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ARKIB : 12/06/2004

Health Ministry to look into claims of "unrecognised" degree

KUALA LUMPUR June 11 - The Health Ministry will look into claims by a Malaysian graduate from Akita University in Japan that his medical degree is unrecognised locally.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad said he was waiting for full reports on the issue, including that from the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).

"I cannot comment further as the claims will be studied in detail after obtaining feedback and full reports from various parties including MMC," he said when contacted here Friday.

He said this when asked to comment on a Bernama report Thursday which said a 27-year-old graduate was frustrated after finding out that the MMC did not recognise his degree even though his medical course in Japan was fully funded by the Public Service Department (JPA).

JPA Deputy Director-General Datuk Zakaria Mohd Taib, when contacted, said the department would issue a statement over this issue soon.

Meanwhile, president of Japan Graduates of Malaysia Association Datuk Dr Siow Kuang Ling expressed his disappointment over the issue.

When contacted Friday, he called on the government to recognise all medical degrees offered by Japanese universities.

Currently, over 18 universities in Japan including Tokyo University and Akita University offer medical courses but some of these institutions were not recognised by the MMC.

"This is very frustrating, as we know Japan is a developed country and the medical programmes there are of high quality," said Dr Siow, a medical graduate of Fukushima University.

MEANWHILE, the Public Service Department (JPA) is offering scholarships to 5,000 students who have successfully obtained places in selected public and private universities.

Application forms are available from June 14 at selected Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) branches nationwide, JPA said in a statement here Friday.

Students in engineering, veterinary science, pure and applied science, law, accounting, economics, business administration, information technology, computer science, dentistry and medicine course can apply for the scholarships, it said.

JPA said the scholarships were for first-degree courses.

Details on elligibility for the scholarships are available in the June 13 edition of Mingguan Malaysia and New Sunday Times dailies.

The information is also available at www.jpa.gov.my.

Deadline for submitting the application forms is July 12.

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