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!
The 5th Dr Wu Lien-Teh Annual Public Lecture was held amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic on 15th March 2020, and three days before the National Movement Control Order came into effect! Out of the 82 registrations, 49 (including the organizing committee) attended the public lecture at Penang Institute. All sat sparingly in a hall with 150 seats adhering to social distancing and using hand sanitizers readily available within the venue compound. Some wore masks and persons with symptoms were discouraged to attend the lecture. The lecture was broadcast live via Facebook page of Penang Institute, and attended by 10 viewers. Light refreshments were cancelled too!
Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, a renowned health activist, Consultant Respiratory Physician and former Member of Parliament, was our invited speaker this year, on “Health for All: Challenges and Opportunities”. He spoke passionately on the challenges and shared his perspectives through the proposed solutions and opportunities emerging from the present society and younger generations. There were 5 challenges identified: (1) inadequate health budget allocation, (2) naive belief in market-based solutions for health financing, (3) misdirection by World Bank on health financing, (4) failure to identify the real issues fueling disparity in wealth distribution, and (5) failure of progressives to present a believable alternative for common good.
For those who are interested to view the recorded lecture, please visit the Facebook page.
We thank the Penang Institute to co-organize this public lecture together with the Society.
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!