Thursday, January 29, 2009


Many budding pathologists, be it veterinary or medical, are finding it very difficult to grasp and master the art and science (at least to me) of describing microscopic findings.

There is no short cut about it. You just have to learn the technique from your seniors.

It is very strange that description being the bread and butter of the pathologist's work, there is not much written on this subject!

When I first did my MSc in Vet. Pathology and got myself involved in much diagnostic pathology works over in UGA, I was amazed at how good the professors were at describing microscopic lesions.

They told me that all the descriptive lingo were in their heads. They did not have to squeeze their brains to come up with appropriate words. The words just flowed out freely.

It is important that we use good English in our description. By doing so, not only the reader will appreciate it, we the writer will not find writing a boring task.


1. You find plenty of bacteria on the surface of the intestinal villi

You may write:

There are plenty of bacteria on the surface of the villi - what do you think of this sentence? Boring and dull.

What about this?

The surface of the villi is lined by clouds of bacteria

2. You are describing lung tissue where the alveoli are filled with necrotic debris and bacterial colonies

You may write:

There are necrotic debris and bacterial colonies in the alveoli.

Compare with this:

The alveoli are markedly distended with necrotic cellular debris admixed with numerous bacterial colonies

The same is true in coming up with morphologic diagnoses.
Don't just say pneumonia, but say Multifocal necrotizing purulent bronchointerstitial pneumonia with intralesional fungal hyphae

Please read Wednesday Slide Conference of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) for their excellent and detailed description and morphologic diagnoses.


The meeting for RMK10 (Tenth Malaysia Plan)presentation was the briefest meeting that I have ever been to in my entire career.

Delegates from the other departments came very light - no binded notes and no power point presentation!

We came with a 109-page ring-binded plan, CD, power point presentation hardcopy and a handy-drive, all eager and ready to present and defend our projects.

The meeting room was not yet opened when we arrived. When opened, there was not even a laptop or an LCD around. They were not ready for any serious presentation!

The chairman, in his opening remarks said that the meeting would be a short one. It was just a preliminary meeting to list down projects. "We are a bit forward in this..."

The preparatory works took us many hours of brain-storming or rather more of brain-squeezing exercises.

Imagine nine teams working extra hard and under much pressure from me to see that the plan was ready on time for the presentation today. Just ask Abdul Rahman Chek how I had chased him to get the thing ready.

We were over prepared! Thank you all for the good work. It is ok, at least we have plenty of time to refine and fine-tune the write-up.


When two ex-Sdarians (we prefer the word Sdara as our motto is once a Sdarian always a Sdarian) meet, irrespective of class or batch, they will usually end up talking, not about business but about the past, about their years in SDAR.

Sdara's wives often find out that they are usually left out in the long, continuous reminiscing. Once beaten twice shy, many of them prefer not to attend Sdara gathering.

SDAR is one of the earliest boarding schools in Malaysia. Together with STAR, her cousin in Ipoh, in her early days she received selected students from Malay medium primary schools. We had to undergo a year of Remove class back then.

STF is her other cousin, but of course, her girl cousin.

Sdaras are close irrespective of the year they were from.
We are nostalgic and sentimental lots as far as our school is concerned. So much so that we are rather skeptical about the present principal. Is he really capable of leading SDAR to glory? There are talks about recruiting a Sdara as the principal.

Yesterday as I was driving home from work, I received a call from Madollah, my senior. He was almost in Chukai then and was looking for a good keropok lekor outlet. I told him try those in Kuala Kemaman.

He kept on contacting me for directions. Most stalls were already out of keropok for the day. I told him to stop somewhere so that we could meet.

He stopped at Geliga express bus station. I drove fast and made it just before he arrived at the rendesvous.
We met, talked and I asked him to drop by my house. He declined saying that I was tired.

He was travelling with his wife and two daughters.

We were glad that we met. I told him that next time when he was in Chukai, please give me a call and drop by my house.

After about 15 minutes of chat we said goodbye and he drove off to Kuantan. In Kuantan he planned to meet Mokhtar Hussain, another Sdara.

