There's no denying that image is everything, which explains why the beauty and wellness industry is still very much a lucrative business. According to the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), the billion-dollar industry is growing by 15% annually. But what is the real price of beauty?

Increasing reports of botched plastic surgery and deaths have caught the attention of the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP). The group seeks to take stern action against doctors who performed such procedures despite not being qualified.

Free Malaysia Today has listed a summary of local reports that have been linked to these cosmetic surgeons blunders:
  • Nov 2009 – A 34 year-old woman suffered a swollen nose after injections were made to enlarge it.
  • Jan 2010 – 44 year-old wife of a politician died after being in a 10 month coma following complications that resulted from an eight hour surgery for eye-bag reduction, tummy tuck and liposuction.
  • Feb 2010 – A 28 year-old salesgirl ended up with a disfigured face after a collagen injection to look younger.
  • May 2010 – A 37 year-old woman who went for a breast reduction surgery suffered nerve damage and had to have her nipples removed.
  • June 2010 – After liposuction at a beauty salon, a woman died when she went back for a follow-up procedure. She is believed to have had an allergic reaction to the anesthetic.
  • May 2011 – A 35 year-old woman from Petaling Jaya paid RM8, 180 for four injections to her buttocks with what the beauty centre claimed to be sheep placenta. When the injected areas started swelling she went to a specialist hospital and found that the centre had actually used silicone.
  • June 2011 – A 30 year-old clerk got an infection from a procedure in which fat from her abdominal was used to pad her breast.
  • June 2011 – An 18 year-old trainee beautician was left with part of her earlobe missing after a surgery to remove a scar on the ear lobe.
  • June 2013 -A 46 year-old woman was pronounced dead after undergoing a breast enlargement procedure at a beauty centre in Petaling Jaya.

CAP president SM Mohamed Idris urged the federal government to legislate tougher laws that would allow these unqualified surgeons to be pressed with criminal charges should they be found guilty of causing disfigurement, deformity or death.