3 years ago, i wrote an article about a pharmacy which was treating patients like a doctor‘s clinic. In fact that was the 2nd time I wrote about the same pharmacy. For the first, I sent an official complain to Jabatan Kesihatan/KKM and for the 2nd I sent the letter to JKN. However, I never received any further feedback from any one of them. Typical of any government agencies which never provide any feedback. Wonder whether it is under Official Secret Act!

While over the last few years, I do see patients being prescribed medications by pharmacist which they should not be prescribing in the first place, I just kept quiet as I felt it is worthless complaining. I have seen Prednisolone being given by pharmacist without prescription and even NSAIDS being given continuously without even knowing the patient’s renal status. Worst still, I have even patients buying Methotrexate from pharmacy without even my prescription.

Last week, yet again I saw the VERY SAME pharmacy/pharmacist prescribing the following 2 medications to a patient with poly arthritis of 1 year duration!



According to the patient, she was not even examined by the pharmacist. He just listened to her complains and gave her the medications above. One is a steroid(Betamethasone) and another is Sulphasalazine! Patient developed allergic reaction to Sulphasalazine and THANKFULLY, she stopped the medications. Sulphasalazine contains sulphur and allergic advise should always be given as it can cause Steven Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. I will always advise patients about allergic reaction whenever I prescribe Sulphasalazine. Furthermore, this is a generic Sulphasalazine! Finally, one fine GP referred this patient to me.

So, what action has the JKN taken to this pharmacy? How in the world they can continue to prescribe these type of medications to the general public? I forwarded yet again this picture to a colleague of mine in JKN for further action. While I don’t expect anything much but at least I have done my job to protect the public.

ON another note, why did this patient even landed up with a pharmacist? Sometimes, we are to be blamed for all these issues. Patient had seeked multiple consultations from various GPs and Klinik Kesihatans but was only given NSAIDS. Patient has clear-cut Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her RT wrist is almost fused now.

Then we have TCM practitioners who are happily treating patients with “so-called” herbal medications which obviously contains steroids. The moment the patient walks into my clinic, I will give them a spot diagnosis and most of them will be shocked! An obvious Cushing’s syndrome. Serum Cortisol levels will be < 16 in almost all these cases. I do this just to prove to the patient that they have been taking exogenous steroids. Interestingly, recently I came across a patient who was given intravenous infusion by a TCM practitioner over the last 2 months. It was given periodically with tapering dose durations. The patient has Rheumatoid Arthritis. The patient definitely looked Cushingoid. Was he giving steroid infusions? “ Hari ini masuk ubat, besok boleh lari lor“, exactly what the patient told me! Obviously it is steroids! I wonder whether the person giving it knows that these are all steroids and nothing miracle! Or are they giving western medicine in the name of herbal medicine?

I call a spade, a spade all the time. Many do not like me because of this but I have my principles. Patient safety comes first in all instances. Sometimes, we doctors are to be blamed for all these distrust going on out there. While I have said that patients are becoming more and more naturalistic, claiming we are giving chemical to destroy their kidneys etc, doctors are also venturing into unethical medicines. Unethical practices are NOT uncommon nowadays. I have seen enough steroids being given by doctors themselves. Just saw a 76 year old man with OA knees given betamethasone daily for the last 3-4 years. The daughter is asking me why is his skin becoming thin with easy bruising! How am I suppose to answer that when I know exactly what’s the answer.  I saw a patient with generalised body-ache being given Prednisolone 5mg tds! Am I outdated or something? Many doctors out there still do NOT label their medications despite the law mandating it. Eventually business and profit takes over you, either consciously or unconsciously!

It’s called “Prostitution of Medicine“, a word described by the late Prof TJ Danaraj, the founding Dean of University Malaya medical faculty. Commercialisation of medical education and medical practise will eventually lead to this. Medicine is used to make money. It’s not a noble profession anymore.

The world on the other hand is going mad, especially in Malaysia where race and religion is used for business. WE have doctors promoting anti-vaccination (circulating in Facebook) and home birth. In fact, my wife just saw a HO who refuse to vaccinate her child! She is still doing her Housemanship. Interestingly, her husband who is not a doctor is not against it !We have doctors promoting supplementary products claiming can cure every illness in the body. We have an apex University promoting miracle water, suppose to cure 150 illness. We have syariah compliant dental clinics , whatever it means! What’s next ? Halal and Non-Halal clinics/hospitals? Trust me, we will be seeing more and more of these type of issues creeping into this country.

