It is a new beginning for some of us, but I get the feeling that there was a renewed sense of purpose and a collective consensual mood to move forward, to restart our engines for a new term.
We had some new blood from several state branches, with younger representatives coming forwards and expressing their views more bluntly. One message rang through--that we should look ahead and improve and concentrate on membership, professional issues.
There was discussion as to why many younger members or doctors might not find the AGM a focal point of their interests or the need to participate--many felt that perhaps there was too much politicking. Some felt too that a few very vocal attendees tended to hog the debates, year in year out, to the exclusion of others' interests.
Some issues seemed to repeat themselves endlessly, without any foreseeable conclusion... On the other hand, there's resigned exasperation that we seemed not to debate more important professional or practice issues--many are concerned about the liberalisation of the healthcare services and the possible glut of doctors in the near future.
We need to see how we can cater to the younger set, to make them feel more connected and involved. Perhaps, unbeknownst to many, most of their practice issues now no longer seem too controversial, too dispiriting.
SCHOMOS has done extremely well to have resolved so many of those unhappy issues that the public sector doctor now appears a pampered lot. Undoubtedly, over the past few years, service and remuneration conditions, on-call allowances, hardship allowances and promotion aspects, have improved by leaps and bounds. We must thank the many SCHOMOS MMA members and the DG of Health and the Health Ministry for making most of these improvements a reality!
Some glitches remain over the oversupply of house officers with too few positions of internship training, and possible shift-work arrangements, etc. Post-graduate training issues and irregularities still rankle some of the aspiring trainees, especially those who have completed their hardship posting in more remote locales in the interior or East Malaysia.
We also resolved to make our various committees more performance-oriented. We will be reshuffling the membership of these committees, and introducing key-performance indices (KPIs), to ensure that we can generate better participation, attendance and involvement in carrying out the required tasks at hand. However, we should not be too rigid so as to frighten away volunteers.
We also felt that some leadership training courses should be introduced to further inspire and refocus our direction and purpose.
On 2nd June, I received a paraphrased pledge/oath (from the Harvard MBA graduating oath) from Dr John Chew (Sarawak MMA), which I think is appropriate in this day and age, especially for our voluntary association. John felt that it might be good if every Council member consider taking and signing. Thank you very much for your efforts.
Of course, we will not hold any of our Council members to the tenets of these beautifully thought-of statements, but it is worthwhile considering, and if any of you should feel incline to sign and accept, this pledge will be a new beginning of a higher standard of ethics for the MMA and its Council.
I will be the first to sign, when this pledge is made available at the next Council meeting.
(adapted and paraphrased from MBA Harvard Graduate pledge
by Dr John Chew (Sarawak MMA)
As a MMA Committee/Council member, my purpose is to serve the greater good by bringing people and resources together to create value that no single individual can create alone.
Therefore I will seek a course that enhances the value my Association can create for society over the long term.
I recognize my decisions can have far-reaching consequences that affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my Association, today and in the future.
As I reconcile the interests of different groups, I will face choices that are not easy for me and others.
Therefore I promise:
- I will act with utmost integrity and pursue my work in an ethical manner.
- I will safeguard the interests of my Association members and the society in which we operate.
- I will manage my Association in good faith, guarding against decisions and behavior that advance my own narrow ambitions but harm the Association and the societies it serves.
- I will understand and uphold, both in letter and in spirit, the laws and contracts governing my own conduct and that of my Association.
- I will take responsibility for my actions, and I will represent the performance and risks of my Association accurately and honestly.
- I will develop both myself and others so that the profession continues to grow and contribute to the well-being of society.
- I will strive to create sustainable economic, social, and environmental prosperity worldwide.
- I will be accountable to my peers and they will be accountable to me for living by this oath.
This pledge I make freely, and upon my honor.
P/s. The jungle-themed Informal Night on Saturday at the Grotto, Sunway Lagoon resort, was a rousing success, and thanks must be given to the efforts of Wilayah branch (Kar Chai, Vithi, Ponnu, Azizan) for its successful execution, what with Jiggly John ratcheting up a storm, and many members and their spouses letting their hair down, faces painted, and dancing to the infectious beat of music from the 70s to Bollywood Bangra! First prize must be given to the Sarawak and Sabah delegates who certainly knew how to partyyyyy!!!!!..... May we have more of such fellowship where politics and enmity are left behind as we enjoy each other's company in simply having fun!