MIRI: The Miri Traditional Chinese Physicians Association claims that the 200-odd reflexology centres and spas in Sarawak, including 30 here, are fronts for vice activities.
Its president Dr Tan Kit Weng said the association had forwarded a list of the centres to the Health Ministry for further action.
“The issue brought up by the Concerned and Respected Ladies group in Miri is good as it will help us to weed out the fake centres,” he told The Star yesterday.
“We help society by giving alternative treatment for various illnesses they suffer from. In fact, we complement the work of modern medicine.”
The Malaysian Society of Complementary Medicine’s reflexology and accupressure chapter leader Pauline Pek said it was high time the authorities regulated the centres to ensure the practice was not abused.
She welcomed a suggestion by Sarawak Health Department traditional and complementary medicine branch head Dr Hasmadi Sharkawi that local agencies and authorities work closely to regulate the centres.
Pek said, since the government recognised the importance of complementary medicine, it should require all practitioners to undergo training from recognised trainers locally or abroad before allowing them to practise.
“Only after this is done can they really monitor and regulate the industry,” she said.
As a mother and wife, she empathised with the Concerned and Respected Ladies group which was going all out to stop prostitution here.
The group is collecting public signatures to pressure the Miri City Council to stop issuing permits to spas and reflexology centres.
Its campaign, supported by about 20 non-governmental organisations, is expected to end on Monday.
It is learnt that the council has initiated a meeting with the relevant agencies to discuss reflexology centres and spas on Monday.