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Syndicates use call cards to advertise services

PETALING JAYA — A social media manager from Kota Damansara was shocked to find a call card offering medical certificate (MC) on her car recently.

The 35-year-old, who wished to be known as Joanne, said she found the card on her car door knob just as she was leaving for work last week.

“I was surprised people have become so brazen, even going to the extent of printing name cards with their numbers offering such a service,” she told Malay Mail.

“I find it unbecoming of people to offer such services as it is ruining the credibility of medical professionals.”

She suggested authorities to crack down hard on such syndicates.

“Such services would make it easy even for students to skip school. The crackdown should be able to deter other syndicates having the same idea,”
she said.

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Health Ministry probes 
sale of fake MCs

PETALING JAYA — Medical practitioners have been urged to include their Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) registration numbers on medical certificates (MC).

The ministry’s deputy director-general Datuk Dr S. Jeyaindran said the ministry would push for the practice to be made compulsory.

“Doctors had previously been advised to include their MMC serial number on their rubber stamp as this would make it easier to detect if MCs are fake,” he said.

“But, we now plan to push for the practice to be made compulsory,” he said.

Commenting on Malay Mail’s investigation on unscrupulous individuals advertising the sale of MCs through call cards, Dr Jeyaindran said he was not surprised as those who sell fake MCs were getting more brazen, coming up with creative ways to make easy money.

“This is my first time hearing people offering such services through name cards,” he said.

“We will investigate the matter, but we need the cooperation from employers as well.”

He said the ministry had called on one of the clinics visited by a Malay Mail reporter, but its investigations revealed the doctor was not involved and the MC obtained by the reporter was forged.

“We will also meet up with the other doctor,” he said.

Dr Jeyaindran said by including their MMC number on MCs, doctors would be able to safeguard themselves against those who had been taking advantage of them.

“It may not stop the syndicates from continuing their business, but it would enable doctors to defend themselves in the event their names had been misused,” he said.

He said doctors must also record their patients’ MCs to help verify the chits if they were approached by employers.

Employers should also always check the authenticity of MCs submitted by their workers, Dr Jeyaindran said.

“Complaints must be lodged directly by employers to the ministry as soon as they find out their employees had submitted a fake MC,” he said.

He said people involved in the sale of fake MCs were usually clinic assistants and there were also many cases of doctors being victimised by syndicates.

“In most cases, we usually find out it is done by syndicates. But, if we find cases where doctors are issuing fake MCs, we will take action against them,” he said.

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Medical chits delivered 
via Pos Laju

PETALING JAYA — Fancy a medical certificate delivered right to your doorstep via Pos Laju?

Such a service is now possible, thanks to unscrupulous individuals out to make a quick buck.

Malay Mail managed to obtain three MCs during an undercover business deal via WhatsApp with the supplier of fake MCs who had advertised his services via a name card placed on a vehicle in Kota Damansara.

A Malay Mail reporter then ordered two MCs on Aug 27 and three days later, they arrived at the reporter’s house.

The MCs can be ordered from the supplier via WhatsApp or through a Facebook page.

“You will be given a tracking code to monitor the delivery process of your MCs, so you wouldn’t have to worry about it not reaching you,” the supplier said.

An MC would usually cost RM30 but since a request was made for the MCs to be supplied from two clinics, the supplier charged RM50, including a complimentary MC as well.

“You have the option of using the complimentary MC for one of your requested off day or choose to keep it,” said the supplier who identified himself as Dave Nadiniel.

Malay Mail had requested for backdated and advance MCs during our course of investigation.

“The clinics are mostly around Klang Valley, so your employer would not suspect you providing a fake MC,” he said.

It was also found the MCs were stamped with the names of legitimate doctors from clinics in Subang Jaya and Damansara Utama.

Malay Mail later visited both clinics — Mediviron Subang and Medijaya Damansara Utama — and spoke to the doctors whose names were used on the MCs.

Dr Amanjit Kaur of Mediviron Subang was shocked to learn that her name had been used on fake MCs and thanked Malay Mail for bringing the matter to her attention.

“This is embarrassing as I never would have thought I would be a victim of syndicates supplying fake MCs,” she said.

She said she was warned by her relatives and friends to be careful of this new “business” platform which syndicates had delved into.