The practise of medicine is never the same anymore. I enjoyed practising medicine during the first 10 years of my service when patients listens to you and unethical practices were almost unheard of. Now, it saddens me when I see patients refusing medical treatment, refusing vaccines, unethical doctors, lost of clinical medicine and the rise of investigative medicine(make money for corporate guys). The rise of vaccine preventable infections like Diphteria and Measles are part of the consequences of our society’s ignorance. Wondered why our medical forefathers created medical councils run by medical practitioners to control the ethical practise of doctors? They had predicted few centuries ago that medical practise can be misused for profit and the world of medicine will eventually undergo slow death.

Many youngsters will realise all this when they start their practise. With more and more doctors being produced with huge debts behind them, medical business will only get worst! While my books will hit the stores within the next 2-3 months, I am now preparing for my 3rd book which hopefully will be released next year.

Selamat Hari Raya 2016 to everyone……………

One of the reason I published my books is to educate the younger generations and parents regarding the reality of being a doctor. Even up to this day, I still get questions after questions regarding many issues in the medical field which people do not seem to understand. Just 2 weeks ago, for the first time I saw a fresh medical graduate working as a pharmaceutical rep. Interestingly he is a JPA scholar. In one way I salute him for his courage of doing a sales job while waiting for Housemanship posting. He graduated from a local university in March this year and up to last week, he has not even been called for SPA interview. The chances are, you will be waiting for close to 6-8 months for your posting. This period will further increase when all remaining medical schools start to produce their graduates from this year onwards. The number of graduates will only increase further.

I had always said that you should never do medicine for wrong reasons. 2 days ago, there was an interesting article in TheGuardian (see below). It was a well written article which clearly said that parents should never force their children into medicine. I have been saying this for a long time but somehow our society are still ignorant. That’s why you are seeing more and more incompetent doctors, unable to handle stress, “manjanitis” etc etc. We have parents who write to newspapers for a grown up child ! How ambarassing can that be for the “doctor”? Recently , there was a mom who wrote to a newspaper complaining that his 30-year-old son(calculated based on her story) could not get into Master’s program? Seriously, a 30-year-old grown up guy should know how to take care of himself. Nothing comes easy in life. You fight for everything and definitely there will be ups and downs. Nothing comes on a silver plate. The society also still believes that specialist training is as easy as creating more post! Cannot get Master’s , so create more post-lah? This is exactly the same scenario that happened to medical education and what do you see now? Too many medical schools with products of questionable quality. We are talking about lives here !

My books are still available for those who are interested to buy. Those who intend to do medicine and parents should buy and read the books.

My publisher has created a dedicated website for my books over here : http://www.hardtruthsofbeingadoctor.com. I have some discount coupons to give away. Those who would like to get the coupons, please email me at hardtruths2016@gmail.com. There will be a 10-20% discount provided with the coupon which you can use at the website mentioned. The coupon is on first come-first served basis and only valid for credit card/paypal payment. You can use your credit card/paypal account to pay for the books via this website.

You can still buy the books via the method mentioned in my blog post dated 15/04/2016. I am still in the process of getting it into the bookshops.


Forcing your child to become a doctor could be the worst parenting decision you make

Ranjana Srivastava

A career is medicine is stressful enough for the doctors who see it as a calling. For those who do it because their parents forced them, it could be critical

Wednesday 8 June 2016 06.09 BST


There I was, almost at the end of the night, having spoken to a few hundred hand-picked, talented high school students about my life as a doctor. Their youth was no barrier to their determination to be the best – I met budding astronauts, focused scientists, concerned environmentalists, and as usual, a horde of kids who dreamed of becoming doctors.

The students asked penetrating questions about everything from the ethics of million-dollar drugs to whether children compromised one’s career. These were teenagers! With each question, my admiration grew and I briefly dreamed that one day, in my household, there might be such questions to replace, “Have you seen the remote?”

I was signing books when I noticed a girl, who hovered on the side, waiting till the crowd had cleared.

“I don’t know how to ask this without being rude,” she ventured, before my silence enabled her.

“My parents really want me to do medicine but I’m not interested. How do I say no?”

It was the curliest question of the night.

