This will be my final message as President of VAM. How time flies? The last posting seems so long ago.
I left you all with the invitation to the 6th Pan Commonwealth Veterinary Conference and 27th VAM Congress at Royale Chulan Hotel Kuala Lumpur. This was a huge success by the comments and accolades we got from the international participants. We had, according to them, organised a well-run conference and showcased Malaysia. I am sure those who had attended, will agree that it was one of the better events organised in Malaysia. The Association benefited from hosting this event.
Another successful international event we had organised in the same year was AMAMS, Asian Meeting of Animal Medicine Specialties that was held towards the end of the year. It was well attended by foreign participants despite the global economic downturn.
These two events gave a much needed boost to the image of the Association and placed us on a global stage. It is good to periodically bid and organise international either regional or global conventions or conferences here in Malaysia. Hosting such events, we realised, is good for the profession and association.
After March last year, the executive committee has been in full swing with so much to cope with. We having been meeting regularly and have had much to deliberate.
On the heels of the PCVC conference we organised a seminar on OIE Pathways and codes at the Corus Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. It was well attended and it provided an insight into the OIE regulations and programs.
VAM was invited by the PMPA Private medical practitioners Association to support their petition against the separation of prescription. I was invited by Livestock Asia to take part in a Journalist Meet where Veterinary journalists from several Asian countries were invited to visit some of our poultry production and downstream activities and some of our diagnostic facilities. This took us to Lumut to visit the poultry farms and processing facilities.
Some of the exco members have moved on, transfers or job change. I want to thank them for serving the Association. We had to co-opt some new members to take over the vacant positions. We were unable to complete some of the programs that we had initially planned. We had planned to have two road shows, one in Ipoh and another in Johore Baru. Due to some members being transferred out of Klang Valley and time constraints we were unable to complete this shows. We wanted to meet members in this two regions to explain the benefits of membership, CPD, and the various documents from the Council.
I have been involved in many meetings as representative of VAM. Regular meetings have been held by Balai Iktisas Malaysia where I was elected into the Executive Committee. Much has been accomplished by the Malaysian Veterinary Council. The Council has been very active in the matters governing the profession. At subcommittee levels there was meetings deliberating practice issues and investigating complaints. This will be the last term for some of us at the Council. New Council members will be convening after the month of September. VAM has proposed new members for the Council.
The Animal Welfare Act has been successfully gazetted by the Government and it is law now. There has been several stake holders’ engagement and at the time of writing, three documents are for review. Three documents of regulations to enforce the Act.
As both VAM President and MVC member I had to be present at the oath taking and graduation ceremonies at both UMK and UPM Veterinary faculties and several audit visits to UMK.
I was invited to attend stakeholders meeting on the Pharmacy Bill (RUUF). There were several meetings over the separation of dispensation issues. We joined the Malaysian Medical Association in dialogue with the Ministry of Health. The view-points of the profession were taken and we had advocated that any such imposition on the Vets in the country would require lengthier engagement with the Department of Veterinary Services, the MVC and the representative Associations.
I have been promoting the Association as the “Voice of the Veterinary Profession” and in line with that we have had several opportunities to promote membership to the Association and also attracted several other associations seeking affiliation status with VAM. We have encouraged the formation of Sabah Veterinary Association which is now seeking affiliation to VAM. The Sarawak Veterinary Association and the Poultry Veterinary Associations are also applying for affiliation to VAM. It would be good to present ourselves as the national body of the profession. We need the numbers to truly reflect a National body rather than several splinter groups.
On the registering of drugs for veterinary practice, we had formed a Technical Working Group comprising of members of VAM, MAHNIA, MSAVA, and UPM, to work closely with the Pharmacy Board in helping to sort out difficulties and discrepancies in drug registration. We have had some success but lots more to be achieved.
Several trips were made to Kuching, Sarawak to organise the 28th VAM Congress there. Trips were made to meet with the Sarawak Veterinary Association and the Sabah Veterinary Association Both these Associations have indicate to become affiliated to VAM.
In August, the two affiliate associations of VAM, the MAVP and MSAVA held their AGMs and Congresses and the VAM President was invited.
In September, in conjunction with the Livestock Asia 2015 in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, VAM conducted its 27th Annual General Meeting. This was by courtesy of UBM (Livestock Asia 2015) that we could hold our AGM at the KLCC There was a record of about 165 members who attended this AGM. Immediately after the AGM I had to leave for Ulan Bator, Mongolia for the FAVA Council meeting hosted by the Mongolian Veterinary Medical Association. We had gone to attend the Council meeting as well as to bid for the 2018 FAVA Congress. The 2018 FAVA Congress will be held in Bali, Indonesia.
In the months of October / November, VAM had successfully hosted the AMAMS conference in Kuala Lumpur. This was attended by several renowned veterinary specialists. The local vets benefited from this meeting.
The New Year 2016 was slow to pick up in terms of activities for the association. We had a meeting with the OIE audit team who had advised us on issues that confronted the profession. MSAVA hosted the FASAVA (Federation of Asian Small Animal Veterinary Association) Conference in KLCC.
Another FAVA Council meeting took place in Ho Chi Min City Vietnam in conjunction with the 19th FAVA Congress. Once again I had attended this meeting and we also bid for 2020 FAVA Congress. The election of FAVA Congress will be held in Incheon, Korea in 2017.At this 38th FAVA Council I was elected FAVA Treasurer and the new country councillor for FAVA will be Dato Dr Quaza.
The rest of the months were spent in planning the 28th VAM Congress in Kuching. This conference is being held outside the Klang Valley and co-hosted by the Sarawak Veterinary Association. The 28th AGM of the Association will be held in conjunction with the congress. Much work has been put in organising this VAM Congress. There is CSR program in conjunction with the Congress. We are promoting Penan tribe development by using the Penan hand woven bags as congress bags. The Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak has been invited to officiate the event. There will be three main streams during the scientific session. So I look forward to a good participation by members.
I will be handing over the reins of the Association to the next VAM President and Exco. I take this opportunity to wish Dato Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam and the next VAM Executive Committee all the best and a successful term of leading the Association in being the “Voice of the Veterinary Profession”.
See you all at the 28th VAM Congress at the Waterfront Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak.
Dr Paul Chelliah Suppiah.
President VAM 2014/2016