a sacrifice on their part, but it sends a strong and clear message that human life is valued above fame and glory. If there are other ways to apply pressure, then we should do so. Nothing will change unless there is some pain on the part of the Chinese government. A loss of ‘face’ along with economic pain just might be the catalyst to make a difference in the lives of those who face persecution daily.

I used think it was a mistake that China was given the chance to host the games, now I believe it’s a golden opportunity for world to make a difference. If we miss this opportunity, it frightens me about what things China might demand of or take from the rest of the world as they gain more economic and military might.

I’m not so sure I want a country like China to become a world power if they continue to believe that they don’t have to shoulder any of the responsibilities that come with being a world power. Do we really need another world power with the potential to abuse the rest of the world?

Fire on the roof of the World

Sim Kwang Yang in Malaysiakini

Judging from some public commentaries and private conversations among Malaysians of Chinese ethnic persuasion on the issue of Tibet, more than a few of them have embraced the monolithic narrative of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) hook, line, and sinker.

According to them, the Tibet upheaval is a matter of law and order, a series of riots by criminal elements among the local ethnic Tibetans who have been organised, trained, supervised, and probably funded by the Dalai Lama’s government in exile. In this tale, the Dalai Lama is en evil liar who would stoop so low as to tarnish the image of the Beijing Olympics just to further his cause of independence for Tibet.

This official narrative will also accuse ‘Western media” like the BBC and the CNN of trying to spread lies throughout the world about the PRC and the Tibet issue, in order to give their political masters a leverage over the PRC in all kinds of international negotiations.

Meanwhile, the whole media machinery in the PRC from the official Xinhua News Agency, the People’s Dailies, to the various CCTV stations will bombard the international airwaves with the real “facts” about China and Tibet.

Why many Malaysian Chinese will embrace such an account so uncritically is curious in itself, but that is not my concern for the moment. My central question is this: how are we going to make sense of the Tibet issue at all?

Proud coming-out party

First, we must have a standpoint, a perspective from which we can examine the whole controversy. I suggest we have to forget for the moment that we are members of any ethnic community, and forget that we may have cultural, historical, or even social relation with any nation-state of the world. This would be after the fashion of what John Rawl’s would call his “veil of ignorance”.

When we look at China thus, we find a member of the international community of nation states, fast emerging as the third largest economy of the world, with military strength to match its economic prowess, and with obvious aspiration to become a top-notch superpower of the world. The Beijing Olympic Games is their proud coming-out party.

We also find a one party state with hard totalitarian rule by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over her 1.2 billion citizens. Like all totalitarian one party states past and present, the ruling party is equated with the government and the state.

Naturally, any criticism of the government or the ruling party is regarded as an act of treason in China. As I write, news has just reached us that the dissident Hu Jia has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison. His crime consists of giving interviews to foreign press and publishing a few articles purportedly criticising the government.

It is an understatement to say that there is little freedom of expression in the PRC. Strict censorship and the ubiquitous secret police are probably the norms.

Patriotic Chinese nationals and their sympathisers in the global Chinese Diasporas may argue that human rights and freedom of speech are not what China needs. They may further posit the view that given the convoluted historical background of modern China, their large territory, and their very complex demographical composition, they need a strong centralised government to hold everything together. The benevolent dictatorship of the CCP is the key to the economic miracle of the PRC in the last three decades.

That may, or may not, be entirely true. It does not seem that this argument can be true for eternity. But I would not get into an argument about this point, yet.

One obvious difficulty with the lack of freedom of expression in China is both immediate and critical on the issue of Tibet though.

Natural fairness

With no alternative or independent media reporting from Tibet, how are we going to verify or falsify the Chinese official version of what has happened in that relatively isolated province sitting on top of the roof of the world?

Unlike passionately patriotic Chinese citizens and their sympathisers throughout the global Chinese Diasporas, people like me around the world cannot take the words of any government in any country on their face value on mere trust alone.

There must also be many people like me who subscribe to some notion of natural fairness. In any quarrel, wither between two neighbours, or between any government and some of their people, the views of both contending parties must be given equal time and equal space in the media. The party accused of wrong doing must then enjoy their natural right for full reply in their self-defence.

That the media is dominated by the ruling BN coalition in Malaysia is the reason why I and my friends in Malaysiakini have been labouring and chiselling away at this bamboo curtain of unfair reporting. If the newly formed Pakatan Rakyat turns out to be as bad as the BN, I am sure we will also criticise them without fear or favour.

In the case of the Tibet crisis, is it not a little strange that we have heard nothing at all from those parties allegedly doing the public protests and the rioting? Is it not strange that even when a group of foreign media organisations were invited to a guided and rigidly orchestrated tour of Tibet recently, monks were still risking their lives to scream for justice for Tibetans in front of foreign cameras?

If you want to find out the other side of the story, you can go to the internet, and simply type “Tibet” on http://www.google.com. There you will find other versions of the Tibet story, especially events leading to the escape into exile of the Dalai Lama in 1959.