“I think I can get in but my heart is not in it.”

“It’s great that you recognise it,” I said. “Have you tried talking to your parents?”

“I’ve tried and tried, but they have invested their whole life in my brother and me.”

“What would happen if you said no?”

“They would be really disappointed in me. That would break my heart.”

And then:

“But if I did medicine, I wouldn’t be honest to myself. And I’d take the spot of someone who really wanted it.”

She faced a wicked dilemma: whether to obey the urging of her parents or rely on her own, admittedly young, instinct. A momentous decision hung in the air, the sort parents can help address, but of course, the parents were the problem. And though she relaxed at the opportunity to voice her dilemma, I knew that the knots in her stomach would return soon.

I wished that I could sweep away her problem; I wished I could convince her parents that a child of her poise and humility would do well in whatever she chose. I told her to see the school counsellor again and I reminded her to be true to herself but when she left, I felt hollow, musing whether she would one day be the troubled student or the depressed intern I encounter.

Although I don’t know her parents, I meet them regularly. I meet them at social events and medical talks. I meet them at seemingly benign movie nights and picnics when the conversation turns to medicine.

“He’s got the marks, he’s all set with the entrance test, all he needs is a coach for the interview,” a mother breathlessly explained. “Do you know anyone?”

“No,” I deadpan.

“I just want her to be happy,” says another. “You’re happy, aren’t you?”

“I am but she isn’t me.”

Another time an acquaintance of an acquaintance knocks on my door, a tired son in tow. “We want last-minute tips for his interview.”

Students pondering a career in medicine, I have always welcomed. Parents who do it on behalf of their child, I am increasingly wary of. The students are largely altruistic; the parents aspire to status, money and job security. I don’t blame them but what they don’t realise is that in the hyper-competitive world of medicine, even those with the marks and motivation battle to get in, so there is even less room for those with the marks but scant motivation.

Some years ago I interviewed a young man who was obviously bored, even in our eight-minute high-intensity interaction. His opening salvo: “Can I just tell you that I want to be an accountant?”

“Wrong interview then,” I said lightly.

“I got the marks and my dad made me come. My dad is a doctor.”

“Did you tell him you aren’t interested?”

“No point, but I hope to fail the interview.”

I was left reeling but I was told that no selection process can filter out pushy parents; we wait for the students to find their voice.

Doctors are often asked if they would recommend the profession to their children. A survey of American doctors by the Physicians Foundation found that more than half say no, citing the triumph of paperwork and bureaucracy over time with patients.

When I talk to my Australian colleagues, I hear similar sentiments. Doctors sign up to help people but are faced with growing mountains of paperwork, mindless compulsory modules and maddening meetings to satisfy performance indicators that make a mockery of patient-centred care.

Many doctors are burnt out, bullied and demoralised. Work is stressful and demanding. A 2013 Beyond Blue survey put paid to the notion that these are merely the groans of a self-indulgent, richly rewarded profession. Australian doctors have a substantially higher rate of high psychological distress compared to the general population and other professionals. An astonishing quarter have considered suicide, double the comparable figure in other professionals.

These figures are not just statistics – they are my friends and my residents. My professional landscape is strewn with doctors in trouble with alcohol and prescription drugs, doctors with broken relationships, sick of work and exhausted at home. I attend funerals and wonder how no one ever knew and I learn that no one is immune.

How doctors treat doctors may be medicine’s secret shame

And yet, I love being a doctor because there is something undeniably special and enormously satisfying about helping people at their sickest and lowest. Amid the gratuitous noise and politics, every day the door in clinic still closes and it’s just the patient and you. And you can’t help realising just how sacrosanct is the trust invested in you and how extraordinary that a complete stranger might let you into the most intimate recesses of his life, hoping that you might just mend the most fragile parts.

A friend who left medical school to pursue a lauded career in banking thirsts to this day to hear my ordinary stories about patient care. He says he’s comfortable but misses the sense of calling. This is something I have heard said many times.

A career in medicine has vast and varied promise but the happiest doctors I know have narrowed it down to one thing: medicine not merely as work but a calling. This doesn’t melt away the challenges but it puts them in perspective. On good days, it creates indelible memories; on bad days, it’s a handy shield.

