CRITICISMS have been levelled against the director-general of Health Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on social media over two matters over which he has no direct control – the closure of Parliament and the issue of contract doctors.
In the matter of Parliament, it was his duty to advise the government about the risks that were attendant upon allowing people to congregate when the number of Covid-19 infections is on the increase.
In that context, the rising numbers in Parliament were of serious concern, and so he advised the government accordingly.
On the issue of the contract doctors, it was Dr Noor Hisham who had suggested that a task force be formed to handle the issue expeditiously.
It’s true to say that these criticisms are the unkindest cut of all. He was only being true to his calling and faithful to his profession.
If anything, Dr Noor Hisham should be praised for his countless days of service in the fight against Covid-19. It is unfair now to criticise him for one day of perceived neglect.
While it is tempting to dismiss the criticisms as being one of the hazards of constantly being in the public eye, it is also incumbent on his critics to understand that as a professional, Dr Noor Hisham would rather be unpopular than be unprofessional.
Until recently, he has been receiving accolades for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and for appearing on television like clockwork these past several months to keep the public informed and reassured.
He was picked to join an international coalition dedicated to clinical research involving Covid-19. He was also internationally recognised as among the top doctors for their approaches in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
I’ll give in to temptation and repeat a quote by William Shakespeare: “The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.”
STEVE RHODES , Kuala Lumpur