Sep 30, 2010

2 weeks post ATR - boots with PWB

For those who were wondering what the eff happened to me based on my last picture of last post in my bid to win an iPhone4 from DiGi in a contest hosted by Nuffnang, yes, you can keep wondering.

I already jot down everything and saved them up as draft. Probably, I will release them later. Don't everyone finds Batman Begins and Smallville much more appealing, given the timing it was released was much more later than the main action flicks itself. Yes, probably that's a good way of masking my indecisiveness to tell the world how foolish I am.

Nuff said. In summary (don't everyone just love summary, except when it is included in public exams), 2 weeks back, I had Achilles tendon repair (ATR) by the finest and friendliest Foot surgeon, Mr. M.

During these 2 weeks, it wasn't an easy ride for me, being on Front slab and non-weightbearing (meaning the leg can't touch/kiss the floor).
  • It wasn't painful for me, I managed to keep the whole pack of Celecoxib chaste and virgin.
  • Toileting and bathing was nightmare. It was gymnastics to the range of animalistic.
  • I managed to realize that it pays to join in the daily game of One-Legged during recess time of my primary school. (I have yet to ascertain the benefit of another primary school game called Karitoi, for I didn't catch my wife that way).I was hopping away everywhere 99% of time with crutches mainly when I am outdoor, within the compound of my house.
  • I spent 3days packing up and moving back. My landlord had to renovate the house for his son's wedding, and without sympathy, shooed me out in a civilized manner with a tinge of hypocrisy. I packed lots of stuff in the sitting position, to the extend of scaling down the plastic cupboard and just fixed it back yesterday. Lots of jumping around. Luckily, my parents were around to help out and do some supervising the move.
  • Emotionally, some ups and downs along the days, especially when I failed to help out wifey in juggling between taking care of my newborn princess with URTIs and my rebellious prince who just can't seems to spread enough havoc and chaos, being completed pampered by his grandparents.
  • Not so much of a honeymoon and 'to kick back and relax' like one of my colleague was suggesting me to do.
Probably, some of my bad kammas ripening.

Today, I had my sutures removed. My wound was clean, except for a minute wound over the 3rd suture site, but did not looked troubled. My mission mainly for few days to come would have been to keep that minute wound clean, free from bacterias or superbacterias.

I was off front slab and into an Aircast, or what the achilles-repaired community would like to call it as 'boots'.

Blue Boot
No, not this PCK boots..

Well, this is how the Aircast looks like. I was imagining myself looking partially like the Young Forrest Gump, but instead found myself partly looking like RoboCop, but with major excruciating pain over the ankle in the first few stretches.

My surgeon upgraded me from full plantar-flexion to complete neutral (or as neutral as possible). In his own words, "We want the 'L' " and with a stretch to the 'L', without any fentanyl patches supply by JY, or wood from Kelvin, I almost shouted the famous hokkien single syllable L word. But, I didn't.

He promoted me from NWB (non-weight bearing) to PWB (partial weight bearing), means my atrophic left leg can bear up to 20kg. How to know 20kg feels like? He taught. "First, put your leg on the weighing machine, and step till you see 20kg, then close your eyes and try to do it, while others tell you how much weight you had bear."

I used my own weiging at home - can't even go up to 10kg, already L L L already..

I went back to PWB first 2 steps then NWB.

This must be the 'first few days of painful stretch' he was taking about. I hope those few days are really short short few days.

I know this is awesome, but I don't think I want to take my chances. Anyway, those are different boots, people with different financial background and mostly different mindsets in appreciating a good walking leg.

DiGi iPhone 4 Me

Largely there is no doubt that everyone else will be pouring in entry to get their hands on this new wave of ‘revolution’.

I guess each of them may have their own reasons, just like I have mine.

Well, the reasons for wanting an impressive phone can be classify into a few major group in accordance to the realtime need of the user – work, family, friends and fun.

As for work, the high-powered information-driven persons will probably brag about the speed and esteemed capability of an iPhone, making as if the whole business of their work will live and die with iPhone.

In the realm of work, I may need the latest information from the Net, probably managed to clear up some baffled questions by the patients or my superiors. Not everyone knows what is Asperger's syndrome, or what is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

At some point of time, it will help me in multitasking.

As for my family, even if I am far away, I can still re-connect with my family and never missing any special moments ie my son’s first barber session without crying.

Or the first comment my sister made on my newborn daughter.

And at anytime, shoot down pics of the family moments at any place and anytime, just like the thrills of our first exhilarating LRT ride.

iPhone will keep me connected to my friends, updating their latest news through social networking platform, like finding out their latest achievements,

or the latest pranks.

From one continent to the other…

As for fun, I’m sure it will kept me well-entertained in long 'welcoming' queue like this or during traffic jams.

The photographing capability of the iPhone also help brushed up my son’s photo-taking skills.

Let’s not be hypocritical about all this. The entire above mentioned are just fringe benefits.

The real reason I need an iPhone4 is the pride and prestige that comes with it.

It is recognition of the standard of class and my stand in the society.

iPhone4 is the one.

And to get it from the best, DiGi, it just as well completes this perfect life.

Afterall, an Apple a day, keeps the doctor away. I need an Apple right away.

I really need it to give it as a present to my lovely wife who stood by my side, giving me undying support and managing the family well when I was down and out with an injury.

This gift for me is a gift of love for my wife.

I just hope honesty pays.

*fingers crossed*

DiGi iPhone 4 Real

Albert Einstein once said: The only real valuable thing is intuition.

When Maxis was pioneering and monopolying the whole iPhone market, I had an intuition that DiGi just going to come up and out with something worthy of their gigantic reputation in the Telco fraternity.

My intuition is right, and is the real valuable thing.

24.09.10 Apple 4 (iPhone4) is indeed Coming (Kambing) to Town

To have an awesome gadget like iPhone4 without any operator running is indeed like leaving a body without a proper soul.

Let's get real. Wayne Dyer, the father of motivation once said: Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.

I guess Wayne is right. To build a real magic in relationship with DiGi, perhaps we should focus sharp on DiGi.

Is DiGi the real, genuine, actual deal?

No doubt about it.

There's actually no need for numeral elaboration, let's keep it sweet and simple.

It's economical.

It's flexible

And it comes with extra benefits. There's more freedom (no strings attached), DiGi pays you (RM5 rebate) for letting them help you submit fee (Autobilling service) and it score more points (Bonus Link rewards)

George Carlin, the late awesome realist and well-honored stand up comedian did mentioned a famous quote that goes: The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.

Perhaps the REAL family needs some argument or comparison every now and then.

Within the bright yellow glow of DiGi, the others simply are pale against it.

Simply summed up as DiGi iPhone gives you the lowest monthly fee, lower cost of ownership, more of what matters, no bill shock, more free calls, sms, mms and the best rates...

check all the REAL deal here!!

Plus perhaps a tech test can convince you the REAL deal.

Finally, there's no doubt, i simply dig DiGi iPhone4.

DiGi iPhone 4 Play

I had seen people with a new iPhone. Just to be honest to myself, to some degree of self-disgust, some moderate amount of envy did manage to pop up, no matter how much I kept it to myself.

There’s something glaring about the major difference between the proud new owners and the long time users.