If you are a parent and your child desperately wants to study medicine, the greatest favour you could do her is help her distinguish between a job and a vocation. On the other hand, if your reluctant child has a parent who desperately wants him to study medicine, step back for a moment and consider the statistics. Forcing your child to become a doctor might turn out to be the worst parenting decision you ever made.

It’s been almost a month since I updated my blog. I was extremely busy with the soft launch of my book as many orders were coming through my email. I am still working on getting these books into major bookstores in this country. At the same time I was also busy editing and preparing  a short movie for my hospital’s Annual Dinner this Friday. Numerous meetings were also conducted for the whole of this month as everyone is trying to do everything before the fasting month starts.

Over the weeks there have been many discussions in main stream media regarding the job status of medical graduates. As we all know the waiting period for Housemanhsip is close to 6-8 months from the time you graduate. Our Deputy DG came up with a brilliant idea that medical graduates should look for other jobs in the government. It seems that MOH is in talks with JPA/SPA to offer such jobs for those who are not interested in doing clinical medicine. Shouldn’t it be decided before someone spend 5 years and money to do medicine! That’s the reason I finally decided to publish a book to educate the public/students on reality of being a doctor. It also confirms yet again that we are short of post. The worst is yet to come as the number of medical officer post is coming to almost NIL. I was informed that nursing post are being borrowed to convert to MO post. 4 nursing post is being converted into 1 MO post. Meanwhile, as expected, another 5 years moratorium will be extended starting this year, expiring in 2021.

2 days ago, there was an interesting letter written to TheStar by a Russian university student(see below). I had always maintained that all good students should be offered a place in local universities. Cases such as this is nothing new. Being in the same shoe many many years ago, I just had to take the more difficult path of doing STPM to get into UM medical faculty. Trust me, the more difficult path that you take, the better person you become. Those who enjoy smooth sailing life are the one who will fall apart, the moment life gets tougher. While he should have done his homework before falling into the hands of these unscrupulous agents, the situation in some of the Russian medical schools is nothing new. I had spoken to many who graduated from certain Russian medical schools and what this letter has described is exactly what they had told me. However, there are some Russian schools which are better. This is the reason why I keep telling all budding doctors that they should know what they are getting themselves into.

Whatever said, life is never easy. Most students do not know what life is at the time they pursue their studies as they have been supported by parents all the way. Only when they join the work force they realise how difficult life is. We are living in a capitalist world where people will do whatever they need to make money. That is what the agents and some medical colleges are doing. Our ignorant society is partly to be blamed. Unfortunately, I still see and hear multiple advertisements on papers and radio promoting easy route to fulfill student’s dreams in doing critical courses such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacist etc! The government on the other hand never takes any action as long as there are no complains. Which student will complain to get themselves into trouble? That’s why I salute this student for being bold and brave enough to tell what is happening, in a main stream media. I am sure he has genuine passion to be a doctor but life never gets any easier………



Plea from Russian grad

Soon to be graduating from a Russian medical faculty myself, I would like to share my thoughts on where we went wrong and how we should stop traumatizing our students studying in “incompetent” medical schools.LATELY, comments about incompetent medical graduates returning from overseas after completing their studies have been all over social media. Medical students especially from Russian medical schools cannot help but feel stigmatized every time they view these reports.

I became interested in medicine when I was eight years old after seeing my uncle collapse in front of me. He was declared brain dead a week later and I watched family members fumble for answers. I also saw my grandmother deteriorate to an unrecognizable state from cancer.

I come from a small town where English was hardly spoken outside of lessons in school. My parents are educators and both encouraged me to pursue medicine. I did very well in school, debating both in English and Bahasa Malaysia at state level, played hockey, was president of every club I could join and still maintained my grades with almost perfect scores.

I excelled in my SPM examinations, applied for all the government scholarships – JPA, matriculation, IPTA – and anything that could put me on my path to medicine. It was really heartbreaking to get no reply or just plain rejections without any reason.

And then the “leeches” came in. Unscrupulous, greedy and dishonest agents recruiting for medical institutions in countries like Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia and the Middle East see the opportunity to take advantage of a student’s dream and their parents’ desperation to fulfil that ambition.

I was 18, uninformed, fearless, and just desperate to see a path where medicine would be in sight. I jumped on the bandwagon, backed up with promises and hopes from agents and even family members studying in Russia. I should have been more careful or talked to more people but all I could think of was realising my dream of becoming a doctor without killing my parents who were already mortgaging everything they owned to send me to Russia.

