Friday, August 29, 2008

First Dairy Farm

A few days back I visited a modern, high-technology and high capital dairy farm in Muadzzam. The farm is called First Dairy Farm Sdn. Bhad. (FIDAF in short).

It is sited on the ex-DARABEEF farm, covering an area about 500 acres. Presently there are 284 heads of Jersey cattle housed in three closed-house free stall barn with internal temperature of 22-26 degrees Centigrade and the wind chill effect will make the cows feel 5 degrees C lower.

At the moment the farm produces about 1,000 litres milk per day out of 84 milking cows with an average of 12 litres per cow.

I was impressed with their modern Rotary milking parlour. Fifty cows could be milked at one go with only two-three workers operating. The milk collected will then be chilled to 4 degrees C within a matter of minutes, thus ensuring quality of the milk.

Dairy ration consists of both concentrates and grass which are mixed in TMR machine and delivered right smack into the barn!

Each barn houses 100 heads of cows. The cows seem happy to be able to walk freely inside the barn. Water is made available at the end of the barn. This will ensure that cows have enough exercise while they are in the barn.

Droppings are scrapped into a drainage system that lead into lagoons by an automatic scraper, thus dispensing the need of human labour.

Another amazing thing about the barn is that there is no bad odour, both inside and at the outlet fans!

When completed, the farm will have 1,200 heads of dairy cows with the expected milk production of 14,000 - 16,000 litres of milk per day!

There are two lady Veterinarians working at the farm.

All the barns and milking parlour are monitored by CCTVs. We could see what happen in all these places.

Verses from the Quran are played in the barns and the milking parlour. This makes the animals calmer and calm animals perform better - at least that was what being told by Alwi, the farm's owner.

Till now FIDAF has invested RM25 millions in developing the farm. I sincerely hope that FIDAF will one day become the most important dairy farm in Malaysia.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hearing from another long lost childhood friend

Another long lost friend visited my office yesterday. I was in a meeting, so he left his handphone number with Adora, my PA.

No words could describe how elated I was as I saw his name on the memo pad - Sheikh Raziff.

Wasting no time I called him. Despite all these time, his voice was still very familiar. I don't know how he looks now, but I guess he will be the same Sheikh Raziff that I used to know.

"How many children you have?"


"Your eldest?"

"Just finished his SPM and now in UiTM Seri Iskandar."

"What course?"


"So our children are in the same UiTM and in the same faculty. My son is doing Quantity Surveying."

Sheikh Razif is unique. We shared the same class in Darjah 1 in Sekolah Kebangsaan Galing, Kuantan and we were also in SDAR together.

I still remember how flabbergasted I was when he could still recognized me when we were reporting for remove class in 1967. We were separated when my father was transferred to Teluk Intan at the end of 1961. Since then I was in four different schools but he remained in SK Galing till 1966.

We have not met since leaving SDAR in 1972!

Monday, August 18, 2008

We are no nincompoops

I'm no politician, but just a government servant, trying to be loyal to the government of the day and carrying out my duties and responsibilities to the best of my ability to all.

But the stupid act of someone recently almost made me throw up (vomit). Using the holy Quran and the mosque he solemnly swore that YYYY had introduced his XXXXX into his ZZZZZZZZ. He claimed that he did not submit to the act voluntarily but he was 'raped' by that 61-year old man.

Who did he think the majority of us are? Nincompoops? Idiots?

No, we are not as dumb as you would like us to be. We can smell a lie a thousand miles away, more so with that smile of yours as you proudly claimed that you have been sodomized.

You are too strong to be sodomized! And he is too weak to force it on you and at 61, I am sure he could not reach that level of turgidity as you would like us to believe.

I will never accuse you of anything, but common sense tells me that you are a great liar, and the most unprofessional one at that.

If ever you want to lie, do it professionally. Don't stoop so low in so doing and smearing charcoal to you and your family's good name (of course I was flabbergasted when I saw your father gave you a peck on your (was it your forehead?) as if very proud of your act).

I am not judging you on your act, but I was just pissed of with it all...still nauseated ('muak' and geli geleman) at the scenes of a stained mattress brought up and down the court a couple of years ago)...

And stop making statements as if you are the innocent, you are the righteous and you are following syariah law. No, you are wrong. Bersumpah like you have done does not make you right, it may even ridicule you further.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


She came back sobbing and sour-faced

She didn't even answer her mom

She just entered and sat motionless on the old Cleopatra sofa

Again her mom asked her why

Why did she cry?

