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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dealings concerning PLUS must be transparent and accountable

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that the Central Government must ensure that the dealings concerning PLUS Expressways BHd are truly transparent and accountable, in the real interest of the people.

When the concession agreement between PLUS and the Government expired in January, 2009, motorists were hoping that the Governmnet would take over and that the toll rate would be reduced.

On 24.2.2011,Dr Tan expresses his concern over the RM23 bil takeover bid of PLUS Expressways BHD by UEM Group and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) yesterday. There was a walkout of minority shareholders. Now UEM is a government-linked company (GLC).

The toll operator called for the EGM to table a takeover proposal from UEM-EPF for RM23bil, or RM4.60 per share on 23.2.2011. The EGM, which lasted about four hours, was attended by some 800 people. Independent advisors such as AmInvestment Bank BHD and Goldman Sachs endorsed the offer as credible. UEM, KHazanah and EPF abstained from voting at the EGM.

Khazanah, UEM and EPF hold a combined 67.7% stake. EPF holds a 12.3% stake in PLUS while UEM Group, together with its parent Khazanah, holds 55.4%.

Based on shareholding spread, some 1.55 billion shares, or 31% stake, are eligible to vote on the takeover offer by UEM-EPF. However, only 1.06 billion or 21% of the total PLUS shares voted at the meeting. Of the 21%, 99% were for the deal.

Although independent advisors believe the takeover offer is credible, road users are worried about the toll rate. How would the takeover of PLUS by GLC improve the life of the people?

The Government must protect the interest of the public, ensuring that all dealings concerning PLUS are transparent and accountable. How would the takeover contribute to innovations in the private sector? Would it help the national economy?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Regular monitoring of medical courses to ensure quality of doctors

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that there should be continuous and effective monitoring of all medical courses within or outside the country.

On 16.2.2011, Dr Tan comments on Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin's statement that the Government will check out medical courses offered by recognised universities to eliminate any doubt about their standard. Hitherto, medical degrees from about 50 foreign universities are accredited.

Malaysia requires good doctors to man hospitals and clinics. Patients have doubts on the quality of some doctors. Every year, there are over 3,500 medical graduates doing their house jobs in the country. How many have the skills and the ethics?

The Minister says that a team of officers will be sent to each of these recognised foreign universities to erase doubts about the quality and skills of their medical graduates. These include universities in Indonesia, India, Egypt, United States, England, Russia, Germany and Romania. We hope that this is done regularly not only on foreign iniversities, but also on the 10 public and 12 private medical colleges in this country.

Besides special team to monitor medical courses, there must be review of the the criteria for the selection of candidates for these courses including their suitability to become doctors. To be able to pass examinations is one thing, to be a good doctor needs something extra.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lets improve the efficiency of PTP in Johor

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw repeats his call for improving the efficiency and security of the Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor.

On 14.2.2011, Dr Tan responds to the PTP statement that it has stringent measures to ensure maximum security for cargo shipments. Lets hope that these measures are truly effective, making the container port more popular.

PTP is in the top 20 of the world's container ports. It can improve further. The most important thing is never to repeat the massive scandal of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ).

Apparently, the port handles about 6.5 million TEUs (containers/twenty-foot equivalent units) last year. The Port of Singapore (PS) is the world's busiest port that tranships a fifth of the world's shipping containers, over 23 million TEUs. We are not saying that PTP catches up with PS as soon as possible. PTP has attracted Maersk which is the biggest container carrier in the world. Can PTP keep the company?

Besides good measures for port security, we would like to see efficiency. For instance, if a container ship arrives at PS in the morning, the containers can be taken out of the port within 24 hours. How long would it take PTP? Is it 48 hours? Can it be as long as two weeks?

I shall follow up the performance of PTP, Port Klang, Penang Port, Kuantan Port and Pasir Gudang Port. I believe that they can do much better.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Comprehensive review of the quality of doctors in Malaysia

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls for a comprehensive review of the quality of doctors in the country.

The Federal Government should spell out in details its moratorium on medical courses for five years because the public is concerned about its effects.

On 8.2.2011, Dr Tan comments further on the quality of doctors in Malaysia.

The public are getting increasingly concerned about the quality of doctors in this country. It is only natural that patients are unhappy with some of the doctors in hospitals and clinics.

There are many factors that contribute to the low standard of some doctors. According to the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), there are 24 medical schools--10 public universities, 12 local private medical colleges and two foreign medical schools. Students also study at about 50 accredited foreign universities. We are producing 3,500 to 5,000 medical graduates a year for a population of 27 million..

It is correct that the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) continues to look at pre-university courses tied with medical degree programmes. For example, some medical colleges are reported to take in SPM-level students. While it is necessary to insist on strict entry criteria for medical schools, it is also important to ascertan the suitabllity of a candidate to be trained as a doctor.

There is a need for a comprehensive review of the quality of doctors, the ways to raise this quality and the effectiveness of MMC in monitoring it.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, February 04, 2011

Happy New Year!

In the Year of the Rabbit, Dr Tan Seng Giaw wishes all people Happy New Year.

At this auspicious time, we avoid diatribes.

There are uprisings in some parts of the world. We hope these are solved by peaceful means.

We also hope that all those in power improve human rights, democratic practices and transparency according to the situation in their respective countries. Each country has its history, tradition and culture.