I read with interest the letter by Beng entitled Take a cue from Nik Aziz, Anwar.
The writer, being a respectable medicine practitioner, tried his best to defend Malaysian doctors - with a dose of Western-bashing too - and their expertise in handling Anwar Ibrahim's current medical concerns.
While one need not venture far in addressing Anwar's issue, there is still the need to inform and remind those doctors who are 'hurt' by Anwar's demand for overseas medical attention.
Why are Malaysian doctors not hurt by our prime minister's wife Endon Mahmud's failure to appreciate these very skilled medical practitioners when she opted to go for surgery overseas? Are not the surgeons in Malaysia capable and adept in giving her the necessary treatment?
She must not be blamed for her choice (unless she went on taxpayers' contributions of course!)
The question is never about competence. There can even be doctors in Malaysia who are miles better than those in Germany and indeed there must be. But it is not about medical competence - it is about the individual's right to choose a medical practitioner of his choice.
There have even been absurd comments saying that a person's right to his medical preference is forfeited as a prisoner.
Anwar is a man who has gone through many shocking events. In regards to his bruised eye affair, the government said it was done unilaterally while the police via its then head honcho said he was 'fine, safe and sound'. Other comments from other quarters include that his current spine injury was self-inflicted. There have been other lies and deceit.
As a reasonable man, and after going through what he has, do you think that he is prepared to trust and believe the government this time around? Do you not think and concede that Anwar is rightfully scared with his physical well-being on the line? Maybe even his life?
The right to choose the medical practitioner of his choice is Anwar's everlasting right that still stands even with him being behind bars. Rights taken away from prisoners include, among others, the right to move freely and the right to mingle with society - not the right to medical treatment from a doctor of the prisoner's choice. This is a fundamental right.
Do not mistake this choice of Anwar's as implying that doctors in Malaysia are incompetent. To do so would amount to fabricating statements and creating unnecessary friction between Anwar and medical practitioners in this blessed country of ours.
I believe that Anwar wholeheartedly believes that the majority of doctors here are non-partisan, professional, apolitical and trustworthy, as is his belief that the same values are also present and readily found among judges, government officers, the police and the public at large.