Dr Wu Lien-Teh Society Joining the Malaysian Health Coalition!
On 11 March 2020, our Society has officially joined the newly established Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC), as representative from the Civil Society Organization! Our President, Dato’ (Dr) Anwar Fazal has also joined as a renowned individual to support the apolitical coalition! We are proud to be part of the 42 members of professional societies and 16 individuals in advocating Health for All for our Rakyat (the people of Malaysia)!
Led by Dr Khor Swee Kheng, MHC was established on 1 March with its ultimate aims dedicated to improving the health of Malaysians, strengthening the Malaysian health system, and supporting Health for All policies.
With the recent evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we have joined the MHC in issuing few joint statements, as co-signatories, to call for united actions in strengthening our health services and system, and empowering our Rakyat to fight against virus!
What are we doing during Movement Control Order in Malaysia?
Today marks the 26th day of the Movement Control Order in Malaysia, to curb the epidemic. We have just learnt from the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday that it will now be extended to Phase III from 15 until 28 April.
Before the MCO implementation, our infectivity rate (R0) of COVID-19 was 3.55, meaning one person infected another 3.55 persons. Based on the current trend, by 14 April, we might reach the R0 of 0.9, which means one infected person will potentially infect 0.9 person. It is a good sign! When everyone stays at home, there are less infections and the infectivity goes down.
We know it is not easy to undergo movement restriction for a prolonged period of time and the impact for the socio-economic development is huge for the society. But we need to continue our efforts in curbing the pandemic. We ought to change our lifestyles, the way we do things and the perspectives we set in mind.
With this, our committee members share their message and what they do at home or work, playing our roles as part of the wider community. Together, we have to stay strong and have a good fight!
Dato’ (Dr) Anwar Fazal, an eminent health activist, intellect and thinker of all time! He continues to coordinate civil society works locally and internationally around this time.
“Never Forget the Poor!” during this tough time.
Ms Ooi Geok Ling, an energetic, charismatic lady! During MCO, her plants are given better care. She has also been doing Yoga using Zoom. She has been busy raising funds to get more personal protective equipment for frontliners, wherever there is shortage. How noble!
Ms Alison Chong Nyuen Yin, great grandniece of Dr Wu Lien-Teh, an avid learner! Her dedication in mapping the family tree of Dr Wu yields success over the years. She is now planning a documentary on the Wu family.
Dr Hor Chee Peng, a clinician, never cease to be inspired by Dr Wu since the first day he came across Dr Wu! Apart from being a frontliner, he helps to coordinate hospital preparedness against COVID-19.
“Stay Home, Stay Safe, Practise Social Distancing“
Mdm Ong Siou Woon, a superb working mum! For her, it is the “best time to bond with your child now that you are stuck 24/7 together“. She gets to upgrade her cooking skills and experience new menu. A simple luncheon, yet brings happiness and good health to family.
“Staying at home positively is more important than ever. Find meaningful things to do and you’ll enjoy the time you spent at home during MCO”
Mr Clement Liang Chow Ming, a historian passionate about Penang history! He used to be busy traveling around giving lectures internationally and leading tour groups. Now, he has time “Tending to my private Zen garden“. How nice!
“Learning from Dr Wu Lien-Teh: Self isolation to save lives!”
Mr Khoo Soo Hay, the senior most and founding member of the Committee! He wrote a beautiful poem on Dr Wu’s life journey, entitled “The Plague Fighter – A Brief Retrospect”.
When he was asked to give a piece of advice or message to reader of this website, look at his cheeky yet pragmatic response: I am not a minister to give announcements my dear friend. However, for everyone’s sake, avoid unnecessary social and public contact during the MCO restrictions. Best to stay home with loved family members and pets!
Mr Quah Seng Sun, a prolific writer, an intellect and a historian! He owns a personal blog and writes anything under the sun.
On the 30th March, “What else but watch a documentary on Dr Wu Lien-Teh during the Movement Control Order?” from Astro.
Mr Ronald Quay Ong Guan, strong supporter from Kuala Lumpur! He travels up frequently to attend meetings, and gives inspiring lectures to first year medical students in Malaya University on Dr Wu.
