Sat, 26 Feb 2000

Counter-protest against doctor

BOGOR (JP): As most residents of Mulyaharja village demanded that "popular" doctor Abdul Mughni be reassigned to their neighborhood, a group of 50 Mulyaharja villagers went to the Bogor council office on Thursday, asking that the doctor be removed for allegedly "creating anxiety among the people."

"Abdul Mughni has to stop all of his activities in the village as he has manipulated the cases of marasmus and starvation here only to gain money from foreign and local donors for his own sake and the non-government organizations that have been working with him," Wawan Wirasasmita, the group coordinator, said.

The group said that not all reports of marasmus in the area were true." We demand Abdul Mughni end his practice and apologize for the widespread news," Wawan said.

Mughni, however, strongly denied the allegations.

"The donors who supported us in eradicating marasmus knew about the poor condition from the media. I personally never submitted any of fund proposals for this work," he said.

"Remember, the donors are intelligent people. They came here and saw with their own eyes the conditions of marasmus in the village," Mughni added.

He said routine activities such as health training, the distribution of milk and additional nutrition for the children continues in the village.

"So, which part of my job has 'created anxiety' or 'disturbed the people'?" he remarked.

"I won't bother with such (resignation) request, anyway," he said, showing the list of 540 Mulyaharja villagers who signed a petition asking him to stay and continue helping the people.

Last week, hundreds of Mulyaharja villagers, mostly housewives, visited Bogor council office, asking for the councilors' help to cancel the transfer of Abdul Mughni from his previous post.

The residents said they still badly needed doctor Mughni and praised his work since his assignment to Mulyaharja village. (24/edt)