2009 is best remembered as the Malaysian Parkinson’s Year – simply because this year is the “accelerated phase” in the Malaysian Parkinson’s support group movement. The year 2009 is best remembered for several important events that mark the beginning of a new era in the Parkinson’s care in Malaysia.
I am still recovering from the euphoria of the celebration of World Parkinson’s Day 2009 and first anniversary of Negeri Sembilan Parkinson’s Society (NSPS), which was held at Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya on 11th April 2009. This event was organized by NSPS and launched by YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, the Minister of Health of Malaysia.
On this day, the approachable and caring Minister of Health had also presented the mock cheque to the first-ever recipient of the Lloyd Tan Trust Fund, which specifically aims to provide financial assistance to Malaysian Parkinson’s patients who need brain surgery.
Most importantly, the strong support that YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai had given to NSPS reflected the beginning of a close co-operation between the Ministry of Health, Parkinson’s specialists and support group, in further improving the standard of Parkinson’s care in this country. We hope that eventually a National Parkinson’s Committee, which oversees the management of Parkinson’s in Malaysia, will be set up.
The Malaysian Parkinson’s Day celebration which is scheduled on 9th May 2009 is another important event as it is the first anniversary of the Lloyd Tan Trust Fund. On this day, the three local Parkinson’s books (“Parkinson’s, A Better Tomorrow”, “A Glimpse of the Past” and “Chronicles of a Parkinson’s Fighter”) will be simultaneously launched. It is hoped that the publication of these books will help to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and educate the Malaysian public on various aspects of this illness.
The late Auntie Susie Chandy (the author of “A Glimpse of the Past”) and Mr. Hero Teo (the author of “Chronicles of a Parkinson’s Fighter”) have remarkable and outstanding personality, which makes the books so meaningful and special. I thank the authors and their family for sharing their inspiring life stories with the Malaysian public.
I hope these two important Parkinson’s events will make the Malaysian realize that the treatment of Parkinson’s in this country is far from satisfactory. The Parkinson’s care in this country must go forward, in order to provide good support and treatment for the 15,000 to 20,000 Parkinson’s patients in Malaysia. I also urge the Ministry of Health of Malaysia to provide annual funding for the DBS surgery which can be directly channeled to the Lloyd Tan Trust Fund.
Dr Chew Nee Kong, Kuala Lumpur.