“Busy over nothing at home! But we convey our ribuan terima kasih to all our doctors, nurses and every medical personnel for their fantastic sacrifice to look after our fellow Malaysians who are afflicted by this deadly virus. Take care”
Mr Cheah Cheng Chua, a long-standing supporter for the Society, doing his works from home.
“Hope the COVID-19 will be curtailed soon and everyone is safe!”
Ms Chin Poh Chin, an avid volunteer who offers herself for good deeds! She was “lining up at Tesco carpark to replenish my food stock on Day-14 of MCO“. She also joined the Malaysian Dental Association (Northern Branch) to make face shields for frontliners in Penang General Hospital. Salute!
A public seminar organised by the Centre for Chinese Studies and World History Club, Tunku Abdul Rahman University (UTAR) on 7th March 2020, Heritage Hall, UTAR.
Dr Henry Chong Ren Jie （庄仁杰博士） from Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies gave a succinct history account on Dr Wu Lien Teh (伍连德：医生与社会) in Chinese language for the morning session, while Dr Hor Chee Peng from the Dr Wu Lien-Teh Society, Penang delivered a talk on Dr Wu’s legacy and life journey (Dr Wu Lien-Teh: Plague Fighter! When the West met the East!) in English Language for the afternoon session!
The crowd also received a brief updates on the current COVID19 epidemic, individual and community prevention! No hand shake! Hand hygiene! Cough etiquette! Don’t panic! Don’t spread fake news! And of course, some reflections on how Dr Wu’s effort in combating plague more than 110 years ago in Northern Manchurian became relevant for modern epidemics!
10th March 2019 marked the 140th birthday anniversary for Dr Wu Lien-Teh, the eminent son of Penang! The Dr Wu Lien-Teh Society, Penang led by Dato’ (Dr) Anwar Fazal, organized a casual tea party with members and friends of the Society at Penang Institute. Dr Wu’s bronze stature has been relocated to the Wu Lien-Teh corner in Penang Institute, with a hut built from recycled materials. It was a great afternoon gathering among friends, exchanging ideas and plans for future activities in promoting this legendary figure! While his scientific contribution were overwhelming, much of his works for social justice requires attention and revitalization!
Venue: Penang Institute, 10, Jalan Brown, 10350 George Town, Penang Institute
Registration of participants and speakers
Arrival of distinguished guests
Welcome by Dato’ (Dr.) Anwar Fazal, President of the Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Society
Speech by Dato’ Dr. Ooi Kee Beng, Director of the Penang Institute
The 4th Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Memorial Lecture on “Virology in the Jungle: Pay Attention to What Matters to Local Communities” by Professor Mary Jane Cardosa, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Sentinext TherapeuticsModerator: Dr. Hor Chee Peng, Secretary-General, Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Society
Closing remarks by Dato’ (Dr.) Anwar Fazal, President of the Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Society
Mural paintings to commemorate Dr. Wu Lien-Teh and Rabindranath Tagore
These murals are to commemorate the contributions of Dr Wu Lien-Teh and Rabindranath Tagore – two prominent figures who were responsible for the establishment of Hu Yew Seah Association in Penang.
Hu Yew Seah Association runs a Chinese-language kindergarten, Tadika Hu Yew Seah, and the Hu Yew Seah Board of Managers operates the Chinese vernacular primary school, SJK(C) Hu Yew Seah, which is aligned with the original objective of the association as an institution of learning.
The painting of the commemorative murals of Dr. Wu Lien-Teh and Rabindranath Tagore was spearheaded by the Hu Yew Seah Association in collaboration with Think City, Wu Lien-Teh society, Penang Gandhi Peace Centre, Ming Art and CanCan Public Art.
The suggested size of the painting is 20′ x 10′. The figures of these two men will be painted on the wall of the main building of SJK(C) Hu Yew Seah.
“Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, laid the first foundation stone of Hu Yew Seah building on 14 August 1927 during one of his voyages to Malaysia.
“Dr. Wu Lien-Teh, the internationally-renowned “Plague Fighter” who stopped the Manchurian pneumonic plague and brought modern medicine to China, laid the second foundation stone on 25 December 1938,” said Datuk Dr. Anwar Fazal who’s Think City Sdn. Bhd chairman.
The Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Commemorative Global Symposium 23 & 24 July, 2016
Speech by Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng
At The Opening Ceremony of the Dr Wu Lien-Teh Commemorative Global Symposium on 23rd July 2016
Penang is proud to be the home state of numerous historical greats of the country, namely P Ramlee, Malaysia’s greatest filmmaker, Loh Boon Siew, the pioneer in the automotive industry in Malaysia, Yeap Chor Ee, the banking magnate and last but not least, Dr Wu Lien-Teh, the internationally acclaimed doctor and plague fighter.
Ladies and gentleman,
Dr Wu Lien-Teh was a highly respected epidemiologist and doctor. His unyielding passion and determination as doctor together with strong perseverance have remained an inspiration for generations. His life story and heroic achievement had made all of us proud.
During his early career in Penang in early 1900’s, he was an enthusiastic activist in a myriad of contemporary social issues, ranging from advocating elementary education for girls, forming debating and literary clubs, to writing articles in newspaper calling for abolition of gambling and spirit farms. He established the Anti-Opium Association in Penang and organized the first Anti-Opium Conference in Straits Settlement to advocate banning of opium trade at times.
He was later invited to China, where he fought a challenging battle of the Machurian plague. His formulation of public health policies and institution of control measures were met with violent resistance. These measures were compulsory hospitalization of plague victims, contacts isolation, homes disinfection and people were encouraged to wear the “Dr Wu’s mask” which were uncommon practice at times in China.
He also conducted the first ever mass cremation of corpses in Chinese history which strongly against the tenets of Confucianism that venerated filial piety and ancestor worship in the past. This had led to not only saving thousands of lives by halting the epidemics.
Becoming world-famous for his outstanding achievement had never affected his innate modesty. He returned to Malaya during the turbulence time of Second World War, and continued to practice medicine in Ipoh until the ripe age of 80, before retiring in Penang.
The Dr Wu Lien-The Society was initiated in 2012 as a result of a Penang Story Lecture on Dr Wu which was organized by Think City, Penang Heritage Trust and the Old Frees Association. Led by the Founding President, Dato’ Anwar Fazal, together with support from representatives from the Old Frees Association, Penang Medical College, Harbin Medical University, Penang Institute, Penang Heritage Trust, as well as Think City and Penang Global Tourism, this initiative aims to promote this Penang-born legendary figure and to inspire the present and future generations. Since its inception, the Society has now grown its network to include several reputable institutions namely, the Malaysian National Clinical Research Centre Networks, United Nation University- International Institute for Global Health and the newly established Wu Lien-Teh Institute in Harbin, China.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The State government has been keen to support initiatives of the Society since the first Commemorative Symposium in 2014 through this 2nd Commemorative Global Symposium at Penang Institute, and the dinner tonight at the St Giles Wembley Hotel.
I am pleased to be here to witness the ceremony of signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Society and United Nations University, International Institute for Global Health. The MOU addresses collaborative joint hosting of an annual public lecture on topic of contemporary global health importance, named as “The Dr Wu Lien-Teh Lecture”, from selecting a distinguished speaker to organizing the event. Additionally, both parties may collaborate on other initiatives related to global health importance.
It is also my pleasure to launch the first reprint of 1000 copies of the pictorial book of “Memories of Dr Wu Lien-Teh, Plague Fighter” in Penang by local publisher, Areca Books. The first edition was printed in Singapore in 1995 and out of stock. This current project received generous funding supports from Dato’ Cheah Cheng Hye, a Penang-born successful entrepreneur in Hong Kong, together with supports from the Dr Wu’s families and the Society.
The relocation and placement of Dr Wu Lien-Teh bust at Penang Institute signifies the recognition by the State Government for Dr Wu’s altruism and extra-ordinary contributions in making a difference for all.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, we are all here together to celebrate and honour the life of a Penang-born medical scientist who set the standard for generations of doctors to follow, and who nearly brought back a prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. It is great to see a reunion of more than 30 of the family members attending this event, including the 93-year old granddaugther, Madame Tai Ai Luen. I am very confident that Dr Wu Lien-Teh Society will continue to promote the legacy of this Penang-born iconic legend. I am proud to announce the opening of the Dr Wu Lien-Teh Commemorative Global Symposium and wish you a fruitful meeting among all of you.
For more details of the symposium, here is the link to the file: