SIBU: An official letter from Public Service Department Malaysia (JPA) dated Feb 3, 1996 is proof that Taiwan dental degrees are recognised by the federal government.
In pointing out this, president of The Federation of Alumni Association of Taiwan Universities, Malaysia (Faatum) Dato’ Lawrence Ting Siew Haw said this recognition was given in accordance to the letter after the visit by a team of representatives led by the then-Health director-general Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman to the seven dental colleges in Taiwan to assess and accredit them.
“After the visit they made up the decision that once Taiwan graduates passed the Taiwan National Licensing Board Examination, the dental degrees are recognised in Malaysia.
“Once passed the examination board, they are recognised under section 12(a) of the Dental Act 1991, then they can serve two years in the government before they are re-registered.
“It means that the degrees are actually world recognised. If the degrees were not recognised, JPA would not have this official letter,” he told a press conference at the premises of Sarawak Taiwan Graduates’ Association (STGA) branch here yesterday afternoon.
Also present were president of Sarawak Taiwan Graduates’ Association (STGA) Ting Chiong Won, STGA’s advisors-Dr Hu Chang Lek and Datin Judy Lau.
Siew Haw was commenting on the confusion regarding dental degrees from Taiwan, saying this official document has proven the recognition.
“The only thing we want to know now is why dental degrees recognised together with medical degree were not gazetted but medical degrees were.
“Copies of this official letter had been extended to Malaysia Medical Council, Ministry of Health, Malaysian Dental Council, secretary to JPA and Faatum,” he said.
Siew Haw said this document proved that all the seven dental degrees namely, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, National Defence Medical College, National Yang Ming University Medical College, Taipei Medical College, China Medical College, Chung Shan Medical & Dental College and Kaohsiung Medical College were recognised.
He said Faatum would ask the Deputy Minister of Health Dr Lee Boon Thye why he mentioned in the recent media report that the Taiwan dental degrees had never been recognised.
At the press conference on July 31, the Education Bureau of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has stood its ground, saying that the seven dental schools in Taiwan had previously been recognised by the government.
Dudong branch chairman Wong Ching Yong said the bureau had done further investigation and had gathered reliable sources from newspapers and magazines to support their argument.
He said news reports from local Chinese newspapers published on Feb 14, 1996 and in a national paper on July 27, 1998 confirmed that the Ministry of Health had recognised seven dental schools and eight medical schools in Taiwan.
From the gathered materials, the announcement from the Malaysian Dental Council (MDC) President Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s disclosure on the non-recognition of seven Taiwanese dental schools is an utter denial of historical facts, he reiterated.
“We cannot accept the fact that the seven dental schools were never recognised by the Malaysian government,” he pointed out.
On July 17, SUPP held a press conference urging the MDC president to explain to the public the decision to remove seven dental schools in Taiwan from the second Schedule of the Dental Act 2018.
In a response, Dr Noor Hisham said the schools were never recognised under the approved list.