Iphone for the proud new owners definitely can’t stop their fingers from the phone is like a newly-wedded trophy wife or life partner. Lots of touching, mostly with the most sensitive pulps. At times requiring thumb and index finger to get things to the new level. But mainly, there are just so many applications or Apps in it that is so nice to run your fingers through – some more illegal than the others.

To write about my favorite Apps, I really couldn’t bring myself to bored everyone with my choice of this and this powerful document organizers, this and this social networking magic machine or this and this jump-here-jump-there blow-this-and-that awesome game.

What caught my eyes, and my mind eventually, is an unbelievable Apps that is really kind of cool and what the REAL world would have needed.

I am sure the Digi Yellowman would have agreed with me.

With so many babes hovering around Yellowman, I am sure he had moments when he just had to get away, simply because too much of something is never that good.

Just like me, there are lots of moments that Yellowman would like to get away with, but just could get to do it properly.

Imagine, you’re in an office, almost 5pm, you have a hot date in a short while with a potential girlfriend that you got to know from the net, and out of the blue, your conniving ladyboss sensed your horny scent and comes up to you to spark off a long chat about your weekly performance and the company’s future. How you wish someone can call you up and pretend as a major client and get you away!

Imagine, finally you reach the cafeteria just to find out that the beautiful rose that you just chat up in the cyberworld is full of thorns, but you just don’t want to break her heart simply because you found out in her first sentence of introduction that she also happens to be the daughter of a underworld kingpin. Bummer. How you wish someone can call you up and pretend to be your gay partner, and let her down gently with exposing your fake sexual disorientation, making a ‘rear’ exit much less intense!

Imagine, while driving back, your disappointed soul drove you to overstep your acceleration pedal and you have the traffic police officer waving at you. How you wish, as he approaches you, someone can call you up to pretend to be your wife in labor, all shouting and bitching for your to come home in lightspeed to take her to the hospital!

Imagine, you finally got home and there she was. Your mother. She is already up in arms, to start her regular nightime blabbering about your hopeless endeavours at 40plus years old in relationships and family-building. Your rebellious self may prompt you to really wish to tell her to shut-the-fxx-up but then again, you know that you’re not lightning-proof. How you wish someone can you and pretend to be your cute but mature girlfriend all dandy and nice!

Just imagine, in the real world, so many dead-end, dead-boring and deadly situations that can be really be straighten out with a simple call, pretending to be a right person to get you out alive and put your life in good order.

No, I am not imagining. This Apps does exist, and aptly named as iSoBusy.

iSoBusy is the first apps to provide over 20 pre-recorded fake calls plus a built-in recording capability to record your own original calls, and at the cheap price of $0.99.

Fake call apps are nothing new, but iSoBusy isn’t just an ordinary fake call app. iSoBusy features 23 pre-recorded “accomplices” that actually talk to you when you pick up the phone – so now there’s no need to have to talk to yourself in order to make your getaway. For each accomplice, you can get set a personalised photo, custom ringtone and the time you want them to call.

Some of the 23 humorous accomplices in iSoBusy include:

  • Mom calling about a dinner party
  • Teenage daughter on spring break
  • Brother complaining about a trip to the dentist
  • Deep-voiced boss
  • Indian restaurant owner
  • Football buddies at a game

You can preview any of the calls by simply tapping on the bar next to the name of the accomplice. The pre-recorded accomplices are great, especially if you want to throw the conversation on speaker phone for that added realism – but the one thing that they don’t do is give you time to reply, or ask you questions. That’s where “Create an Accomplice” comes in. In addition to the pre-recorded calls, you can also create more than fifteen of your own recordings with all the same options for customization available to you. Create an accomplice is also especially useful if the voice artist accents used in the pre-recorded don’t match up with the area that you’re from.

DiGi iPhone 4 Life

I believe to get an iPhone, one seriously must make this a campaign, and let them see my sincerity.
first, the major billboard advertisement

2nd, the scrapbook pamphlets

and lastly...

I'll go over the moon if I have to...

Sep 29, 2010

tanahair thursday | Islamisation of states

below is a beautiful piece by TheNutgraph and a clear analysis by Bro Chin Huat.

personally i found this piece of news rather disturbing, about our premier going to the States to stop Islamophobia, while the party that he's leading is kicking up as much dirt as possible on the issue of hudud and Islamic state to chase away the ignorant non-Muslim votes for PAS

MALAYSIANS have been seeing PAS and DAP cooperate on a level not thought possible before. When DAP Member of Parliament Teo Nie Ching received brickbats from Umno for speaking in a surau’s prayer room, PAS leaders spoke up in her defence, saying non-Muslims are allowed in Muslim houses of worship. Earlier this year, Umno leaders argued that sports betting should be legalised. PAS and DAP begged to differ. Umno said Christians should be banned from using “Allah” to refer to God. PAS leaders said otherwise.

But what about the ultimate bones of contention — hudud law and an Islamic state — both of which DAP opposes? Can PAS and DAP really put aside their differences on this to form a lasting coalition in Pakatan Rakyat (PR)? The Nut Graph asks political scientist Wong Chin Huat in the latest installation of Uncommon Sense.

TNG: PAS and DAP disagree over the implementation of hudud laws every so often. The most recent incident involved DAP chairperson Karpal Singh reminding PAS that hudud and the Islamic state are not within PR’s policy. How will this play out if PR manages to form the next federal government? Will either side have to compromise and if so, will those compromises alienate their respective voter bases?

Wong Chin Huat : The issue will disappear once they form the next federal government provided Umno is sufficiently weakened but not completely wiped out.

While their ideological commitments are real, DAP and PAS have always been strategic in the issues they highlight. There are many ways to showcase PAS’s contribution in promoting Islam other than implementing hudud. DAP won’t have problems with Islamisation if it involves islamising the financial system or expanding social welfare as long as non-Muslims are not discriminated against or forced to follow Islamic laws.

Before 8 March 2008, you would expect DAP to stand up to defend the right of non-Muslims to gamble, a position now ironically taken over by Umno on the sports betting issue. Instead, DAP supported the anti-gambling position and packaged it with a strongly non-Muslim flavour by announcing Penang’s state-level ban on sports gambling outlets on Wesak Day.

All things are possible in politics. What we should be concerned about is how to divert attention away from the divisive issue of hudud or at least not make it a priority. The answer lies in giving PAS and DAP enough power so that they appreciate that forsaking such power over hudud is suicidal. This rests more on non-Muslim voters than on Muslim voters. Imagine if PAS won 40 parliamentary seats, with half of those won in mixed seats due to crucial non-Muslim support. Would they harp on hudud if they risked losing these 20 seats in the following elections?

However, if Umno/Barisan Nasional (BN) is completely destroyed in the next elections and PR starts to feel it is unbeatable, there will be some who will want to play hero again within Pakatan Rakyat on the issue of hudud. So the issue will come back.

PAS leaders have said they will adhere to PR’s Common Policy Framework (CPF) and called a truce for now on the hudud issue. How binding is this document and do you foresee PR parties sticking to it on principle, even at times when it may hurt them politically?

If the prospect of PR coming into power is real, the CPF will be binding. They will definitely stick to it before the next elections even if it hurts. What happens after the next elections will depend on who survives and who triumphs.

If people like Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Khalid Samad and Siti Mariah Mahmud lose in the next general election, then they can stick to the CPF all they like, but it won’t matter anymore. Collectively, politicians are opportunists. It’s part of their job requirement. So, don’t test them on their principles more than you want to deliberately test your partner on their fidelity. All we should aim for is a good outcome, not a heroic but tragic ending.