Why are we so close? We grew up together, mostly on our own. We shared our problems, and of course, the parcels of goodies that our parents posted.

For most of us, our parents never visited us for the entire 5 - 8 years of our stay in SDAR! For a few, they did not even receive any letter from home.

I did not blame our parents. They were not so blessed with financial and worldly materials as us now. For that, we were so independent, right from our early years.

Just received an email saying that a Sdara by the name of Mohd Hanip was hospitalized in Kemaman hospital. I plan to visit him today, or the latest tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Leaves and young seeds

Have you ever had Gnetum chips for tea? They are really crispy with a slightly bitter taste.
Gnetum is also called Nninja (Terengganu speak), Melinjao or Belinjo (Javanese).

Making gnetum chips is an important small industry in Terengganu. The mature seeds (normally orange to red) are dehusked and roasted over an open fire. When the kernel is cooked (you can tell be the aroma and the slightly burnt hard shell) it is mashed and made into small flat cake - chip. The chips are then sun dried and they are ready for sale.

The chips are fried in oil and served hot. I am still trying to take a picture of it later.

The shoot and young inflorescence are boiled or braised and flavoured with coconut milk. They made delicious and nutritious recipe.


We went to Seberang Takir, to my wife's sister's house in Taman Permint Jaya, during the Chinese New Year holidays.

Her daughters, Kak Long, Mek Na and Baby were very happy to know that we were coming. They were very close to my children, especially Diyana.

I was very tired. My hemorrhoids were still troubling me - the after effects of the recent bouts of shooting diarrhea that I had.

Diyana took over driving chore from me. She was busy driving around KT - taking pictures in Taman Syahbandar and enjoying delicious cake with ice cream topping in a Bistro in Batu Buruk.

MA, my senior in SDAR called me. Once again, he was in Chukai Utama Hotel and I was away in KT. Don't know when we could meet!

KT roads were jammed with tourists. All roads leading to Pasar Payang were packed with vehicles. I decided to just parked in front of Maziah Palace and let them walk to Pasar Payang.

A tourist bus from Perlis parked next to me. Luckily, there were no traffic police to chase us out.

Back at Taman Permint Jaya, ten Tabligh groupd resided in the Surau next door. I was never against their movement, it was just that cleanliness was still an issue they have to improve if they want people to respect them. The sight of bags placed right smack on the floor on the entrance and sarongs hung haphazardly were eye-sore to the other users.

The story of ghosts in the house next door never failed to interest us. The house, just renovated, was inhabited by 'ghost children'! Even in broad daylight, there were giggles and sound of children running around. The owner's handphone clicking on its own scared even the toughest.

Cik Su was still as usual, very unfriendly towards my sister in-law's family. Her facial features reminded me somewhat of Pak Kob's wife (read their story in my earlier posts - Moments of My Life)...keeper of Hantu Raya.

On our way home we stopped at a famous keropok lekor Fish rods) joint in Pantai Kelulut. It was packed with keropok lovers.

While waiting a herd of buffaloes, cows, bulls and calves (an indication of productive herd) casually and intelligently took their time crossing the busy road. Curious children from stopping cars took pictures of the animals. It was once-a-life-time thing for many of them.

Reaching Taman Samudera Timur, and on my way to a grocery store, I saw two buffalo calves dead on the road and next to them was a badly-wrecked car being hooked to a wreck-truck.

In Chukai wet market the next day, I was surprised to see a Chinese vegie seller already selling.

"Selling already on the second CNY?"

"24 hours is enough for me. 24 days if my financial situation is strong!" He answered in a way describing the present economic situation.

At the parking area in front of Terminal Makmur, Kuantan, a man tried to con me by claiming that he and his friend had been mugged by Indonesian illegal immigrants early that morning. Their lingo and body language did not reflect men who were just been robbed of RM300 as they claimed. They were more of desperate drug addicts looking for easy money.

Friday, January 23, 2009


She was the best grandma any grandchild would ever want. To me, she really was. No words could really describe how she cared and gave all her love and attention to my family and to me personally.

We called her Tok Wan. According to my father, she was very neutral in all that she did. She never for once compared him and her other son-in-laws. She also never took side whenever my father and mother quarrelled.