She remained quiet still

Then, a few minutes later she spoke

"I get a B for Bahasa Malaysia."

So, that was the reason for her sobbing and crying

That was what I detest all these activities that they were having

The so-called paper chase

The so-called Terengganu is aiming to uphold her excellence in UPSR

SK Pusat is also trying her best to see that as many pupils score 5 A's

"What for?" I ask

It is just for glory sake

and not for the students' sake

Look here, A is excellent and B is Good

Why? Good is still not enough?

I know, I too scored all A's in the special exsamination in 1966 (there was no UPSR yet at the time)

But I did it with joy, with fun

Not with unnecessary stress and strain

Taking away so much of the students' and parents' time and energy

With ridiculously long hours of tuitions after tuitions

Extra classes after extra classes

More than that, it is sad to see that 'less potential' students are left out from this mad hunt for 5 A's

What will they think of the school, of the Jabatan Pelajaran and the government?

Why? Are they not Malaysians or what?

Are their parents not paying taxes?

Why should they then be discriminated?

If I am not mistaken education, at least that is what is often highlighted by the media, is free in Malaysia

If I were they, I will study hard and smart and prove them wrong

Getting 5 A's is not and never will be the sole prequisite for success in life

Getting less than 5 A's never means that you cannot succeed in life

Getting 5 A's in UPSR definitely does not mean that you can continue doing so in IPT

Getting 5 A's (this way) is just to bring fame and glory to the school, the teachers, the principals, the Department of Education, the State, The government, that is all

So, never fret my daughter...

Getting 1 B in one of the many trial exam is nothing

You have again and again perform well in the past

Our prayers are always with you

May Allah reward you with good results in your coming UPSR

Forget about the stress and tension

Go to the exam hall calmly and with poise

And answer the questions well

We will be with you irrespective of what your UPSR results will be

Monday, August 11, 2008


It came again

The horrible hemorrhoids

Bleeding like nobody's business

Sprinkling red the toilet bowl and bathroom floor

Hemorrhoidectomy? Ligation?

No! No!

Just live with it

Have survived this far (almost three decades now)

Understand well the immediate causes

But, they are just too delicious to resist

A few days back engorged myself with ...

Freshly slaughterd juicy beef soup and korma

Steaming freshly-landed cockles enough for three

All the above resulted in me going to the toilet

Not once, not twice

But more than the usual frequency

Then came, again, the mass of connective tissue

With continuous stress and strain

and perhaps the rough handling of the soft tissue

One or more of the delicate capillaries just rupture

Causing their content to sprinkle out in an artwork fashion

Onto the bowl wall and onto the bathroom floor

The bleeding would not stop

I had to wait it out on the toilet seat

Sorry, this may be gory to some of you

But just to send the message across

I am not is just to tell people

I am grateful that I am freed of diabetes, hypertension and cardiac problem..

Hemorrhaoids, well they are just one of the lowly disease

Just live with it..

Control what you eat..

Please reduce your meat!

Microscopic world

I am always fascinated with what I see in a hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained histopathologic slide under a light microscope.

Eventhough the denizens of the microscopic world were already dead by the time I examined the slide, I still appreciate what a wonderful world it must have been for the cells, extracellular fluid, connective tissue, capillaries, the various chemicals that make the world go around as it should.

I remember as a budding histopathologist, more often that not, I described everything that I saw, even the normal and the within-normal findings.

"You have to know the normal first before you would be able to catch the abnormals - the lesions." Those were the words of Prof. Sheikh Omar, my pathology mentor whom I shall be forever thankful.

Describing the changes is both a sceince and an art. Without the art part, descriptions would be dull and monotonous. Language plays a vital role in describing microscopic changes, both to the describer and also to the reader. The style changes with different reader in mind.

Till now I do not know and never ask anybody the reason why we use present tense in describing microscopic changes and past tense for gross pathology. I guess it is just the way they were used to.

Evaluation of tissue slides should always follow a certain way. This is to ensure that nothing is left behind. As an example let us take a piece of bovine lung (a fancy way of saying a cattle's lung).

Try to minimise words that we use. Avoid redundancies - like red in colour (red is red). Use full grammatical sentences. I love to use beautiful English when I describe things.

Instead of saying: There are bacteria on the intestinal mucosa, I would rather say: Intestinal mucosa is lined by clouds of Gram positive bacilli.

Instead of saying: There are numerous foci of micro-abscesses in the spleen, I would rather say: The splenocelluar architecture is effaced by numerous micro-abscesses and so on and so forth

I prefer examining it from the airways outwards - the alveoli, bronchioles, bronchi, interstial tissues, blood vessels and finally the pleura.