Does the CPF bind PAS’s actions in the states where they hold a majority such as Kedah and Kelantan? Have they been abiding by the CPF’s principles so far?

There are clearly sins of omissions to say the least. Kelantan and Kedah have shown no interest in local democracy. Kedah’s policy of reserving 50% of housing lots for Bumiputeras certainly does not fit well with PR’s vision of an inclusive and colour-blind Malaysia.

Why is the CPF not being followed religiously? The simple answer is that it is not being indoctrinated effectively. It remains an official document, not an ideological guide. If you tested DAP and PKR’s party election candidates and asked them to list out five specific issues in the CPF, I don’t know how many would pass.

Is this a problem? Yes, the lack of interests and seriousness in CPF means that we can’t expect a clear picture of how this country will be run. The CPF is rather vague to begin with. But this is not a serious issue, and it is not one that will break the Pakatan Rakyat.

As long as federal power is still within sight, DAP and PAS will love each other. By the same logic, the moment the prospect of power fades, Umno will bid farewell to MCA, MIC and other member parties. For example, in Sarawak, because Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is increasingly unpopular, his once-loyalists in SUPP have hinted they might leave BN.

At the end of the day, all political coalitions are marriages of convenience. We don’t have to ask whether there will be true love at the time of adversity. We should just make sure that the marriage works out well when they are in power or on the road to power. This is the problem with BN — their marriage is not even working when they are still in power.

Have PAS and DAP leaders been saying different things to different constituencies in order not to ruffle any feathers? How consistent have both their stands been on hudud and the Islamic state issue since March 2008?

No. The exchange of words between Karpal and PAS spiritual leader Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat over hudud is the case in point. With the increasingly multilingual population, double-speak or dog-whistling has no chance of success but will backfire.

The challenge for PAS and DAP is exactly how to remain consistent and reconcilable with each other at the same time. It’s how to persuade their members that some issues just need to be left to time and they just need to agree to disagree for now.

Will one way of compromise be that PAS implement its Islamic state model only in states where they hold a majority? Will this result in creeping Islamisation state by state?

Islamisation has two approaches in general.

The first is Islamisation of the state, using state power to impose Islamic values and institutions, as understood and interpreted by the ruling elites, on the rest of population. This is basically Islamisation by coercion — even though its advocates would call it part of believers’ duty or even that of residing minority groups. The fact remains that those who refuse to follow cannot opt out. Such Islamisation will not work even if carried out only at the state level because citizenship and civil rights should not be differentiated by region.

The second approach is Islamisation of the society and economy through persuasion and incentives. People are encouraged to adopt Islamic values and practices because such values and practices benefit them. The best example is of course Islamic finance, where non-Muslim Chinese are said to be one of the most enthusiastic groups. Halal standards are also adopted by many non-Muslim restaurants because they want Muslim business. Surely Islam has more to contribute to the society, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, on a voluntarily basis. If state governments are competing to Islamise in a non-compelling way, such competition is only good for making Malaysia more diversified.

So the key is really not how Islamised Malaysia should be, but how Malaysia is to be Islamised, by persuasion or by force.

Sep 27, 2010

birds of feathers

thank god they're going to flock together soon in Penang...

hopefully it won't be all talk and no action, plus it won't strain the State's budget that much..

the ballooning goodies

things are really getting really sugary with the private medical peeps, under the economic transformation program which is private-friendly.

First the relaxation of medical ads.

And now, the discussion about pay rise for private docs.

We are going somewhere, but where?

Does increasing our health revenues translate to better funding and fund management for the public offices?

Sep 25, 2010

please quit the number game

whenever the government trying to push through a new medical school, more for economic benefits rather than health benefits, everyone in the fraternity went up in arms, because there are simply too many doctors around. And the whole fraternity ends up being squeezed into a very very tight corner for something that the government trying to play - the number games.

And sad to say, by now or probably in the near future, the whole idea of sitting together for a mortality or morbidity review would be a farking waste of time, because at the end of the day, you'll recognize this is wrong that is wrong. But the fundamental problem that keep repeating itself like an old record is the failure of communication between the house officer or inefficiency of the junior medical officer. If you don't believe me, take this two reasons and apply it in any case of screwed-up, it will fit in perfectly in probably 99percent of time. If it doesn't, it's God's will. Probably should bring God out of it.

Then the whole discussion will go to the 'ways to improve' (Langkah mengatasi) and probably will end up something like increase house officer training and send medical officers to courses. But forgetting that the fundamental thing that the suboptimal house officers are missing are those from their medical school and as for the suboptimal medical officers, with regrets, your housemanship training had been thoroughly screwed up by the Ministry by diluting your training opportunities. Enjoying your free time (when working) during your housemanship time will probably lead you a whole world of suffering later. This is a golden advice. Platinum, maybe.

The ministry can probably keep up their 'keeping-an-eye-blind' act, but the number game will lead to nowhere.
epic fail photos - Question FAIL
It is not about how many shots or strokes you have, it's about satisfying a good and safe public healthcare.

Nuff' said.

Sep 23, 2010

tanahair thursday | our place in our home

1st article is a frank and OBVIOUS common sense...
Thuan Chye Responds to “Orang Cina Malaysia, apa lagi yang anda mahu?”(Utusan Malaysia article)
By Kee Thuan Chye

Every time the Barisan National gets less than the expected support from Chinese voters at an election, the question invariably pops up among the petty-minded: Why are the Chinese ungrateful?

So now, after the Hulu Selangor by-election, it’s not surprising to read in Utusan Malaysia a piece that asks: “Orang Cina Malaysia, apa lagi yang anda mahu?” (Trans. Chinese of Malaysia, what more do you want?) Normally, something intentionally provocative and propagandistic as this doesn’t deserve to be honored with a reply. But even though I’m fed up with such disruptive and ethnocentric polemics, this time I feel obliged to reply – partly because the article has also been published, in an English translation, in the Straits Times of Singapore. I wish to emphasize here that I am replying not as a Chinese Malaysian but, simply, as a Malaysian. Let me say at the outset that the Chinese have got nothing more than what any citizen should get. So to ask “what more” it is they want, is misguided. A correct question would be, “What do the Chinese want?”

All our lives, we Chinese have held to the belief that no one owes us a living. We have to work for it. Most of us have got where we are by the sweat of our brow, not by handouts or the policies of the government. We have come to expect nothing – not awards, not accolades, not gifts from official sources. (Let’s not lump in Datukships, that’s a different ball game.) We know that no Chinese who writes in the Chinese language will ever be bestowed the title of Sasterawan Negara, unlike in Singapore where the literatures of all the main language streams are recognized and honored with the Cultural Medallion, etc.

We have learned we can’t expect the government to grant us scholarships. Some will get those, but countless others won’t. We’ve learned to live with that and to work extra hard in order to support our children to attain higher education – because education is very important to us. We experience a lot of daily pressure to achieve that. Unfortunately, not many non-Chinese realise or understand that. In fact, many Chinese had no choice but to emigrate for the sake of their children’s further education. Or to accept scholarships from abroad, many from Singapore, which has inevitably led to a brain drain.

The writer of the Utusan article says the Chinese “account for most of the students” enrolled in “the best private colleges in Malaysia”. Even so, the Chinese still have to pay a lot of money to have their children study in these colleges. And to earn that money, the parents have to work very hard. The money does not fall from the sky.