She was Mek Cik bt Ibrahim. Her mother was Sharifah Fatimah Zaharah from Beserah and her father was Musa, from Besut. I only knew this fact only recently. She did not get the title Syarifah because of her non-Syed father (that was what many people told her).

According to them, she did not want to meet her roots in Beserah then as she was well aware that she was poor and no place to be there, among the Syeds, Syarifahs and Tuans.

She was like that, very humble and down-to-earth. She married my Grandpa, Wan Ibrahim Wan Long, a famous silat instructor during his time, and had 4 daughters, namely Minah, Maimunah, Kalsom, Putih (My mom). Then they were divorced. Later they were remarried and blessed with a daughter and a son, namely Hitam and Abdul Rahman.

All her children, save for my mother, had all passed away.

Please read my older posts on Moments of My Life to know more about her.She passed away just after I was accepted as a Veterinary Officer.

It is sad that I could not repay her for all her kindness and love showered upon me. She just loved to travel - for that I regretted very much.

She loved children, an asset not so commonly found in grandmas nowadays. She was never upset for our childish behaviour then. She even scolded my mother for being too tough with us!

Whenever I passed that house in Kg Besut, I always see her sitting on the top of the staircase combing her hair. She was always like that, either combing her hair or asking me to pull out the grey hair.

28 years have passed since her passing, but her memories are as fresh as ever. We miss you very much Tok Wan. May you always be blessed and placed among His beloveds.


The issue of the so-called stray livestock (cattle, buffaloes, goats, sheep) has been and still is a hot topic. It has been there since I first joined service (may be longer).

Everyday as I commute between Chukai and Kuantan, I see herds of cattle grazing alongside the main road, and sometimes crossing the road to get at the greener pastures across.

I always wonder when can Malaysia be totally free of straying animals or at least the roads?

The recent death of a very prominent UMNO member and his friend when his car rammed across a crossing cattle luckily did not trigger any hues and cries from the public for DVS to put to stop once and for all the issue of animals crossing the road.

Deep inside me, I felt guilty...We have the enactment to control stray animals...but don't tell me that we have to go around the entire state catching all strays and compounding owners!

Livestock owners themselves have to be more responsible towards their animals.

Look at this scenario: The owner wants to sell his stray cattle. "How much?" the propsective buyer asked.
"Too expensive!"
"That's fair"
What's fair then? What has been his investment in producing the animal? Almost nothing! He shouldn't have talked about fair price. May be he had bought the initial breeder (but most probably he inherited the animal). The others, including the animal feed, breeding services are all free - either from grazing on state land or people's land and free bull service from neighbours!

Economically speaking, their system is the most economical and profitable. Why? No investment or input but with outputs. The risk is high though - disease, theft, and loss due to road accidents!

Solution - many, but still depend on owners' and political will. Translocating the animals to oil palm estates is an option. But there are still many plantation owners not keen on cattle integration. Why? The interest of weedicides and fertilizer companies and also the managers are at stake - hidden reason.

It looks like the issue will linger on for some times. BTW this traditional system still provides the most beef in Malaysia...


Our knowledge is very limited, just like a drop in an ocean. So please don't go around bragging that one knows more than God.

I am talking about God's command, Hudud and Qisas in particular.

I am fed up with people who knows next to nothing about ISLAM commenting about the implementation of Hudud and qisas.

I am more fed up, in fact angry, at Muslims, be it individuals or political parties, who are against the implementation of Hudud and Qisas.

Their idiocy is just unbelievable!

I never claim that I am well verse with the matter. No, in fact I don't know much about Hudud and Qisas. But, as a Muslim, I have faith in God's command. We just obey His command, that's is all about it. Our brain is just too frail to comprehend the justification of all His commands.

I will use something closer to me as an example. Pigs - we are commanded not to eat pork or anything related to it. Many pork lovers ask me why ISLAM forbids consumption of pork.

As a veterinarian, I have great difficulty answering their question, let alone convincing them. But I tried and I guessed I was successful.

