Speech by Ketua Pembangkang and DAP Secretary- General, Lim Kit Siang, to the Perak DAP State Sub- Committee meeting in Ipoh on Sunday, 28th August 1977 at 2 p.m.
Call to University authorities and Government to maintain high medical standard and ensure that doctors produced locally are recognised internationally.
It was reported in the local press two days ago that the Dean of the Medical Faculty of the Universiti Kebangsaan, Datuk Paduka Prof. (Dr.) Abdul Wahad Ariff, had disclosed that his Medical Faculty was trying to get the Medical Council of the United Kingdom to recognize its degrees.
This is a step in the right direction, for it is essential not only for the welfare of Malaysians whom these doctors are to serve, but for their future post-graduate and specialist studies, that their qualifications enjoy international recognition.
There has been growing concern that the standards in the Medical Faculty in the University of Malaya, which had a high international reputation when it first started, had been suffering serious erosion of standards.
This is why the Medical Council of the United Kingdom, which from the start of the Medical Faculty of the University of Malaya, had given automatic recognition to the M.B.B.S degrees of University of Malaya, has now decided this automatic recognition in five years’ time after the Council had sent a investigative team to study the medical standards of the faculty. After five years, the medical degrees of the University of Malaya to withdraw will be subject to a year- by- year review.
This is a clear vote of no confidence in the future standards of the Medical Faculty, and represent an academic stigma to the Medical Faculty of the University of Malaya in the international academic community. In view of this, one may wonder as to the likely outcome of the application by the Universiti Kebangsaan Medical Faculty for international recognition.
It has been obvious to close observers for quite some time that the standards in the University of Malaya Medical Faculty had been on the downward slope, and this had elicited statements of concern by doctors and even the Malayan Media\cal Association. But there does not seem to be any will or ability on the part either of the University authorities or the Government to maintain the high standards set by the Faculty during its inception.
The trend, if any, appears to be toward further decline. This will be most unfortunate and tragic, for the eventual casualties will not only be the patients whom these doctors will attend to, but the doctors themselves, for they will shut themselves out from any opportunities open overseas for higher post- graduate specialists studies.
I will make an urgent call to the university authorities and the Government to energetically and courageously check this trend of continuous erosion of academic standards, and produce, both in the University of Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan doctors who are not only well- qualified to doctor to the Malaysian rakyat, but enjoy international recognition.