The writer goes on to add: “The Malays can gain admission into only government-owned colleges of ordinary reputation.” That is utter nonsense. Some of these colleges are meant for the cream of the Malay crop of students and are endowed with the best facilities. They are given elite treatment.

The writer also fails to acknowledge that the Chinese are barred from being admitted to some of these colleges. As a result, the Chinese are forced to pay more money to go to private colleges. Furthermore, the Malays are also welcome to enroll in the private colleges, and many of them do. It’s, after all, a free enterprise.

Plain and simple reason

The writer claims that the Chinese live “in the lap of luxury” and lead lives that are “more than ordinary” whereas the Malays in Singapore , their minority-race counterparts there, lead “ordinary lives”. Such sweeping statements sound inane especially when they are not backed up by definitions of “lap of luxury” and “ordinary lives”. They sound hysterical, if not hilarious as well, when they are not backed up by evidence. It’s surprising that a national daily like Utusan Malaysia would publish something as idiosyncratic as that. And the Straits Times too.

The writer quotes from a survey that said eight of the 10 richest people in Malaysia are Chinese. Well, if these people are where they are, it must have also come from hard work and prudent business sense. Is that something to be faulted?

If the writer had said that some of them achieved greater wealth through being given crony privileges and lucrative contracts by the government, there might be a point, but even then, it would still take hard work and business acumen to secure success. Certainly, Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who is one of the 10, would take exception if it were said that he has not worked hard and lacks business savvy. Most important, it should be noted that the eight Chinese tycoons mentioned in the survey represent but a minuscule percentage of the wider Chinese Malaysian population. To extrapolate that because eight Chinese are filthy rich, the rest of the Chinese must therefore live in the lap of luxury and lead more than ordinary lives would be a mockery of the truth. The writer has obviously not met the vast numbers of very poor Chinese.

The crux of the writer’s article is that the Chinese are not grateful to the government by not voting for Barisan National at the Hulu Selangor by-election. But this demonstrates the thinking of either a simple mind or a closed one.

Why did the Chinese by and large not vote for BN? Because it’s corrupt. Plain and simple. Let’s call a spade a spade. And BN showed how corrupt it was during the campaign by throwing bribes to the electorate, including baiting a Chinese school in Rasa by promising RM3 million should it wins the by-election.

The Chinese were not alone in seeing this corruption. The figures are unofficial but one could assume that at least 40 per cent of Malays and 45 per cent of Indians who voted against BN in that by-election also had their eyes open. So, what’s wrong with not supporting a government that is corrupt? If the government is corrupt, do we continue to support it?

To answer the question then, what do the Chinese want?

They want a government…
a. that is not corrupt;
b. that can govern well and proves to have done so;
c. that tells the truth rather than lies;
d. that follows the rule of law;
e. that upholds rather than abuses the country’s sacred institutions.

Because BN does not fit that description, the Chinese have learned not to vote for it. This is not what only the Chinese want. It is something every sensible Malaysian, regardless of race, wants. Is that something that is too difficult to understand?

Some people think that the government is to be equated with the country, and therefore if someone does not support the government, they are being disloyal to the country. This is a complete fallacy. BN is not Malaysia . It is merely a political coalition that is the government of the day. Rejecting BN is not rejecting the country.

A sense of belonging

Let’s be clear about this important distinction. In America, the people sometimes vote for the Democrats and sometimes for the Republicans. Voting against the one that is in government at the time is not considered disloyalty to the country.

By the same token, voting against UMNO is also voting against a party, not against a race. And if the Chinese or whoever criticize UMNO, they are criticizing the party; they are not criticizing Malays. It just happens that UMNO’s leaders are Malay.

It is time all Malaysians realized this so that we can once and for all dispel the confusion. Let us no longer confuse country with government. We can love our country and at the same time hate the government. It is perfectly all right.

I should add here what the Chinese don’t want:
a. We don’t want to be insulted,
b. We don’t want to be called pendatang
c. We don’t want to be told to be grateful for our citizenship.

We have been loyal citizens; we duly and dutifully pay taxes; we respect the country’s constitution and its institutions. Our forefathers came to this country many generations ago and helped it to prosper. We are continuing to contribute to the country’s growth and development.

Would anyone like to be disparaged, made to feel unwelcome or unwanted? For the benefit of the writer of the Utusan article, what MCA president Chua Soi Lek means when he says the MCA needs to be more vocal is that it needs to speak up whenever the Chinese community is disparaged? For too long, the MCA has not spoken up strongly enough when UMNO politicians and associates like Ahmad Ismail, Nasir Safar, Ahmad Noh and others before them insulted the Chinese and made them feel like they don’t belong. That’s why the Chinese have largely rejected the MCA. You see, the Chinese, like all human beings, want self-respect. And a sense of belonging in this country they call home. That is all the Chinese want, and has always wanted. Nothing more.

The Utusan Malaysia article: Orang Cina Malaysia , apa lagi yang anda mahu?

Dramatist and journalist Kee Thuan Chye is the author of ‘March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up’. He is a contributor to Free Malaysia Today.

"To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people” - Emily Cox
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them" - Walt Disney
2nd article is about everyone's place in the Constitution...

If It's a Problem, Don't Recognise It! By Kee Thuan Chye

Idris Jala is a good speaker. If you listen to him and you don't watch it, he will sell you an idea.

That's what he did - or tried to do - when he gave the keynote address at the “We Are Malaysia” event hosted by UCSI University on Malaysia Day.

He spoke of 1Malaysia and its aims, and how national unity can be achieved. One of the central aims of 1Malaysia is upgrading the diverse population's attitude towards one another from tolerance to acceptance and, eventually, the celebration of diversity. And one of the central strategies of achieving that is the recognition that, in Idris' own words, “in life, there are only two types of issues”.

Sounds rather pat, as if coming from a self-enrichment guru. But as I said, Idris Jala (left) is a seller of ideas.

What are these two types of issues?

Problems and polarities. A problem, expounded Idris, is something that can be solved. A polarity is something that cannot be solved but must be managed. The examples of polarities he gave are old and young, urban and rural, good and evil, rich and poor. Like the North and South Poles, they cannot be removed; therefore a balance must be struck between them.

To illustrate further, he gave the example of his wife and him. She is fastidious in wanting him to place his socks in a proper basket for washing, but he is used to leaving them all over the house. Despite her repeated attempts to get him to conform, he is incorrigible. She on her part takes an inordinate amount of time to get ready when they have a function to attend. It annoys him that because she can't decide on what to wear, they often turn up late.

“That's the situation,” said Idris, “but if we tried to solve it, we could end up in divorce.”

Extending the idea to a wider realm, Idris said race and religion are also polarities, which means they cannot be solved.

“If you try to solve them,” he said, “you could get something like Hitler's Final Solution and the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.”

On that UCSI occasion, Idris got away with not having to answer questions from the floor as there is usually no provision for such in a keynote address. But if there had been, the key question would be: Isn't this all just a game of semantics? How do you decide what is a problem and what is a polarity? Or is there really no difference between the two?

Let's look at the issue of race in the present context. Let's bring in Perkasa, which insists that the 30 percent equity for bumiputeras must be upheld in the New Economic Model (NEM). For want of an opposing camp, let's bring in the MCA, which recently called for the 30 percent to be gradually reduced.

