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Undo ‘racial bias’ in medical courses, PM told

 | April 17, 2012

Students pursuing their degrees in certain countries are exempted from sitting for a foundation course while others have to do so.

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of disgruntled medical undergraduates want Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s intervention to correct the double standard practised by the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), Health Ministry and Higher Education Ministry with regard to students pursuing medical degrees abroad.

They claimed that the double standard was based on race rather than academic qualification, as students studying medicine in certain countries were exempted from the foundation courses while others had to undergo them.

“We are fed up with the Health Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry which are silent on the matter despite obtaining solid evidence of the MMC practising race-based policies,” said Mohd Amin Mohd Ismail on behalf of the disgruntled students.

“Although I am a Malay, I feel it is not right for the MMC to discriminate against the non-Malays… they are my friends too,” he told FMT.

He said students were in possession of an e-mail sent by MMC secretary Dr Wan Maslan Mohamed Woojdy to the Crimea State Medical University (CSMU) administration on June 25, 2005 to obtain details of Malaysian students in the Ukrainian university.

“In his e-mail Wan Maslan asked the university to provide the race of all Malaysian students in the university. This is a bit weird. What good is this going to do. So what if students studying there are Chinese, Indian or Malay… they are all Malaysians,” he added.

CSMU is an established university which conducts medical degree courses for about RM120,000. It has been reported that nearly 1,000 Malaysian students of Indian origin graduated from the university since 1997 until it was dropped from the list of recognised universities by the MMC in June 2005.

“I believe MMC insisted on the de-recognition of CSMU in 2005 after realising that there were many Indians studying in the university. We have sent our case to the Health Ministry but until today no action has been taken,” said Amin.

Various restrictions

He also took a swipe at Deputy Health Minister Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin for her statement in Parliament recently.

He alleged that MMC allowed students to do their medical degrees in Egypt and Jordan without much fuss, but when a student wanted to do his or her medical degree in the former Russian bloc countries, they faced various restrictions.

Amin also claimed that MMC would only recognise Ukrainian medical courses if the students studied the programme through the Lincoln University College (LUC), which is more expensive compared to the students going to the Baltic countries on their own.

He said all three universities attached under the LUC were unrecognised by the Public Service Department and despite this, LUC is given the leeway to enrol students to study medicine.

“What is the point in LUC having unrecognised universities in its stable? What are the students going to do after they complete their degree since it is unrecognised? Is it because many non-Malays study here while almost all seats for students to study medicine in Egypt and Jordan are reserved for the Malays?” he asked.

“We are pleading with the prime minister to look into this issue, failing which it will spell doom for the Malaysian medical system,” he added.


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