Saturday, November 8, 2008

Muslim Professionals: THE ISA MUST GO!

It's heartening to note that there are honorable souls in every profession who have the courage to make a clear stand against abuse of power and state tyranny. In response to the Shah Alam High Court's widely applauded decision to grant Raja Petra's habeas corpus and order his immediate release yesterday, the Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF) issued the following press release today...
The Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF) applauds the decisions handed down at the Shah Alam High Court and Kuala Lumpur Sessions court on 7th November, 2008.

In ordering the release of ISA detainee, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, judge Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad has shown great wisdom and fairness as has judge Komathy Suppiah in denying the prosecution's request for the case of Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be transferred to the High Court. We similarly echo the sentiments of the defense counsel in the former case, when he said that this was a "historic ruling and a profound moment for civil liberties in this country."

The ISA is an archaic piece of legislation and the time has come for its natural demise. The Muslim Professionals Forum very strongly calls for the immediate repeal of this draconian relic and the prompt judicial review of all ISA detainees. We urge the government to take the bold step of doing what is right and just. Justice and fairness are principles enshrined in Islam, and it is incumbent upon every Muslim to uphold these values, elevating them to their sublime pedestal.

The decisions in our courts yesterday augur well for our judiciary, which has been the brunt of many criticisms lately. These judges are beacons that shine through the winds of change, a gust that has blown across the globe. Resistance to such would only rank amongst the most futile of actions. We have but two options, to embrace this change that is upon us, or be left amongst the outcast nations of the world.

Board of Directors,
Muslim Professionals Forum

Dr. Mazeni Alwi
Dr. Shaikh Johari Bux
Haji Mohamed Ali Ghazali
Dato' Dr. Musa Mohd. Nordin

I salute the Muslim Professionals Forum for their brave and noble stand. They, too, are "beacons that shine through the winds of change." In my curiosity to find out more about these fine examples of humanity, I stumbled upon a letter written in March 2001 to Mahathir Mohamad by Dr Musa Mohd. Nordin and have taken the liberty of reproducing it below:


29th March 2001

Dr. Musa Mohd. Nordin
Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia

Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
Prime Minister

Assalamualaikum WBT

The spinal problems (both lumbar and cervical) of Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim is causing a lot of anguish for our medical fraternity not to mention the untold anxiety of his loved ones. It was our fervent hope that an amicable compromise would be obtained and Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri Anwar would be offered the best, safest and evidence based surgery currently available for his spinal predicament. But quite clearly there is a stand off and political doctoring has gained the upper hand and evidenced based medicine has been sidelined.

The members of our association participate in numerous humanitarian and medical missions worldwide e.g Bosnia; Kosovo, Turkey, Gujarat, Maluku, Mindanao, Iraq, the depths of Pahang and Sarawak, etc., and it would seem most irresponsible of me if I did not now address what is fundamentally a humanitarian (and medical) issue vis-a-vis the medical condition of Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri Anwar.

As a healing and caring profession we are the instruments of Allah's mercy (Ar Rahmah) and I am reminded of the oath of a Muslim Physician "To be the instrument of Thy Will and Mercy, and, in all humbleness, to exercise justice, love and compassion for all Thy creation; to extend my hand of service to one and all, to the rich and to the poor, to friend and foe alike, regardless of race, religion or colour" - and if I may add, imprisoned or freed.

Being a fellow Muslim Physician I am sure that Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri subscribes similarly and continually to these noble values and would ensure that they would always prevail. I would appeal to Y. Bhg. Dato Seri to put a stop to all the unkind and merciless statements made by various politicians and enable Y. Bhg. Dato Seri Anwar to undergo the optimal surgery available.

His large central disc herniation and the associated spinal stenosis precludes a conservative dorsal approach due to the increased risk of post operative morbidities. And it has been agreed by the panel of experts in Kuala Lumpur (3 orthopaedic surgeons, 3 neurosurgeons, 2 radiologists, 1 neurologist and 1 anaesthesiologist) and Dr. Hoogland Thomas (orthopaedic surgeon and diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery from Alpha Klinik, Munich) that a transforaminal endoscopic discectomy would be the surgical procedure of choice for decompression of the nerves. Furthermore, it obviates the need for general anaesthesia and endotracheal intubation considering Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri Anwar's longstanding cervical problems, as the endoscopic procedure can be performed under local and intravenous anaesthesia. Other post operative sequelae, namely neural damage, back pain and sepsis, would also be considerably less.

And it was also emphasised that the surgery should not be delayed beyond 4-6 weeks to ameliorate any further neurological compromise. This is the art and science of evidence based medicine in practise and it should not be tarnished by political doctoring from various quarters. I would again appeal to Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri to enable the medical experts to discharge their duties professionally without any form of interference whatsoever from pseudo doctors.

The excruciating pain and physical suffering of Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri Anwar, the sense of helplessness of his family and friends alike, the diagnostic MRI scans and the consensus of opinions of the medical experts must surely touch the deep recesses of our hearts and human conscience; and more so to the Muslim Physician. And I appeal again to Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri to make it possible for Dato' Seri Anwar to undergo the endoscopic procedure at the earliest possible opportunity, in the best possible medical centre dedicated to spinal surgery. I truly believe that Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri's magnanimity in this painful medical scenario would go a long way towards alleviating the hurt that has much wounded this great nation of ours.

And to Allah, The Omniscient and The Wise Judge do we turn for succour.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Musa Mohd. Nordin
MBBCh (Wales) FRCP (Edin) FAMM