In Russia, we were cramped in hostels with six people in a two-person bedroom, lived out of suitcases and were yelled at every day because we didn’t understand the language. When we tried to ask the agents for help, we were turned down unless we could provide a large sum of money for “handling fees”.

Believe me, I asked myself every day if I had made the right choice. I felt lost and helpless in a land where people didn’t think twice about telling you to pack up and leave. But if I called up my parents to tell them I wanted to come home, the money they spent on my first year tuition fees, plus my airfare, accommodation and documentation fees would be all for nothing.

So I learnt the local language, went for every class and painstakingly tried to communicate with local patients who would turn you down or tell you to your face that “you foreigners don’t belong here”. Humiliated and broken, it wasn’t easy to keep the passion for medical knowledge burning.

Students here develop immunity to criticism, yelling, being called names and marginalized. Some resort to drugs, partying and extreme socializing to mask the depression and frustration of being “outcasts” in this country.

On top of this, we don’t have the opportunity to pick up practical skills because, to put it bluntly, the university here doesn’t care if we graduate as incompetent doctors as we won’t be serving their citizens. It’s sad because there is excellent potential here, and given the right education and guidance, the students can be outstanding doctors.

When we do our practical rotations in summer in Malaysian hospitals, the first question asked of us is where we are studying. And we watch as the facial expressions show the disgust or distrust after we say Russia. And listen as the HOs, MOs, specialists and local medical students snicker about how we are the black sheep of the system.

Can you even try to comprehend the stigma that surrounds us? We suffer every day in extreme weather and social conditions here, only falling back for support from other Malaysians who are equally lost and trying to survive.

Were we told that the syllabus was in English and we would be given a well-rounded education? Yes. Is this the reality? No!

There are students here on government scholarship or Mara loans who have no passion for medicine. They do the bare minimum just to pass and go on exclusive trips to Europe or buy expensive gadgets. Some have even set up small businesses here.

Then there are the super rich Malaysian students who couldn’t qualify for other medical institutions. Forced into doing something very difficult, they skip lessons, do the bare minimum and still graduate as doctors.

Today, barely a month into graduating, I am writing this letter hoping for some guidance and compassion in dealing with medical graduates like me who are coming back already disheartened. We seek refuge in our own country, the very country we are proud of and want to come back to, to serve its citizens.



On this auspicious Tamil New Year 2016, after almost 6 months of writing and another 4 months of publishing process, finally my first book is out! I started to compile my articles into a book in June 2015 and completed it in November 2015 before sending it to publisher (Snappars Publishing). It took another 4 months of editing, proof reading and type setting before it was finally printed. The book will be officially available from 15/04/2016 (only online at the moment).You can also visit http://www.hardtruthsofbeingadoctor.com if you wish to buy using credit card/pay pal.

These books are meant for budding doctors, parents, medical students and even junior doctors. Despite all the articles in this blog, I keep being asked the same questions repeatedly. Thus I thought of compiling everything into a book. Unfortunately, due to high volume of the book, it has to be divided into 2 books of about 250 pages each. Foreword is written by A/Prof Wong Yin Onn from Monash Malaysia. Here are the titles:







Please be informed that there are many updated information in these books compared to some of my old articles. Information about income, salary, post-graduate educations etc have been updated. There are 5 chapters in Book 1 and 4 chapters in Book 2 with the following titles:

Book 1:

  1. General Misconception of Being a Doctor
  2. General Information for budding doctors
  3. Malaysian Healthcare system for Dummies
  4. Housemanship, Medical Officer and Post Graduate Education in Malaysia
  5. Employment and Job Opportunities

Book 2:

  1. Housemanship
  2. Post Graduate Training
  3. Income of Doctors
  4. The Doctor’s Dilemma

At the moment, these books will be sold as a set of 2 books , only via this blog and my Facebook.

This is how you can order your copy:

  1. Make a payment of RM 140 (including postage for within Malaysia) to CIMB Bank Account No:8006157747 (Pagalavan Healthcare Sdn Bhd)
  2. Send your Bank-In Slip to email hardtruths2016@gmail.com with your name and address/particulars
  3. Bulk mailing will be done on weekly basis (likely on every Friday)
  4. Courier tracking number and invoice will be sent to you via email after it has been mailed.
  5. An Invoice will be provided for Tax purposes
  6. For those who are ordering from overseas, please email me first as I need to check on courier charges.

