I REFER to the report “1MCA medical charity is here to care” (The Star, Jan 5). Your newspaper has raised the awareness of many who needed assistance, and also those who are in the position to offer assistance.
Optimax Eye Specialist Centre’s involvement with charity activities goes way back. As an entrepreneur, I always remind my fellow entrepreneurs that we must do good in order to succeed. There is no other way, no short cut.
I can say so because I know that the surest way one can attain happiness and peace of mind is when one is creating happiness and peace of mind for others. I may not always succeed but I must humbly say that I do my best.
My foray into eye care began in 1995. I must humbly admit that at that moment, we were looking only at the market potential of offering refractive surgery to correct common vision problems.
I am not an ophthalmologist in any sense. I am a hard-working entrepreneur who is looking at potential opportunities.
Apart from the ups and downs of growing the business, I have had a few encounters that almost made me surrender. But I think that is not as important as what made me go on.
As I went along in the business, I learnt more about various eye conditions that affect various age groups. Some of the eye conditions include amblyopia or lazy eyes that begins from infancy.
Another condition is cataract, which is common in the elderly.
The National Eye Survey 2014 found that 216,000 Malaysians became blind because of delays in cataract surgery.
It also found that the condition caused 272,000 others to be visually impaired.
Apart from cataract, I learnt that many doctors were also seeing a lot of patients with advanced diabetes-related eye diseases due to the high prevalence of diabetes here.
As reported in The Star, quoting a Health Ministry official, Malaysians can expect a cataract “tsunami” by 2050, with many possibly ending up blind if their condition is not detected early.
The ministry official added that there were currently 120,000 cataract patients, and the number was expected to triple in 33 years as the country ages.
Can you imagine how many people would lose their sight by year 2050? Eyesight is one of the most important senses, as 80% of what we perceive comes through our sense of sight.
The eyes have to take over the work if another sense is missing. For example, if other senses such as taste or smell stop working, it is the eyes that protect us from danger.
No imaging device is a match for the tasks that our eyes are capable of performing on a daily basis – distinguishing between light and dark, and interpreting shape, colours and objects by processing the light they reflect or emit.
My appreciation of the eyes has grown throughout the years and I will continue to be active in charitable activities. I am happy to know that someone has a renewed life with better vision from what we did.
I would like to encourage more entrepreneurs to join hands and be part of a cause that they are passionate about. There is so much that we can do together. No contribution is too small. It is not a bragging sport.
I know I am happy. You will, too. Let’s do this together.
DATUK TAN BOON HOCK
Optimax Eye Specialist Centre