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Society in Profile: MSA

Every month we take a more in-depth look at one of our members. The aim is to find out about their history, mission, activities and resources. If you would like to feature your society here, please contact Victoria Coldray

The Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists (MSA)

The Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists (MSA) act as the national body that coordinates anaesthesiologists’ activities in Malaysia. It was formed in 1964 with the aim of promoting professionalism and cooperation while liaising with similar regional and international bodies to improve anaesthesia care.


175 years ago, at the time of the first demonstration of ether anaesthesia by William T G Morton for surgery by John Collins Warren in the Massachusetts General Hospital on October 1846, the medical scientific reports of this event reached Malaysia five months later. This led to the first anaesthetic in Malaysia by Dr Ratton in Melaka, previously known as Malacca, on 28 April 1847 which was reported in the Singapore Free Press on 30 April 1847. 

He recounted performing the first successful operation with the inhalation of ether on a Malaysian man who had had his right hand blown away from a gunshot and with other circumstances, required an amputation. Mr. Smith later in July, the inhalation of the vapour of sulphuric ether combined with atmospheric air was successfully tried on a Chinese patient to remove a fibro-cartilaginous tumour. 

In 1958, Dr Franklin Rajendram Bhupalan was the first Malaysian anaesthetist and to build an establishment of this speciality in the country, the Malaysian Anaesthetic Society (now MSA) was formed on 29th January 1964. He was elected their first president.

The College of Anaesthesiologists is one of the 10 colleges under the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (CoA, AMM) formed on 22nd December 1966. As the academic arm of anaesthesiologists in Malaysia, the college works closely with the MSA to co-organise the Annual Scientific Congress of MSA-CoA, AMM, co-publishes a triannual newsletter, the Berita Anestesiology, and oversees the parallel pathway training in Anaesthesiology with the Ministry of Health Malaysia.

Five public Universities and the Ministry of Health have been the prime source of growth in the number of trained anaesthesiologists over 70 years. The universities introduced Master of Anaesthesiology programmes from the 1980s to the 2000s with the most recent being a signed memorandum of understanding between the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland and the CoA, AMM in 2016 for a Parallel Pathway Anaesthesiology Training course. 

WFSA activities with the MSA

1993, 1 – 3 February. WFSA and the MSA, sponsored Dr Karis Misiran and Dr Patrick Tan, giving lectures at the Refresher Course in Anaesthesiology, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 

The WFSA and Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists have continued to collaborate over the years. There are 3 MSA members part of the WFSA committees; Professor Mohd Basri Mat Nor (Intensive and Critical Care Medicine), Professor Yoo Kuen Chan (Obstetrics) and Dr M.Rasiah (Safety and Quality of Practice). The WFSA has had 9 Malaysian Scholars: 3 for the AARS Congress in Japan (2010); 1 at AARS Beijing (2018) and 5 at WCA 2021.


The MSA Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society is held every year around the month of April.
The next congress is MSA & CoA, AMM Annual Scientific Hybrid Congress taking place on 4th – 7th August 2022.


Official MSA Website