Gerakan Youth chief Mah Siew Keong censured and warned not to undermine  the campaign for justice for the thousands of Malaysian students pursuing or intending to pursue medical studies in Ukraine when it blindly supported MMC’s high-handed derecognition of CSMU medical degrees

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Parliament, Monday): The Gerakan Youth chief Datuk Mah Siew Keong (Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry) must be  censured and warned not to undermine  the campaign for justice for the thousands of Malaysian students pursuing or intending to pursue medical studies in Ukraine when he  blindly supported the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC)’s high-handed derecognition of the Crimea State Medical University (CSMU) medical degrees.

Mah  declared the full support of the Gerakan Youth for the MMC’s withdrawal of recognition of the CSMU medical degrees and the three-month suspension of the MIC Secretary-General Datuk S. Sothinathan as Deputy National Resources and Environment Minister  (Sin Chew 25.6.05) at the opening of the  Gerakan Youth Delegates Conference 2005 in Alor Star on Friday although Mah knew nothing about the reasons for the derecognition of the CSMU degrees.

If the Gerakan Youth leader does not have the political courage and public-spiritedness to speak up for justice, fair play, accountability,  transparency and good governance which are the core issues in the controversy over the MMC derecognition of the CSMU medical degrees,  the least he could do is just to keep his mouth shut.

Gerakan leaders seem to be suffering from the complex of “one-up-manship” in their never-ending competition with the MCA to curry favours with UMNO leaders and Mah’s blind support for the MMC’s high-handed derecognition of the CMSU medical degrees is the latest and possibly  the most deplorable  example of such irresponsible  political conduct.

Yesterday, the Parliamentary Roundtable (4) on the CSMU medical degrees derecognition controversy hosted by the Office of the Parliamentary Opposition Leader adopted a three-point resolution, as follows:

  • Calls for the suspension of the MMC derecognition of the CSMU medical degrees to give a grace period for CSMU to comply with the MMC requirements;
  • Calls on the Health Minister Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek to present a Ministerial statement in Parliament to give a full and satisfactory account of the background, history, process  and reasons for the MMC’s  derecognition of the CSMU medical degrees, making public  the report and recommendations of the various technical committees which had visited CSMU in the past few years;
  • Resolves that a fact-finding mission visit CSMU to ascertain the true status of the CSMU medical programme and to get first-hand information from the Malaysian students in Ukraine.

MPs, NGO representatives and NGIs (non-government individuals) who attended the Parliamentary Roundtable (4) yesterday included Syed Shahir bin Syed Mohamud (MTUC President), Professor P. Ramasamy (UKM), Lim Guan Eng (DAP Secretary-General), MPs  Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang) and Teresa Kok (Seputeh), P. Uthayakumar (PRIM), Dr. Nadarajah (Group of Concerned Citizens),  M. Saminathan (Tamil Foundation), Gobalakrishnan (ICC) and Professor Dr. Iangkaran. The roundtable,  chaired by the roundtable co-ordinator, MP for Ipoh Barat, M. Kulasegaran, was also attended by the Ukraine Ambassador to Malaysia, Oleksandr D. Shevchenko.

The Health Minister should act on the call of the parliamentary roundtable to present a Ministerial statement in Parliament and  explain  why  no grace period was given to CSMU before derecognition just as University of Malaya was  given five years notice before the derecognition of its medical degrees was effected by  the  United Kingdom  General Medical Council in the early eighties.

It is most regrettable that the Deputy Health Minister, Datuk Dr. Abdul Latiff Ahmad did not  give a serious, responsible and professional reply during the debate on my emergency motion in Parliament last  Tuesday on the sudden and high-handed MMC derecognition of the CSMU medical degrees four years after according recognition, and instead “played to the gallery” resulting in the fracas with the Deputy Health Minister, Datuk S. Sothinathan, resulting in two collateral events:

  • The three-month suspension of Sothinathan as Deputy Minister  for National Resources and Environment for “breaking ranks” with the Government in Parliament;
  • My motion referring the two deputy ministers, Sothinathan and Latiff, to the Committee of Privileges, as one of them had told untruths and misled Parliament about the actual circumstances surrounding the derecognition, or there would have been no  fracas between the two Deputy Ministers.


MMC has announced that it recognizes 344 medical institutions worldwide.  I checked the MMC website and found that among the 344 medical institutions recognized include four from Bangladesh, six from Myanmar, seven from Egypt,  11 from Indonesia, 11 from Pakistan,  three from Saudi Arabia and  two from Jordan.

Is MMC seriously suggesting that CSMU, which is the second highest-ranking of the 27 medical universities in Ukraine with the ex-Soviet Union state always  held in high esteem for its science and technological attainments in the Middle East, is worse off than these recognized medical institutions in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Jordan?

On the third Parliamentary Roundtable (4) resolution, whether a fact-finding mission of concerned MPs, NGO representatives and NGIs could be organized to visit CSMU and the Malaysian students in Ukraine will depend on a number of factors, not least of which is whether funds could be raised for the trip.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman