An Opinion: Picking Doctors in Malaysia

Some people have voiced an opinion about choosing a doctor in Malaysia when one falls sick in Singapore’s neighbouring country:

In Malaysia, pick an Indian/Chinese doctor, not a Malay doctor.

Their reasoning is as follows:

Given the bumiputra policy, there is a loss of selective pressure which leads to the decrease in mean ability of Malays as a whole. Contrast that with the Indians and Chinese who have to fight tooth and nail, who have to drag themselves to the front of the pack in order to get into the limited spaces in medical school (the rest of the quota being taken up by bumiputras). It’s a no-brainer. The Indians and Chinese who graduate from medical school must be really good. The Malays… not so sure.

It was such a politically incorrect statement that J. felt compelled to ask around. One Chinese contact pointed out while he was in medical school in Kuala Lumpur, the faculty would have bumiputra-only “revision sessions” in which answers would be given to them in a manner worse off than the “spoonfeeding” thought to be rampant in Singaporean medical schools. The non-bumiputras would have to do their own studying.

It should be pointed out that in contrast, Malay doctors in Singapore are more than capable enough. Working within the confines of the Singaporean meritocratic society without the benefit of a bumiputra policy, the Malay doctors in Singapore are generally very, very competent. J. would agree. The ones that he has met seem to fall into the category of high-fliers, somehow.

J.’s not sure that the theory rings true. Is there any data on the matter? Will there ever be? What do you guys think?


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by aarvidi on January 13, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    It is hard to generalise. Given choice, I would select an Indian or Chinese doctor. I doubt the abilities of a Malay doctor and whenever seen by one, I still feel a Chinese or an Indian would have been better.

    I get treatment at HUKM Cheras, I have come across one or two good Malay ones but generally I feel Malays have to gain a lot of working knowledge before they come good. The last time I saw an Indian lady doctor, my, I was impressed. Malay doctors are manufactured without quality control, some learn along the way and become so so. Except for the later, Malays are below standard.


  2. Thnaks for the comment. That sounds very reasonable.

    On a related note, I’ve noticed that in school, without the threat of tests or if the professors tell us what’s coming up, there’s much less willpower to study or understand a topic. This defect in knowledge inevitably shows up during work where one can no longer hide one’s deficiency. Maybe that’s why Malays (in Malaysia) have to gain working experience before they become good.


  3. Well, if Msian SIRIM actually QC-ing on M-doctors, MAYBE our M-doctors can be better than what we have now. Sincerely speaking, being a Malaysian myself, I’d prefer a Chinese/Indian doctors, because they seem to really know what they are doing. But Malaysia is still a great country to live in ^__^


  4. Posted by in silence on June 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    well being a doctor myself and working in the government hospital for the past 8 years , there is no doubt regarding the quality of the malay doctors. First without much effort and under the boomi quota, they walk through their medical school with ease and secondly they lack the brains and communication skills especially with a poor command in english . finally they have limited experience and blame all their mistakes on allah, what jerks can they be


    • Posted by Hahaha on March 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Hahaha I don’t know about Malaysia but Singapore hardly has any malay doctors. Their contribution to the total doctor population is way less than the percentage they take up in total population. That’s why so many malay women have no choice but to see a Chinese obstetrician for their pregnancies.


  5. Do not think as an Indian or Chinese or Malay Doctor . but whoever is Good in clinical Skills will do better.But chose DEDICATED DOCTORS .GOD BLESS YOU ALL
    Dr Shashikant
    MBBS,MD(Yoga & Rehabilitation),MSc(applied psychology)
    Medical Director


  6. Posted by suhaimi salleh on February 7, 2011 at 12:16 am

    FYI the admission into local med schools are now based strictly on merits, d quota system for critical courses like med,dentistry n pharmacy have been dissolved. there is no basis 2 say dat the malay docs r inferior. in fact many of them go on to become very successful specialist doctors in private practice. as u know in private practice only d best in their professions excel. i am a lawyer but i can tell u some of my malay doctor and dentist friends r doing extremely well. the market doesnt lie !


  7. Posted by Hahaha on March 6, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Hahaha there’s malay doctors?
    You are such a brainwashed simpleton who unquestioningly believes the pap propaganda about racial harmony without any critical thinking.


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