by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, on Tuesday, 11th Oct. 1977:
Call on Malaysian Government to immediately grant provisional registration to some 50 Malaysian graduates from medical colleges in India and Taiwan so that they can work as housemen in Malaysian hospitals
There are now some 50 Malaysian graduates of Indian and Taiwan medical colleges who have been denied provisional registration and cannot begin their housemanship. The Ministry of Health claims that they come from Unscheduled Medical Colleges, and have therefore to sit for Qualifying Examination for Doctors set by the Ministry of Health, before they are permitted provisional registration to enable to do their housemanship.
This is most unfair, for during this period of waiting to pass the Qualifying Exanimation, these medical graduates have nothing to do at all.
Large numbers of these medical graduates have graduated from colleges of universities which have been recognized by the Malaysian Government. In Penang over the weekend, the Acting Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed said the government was concerned that doctors in the country were genuinely qualified, as the medical profession involved the question of life r death of a human being.
As far as I know, all the Malaysian medical graduates from Indian medical colleges have done one year of housemanship or internship in India, before their return to Malaysia. Until 12th April 1977, medical graduates from medical colleges which are not in the Scheduled List of recognition have to do another year of housemanship in local hospitals, after which they are required to do an additional two years of medical work under supervision, before they are fully registered as medical officers.
Why can’t the old system be continued so that these 50-odd medical graduates can start practical experience and even training, since they have undergone a full medical course in medical colleges abroad.
The question of maintain proper medical standards can be achieved during their three years of work before full registration.
I have received complaints about the Qualifying Examination. The first qualifying examination was set in April 77, where only 4 out of 22 passed; while in the second Qualifying Examination 11 out of 59 passed. The medical graduates from Indian medical colleges tell me that in Indian medical schools, they are taught to deal with essay-type of examination papers; while the Qualifying Examination set by the Health Ministry are multiple-choice questions with negative marking system – i.e. for every one answer which is wrong, the candidate get a minus marking, and for every answer right, the candidate get a plus one.
I understand that in 1974 medical graduates from Unscheduled medical schools need not have to do the two extra years of medical work under supervision before full registration. That was the time when there was an acute shortage of medical officers in the midst of mass emigration of doctors abroad.
Malaysia has some 700 foreign doctors from India, Egypt, Indonesia, South Korea, in Malaysia hospitals. It is ridiculous that we should reject the services of local Malaysians who have passed medical courses and demanding that they remain idle until they pass the Qualifying Examination. I call on the Cabinet to immediately allow these 50 odd Malaysian medical graduates to get provisional registration, and start their housemanship – so that talents and resources of local Malaysians are not wasted because of bucreautic muddle and bungling.