“It is very easy to find out the location of the doctors online,” she said, adding the template of her MC was different from the one issued by the supplier.

At Medijaya Damansara Utama, Dr Ng Ee Vern, was puzzled how he became a victim of the syndicate.

“I have never dealt with an issue like this. Despite knowing there is a demand for fake MCs, I did not expect it to reach this extent,” he said.

Like in Dr Amanjit’s case, the MC template used by Dr Ng’s clinic was different from the fake MCs in the font and certificate size.

On April 30, Subang police smashed a thriving fake MC racket operating out of a printing and photocopy shop.

Acting on information from Malay Mail, Subang Commercial Crime Division officers arrested two employees in a raid on the shop in SS15.

Three for the price of two

PETALING JAYA — I stumbled upon a Facebook posting by a mutual friend saying she had found a call card offering medical certificates (MC) for sale.

I contacted the person listed on the call card to see if I could buy an MC.

The supplier, who goes by the name Dave Nadiniel, said the minimum payment for an MC would only be RM30 inclusive of postage. Payment can be done via Internet banking or cash deposit.

He said I would be able to get as many MCs as I need as long as I send him my full name, identification or passport number, number of days I need off and the type of illness that should appear on the MC.

“It’s very easy. I assure your employers would not ask any questions,” he said.

He said I could also request for backdated and advanced MCs.

According to Dave, the MCs would be delivered to my doorstep via Pos Laju.

“Depending on where you live, you would be able to receive the chits between four and five days,” he said.

When asked about the authenticity of the MCs, Dave claimed he was “working closely” with various clinics in Petaling Jaya, Subang and Bangsar.

After being pressed for more details, Dave later said he worked with the Mediviron and Medijaya group of clinics.

Upon requesting for two MCs on different dates from two different clinics, Dave said he would add a complimentary MC, which I believe was a marketing strategy to build to retain clients.

He said receipts for the MCs were not provided to customers as he did not want any trace of the transaction to be found.

“Employers usually don’t call the clinics to enquire about the MC if you don’t claim for the medical visit. So, you don’t have to worry, “ he said.

My backdated and advanced MCs arrived via Pos Laju three days later. I also received a complimentary MC. All three MCs were from a Mediviron clinic in Subang Jaya and a Medijaya clinic in Damansara Utama.

As soon as I received the MCs, I did a cross check and found out the doctors who had signed the MCs were actually working in those clinics.

After finding out I was a reporter, the doctor explained her MCs differ from the one I received as the one produced at her clinic usually has a Malaysian Medical Council serial number.

At the second clinic, the doctor said the MC I received was not the one issued by his clinic as the size of the document differed.

He also said while his name appeared on my MC, his signature had clearly
been forged.

Roll of honour The nominees and winners (in bold italics)

Best Malaysian Film

Nota

Polis Evo

Munafik

Jejak Warriors

Mat Moto — Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit

Ola Bola

Maravan

Jagat (winner)

Huat the Fish

The Kid From the Big Apple

Best National Film

Nota

Polis Evo

Munafik (winner)

Jejak Warriors

Mat Moto — Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit

Best Director

Ghaz Abu Bakar (Polis Evo)

Saw Teong Hin (Jejak Warriors)

Shamyl Othman (Rembat)

Syamsul Yusof (Munafik) — winner

Wan Hasliza Wan Zainuddin (Love Supermoon)

Chiu Keng Guan (Ola Bola)

Jess Teong (The Kid From the Big Apple)

Puvarendran Selvaraja (Maravan)

Shanjhey Kumar Perumal (Jagat)

Yee Kwan Huan & Silver (Huat the Fish).

Best Actress

Lisa Surihani (Suamiku Encik Perfect)

Maya Karin (Nota)

Maya Karin (Jwanita)

Nabila Huda (Munafik) — winner

Nadiya Nisaa (Love Supermoon)

Best Actor

Aaron Aziz (Suamiku Encik Perfect)

Aniu (Rembat)

Pekin Ibrahim (Mat Moto — Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit) — winner

Shaheizy Sam (Polis Evo)

Zizan Razak (Polis Evo)

Best Original Story

Ola Bola

Rembat

Mat Moto — Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit — winner (Pekin Ibrahim)

Jagat

The Kid From the Big Apple

Best Screenplay

Nota — winner (Bea Tanaka)

Suamiku Encik Perfect

Polis Evo

Mat Moto — Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit

Love Supermoon

Ola Bola

The Kid From the Big Apple

Huat The Fish

Maravan

Jagat

Best Cinematography

Polis Evo — winner (Haris Hue Abdullah)

Bravo 5

Munafik
Mat Moto — Kami Mat Moto Bukan Mat Rempit

Jagat

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Jagat and Munafik 
voted best films

KUALA LUMPUR — Tamil film Jagat was picked as the Best Malaysian Film at the 28th Film Festival Awards on Saturday night while Munafik took the crown as the Best National Film in a glittery ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here.