Is this situation of two opposing viewpoints over a racial issue a problem or a polarity? What does it translate into when from this dispute, policy has to be made?

Policy is policy. It provides a guideline for operations to be performed and actions to be taken. It provides a clear-cut solution. It does not merely manage. So how will it solve this Perkasa-MCA dispute?

If Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak decides to listen to Perkasa and includes the 30 percent in his NEM, the MCA might have something to say. Not to mention other groups opposed to Perkasa as well. But since the MCA is a Barisan Nasional partner, Najib or his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, can ask its party leaders to shut up and toe the coalition line, and chances are they will obey. Is that managing the issue or solving it?

While we mull over this, let's consider another point - for an issue to be resolved, it calls for negotiation and sometimes arbitration. There was negotiation between the two differing groups over the ge tai issue in Penang last week and the outcome was satisfactory to both sides. Do we say they found a solution to the issue or that they merely managed it? Does it matter what we call it?

It's all semantics. And semantics are of no practical use. Sometimes, semantics create further problems. In any case, the fact that you enter into a negotiation shows that you want to find a solution. If after negotiating, you still can't find it, you may seek an arbiter.

For racial disputes, there is already an arbiter. And that, plain and simple, is the constitution. So how we solve or manage - whichever word you want to use - racial disputes should be guided by that arbiter.

Article 153 of the constitution is the bone of contention. But as lawyer Azzat Kamaluddin (left), who also spoke at the “We Are Malaysia” event, astutely pointed out, there is no mention in that article of special rights for the Malays.

Clause 1 of Article 153 states: “It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article.”

Note that there is only mention of “special position”. And the second part says, significantly, that the Agong shall also be responsible for safeguarding “the legitimate interests of other communities”. It's not all one-sided.

Azzat pointed out that “everyone stops at Clause 1”. But if they were to look at Clause 2, they would see clearly that the special provisions for Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak pertain only to positions in the public service; scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities; and permits and licences for the operation of any trade or business.

And in these areas, the provisions have to be “of such proportion as [the Agong] may deem reasonable”. In other words, it's not carte blanche.

Look also at Clause 5, which states that Article 153 “does not derogate from the provisions of Article 136”.

What does Article 136 say?

It says: “All persons of whatever race in the same grade in the service of the federation shall, subject to the terms and conditions of their employment, be treated impartially.” This is another limit to the scope of Article 153.

If the government follows the rule of law and interprets the constitution as it should be interpreted, we wouldn't have a racial problem. Yes, problem. Let's call a spade a spade. The racial problem we have now is mostly the result of what the government has done and not done.

It has not followed the rule of law. It has not told Perkasa to grasp the proper provisions of Article 153. Instead, it has been affirming that Perkasa's doing the right thing - only a few days ago, Deputy Education Minister Puad Zarkashi said Perkasa was championing the people's rights as spelt out in the constitution. Perhaps Puad hasn't read beyond Clause 1. Perhaps he doesn't understand it fully.

In terms of what the government has done, it has chosen to take sides to formulate policies that are contrary to the spirit of the constitution. For instance, is the discount for bumiputeras purchasing property constitutional? If so, where is it written in that sacred document?

The government favours one race and marginalises the other races. With regard to the civil service, it has not upheld Article 136 of the constitution, which calls for impartial treatment for civil servants of all races. Over the past four decades, the promotion of civil servants to the highest positions has been almost totally confined to those of one particular race. Is that impartial treatment?

As for religion, it is again the government that has created problems. Just to name two, one is its action to deny Christians the right to use the word “Allah”; the other, and more far-reaching, action is declaring Malaysia an Islamic state, as Najib did in 2007 when he was Deputy Prime Minister.

“Islam is the official religion and we are an Islamic state,” he said.

He must surely have read Article 3 of the constitution but chose to ignore what it says: “Islam is the religion of the federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the federation.”

Nowhere is it stated that Malaysia is an Islamic state.

But by his declaration, Najib caused fresh anxieties to surface and made the issue of religion more contentious. In extreme situations, the provisions of Article 3 have been disrespected. A recent example is Perkasa's lodging of a police report against a church in Shah Alam for planning to stage a Christian play during Ramadan on the grounds that it was seditious and insulting to the sultan.

That police report became a problem to the church. How would it be solved? In an ideal Malaysian setting, the government would have stepped in and told Perkasa to respect Article 3. But of course, it did not. For the church and other Christian groups, these problems will continue to crop up in future and there will be no solution in sight if the government stays silent.

Is the government silent because it now believes it can call such a problem a polarity? And with a polarity, which cannot be solved, the less said about it, the better? Similarly, in the case of the Johor school principal who allegedly made racist remarks, it is better to let the issue be until the public forgets about it?

If so, 1Malaysia is not about taking a radically honest approach towards national unity and the celebration of diversity. It seems to shy away from calling a problem a problem and solving it. Calling it a polarity merely adds a new twist to the propaganda.

So, if Idris Jala comes to your neighbourhood and tries to sell you that idea, be sure to ask him some difficult questions. He's a good speaker and can easily mesmerise his audience. His words may sound pretty until you probe them for substance. If you do, you might find that they amount to nothing more than public relations prattle.

Sep 17, 2010

Solemn saturday | Buddhists, King Kong worshippers

"Dulu keluarga semua Buddha... Banyak jenis Buddha, ada buddha dari jepun, ada buddha dari india, ada buddha dari china... bukan sekadar sembah kepada buddha, mereka juga sembah pelbagai dewa dewi, mereka sembah TOk Pekong, Pao Kong, Datuk Kong, barangkali juga sembah KIng kong (laughter)... Maka jadi agama kong kali kong.. mereka sembah patung-patung kerana percaya boleh datangkan kebaikan kepada mereka... nombor ekor... etc"

I got to see this vid from FB, posted up by HS with the comment "If you don't like Buddhism, it's ok, but don't criticize Buddhists by saying they pray to King Kong!"

To tell you the truth, I enjoyed his 10mins talk comfortably, without feeling even a bit slighted, probably due to the fact that I have an affinity towards good humor and I can really use plenty of jokes to reduce the amount of analgesia I am taking.

I believe there's really no reason to be all hyped up.

Because what he said is true, just that the classifications may have gone a bit strayed off in our bolehland. All Chinese who worships gods and Buddha are lumped together as Buddhists, which is the greatest fallacy in Buddhism.

So, are buddhists idol worshippers?

The answer was clearly given by the late Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda.
"Buddhists are NOT idol worshippers, but ideal worshippers.

lthough it is customary amongst Buddhists to keep Buddha images and to pay their respects to the Buddha, Buddhists are not idol worshippers. Idolatry generally means erecting images of unknown gods and goddesses in various shapes and sizes and to pray directly to these images. The prayers are a request to the gods for guidance and protection. The gods and goddesses are asked to bestow health, wealth, property and to provide for various needs; they are asked to forgive transgressions.

The 'worshipping' at the Buddha image is quite a different matter. Buddhists revere the image of the Buddha as a gesture to the greatest, wisest, most benevolent, compassionate and holy man who has ever lived in this world. It is a historical fact that this great man actually lived in this world and has done a great service to mankind. The worship of the Buddha really means paying homage, veneration and devotion to Him and what He represents, and not to the stone or metal figure.

