Dentist accused of giving out cards breaking promotion rules A self-confessed maverick dentist had a charge of professional misconduct against him dropped in a Dental Council hearing yesterday. Johnny Ma Kam-chuen had been accused of using inappropriate words on cards he distributed during his failed 2004 campaign for election to the Legislative Council in the medical functional constituency. On the cards, he described himself in Chinese as an 'unorthodox dentist'. According to Dr Ma, the cards were meant solely for election purposes and were nothing to do with his regular business cards. When Dr Ma, who practises in Sheung Wan, received an invitation from Three Eagles Group Ltd to join its dental panel to offer treatments at discounted rates, he sought clarification from the Hong Kong Dental Association and the Dental Council as to whether it was satisfactory to accept the post. Included with the letter was one of his election cards as opposed to one of his business cards. In October, he was served with a letter outlining a complaint alleging he had been distributing the election cards to his patients and members of the public. Dental Council rules say that dentists' cards for distribution to patients can only state their name, qualifications, surgery address or addresses, opening hours and contact details. Dr Ma, who represented himself during the proceedings, alluded to his prior experiences with panel members and raised objections to four of them, saying one was bound to be biased towards him and three might be biased towards him. The panel dismissed his objections. Delivering the panel's verdict, Dental Council chairman Joseph Chan Cho-yee said there was a lack of evidence pertaining to the distribution of the cards to the public, and therefore the charges would be dropped. But he warned Dr Ma to be more cautious. After the proceedings, Dr Ma said he wasn't surprised by the verdict. Dr Ma believes that the Dentists Ordinance is outdated and that some regulations should be relaxed. 'Don't insult the wisdom of the masses. Trivial things like this shouldn't be associated with professional misconduct. Dental Council hearings should be of a more serious nature; they shouldn't be about signboards and visitors' cards,' he said. The dentist has previously been found guilty of professional misconduct for placing two signboards outside his clinic at the Kam Ling Court Commercial Centre in Queen's Road West when regulations allow only one. He has been an outspoken critic of the disciplinary panel regulating conduct within the profession but insists that he has always been conservative when it comes to treating his patients. A former president of the Hong Kong Dental Association, he raised eyebrows with a 1995 book critical of the Dental Council.