Minister scolds Western media for exploiting “tree Man”

No, this is not a Malaysian minister indulging in the national ministerial pastime of venting spleen at the Western media for a change.

It is, in fact, Indonesian Minister for Health Siti Fadilah Supari who was apparently in a foul mood after the President ordered her to do her job and tak care of Dede, dubbed the Tree Man because of some rare medical condition.

Siti was mad with Discovery Channel and Fox for “exploiting” Dede’s misfortune and featuring him in their reports, according to the Banjarmasin Post.

You have to wonder though whether Dede would have got the kind of attention from the Health Minister and her minions if Discovery and Fox had not “exploited” Dede.

clipped from
Dede, si Manusia Pohon: Ibu Menteri Pun Marah

Banjarmasin Post – Senin, 26-11-2007 | 02:24:13
Marah-marah. Tuding sana tuding sini. Inilah yang dilakukan Menteri Kesehatan (Menkes) Siti Fadilah Supari seusai menjenguk si `manusia pohon’ Dede di Rumah Sakit Hasan Sadikin (RSHS), Bandung, Jabar. Mengapa dia marah?
Ibu menteri yang diperintah langsung oleh Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono untuk segera menangani penyakit Dede, berang kepada stasiun televisi Discovery Channel dan Fox serta dr Anthoni Gaspari (ahli penyakit kulit dan ilmu kekebalan tubuh Universitas Marryland AS). Ketiga pihak ini yang membuat penderitaan Dede diketahui masyarakat seluruh dunia.
Siti Fadilah menilai mereka telah mengeksploitasi Dede. Mereka dituding telah `menjual’ pria berusia 35 tahun itu demi keuntungan ekonominya. “Ini merupakan eksploitasi, ini tidak bisa dibiarkan. Saya minta pihak rumah sakit harus mencari pengacara terbaik buat Dede. Ini persoalan hak, tidak bisa dibiarkan,” tegasnya, Minggu

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6 replies to “Minister scolds Western media for exploiting “tree Man”

  1. She’s a bit of a buffoon, this health minister (“Birdie,” as in burung jokes over bird-flu, please), but she has a point – by accident- in this case. The poor man’s fate is awful, horrible. Turning the media into a travelling freak circus degrades everyone, including the poor man. 😦


  2. P.S. — good final point — it’s true. He’s lucky in a way that the disease is outlandish enough to win international attention and thus treatment.


  3. There is always two sides of an event. Bad side of it is that it is indeed true that “exploitation” of Tree Man has happened. The good side is that international attention will attract well qualified surgeons and scientists and physicians – maybe even to take the case and actually do something about it.

    We should look at the glass half full.

    There is no bad publicity, I’d say!


  4. you must watch Selamat Pagi Indonesia when Desy Ratnasari interview Fadillah Supari about this issue (Tree Man).
    When asking what about the other ‘strange & rare medical’ cases such as these out there, waiting to be found or were neglected or were unidentifed yet, and what should those poeple do … can they come straight to her for medical help?
    The minister said they could go to ketua RT,ketua RW, Bupati etc bureauchracy because she can’t manage to help ‘everyone’.

    Well, not a symphatetic expression we want to hear but what can we expect from Minister choose by politic and not based on professionalism …


  5. in Indonesia as it has been commonly encountered, in which more than the injustice of human empowerment, is an Indonesian myself, and I felt powerless to help him … sorry my english is too bad…


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