On March 12, 1959, when protesters marched through the streets of Lhasa, demanding Tibetan independence from Chinese rule, Chinese troops moved in. According to the Office of Tibet in London, 86,000 Tibetans were killed that day. In the days that followed, thousands of monks were executed or arrested, while many monasteries and temples were destroyed.

The overseas Tibetan websites also give many accounts of the intervening decades since then describing how the mass migration of Han Chinese into Tibet has made the Tibetans a minority in their homeland. They have described how the PRC efforts to assimilate ethnic Tibetans into the Han culture have endangered their ancient religious, social and cultural legacies.

These stories are the other side of the Tibetan coin that we hear so little about. They may or may not be entirely true, but they give us balance in our view of the current situation in Tibet. They raise the question of whether the Tibetan disturbances in recent weeks are riots or rebellions. They raise doubt that perhaps the disturbances there are not merely criminal acts threatening law and order, but courageous acts of political statement.

Much respected

Meanwhile, we have the Dalai Lama declaring that he is not seeking independence of Tibet from Chinese rule. Rather he is hoping for some degree of autonomy. He has repeatedly requested for some kind of dialogue with the Chinese government, but they seem to have brushed aside this proposal with a great show of contempt.

All along, the Dalai Lama has propagated his idea of non-violence in this political impasse. He is much respected outside China. Why, he has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, and of all things Western, the Nobel Award is one of the more credible institutions to the non-Chinese world. To paint him as the head of a terrorist organisation may work in the closed society within the PRC, but such demonising propaganda is a little hard for me to swallow.

The ocean of official statements and public opinions issuing forth from Mainland smacks of Cold War rhetoric. Their tone and the argument are coarse, displaying a kind of outdated worldview that borders on the hegemonic.

Lastly, there is this argument about Tibet being the internal affair of China, and the outside world has no business pitting their nose where it does not belong. I am thinking of the holocaust in Germany during WWII. Could the Nazi regime then also make a similar claim, morally?

The hard fact is that we live in an inter-connected world. China is gaining influence on the international stage. The Chinese political-economic juggernaut is spreading its wings to all parts of the developing world, scouring the globe for precious fuel and natural resources to satisfy its ravenous hunger for economic growth.

The PRC is also clamouring for a bigger say in international forum such as the many agencies of the United Nations. With greater prestige and power, comes greater responsibility, to answer to mankind for their handling of the Tibetan dilemma, and a whole host of other issues. Like all other nations on Earth, China cannot claim absolute sovereignty,

China may have looked like a First World nation in her cities like Shanghai and Beijing. But under the veneer of modernity in the coastal developed provinces, China has not yet stepped over the threshold of a Third World nation, if the handling of the Tibet crisis is anything to go by.

Why docs should keep dispensing medicine

Why docs should keep dispensing medicine

Comment by V.K. CHIN

PHARMACISTS are making another attempt to get the Health Ministry to stop doctors from dispensing, in other words selling medication to patients. They want to do the job as its members are better trained to do this.

The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society has been trying to have such separation of functions between its members and doctors for some years now but with little success so far.

Their present campaign is not likely to be successful due to several factors that remained unresolved over the years. The main concern is that there are insufficient pharmacists and pharmacies to enable patients to buy their medication.

This is mainly due to the shortage of qualified pharmacists as it was not a popular course until recently. Most of the early graduates were trained overseas and few were interested in this profession then.

Those with A-level science, for example, would prefer medicine or dentistry since there is greater scope – and, of course, status – in these two professions.

It was only in the last decade or so that medical schools were established locally to cater for the rising demand and such overseas training was also too expensive for many families.

Pharmacology has always been closely related to the study of medicine since those with health problems have to rely on medication to cure their conditions.

This is where pharmacists play a key role.

In the early days, most pharmacists were in government service since there was little opportunity for them to come out and start their own pharmacies. When patients wanted to buy medicine, they would just get it from their doctors.

This system has been in place for so long that patients would want to just go to a doctor for diagnosis and buy the medicine from the clinic. It was so convenient for them.

If doctors were forbidden to dispense medicine, it would not go down well with their patients.

This mindset would be hard to change unless legislation is introduced to force the issue.

But the ministry cannot ignore this public sentiment and perhaps for this reason, it is reluctant to introduce a new system anytime soon.

The ministry also has to take into consideration public convenience and the logistics involved in introducing such a scheme.

Even if an experiment should be conducted on the feasibility of such a change, it would still be difficult to cater to the needs of consumers. While there may be pharmacies in more developed parts of a city, they are not open 24 hours a day, unlike clinics.

For example, where are patients going to buy medicine in the early hours of the day after consulting a doctor? The only place they can get it is from the dispensary in the clinic.

The plan to separate functions between doctors and pharmacists may be good for the latter, but will it be in the best interest of the sick and the general public?

In the short-term, the number of pharmacists coming out to practise will be further curtailed since they now have to serve the three-year compulsory service in the government just like doctors and dentists.

This inclusion is strictly due to the dire shortage of pharmacists in government service and this is the only way the ministry can ensure healthcare to the people will not be disrupted.