The image is a visual aid that helps one to recall the Buddha in the mind and to remember His great qualities which inspired millions of people from generation to generation throughout the civilized world. Buddhists use the statue as a symbol and as an object of concentration to gain a peace of mind. When Buddhists look upon the image of the Buddha, they put aside thoughts of strife and think only of peace, serenity, calmness and tranquillity. The statue enables the mind to recall this great man and inspires devotees to follow His example and instructions. In their mind, the devout Buddhists feel the living presence of the Master. This feeling makes their act of worship become vivid and significant. The serenity of the Buddha image influences and inspires them to observe the right path of conduct and thought.

An understanding Buddhist never asks favours from the image nor does he request forgiveness for evil deeds committed. An understanding Buddhist tries to control his mind, to follow the Buddha's advice, to get rid of worldly miseries and to find his salvation.

Those who criticize Buddhists for practising idol worship are really misinterpreting what Buddhists do. If people can keep the photographs of their parents and grandparents to cherish in their memory, if people can keep the photographs of kings, queens, prime ministers, great heroes, philosophers, and poets, there is certainly no reason why Buddhists cannot keep their beloved Master's picture or image to remember and respect Him.

What harm is there if people recite some verses praising the great qualities of their Master? If people can lay wreaths on the graves of beloved ones to express their gratitude, what harm is there is Buddhists too offer some flowers, joss-sticks, incense, etc., to their beloved Teacher who devoted His life to help suffering humanity? People make statues of certain conquering heroes who were in fact murderers and who were responsible for the death of millions of innocent people. For the sake of power, these conquerors committed murder with hatred, cruelty and greed. They invaded poor countries and created untold suffering by taking away lands and properties of others, and causing much destruction. Many of these conquerors are regarded as national heroes; memorial services are conducted for them and flowers are offered on their graves and tombs. What is wrong then, if Buddhists pay their respects to their world honored Teacher who sacrificed His worldly pleasures for the sake of Enlightenment to show others the Path of Salvation?

Images are the language of the subconscious. Therefore, the image of the Enlightened One is often created within one's mind as the embodiment of perfection, the image will deeply penetrate into the subconscious mind and (if it is sufficiently strong enough)can act as an automatic brake against impulses. The recollection of the Buddha produces joy, invigorate the mind and elevates man from states of restlessness, tension and frustration. Thus the worship of the Buddha is not a prayer in its usual sense but a meditation. Therefore, it is not idol worship, but 'ideal' worship. Thus Buddhists can find fresh strength to build a shrine of their lives. They cleanse their hearts until they feel worthy to bear the image in their innermost shrine. Buddhists pay respects to the great person who is represented by the image. They try to gain inspiration from His Noble personality and emulate Him. Buddhists do not see the Buddha image as a dead idol of wood or metal or clay. The image represents something vibrant to those who understand and are purified in thought, word and deed.

The Buddha images are nothing more than symbolic representations of His great qualities. It is not unnatural that the deep respect for the Buddha should be expressed in some of the finest and most beautiful forms of art and sculpture the world has ever known. It is difficult to understand why some people look down on those who pay respect to images which represent holy religious teachers.

The calm and serene image of the Buddha has been a common concept of ideal beauty. The Buddha's image is the most precious, common asset of Asian cultures. Without the image of the Buddha, where can we find a serene, radiant and spiritually emancipated personality?

But the image of the Buddha is appreciated not only by Asian or Buddhists. Anatole France in his autobiography writes, 'On the first of May, 1890, chance led me to visit the Museum in Paris. There standing in the silence and simplicity of the gods of Asia, my eyes fell on the statue of the Buddha who beckoned to suffering humanity to develop understanding and compassion. If ever a god walked on this earth, I felt here was He. I felt like kneeling down to Him and praying to Him as to a God.

Once a general left an image of the Buddha as a legacy to Winston Churchill. The general said, 'if ever your mind gets perturbed and perplexed, I want you to see this image and be comforted.' What is it that makes the message of the Buddha so attractive to people who have cultivated their intellect? Perhaps the answer can be seen in the serenity of the image of the Buddha.

Not only in color and line did men express their faith in the Buddha and the graciousness of His Teaching. Human hands wrought in metal and stone to produce the Buddha image that is one of the greatest creations of the human genius. Witness the famous image in the Abhayagiri Vihara in Sri Lanka, or the Buddha image of Sarnath or the celebrated images of Borobudur. The eyes are full of compassion and the hands express fearlessness, or goodwill and blessings, or they unravel some thread of thought or call the earth to witness His great search for Truth. Wherever the Dhamma went, the image of the great Teacher went with it, not only as an object of worship but also as an object of meditation and reverence. 'I known nothing,'says Keyserling,' more grand in this world than the figure of the Buddha. It is an absolutely perfect embodiment of spirituality in the visible domain.'

A life so beautiful, a heart so pure and kind, a mind so deep and enlightened, a personality so inspiring and selfless -- such a perfect life, such a compassionate heart, such a calm mind, such a serene personality is really worthy of respect, worthy of honour and worthy of offering. The Buddha is the highest perfection of mankind.

The Buddha image is the symbol, not of a person, but of Buddhahood -- that to which all men can attain though few do. For Buddhahood is not for one but for many: 'The Buddhas of the past ages, the Buddhas that are yet to come, the Buddha of the present age; humbly I each day adore.'

However, it is not compulsory for every Buddhist to have a Buddha image to practise Buddhism. Those who can control their mind and the senses, can certainly do so without an image as an object. If Buddhists truly wish to behold the Buddha in all the majestic splendor and beauty of His ideal presence, they must translate His Teachings into practice in their daily lives. It is in the practice of His Teachings that they can come closer to Him and feel the wonderful radiance of His undying wisdom and compassion. Simply respecting the images without following His Sublime Teachings is not the way to find salvation.

We must also endeavor to understand the spirit of the Buddha. His Teaching is the only way to save this troubled world. In spite of the tremendous advantages of science and technology, people in the world today are filled with fear, anxiety and despair. The answer to our troubled world is found in the Teaching of the Buddha."

So, what's this business about Buddha from India, China, Siam?

Buddhism originated from India. Full stop. Lord Buddha, the enlightened one, are not just one. There are lots of Buddha way before the current Lord Buddha, Lord Siddharta Gautama, an Indian prince. But all the Buddhas before did not preach like Lord Siddharta did.

It is a common fallacy among Chineses, not knowing the fact that our enlightened Buddha teacher is from Indian lineage. When I told my mother that in a temple, when I was a secondary school student, I was shouted by my mom, short of giving me a tight slap.

Buddhism mainly consists of 3 main order: Theravada ('the school of Elders' - from India, Sri Lanka, Thai), Mahayana ('the great vehicle' - China, Indochina, etc) and Vajrana (Tibetian) which by the highest principle held the same gift Lord Buddha gave to mankind. Just that practise may be a bit different, taking into account cultural and community values of various places and countries.

I hope the speaker did realize even in Islam, there are different denomination as well - Sunni and Shia.

But no matter how denominated we are within our own religion and other religion, we all held peace in the highest regards.

That's why I think those who turned to violent, just want to steal this thing called religion from peace loving people like us.

I am of strong support of the Ground Zero Mosque in USA.

I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built
on Ground Zero.

Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

Buddhism had always taught about the 3 poisons in life.
Loba - greed, Dosa - hatred, Moha - ignorance/delusion
with Moha the root or great foundation for Loba and Dosa.
Loba, Dosa and Moha is Pali language - the original spoken language of Buddha teacher.