Hope everyone will enjoy reading this, one of its kind book in Malaysia……………


I had always maintained that doctors should not discuss cases openly in social media, especially in Facebook etc. I use to see many of such post which I had never contributed. I did write about this before. When I first started this blog in 2010, there were many students and junior doctors who asked me why I am not using this blog to educate the doctors on interesting cases etc. While I do give talks during CME sessions in JB and had also been Johor MMA CME Chairman for 2 years (2013-2015), I had always felt that social media is never a good platform. In this blog I had only given some examples of common mistakes by junior doctors who could lead to major complications to patients. I had also used some examples to show how doctor’s life is not as easy as what the public assumes. But I had never used this blog to discuss cases openly or posted any pictures of patients.

Case discussion should only be for medical personals. Even though we do not mention any names or details, it is open for public viewing and as such, the patient can sue you if he/she had not given consent. This is more so for pictures or videos. The popularity of WhatsApp, BBM and Telegram had further contributed to this. Doctors are now sending patient’s particulars, history and pictures to other doctors for discussion purposes. Of course it is a quick way of getting help from consultants etc but these pictures should never reveal any of the patient’s information or the patient’s face.

Finally, MOH had produced a guideline on the use of social media among medical personals. The Guideline, released on 31/03/2016 clearly says that Facebook, Instagram, Blogs, Twitter and You Tube are banned from being used as medium of discussion. You can view the guideline here :Pekeliling Media sosial. The Star had also reported on this issue.

Unfortunately, this guideline does not prevent the patients from making remarks or comments on doctors/hospitals in social media. We see a lot of such comments in Facebook etc. In fact, I have had patients in my hospital threatening the hospital management by saying that they will viral the issue on social media! But as doctors, bound my MMC’s professional and ethical conduct, we just have to keep quiet and do our work to help people…………… Any emotional rant will lead to MMC’s disciplinary enquiry!

Doctor’s life never gets any easier…………………..

‘Don’t discuss patients online’


SEREMBAN: Social media may be the “in” thing for Malaysians nowadays to post instant alerts but not for doctors.

Doctors in government service have been told not to discuss their patients’ medical issues on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to prevent breaches in confidentiality.

Neither should they carry out clinical consultations on these platforms where such information could be accessed by other people, said Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The order came about to minimise the risk of ethical and legal complications and to uphold the integrity of the medical profession, he said in a circular.

“Social media sites cannot guarantee confidentiality with whatever privacy settings currently in place.

“Once information is published online, it can be difficult to remove it as others may have already distributed it further, thus easily breaching patient confidentiality,” he said.

He explained that the directive came about as more health care providers were using social media in their work.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said doctors could set up a social media platform for group consultation provided there was a “moderator” and there was a profile of the members and where the content of the conversation was not accessible to public.

“However, the uploading and transmitting of still images or in video format should not include any information which could reveal the patient’s identity,” he said.

Doctors in such group consultation must also get written consent from their patients before uploading any information about them on social media.

“The only exception would be in an emergency where the patient may not be able to give consent,” he said, adding that doctors were responsible for the confidentiality of any information they send out via social media.

Dr Noor Hisham said doctors were also duty-bound to delete all stored information of their patients in their mobile devices after the completion of the consultation.

All personal information or images from any consultation could not even be used for the purpose of health education to others.

“Social media platforms cannot be used for referral cases as they include patient-identifiable information,” he said.

Despite the advantages of social media, Dr Noor Hisham said doctors should always opt for direct consultation or over the telephone whenever possible.

In cases of emergencies, he said doctors or other healthcare providers were supposed to consult their peers over the telephone first before opting for the social media.

Pekeliling Media sosial

Finally, the government aka JPA has announced the new scheme for scholarship. As expected, the numbers has gone down and overseas scholarship is being reduced. When the bursary program was announced in 2012/2013, it was an election goody. Somehow I knew it may not last long. Those who benefited are the lucky ones. Personally I feel we should stop giving scholarship based on SPM results. SPM is never a pre-university course. WE should standardised our Pre-University courses and use that as the University entry and scholarship requirement. Unfortunately, in the name of education hub, there are simply too many pre-university courses being conducted in Malaysia. This has resulted in agencies, including MMC to use SPM results as the main university entry requirement.

