Restoration Of MMC’s Recognition Of Crimea Medical State University(Ukraine)  In The Interests Of Fairplay, Equal Opportunity And Justice For All

- presented to the MMC on the derecognition of CMSU

Lim Guan Eng

(Putra Jaya, Thursday):


23 June 2005

Datuk Dr Ismail Marican,
Malaysian Medical Council(MMC).
Ibupejabat Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia,
Aras 2, Blok E1, Parcel E,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,

62590 Putrajaya.                                                                                


Yang Berbahagia Datuk, 

Restoration Of MMC’s Recognition Of Crimea Medical State University(Ukraine)  In The Interests Of Fairplay, Equal Opportunity And Justice For All

On behalf of all Malaysian parents and students, we wish to seek from MMC the restoration of recognition of Crimea Medical State University(Ukraine) or CSMU’s medical degrees. We protest at MMC’s sudden de-recognition of its medical degrees as not in the interests of fairplay, equal opportunity and justice for all. 

The Medical Act 1971 stipulates that only graduates from recognized universities can be registered to practice in the country. At the moment, about 450 medical universities and colleges in more than 30 countries are recognized by the Malaysian Medical Council. These include 10 universities offering the medical degree locally – 6 in the public sector and 4 in the private sector. 

Graduates from unscheduled universities have to sit for and pass a qualifying examination held concurrently with the final year medical examinations of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaya or Universiti Sains Malaysia under Section 12 (1) (aa) of the Medical Act before they can be registered to practice in this country.  These graduates are allowed three attempts at the qualifying examination.   

According to your Ministry in 2003, 124 candidates sat for the examination – 37 at USM, 42 at UM and 45  UKM – and the pass rates were 32% at USM, 52% at UM and 18% at UKM. This gives an overall pass rate of only 34% (42 out of the 124 candidates). The majority of candidates were from India (66), Indonesia (30) and China (11). Clearly the passing rate from the qualifying examination is low. 

Medicine has been the wish of parents and ambition of many talented students. Due to the   difficulty in obtaining places in local universities due to intense competition and quota restrictions, many of these students have no choice but to go overseas despite the high costs involved. CSMU offers the cheapest price of all foreign medical universities at RM 100,000 for the entire course compared to RM 400,000 in Australia, RM 630,000 in England and RM 700,000 in United States. 

Following recognition by MMC in 2001, CSMU became the sole destination of choice from poorer families due to the low cost involved. The sudden withdrawal of recognition for the 2006 intake has deeply distressed Malaysian parents who view such actions as a breach of trust. Bearing in mind that 22% of CSMU are Chinese, 22% Malays and the remainder Indian this is a truly Malaysian problem and not particular to any community.  

Further, these doctors trained at private expense provide a valuable service in overcoming the current shortage of doctors in Malaysian hospitals. The Malaysian government spends annually RM 40 million to employ 700 foreign doctors in government hospitals. No one can understand why these young Malaysians are not encouraged to overcome this shortage when the government need not spend a single cent and help to save RM 40 million annually to the government.  

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad had said that amongst the reasons for the de-recognition of CSMU’s degrees include the sudden rise in the number of Malaysian students had increased from a mere 53 to 1,366 in May this year, causing concern to the MMC. He claimed that this caused the desired lecturer-to-student ratio of 1:4 to deteriorate to 1:8. 

The desired lecturer-to-student ratio of 1:4 contradicts the statement by Higher Education Minister Shafie Apdal in the New Straits Times on 3rd June 2004 that the MMC had agreed to expand the lecturer and student ratio from 1:4 to 1:6 during clinical years. Further, is this lecturer-to-student ratio of 1:4 complied with by Malaysian universities’ medical faculties or other medical faculties overseas?  

In June last year, Council of Medical Deans chairman Professor Dr Zabidi Azhar Hussin said some faculties had vastly exceeded their capacity, with a 1:8 medical lecturer-student ratio when 1:6 was the accepted ceiling. The failure of MMC to explain this discrepancy has only caused aggrieved students and the community at large to suspect that they were unfairly and harshly treated.

Another example of declining standards cited by the Deputy Health Minister was that Arts-stream students who had failed their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia were among those accepted by CSMU. However CSMU only accepted qualified students as determined by the Higher Education Ministry in the form of “no-objection letters”.  

The question then is how these students who allegedly failed their SPM could obtain “no-objection letters” from the Higher Education Ministry to pursue the medical course despite their lack of qualifications. It is unfair and unjust to punish 1,366 Malaysian medical students in CSMU because of  irresponsibility, negligence or abuse of power of the Higher Education Ministry. 

For this reason, the violent and extremist rantings of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz against DAP MP for Ipoh Barat M. Kulasegaran that he is a bloody racist for highlighting this issue can be dismissed as a pathetic attempt to distract attention from the government’s failure to match the superior logic and factual basis of our argument to restore recognition of CSMU’s medical degrees. 

No Malaysian would ever object to actions taken by the MMC to maintain standards particularly on medical courses as human lives are at stake. But when standards are manifestly used as a guise to cover-up failings and inadequacies, Malaysians can not be blamed if they see this as a cloak of injustice. 

The MMC’s refusal to be accountable to the affected students, be transparent about the standards required or the events leading to de-recognition of the medical degrees has only given rise to fears that there were other factors that unfairly discriminated the affected students. Accordingly we hope that the MMC can restore recognition of CSMU’s medical degrees.  Insofar as the unhappiness of MMC remains a complete mystery to CSMU, a grace period should be provided to CSMU to fulfill and perform up to the highest standards required.



Yours faithfully,



*  Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General