Munafik, a box-office horror hit, also swept the Best Director and Best Editor categories, which went to Syamsul Yusof. The Best Actress award was won by Nabila Huda for her solid performance in Munafik.

Pekin Ibrahim took Best Actor for his role in Mat Moto.

The film festival had sparked controversy a month before the ceremony with allegations of bigotry over the language segregation of Bahasa Malaysia and non-Bahasa Malaysia categories.

But its main organiser the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) extinguished the flames by introducing several changes, including the brand new Best National Film category to recognise the best film made in Bahasa Malaysia. — Malay Mail Online

Joy of winning against all odds

KUALA LUMPUR — Director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal admitted his film Jagat had faced immense cynicism, even from colleagues, before finally being recognised as the Best Malaysian Film at the 28th Film Festival Awards on Saturday night.

Shanjhey said he had to direct the film against all odds, with a shoestring budget, limited crew, and a small pool of Tamil talent, reported Malay Mail Online

“We faced many hurdles and the hardest was those who did not believe,” he told reporters after the award ceremony.

“Our comrades did not believe, distributors, TV stations, studios and audience did not believe, too.

“When everybody else did not believe and we were the only ones who did — to overcome that hurdle was the hardest and most painful.”

Shanjhey also won the Best New Director award.

“Our production budget was RM400,000. We had financial challenges. We had limited crew. Indian artistes mostly had no acting basics, that is why I chose (the cast from) among non-actors,” he said.

“I dare to say ‘no’, and I dare to say ‘yes’. I won with my decision. I dare to take risks.”

In Jagat — a loose Tamil lingo for the Malay word jahat — Shanjhey tells the story of the hardships faced by ethnic Indians in the 1990s, after the estates, where their forefathers were shipped in from India by the colonial British to work, were closed.

Jagat was initially nominated in the Best non-Bahasa Malaysia Film category with four other Malaysian films, prompting outroar from within and outside the local film industry.

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Penang’s Kampung Siam a Malaysian melting pot

GEORGE TOWN — The young in the family of patriarch Noo Wan @ Wandee Aroonratana, 92, at Kampung Siam in Pulau Tikus here truly represent assimilation in the extreme.

None of his 20 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren speak Thai, preferring Malay for daily communication, while his nine children speak a smattering of Thai.

Some in his family also speak Hokkien due to intermarriage with local Chinese.

A daughter had married a Malay, four sons and two daughters had married Chinese, and another two had married Thais.

Noo Wan, also known as Pa’Wandee to local Malays, the fifth generation of Thais who settled here in the early 1800s, feels this is part of the process of Malaysianisation.

“They have become truly Malaysian by blending in with Malay culture besides using the language,” the retired menora dance exponent said.

He said he also spoke Malay more often than Thai as he dealt with the Malay and Chinese communities.

Noo Wan said his father, Nai Chandee Arronaratana, who hailed from Songkhla province in southern Thailand, migrated to Penang in 1914.

“He walked all the way from his village to Alor Star and travelled here by bus to join a thriving Thai community already in existence here,” he said.

He said the community had been living in Kampung Siam adjacent to Wat Chaiya Mangalaram in Jalan Burma for more than two centuries.

In 1845 the British gave the land on which the village is located to the community to be used in perpetuity.

“They gave the piece of land to the Thai community to live on. We have the documents to prove this,” he said.

Noo Wan said he learnt menora, a dance drama of south Thailand origin, from his father, who was a master dancer.

He said the dance was still popular in Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Kelantan.

“It is perhaps the only visible form of Thai culture here besides Thai temples in the northern states,” he said.

Noo Wan, who was awarded the “Living Heritage” title by the state government under former chief minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon in 2007, said Penang was a good example of a melting pot of races.

