President’s Message

(July – August 2021)

Dear members of Malaysian Dental Association (MDA).

Greetings. I suppose it will be most appropriate for me to start off this message by congratulating Dr Lim Chiew Wooi, our President – Elect of MDA cum Organising Chairman of MIDEC 2021: The Digital Edition, and his line – up of organising committee for organising this international online dental conference which is truly impeccable and second to none. It was indeed a resounding success. We learnt from experience when organising 28th MDA – SCATE 2021: The Digital Edition and we have now come in stronger for MIDEC 2021. Though the live event of MIDEC 2021 was from 5th – 8th August 2021, it is still open for registration as the on-demand viewing goes on for another 60 days.

It was just slightly over a month since I last posted my message here. It is indeed disheartening to know that the progress of COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia is still putting the whole nation on a high alert. In comparison, the daily recorded new cases of COVID-19 are now breaching to a daily 5 – figure number with recent daily figures hitting above 20,000 new cases daily. In many ways this pandemic, as how the recently concluded MIDEC Forum 2021 puts it, may be regarded as World War III, a battle shared by so many nations across the globe. The MIDEC Forum 2021, was held concurrently with MIDEC 2021: The Digital Edition, and it was attended by National / Regional Dental Associations (NDAs) from this region of the globe to discuss and share experiences on issues faced by the profession. This forum was traditionally attended physically by Presidents of NDAs during our annual MIDEC but due to international travel restriction during this pandemic, it was held online for the very first time.

The forum with the theme “The Practice of Dentistry in the COVID-19 Era” was held on the 8th August 2021 and was attended by Malaysian Dental Association, Hong Kong Dental Association, Chinese Stomatological Association, Vietnam Odonto – Stomatological Association, Taiwan Dental Association, Singapore Dental Association, The Dental Association of Thailand, Indonesian Dental Association, Ho Chi Minh City Odonto – Stomatological Association, and Myanmar Dental Association. MDA is truly honoured that this forum was also attended by the President of FDI World Dental Federation, Dr Gerhard Seeberger, to share his thoughts in the discussion and also gave his closing remarks at the end of the forum. My sincere thanks to Dr Chow Kai Foo, FDI National Liaison Officer, for an excellent task in moderating the forum. After the forum, in his personal communication with MDA, Dr Gerhard Seebeger wished to share the following message to all:

“…many thanks again for giving me the opportunity and the honour to be with you on Sunday. As President I feel a high responsibility for you as our valued FDI members. In these bizarre times the minimum I can give is my solidarity with you and sharing my private and professional life experience, as well as the ultimate FDI recommendations. It was a pleasure to meet with new and old friends and listen to their experiences, concerns, and counter measures to fight the pandemic for their teams and themselves, and for their patients and people alike. I hope I could at least give answers to some of your questions and, please, do not hesitate to ask if you feel I could do something for you. I wish you all the best, especially to be strong and efficient for your patients and your families.”

Moving forward, MDA has also recently updated the MDA Safety Advisory to Dental Practitioners during the current concern of COVID – 19 outbreak (10.08.2021) which is now available on MDA Homepage and also MDA FB. On this note, I also wish to bring to your attention on a recently released document by Ministry of Health Malaysia and Ministry of Human Resources on the matter of improving ventilation in healthcare facilities. This document, GUIDANCE NOTE TO BUILDING OWNERS AND BUILDING MANAGEMENTS ON VENTILATION AND INDOOR AIR QUALITY (IAQ) FOR HEALTHCARE FACILITIES SETTING DURING COVID-19PANDEMIC is available for viewing at (link) and worth exploring on its implementation in our dental clinics.

Back home at MDA, with the recently announced National Recovery Plan Phase Transition and the relaxation of SOPs for fully vaccinated individuals, I sincerely hope that we could call for our Annual General Meeting which has now been postponed since June 2021. Nevertheless, our council members, representing the Association have been attending official meetings and tasks, and to name a few:

  • Mesyuarat Majlis Keselamatan Pesakit Malaysia, attended by Dr Lim Chiew Wooi on the 9th June 2021.
  • Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Inisiatif Kanser Mulut Kebangsaan, attended by Dr Lim Chiew Wooi on the 5th July 2021.
  • MDA – GSK Webinar “Beyond Dental Chairs: Retainers and Aligners”, moderated by Dr Leong Kei Joe on 7th July 2021.
  • Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Pensijilan Radiation Protection Officer, attended by Dr Leong Kei Joe on 12th July 2021.
  • Malaysian Dental Students Association AGM, attended by Dr Leong Kei Joe on 17th July 2021.
  • Mesyuarat Lembaga Pengajian Program Diploma Pembantu Pembedahan Pergigian (DSA) UiTM, attended by Dr Goh Seong Ling on the 22nd July 2021.
  • Mesyuarat Ahli Jawatankkuasa Minggu Kesedaran Kanser Mulut, attended by Dr Chong Zhen Feng on 30th July 2021.

I believe much can still be done to continually assure the general public that it is safe to seek dental care, and it is important for them feel comfortable, even in this time of the pandemic. Some said, and I believe this is true, that the deadly virus will never ever go away but it is possible to live “normally with it in our midst”. Until we meet up again, I wish all of you the best of health always. Stay safe and stay positive. Cheers.

Kei Joe LEONG