Alveoli are normally lined by simple squamous epithelial cells - these are normally not readily seen unless disturbed. When you see cells are stacked in layers, you know that there is something wrong with them.

Alveolar spaces of a healthy cow is normally filled with just air - nothing should be in it. If it is pneumonia there would be neutrophils, both living and degenerate, may be macrophages - single or multi-nucleated (depending on the causative agents).

After seeing and noting down all the changes, finally I draw up the most appriopriate morphologic diagnosis. For example: Pyogranulomatous bronchointerstitial pneumonia with intralesional fungal hyphae...I usually shorten the usually long A.F.I.P's (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology) morphologic diagnosis...

That is enough I think. I am not going to bore you with all these histopathologic terms. What I want to get to is behind all these microscopic world - there is the Creator.

It is illogical that all these well-planned activities happen by themselves, so perfect. Just take a second and ponder on this point.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Meeting with a long lost friend

She was sitting in front of me in the next table under one of the lunch canopies. She was in tudung and floral green blouse.

From that distance I still could read her name on the name tag - Wan Esah. She was also doing the same thing - reading my name on the white and maroon corporate shirt that I was wearing.

Then almost instantaneously both of us raised our hands and waved at one another.

"Azahar!" she called out. "We were classmates in standard five and six" she told her friends.

I walked to her table, leaving a plate of rice with rendang ayam kampung and beef opor.

She introduced me to her friends telling that we were classmates in SK Pusat Kemaman.

"How long ago was it Azahar?"

"Well, it has been 42 years..."

Actually we have met when we were in UPM in the seventies. She was doing Degree in Agribusiness and I Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

She was petite then. However, I did not know why, we just never speak to each other then. Perhaps I was still shy when it came to talking to girls. That was one great disadvantage of studying in a single-sex boarding school. Still remember similar incident between Royaltlady and me many many years ago.

We were on the same Thong Aik bus from Kemaman to Kuala Terengganu. I looked at her and she looked at me. We knew each other, but nobody broke the ice and talked. We were tongue-tied. So we missed one rare occassion of meeting each other after leaving SKP.

Besides, she was always with her boy-friend then and I was too busy with my study.

Now she has put on weight and no more in skirts...but the smile is still in her face.

Though we have not met since UPM, I always keep track of her whereabouts through my friends in RISDA and lately did communicate through e-mails.

After the unexpected meeting I quickly sent an sms to Royaltlady. She was surprised that both of us still recognize each other.

Early next morning I also sent an sms to Wan Azlan, another memeber of the famous nine. He told me that Wan Esah's husband is his classmate in STAR. What a coincidence!

It is my sincere hope that one day all the members of the famous nine (or better still the entire standard six A - I have the old picture) will gather, most appropriately in our old alma mater, SK Pusat, and get to know our family members before all of us are too old and weak to travel the long distance....

Monday, August 4, 2008

Polo Ponies

I was at the Pahang Royal Polo Club Saturday 2 August 2008. For about five hours I was glued to my chair on the first floor of the Polo house, trying to comprehend Polo.

Well, it was not my first experience with Polo. I have been there a couple of times since my tour of duty in Pahang.

Polo has a long history in Pahang. I have read somewhere that Polo began in Pahang when Allahyarham DYMM Sultan Pahang (Ayahanda DYMM Sultan Pahang sekarang and he was the Regent then) asked for the hands of the daughter of Allaryarham Sultan Perak in marriage. If I was not mistaken she was the sister of the present Sultan of Perak.

To make the story more interesting, the then Sultan of Perak gave one condition for the marriage - he should learn to play Polo. And so began Polo in the royalty of Pahang.

Coming back to Royal Pahang Polo Classic 2008, I was mesmeriszed at how well human and ponies working together trying their best to score goals or to defend their goals.

Polo ponies are totally different from race horses. They were more 'house-broken' - not easily riled or scared as their cousins are. Imagine all the sticks and hard polo balls hitting their legs, bodies, bottoms and heads...also how they canter and then immediately galloped hard to reach the goal.

Basically Polo is played by 4 players in a game consisting of 5-6 chukars. Each chukar (playing period) is made up of 7.5 minutes. The field is 300 yards long and 200 yards wide. Once a goal is scored, the team position immediately changes...unlike Football or rugby where team position remains till the second half.

Finally, like the previous years, Royak Pahang emerged the champions beating Ranhill team.