On Thailand, he said he had never visited the country and did not know anyone there.

“I consider myself Malaysian in every way. This is where I was born and where I will die,” he added.

State of the nation at 53

As Malaysians prepare for the 53rd anniversary of the nation’s formation, a timely question is whether the founding fathers would be happy with how the union has turned out.

Communism has been kept at bay as have Indonesian designs over Sarawak and covetous Filipino intentions over Sabah.

Indeed, these were the principal factors behind Malaysia’s formation besides common economic growth between seemingly similar entities.

But have the three territories come together as a nation over nearly six decades?

Or have they remained as distinct in their character as they were when Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra — the virulently-anti communist architect of the Malaysia concept — proposed a confederation of territories in 1961?

In this respect, the choice of Tawau, Sabah, for the launching of the month-long Merdeka/Malaysia Day celebrations early last month was not lost on many.

It was indicative of a need in Kuala Lumpur (the federal capital in more ways than one) to reach out to Kota Kinabalu and Kuching for greater integration in spirit than in form.

But was integration an integral part of the initial proposal hatched by the British and supported by Tunku?

It has to be borne in mind that Sabah and Sarawak insisted on specific guarantees on, among others, employment and immigration as a prerequisite for nationhood under Malaysia.

The very fact that Malaysia has remained three territories with limited physical interaction save for Sabahans and Sarawakians seeking employment opportunities in the peninsula is answer enough.

The “Orang Malaya” sent to the two “states” are the token representatives of integration coming out of the peninsula.

In between, we have seen marriages between the young in the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak that may appear to be the only real form of assimilation as a people.

Given that an artificial construct with clearly defined rights and responsibilities was indeed part of the Malaysia proposal, it is pertinent to ask how the three territories can use their intrinsic strengths to work in concert as a nation.

There is a clear imperative for Malaysia to grow as a nation in an increasingly globalised world.

The new reality requires nations and territories to have common objectives and shared needs to exist and grow. This where the nation’s future lies.

It has to be in a coalescing of like-minded political entities realising that they cannot survive separately. And this, indeed, is where Malaysia finds itself at 53.

By choice, the people of the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak have to merge their socio-political interests for the common good while retaining their distinctiveness.

It has been said that Sabahans and Sarawak leaders did not know what they were getting into in 1963 with only vague promises of a better life touted by British and Malayan leaders.

Today, the wisdom of an alliance among the three founding entities forged in a different era is as clear as day.

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Three sought over deadly Davao blast

DAVAO — Philippine police were searching yesterday for three people — two women and a man — wanted for questioning over the bombing of a night market in President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown blamed on a notorious group of Islamic militants

The blast, which tore through a bustling market in the heart of Davao city on Friday, killed at least 14 people and led to the president imposing a “state of lawlessness” on the country.

Many of the fatalities in the explosion were massage therapists at the night market and their clients. Survivors claimed they saw a man leaving a backpack after a massage session, with the bomb exploding seconds later.

Other reports quoted therapists as saying two women, who acted suspiciously, were behind the explosion.

Police are searching for two women and one man for questioning over the bombing, which has been widely been blamed on the Muslim extremist Abu Sayyaf group, said Chief Inspector Andrea de la Cerna yesterday.

Davao is the hometown of Duterte, who had recently ordered an offensive against the Abu Sayyaf.

He has said that the explosion was in retaliation for the military operation against the group in their stronghold in the southern island of Jolo.

However De la Cerna, spokeswoman of a task force investigating the explosion, said they were not ruling out other motives for the attack.

“We have copies of the CCTV (closed-circuit television), we have eight possible witnesses but we have named no one (as suspects),” she said.

She said the three “persons of interest” being sought were not yet considered suspects, but would not give further details.

Duterte believes the attack was “80 per cent” likely an act of terrorism, his spokesman, Martin Andanar, told
reporters yesterday.

After the bombing, Duterte declared a national “state of lawlessness”, which his security adviser said gave the military extra powers to conduct law enforcement operations normally done only by the police.
Police Regional Office XI director Manuel Gaerlan confirmed they have eight witnesses who could help in their investigation.

Gaerlan, however, refused to give their identities.

Several nations, including the US, Canada and Australia, alerted their citizens not to travel to parts of the Philippines in the wake of the blast. — Various

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