This video-speech is a timely spiral to the cyberspace for ignorance is never a bliss.

It is a wake up call for all Buddhists -
to climb out of the slums of Moha, and
do not burn ourselves in the fire of Dosa.
Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu.

Smiling Face

P.S. A race-based Masjid is not within the discussion by believers outside of the religion.

Sep 13, 2010

Hiccup, hopefully

High Heels



Reflecting my mistakes/lessons learnt:
1. personal ignorance
2. false sense of heroism
3. failure to get a proper 2nd opinion
4. a wrong source of 2nd opinion
5. failure to believe what was available on the internet.
6. trusting a pathology diagnosis on an informal clinical assessment

P.S. no mood for anything else besides self-blame and anxiety

Sep 11, 2010

general misconception of being a doctor

I never did like to tell people that I meet that I am a doctor, for 3 reasons. Firstly because they would look me in a different light as if I am a sublime being that have perfect power to decide the life and death of another being (at times, I do, I guess). Secondly, they would be thinking I am a rich young fella living in a mansion with several toy dogs and annual round-the-world trips. Lastly, they would start asking me whether or not I know their children, siblings, cousin siblings, or nieces/nephews who are doctors or future doctors.

I got so fed up on the last reason that I will usually have a pre-emptive conversation as follow.

Uncle: what do you do for a living?

Me: Working in hospital?

Uncle: A doctor?

Me: Errr... (contemplating secrecy).. Yeah..

Uncle: Oh.. u know I have a nephew...

Me: (I interrupted) Let me guess a doctor or studying doctor, right? Nowadays every few person is a doctor. Just like the growing numbers of diabetics and hypertensives.

Uncle: Yeah, you're right. Yeah, I got doctor nephew and few nieces studying medicine.

Here's an article worthy of a read by high-schoolers and parents who are super-determined to let their children take up medicine and practise medicine. Unknown to them, some practice takes a lifetime.

I combined Part 1 and Part 2 on General Misconception of Being A Doctor, gloomily detailed out by Dr Pagalavan, a Consultant Rheumatologist.

Over the last few months, many budding doctors have contacted me to ask about the future prospects of doing medicine. Of course I gave them a depressing night after informing them of the current and future prospects of doctors in Malaysia. During these discussions I realise that many of these people do not understand a lot of issues surrounding the field of medicine. Thus I was obliged to write this article to wake up these people from their dream of “guaranteed” life if you were to become a doctor!

1) Guaranteed Job and Good salary/can make money

Many parents still believe that being a doctor guarantee their children’s future. Well, it may be so before but not in another 5-10 years time. You can read about these issues in my MMA articles column. 20 years ago we only had 3 medical schools producing about 400 doctors a year but now we have almost 30 medical schools in the country (the highest per capita population in the world). Last year alone, almost 4000 new doctors started housemanship in Ministry of Health (MOH). The number will further increase in coming years when all the medical schools start to produce their graduates. I believe it will reach a figure of 6000/year by 2015.

This is where issues arise. Even now, the MOH is struggling to place these doctors in various hospitals in the country. We have almost 30-40 houseofficers in each department now not knowing what to do every day. Their training is compromised and they are being released after that without proper training with license to kill! I may sound negative but this is the reality. Even district hospitals are being used to train houseofficers now, starting 2010. As you would have read in the papers recently of parents complaining that their child has been transferred to East Malaysia after completing housemanship, it is a known fact that the shortage of doctors at this point of time is in East Malaysia. As our MOH Director General had said, most doctors will be sent to Sabah and Sarawak from this year on wards.

What’s going to happen in the next few years? Again, my prediction is, there will be surplus of doctors by 2015. There will more bodies than post in MOH by 2015. Doctors most likely will need to queue up to be posted in government service. You will be sent to rural and East Malaysia to serve. Any appeal will not be entertained. If you think this would not happen, please look at the nurses! 5 years ago, the government began to approve numerous nursing colleges due to shortage of nurses. Now, we have surplus of nurses without any jobs. I know of nurses who are currently working in petrol stations! BTW, the MOH is currently considering introducing common entry exams for all medical graduates. Only those who pass this exam will be given housemanship post. This will happen soon.

Furthermore there may be a pay cut for doctors when all the post are filled. One of the allowance known as critical allowance of RM 750 will be removed once all the posts are filled. Critical allowance is never a fixed allowance and is usually reviewed every 3 years. As you know, the pharmacist’s critical allowance is going to be removed if not already.

I had one budding doctor who said that the reason she wanted to do medicine is because it is the only field where you have a guaranteed job and a starting salary of RM 6000. Well, I have talked about guaranteed job issue above but she is definitely wrong in stating that the starting salary. The starting salary of HO has gone up over the last 5 years; no doubt about it (please read my MMA article). However, the starting salary of HO currently is about RM 3500 to about RM4000 after including the on-call allowance. Remember, your salary only increases about RM 70/year. You will only reach a salary of RM 6000 after 7 years of service as a medical officer, when you are promoted to U48 according to current promotional prospect in civil service introduced end of last year! BTW, other than the difference of critical allowance, a doctor’s salary is only RM 200 more than a pharmacist in civil service!

2) Medical degree recognition

If I can’t work in Malaysia, I can go to Singapore or Australia to work, right?

Again, another misconception. Many do not know that medicine is a very peculiar field and cannot be compared to any other profession. In order for you to work in another country, your degree needs to be recognised by the Medical Council of the other country. If it is not recognised, you would not be able to work there. For your information, only UKM and UM degrees are recognised in Singapore.

Almost all medical degrees from Malaysia are NOT recognised elsewhere. Malaysia Boleh mah! Only Monash University Malaysia’s medical degree is recognised by Australian Medical Council and thus you would be able to work in Australia/New Zealand. Some of the private medical colleges do twinning programmes with external universities from Ireland/UK/India etc. These may be recognised depending on which degree and where you graduate from.

3) Housemanship & Compulsory service

I have mentioned a little about housemanship above. As you know the housemanship has been extended to 2 years since 2008. Even though it is good for your own training but it does prolong your future postgraduate training. After Housemanship you have to undergo another 2 years of compulsory service before you decide to resign for private practise or pursue your postgraduate degree. It is during this compulsory service that you will be posted to anywhere in the country.

Furthermore, housemanship is not an easy posting. Even though the numbers of HOs have increased tremendously over the last 2 years, it is still a very exhausting job. Many have had a mental breakdown during housemanship. I just heard of a houseman who is on psychiatric MC for the last 2 months! It seems she thought that being a doctor is just like sitting in a clinic and seeing cold cases (probably she thought she can become a GP immediately!)

4) Hard work and post graduate training

20-30 years ago, being an MBBS holder itself is good enough. You can easily open a clinic and become a GP and well respected by the community. But things are changing. Even GP practise is a speciality by itself in many countries (Master in Family Medicine/FRACGP etc). Malaysia is also moving towards that. Many patients are demanding and would prefer to see a specialist directly nowadays.

Thus it is important that when you join medicine undergraduate degree, please be prepared to continue your education for another 10 years after graduation! In order for you to complete your postgraduate education, it will easily take another 10 years, assuming you pass all your exams in one try! So, don’t assume your education is only 5 years! MBBS do not mean anything now, in fact it is only considered as a diploma!