I had always felt that the best students should be retained within the country. However, it should be in public universities. Unfortunately, selection of students into public universities are always biased based on certain constitutional rights. Education should never be commercialised. WE can see the outcome of this commercialisation with the quality of graduates being produced nowadays. This in turn will also affect the public universities’ quality as it is never based on merit. We have just too many higher institution of learning with too few academics. We have more medical schools than what UK has for double the population.

Well, for this year, only 250 students will be selected for bursary. None from next year. Only top 20 students will be given overseas scholarship which I think is fair enough. They must return to serve the civil service. 200 special scholarship for engineering courses are still maintained. The local undergraduate scholarship will be given as loans. Graduates are required to repay 25 per cent of the loan amount if they work with government-linked companies; graduates are required to repay 50 per cent of the loan amount if they work in local private companies; and graduates are required to repay the entire loan amount if they choose to work abroad. For those who join the public service sector, they should serve within a certain period of time according to their field of work, for example within six to seven years for engineering and over 10 years for the medical field. 

Personally I feel it is a fair criteria but does the same rule apply for scholarship offered by other bodies such as MARA, State governments, Majlis Agama etc?

*** update 9/04/2016: as expected, the government announced that all 2015 top SPM students will receive bursary to study locally****

Fewer overseas scholarships


PUTRAJAYA: The bulk of SPM top scorers who apply for Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships can forget about studying in top universities around the world.

They will have to make do in local universities.

The privilege of choice overseas study will be reserved only for the best 20, according to the Public Service Department (PSD) which is the country’s largest provider of scholarships and bursaries for post-secondary education.

In a media briefing here yesterday, a PSD senior spokesman said only 20 of the “creme de la creme” would be allowed to study in top ranking universities abroad and return to join the civil service.

“It is part of the long term plan to inject the civil service with quality graduates who will in turn be quality civil servants.

“They will be groomed to be our civil service’s next generation of leaders,’’ the spokesman said.

He said an additional 200 top students would have places under the Special Engineering Programme but would only be allowed to study in Japan, Korea, Germany and France.

On the new funding regulations, the spokesman said that studies in local public and private universities will be given priority.

“We cannot be having all our finest and brightest study outside the country as it does not reflect the aim of having outstanding students in our local institutions,” he said.

The spokesman also announced that there will be no more Bursary Graduate Programme from next year onwards.

For this year only 250 SPM leavers with 9A+ from 2015 will be offered funds through the bursary programme to study locally.

As for some 744 students, who qualified for the bursary programme in 2013 and 2014 and were hoping to study abroad, they will now have to do their degrees in local public and private universities.

The spokesman advised the 744 students not to be disheartened.

“You can’t get what you want all the time, just like everyone wants to be a CEO but that is impossible,’’ he said.

“The focus is on funding more people to get into the varsities here. The quality of our varsities have improved,” he added.

Stressing that the Government was trying its best to offer as many scholarships as possible from the RM1.65bil pool announced in Parliament recently, the spokesman said there was also the additional allocation of RM160mil approved under the recalibrated Budget 2016 to fund this year’s batch of students.

This amount, which came following the Budget 2016 revision announced in January, is meant to support 49,060 students, with 41,324 (84%) of them studying here, and the remaining 7,736 overseas.

He said among the criteria that will guide the PSD in its selection process were merit and the socioeconomic background of the applicant, besides grades and co-curricular achievements.

The spokesman said the department will also focus on those categorised in the B40 and M40 groupings, with attention on technical & vocational education and training (TVET).

(B40 refers to the bottom 40% of households in the country who typically live on a monthly household income of under RM3,860, while M40 refers to those from households with monthly incomes of up to RM8,319)

A thousand students from B40 families will be offered the Dermasiswa B40 to pursue diplomas in polytechnics and public universities, including Universiti Tenaga Nasional and Multimedia University, he said.

Seven thousand university students, who are currently pursuing their studies in local public and private institutions of higher learning, will continue to benefit from PSD funding.

The spokesman added that a special briefing for 2013/2014/2015 Bursary candidates will be held soon, although no specific date was mentioned. More information can be found at esilav2.jpa.gov.my or by calling 03-88853603/3777/3398.