Getting into postgraduate training is also becoming increasing difficult. The number of places for Master’s programme is very much limited in local universities. The demand is greater than supply and of course don’ forget the quota system as well! Other than MRCP (UK) – internal medicine, MRCPCH (UK) – paediatric and MRCOG – Obstetric, you have to depend on local master’s programme for your speciality. Thus, you have a very limited option. With such a big number of doctors coming into the market now, I can assure you that getting a place for post graduate education is going to be a major problem in 2-3 years time! Be prepared.

My first Part of this topic attracted more than 600 people to visit my blog in a day. Today, I post my second part of my discussion for your reading.

1) Being a GP

As I have written before in my MMA articles, the future of GPs are bleak. If you think that you just want to complete your MBBS and open up a clinic, then I think you are misinformed badly. Many GPs are suffering nowadays. Many have even closed their shops due to severe competition. GPs, not only have to compete with their fellow GPs but also with private hospitals, government clinics, pharmacy and traditional medicine sellers. The scenario has changed as I have said in Part 1. You are also strictly regulated by the Private Healthcare and Facilities Act which was implemented from 2006 onwards. Many GPs are only earning a net profit of RM 10 000 a month which is ridiculous compared to the amount of work that you are doing. Imagine that you have to work from 9am to 10pm daily including Saturdays and Sundays, especially during your early days. That’s the reason why you notice less and fewer doctors resigning from the government sector to set up their clinic. GPs are now moving from urban areas to sub-urban and rural areas to open up their practises. There may be a better market for GPs in these areas compared to town areas.

2) Being a Consultant in a Private Hospital

Only in medicine I can earn RM 50 000/month when I work in private hospital? I had many friends and budding doctors who feel that medical specialist earns the highest in private sector compared to any other profession. Again, I would say that you are mistaken. Even though you may be right in terms of the earning capacity but what you are not aware is the fact that the private hospitals DO NOT pay us a salary!

Basically you are NOT employed by the private hospital. You are just running a clinic as a self-employed person in the hospital. Whatever you earn is the consultation/surgical fees that you are charging the patients. In fact, the hospital takes 10-15% of your consultation fee as their administrative fee. Furthermore you also need to pay a rental for the clinic space that you are renting! The rental can range from RM 4000 to RM 8000/month. Yes, if you are an interventionist/surgeon or have a lot of patients, you may earn as high as above but at the same time you can also earn very much less than expected depending on the number of patients that you see for that particular month. You may even end up earning less than RM 10 000/month at times! Again, with more and more private hospitals coming up, the competition will be greater and the income of each doctor in each hospital will definitely drop even further. Remember, if a patient’s hospital bill for an admission is RM 5000, only less than 25% of the bill is the consultation fee which belongs to you, of which the hospital will take another 10%!

Also, when you are in a private hospital you are all alone. There are no junior doctors to help you. You need to do all the procedures by yourself and must be available at all times to entertain any medical complaints from the patients (even in the middle of the night). It is not just a matter of running a clinic! So basically you can only charge a patient when you see a patient for consultation and that is your salary!

And also don’t forget, for you to reach the status of a subspecialists before going full-time private practise, it will take at least 12 years following undergraduate medical education, a total of 15-17 years !! By this time some of your fiends will be earning much more than you and driving bigger cars and going holidays all over the world. Many of my friends who went on to do IT, accountancy etc etc had become company managers and directors by the time I finish my subspeciality. They have started to enjoy their life when I was just beginning to think of earning money.

3) TV programmes : ER, CSI, House etc

Don’t get carried away by watching TV programmes like ER, CSI and House. Things do not work the way it is shown on the TV. I had one budding doctor who said that she wants to become a forensic pathologist. I am sure she was influenced by CSI. In Malaysia, the reality is, any forensic pathologist just sits in the mortuary the whole day. They hardly go down to the scene of the crime. Furthermore, if you do attend a court case, you will be tortured by the lawyer. BTW, don’t think we have all the high-end technology in our mortuary like what you see in CSI. In Malaysia, forensic pathologist doesn’t work in a police department. You are just another specialist in a government hospital forever, as you won’t be able to go private. Malaysian law do not accept a report by a private specialist.

4) Patient’s demand and increasing medico-legal issues

Many doctors are being sued nowadays. This happens in most developing or developed countries. Gone are the days where patients will forgive and forget. Even the government is asking all doctors in civil service to take their own indemnity insurance as the government may not be able to cope with the legal suits. The cost of insurance has gone up tremendously especially for surgeons and obstetrician. For Obstetrician, the yearly insurance stands at RM 40 000 – 50 000! So, don’t think that the public has high respect for you and thus they will not take any action against you. A small mistake can land you in court and your entire reputation will be affected, no matter how many life’s that you have saved.

I am sure I would have made a lot of you very depressed by now. Please do not do medicine for the reasons that I have mentioned above. You will regret it later. If you really have passion for medicine then by all means, go ahead. I give the same advice to all parents who seek my advice regarding medicine. But always remember, no matter how much passion you have for medicine, it is still a job for you to earn money for a living. Once you are married and have children, money will be the most important factor no matter what you think now.

The amount of money you are spending to do undergraduate medicine alone can easily be used to start-up a business! Most private medical colleges in Malaysia charges about RM50 000-90 000/year which comes to about RM 250 000 to 500 000 in total, not including accommodation and food. You can easily safe this money, do accountancy/engineering/designer etc etc and use it later to start your own business venture. Don’t you think it is a better option? To get back the investment that you have made for medicine will take another 20 years, not including the money that you need to spend for postgraduate education!

Let me tell you, the money now is not in professional field. If you are smart and only want to earn money, please try technical studies like architect, interior designer, accountancy etc. This is where the money is! If you are good, you can easily become a manager or director of a company by the age of 35.

Increasing numbers not only setting our medical field straight ahead to the limbo, it also impinges on the opportunity of the graduates who rightfully should be better trained in our public hospitals.

The problems we're all facing is political, profitable and lack of aspiration for changes by the senior.

Political - nothing much I have to say

Profitable - recognition of a medical school can mean big business to the investors. Big business means investors willing to use up some moolahs to push through the recognition. Adequacy of training is secondary. And if the medical school inadequately trained the grads, they are sure the consultants and senior doctors should trained those junior doctors, even if they are NOT being paid to do it, out of compassion, ethics and all those supposedly nice attributes of doctors.

Lack of aspiration by seniors/representative bodies - Well. If all the consultants/representative bodies in the country would have stand up (literally) and pushed through a major issue of too much doctors rather than be complacent that this problem is purely political, I guess the medical world has a good chance to be resuscitated before it turn vegetative.

Some junior doctors were at such palliative ground that the consultants feel it is better to let them off to the other department rather than be extended in the department for service. Eventually, they will be confirmed as a full registered doctors and it's mini 2012 whenever they give treatments.

Of course, I applauded some consultants who stood firm on their grounds, and even extended the unfit junior doctors even until 1 year and still counting. Perhaps at times, being guilty conscience can be worse than the lack of peace of mind.

Easier said than done, that I agree. Yes, it been said in casual coffeeshop discussion, farewell party, during ward rounds, during mortality reviews and even during sleep (I am guessing) but never formally on a proper formal platform to be taken serious on any account.

We're producing many, many, many doctors in great speed.
And you know what they say about speed.

Speed kills.