PSD introduces new sponsorship model

Tuesday April 5, 2016
10:32 PM GMT+8

PUTRAJAYA, April 5 — The Public Service Department (PSD) has implemented a new student sponsorship model this year, including the introduction of a sponsorship programme for 1,000 students from the B40 families.

(B40 relates to bottom 40 per cent household income) Besides the B40 Dermasiswa programme and five other sponsorship schemes, the new model also requires students to sit for the Cambridge Online Test (COT), to evaluate the applicant’s personality and tendencies.

A senior PSD officer said overall, the new PSD sponsorship model was drafted based on four key thrusts, namely merit and inclusivity; focus on the B40 group, M40 and the Technical and Vocational Education Training(TVET); development of Malaysia as an education hub; and, return on investment (ROI).

“The new model focuses on the sponsorship of students to local higher learning institutions to retain the brightest students in the country, thus supporting efforts to make Malaysia a regional education hub,” he said.

Five other sponsorship programmes are the National Scholarship Programme; the Special Engineering Programme to Japan, Korea, France and Germany; the Local Undergraduate Programme; the Post-Bursary Programme; and the Bursary Programme.

He said to ensure commensurate returns, starting this year, sponsorship would be implemented in the form of variable rate loans except for the Dermasiswa B40 programme.

The sponsorship agreement will be subjected to four conditions, namely loans can be converted into full scholarships and are exempted from repayment if graduates serve in the public service.

Graduates are required to repay 25 per cent of the loan amount if they work with government-linked companies; graduates are required to repay 50 per cent of the loan amount if they work in local private companies; and graduates are required to repay the entire loan amount if they choose to work abroad.

“For those who join the public service sector, they should serve within a certain period of time according to their field of work, for example within six to seven years for engineering and over 10 years for the medical field,” he said.

The PSD officer said for the Dermasiswa B40 programme, sponsorship would be given to 1,000 students to pursue diploma studies in polytechnics, public universities, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) and the Multimedia University (MMU) in the TVET field.

“It is estimated they will receive a minimum sponsorship of RM25,000 for a duration of three years,” he added.

He said the selection of students for the B40 Dermasiswa Programme was made, among others, through the National Poverty Data Bank or eKasih list, students from households with monthly income of RM3,690 and below and consideration on household income based on states and localities.

“This is part of the government efforts towards realising the highly-skilled talent development to meet the needs for skilled workers in the future.” On the National Scholarship Programme, he said 20 best Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2015 holders would be sponsored to study at top universities worldwide.

He said the sponsorship would cover the preparatory courses in the country, that were limited to certain fields, designated by the government.

For the Special Engineering Programme to Japan, Korea, France and Germany, the PSD officer said it would be given to 200 SPM 2015 holders, who were interested to take up a diploma or bachelor’s degree programme in engineering in the three countries.

The sponsorship would also include preparatory courses taken in the country, he added.

He said under the Local Undergraduate Programme, sponsorship would be given to 7,000 students to pursue their studies in public universities, UNITEN, MMU and Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP).

PSD will continue the Post-Bursary Sponsorship Programme for 744 Bursary Programme 2013/2014 (SPM 2012/2013) students, in order for them to pursue their first degree at local universities set by the government.

Under the Bursary Programme, he said sponsorship would be given to those who obtained 9As+ and above in SPM 2015, with the selection of recipients based on merit and inclusivity.

According to the PSD officer, the sponsorship is focused on the fields of clinical and health, engineering and technology, and science and social science.

“The Bursary Programme that was previously handled by the Education Ministry will be implemented by PSD on a one-off basis and for 2016 alone. This programme will not be continued, beginning 2017,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said a special briefing session with the Bursary Programme 2013, 2014 and 2015 students would be held in the near future.

Students involved can refer to the PSD’s portal at http://esilav2.jpa.gov.my or contact 03-88853603/ 3777/ 3398 for more information regarding the briefing.

Overall, he said the JPA was continuing its sponsorship programme with an allocation of RM1.65 billion for 49,060 students comprising 41,324 students locally and 7,736 students abroad.

An additional allocation of RM160 million has been approved under Budget 2016 to finance the sponsorship of new students in 2016. — Bernama 

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/psd-introduces-new-sponsorship-model#sthash.QyEIwPS1.dpuf

It’s getting very close for a release date…………………




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