Our brain can come up with many reasons (our own thinking, that is) for PORK being Haram. Pigs harbour many dangerous disease-causing organisms is the most often used reason. But, pork lovers will cancel this reason easily by saying that pigs are now raised in the most hygienic method.

Don't tell me that God does not know that in the future (wt the time when the command was made) pigs will be raised in a modern way.

My answer: "What if I were to call you pig?" I'm sure you'll be angry at me. That's the reason why ISLAM forbids the consumption of pigs! They all looked at me, some nodded in agreement.

That may be not the reason why ALLAH forbids pork eating. It is just my way of convincing them. Pigs are just too dirty an animal for us to be eating. Just look at what they eat - they even eat their own feces; their sexual behaviour is worst...they're aroused even by a stool!

Thanks God we Malays hate pork so much...but what about others that God forbids?


Parents, without them we wouldn't be here. Without their tender loving care we won't be who we are now.

Imagine how a mother has to bear the uncomfort and the pains of pregnancy and child birth, the sleepless nights feeding and changing our diapers when we were babies and continuous worrying about your safety and success in life...

A father, breaking his back to make ends meet to make sure that we have food, we grow healthy and we could get good education.

Cannot imagine how children could chase their parents out of their house, how they could neglect and make maids out of their parents...

Remember, we are not supposed to utter ugh to our parents, let alone shout at them! We are asked to take care and be good to them all the time, more so when they are old and frail.

There are so many stories of how God punish children who did bad to their parents right away in this life. Remember a pious man unable to say his sahadah just because he favoured his wife over his mother?

Also please remember, be good to your parents and your children will do good to you later. Life is a cycle, so they say.

In the Holy Quran, God command us to be good to our parents just after his command to serve Him. That is how God emphasize the importance of taking care of our parents.

A friend of the Prophet once told that he had done serious sins in his life and asked the Prophet how he could repent. Prophet Muhammad asked: Do you still have a mother and a father?
He said no, his parents had passed away. Then the Prophet said be good and take good care of your aunts (mother's side).

Taking care of parents will cancel out sins, even big ones. Ask ourselves, when was the last time you ask forgiveness from your parents? When was the last time you last visit your parents? If you cannot remember when, then the best thing to do is pack up and go home!

A mother will always forgive her children!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I was surprised, to say the least, to hear him pouring out his feelings the way he did, with all the graphic details. His disclosure came very close to scenes normally shown by a blue film.

At first I could not believe it. Just could not believe what I was hearing - almost an hour of one-sided over-the-phone narration of what had happened between them two.

He sounded a very stressed man. He openly claimed that she was very cruel to him (ironic isn't it?) and because of that he could not sleep at nights - he became somewhat obsessive and impulsive.

He was my lecturer and she was my subordinate officer.

He told me that his wife was having an extra-marital affair with a foreigner. No wonder she looked different when I last saw her. She was rather revealing that time around.

To check the reliability of the story, I asked her friends. They all said that it was true. They also could not believe that such a thing could happen.

Their story was unique by itself. She, being her student, could fall in love with him and he, a married man, could leave his wife and children for a girl much very younger than him.

There was quite a war between them at that time. I think what had happened to him now was a sort of punishment from God for what he had done in the past.

It was a story fit to be a novel (I'm working on it). Hope to finish it after I retired.

The latest I heard was that they were finally and legally divorced and he is getting married soon and she did not make the marriage any easier.


Wahid did it. He won the P036 by-election with a handsome margin.

Looking at the tremendous support given to Wan Farid, both by the big guns and wide coverage both by the electronic and print media, and also the showering of development allocations and other what-nots, who would have thought that Wahid would win.

Both are personal friends of mine. Wahid was my classmate when we were doing Diploma Fishery in UPM way back in 1975. I was promoted to degree course and he continued and finished his Diploma.

Wan Farid on the other hand, my wife was a colleague of his mother and Wan Hisham, his brother, was my junior in SDAR.

During a coffee break a few days before the election, Pahang SS did ask me who in my opinion would win the election. I candidly said that Wahid would win. It was not that I was being political, but it was just that Wahid was more popular and well-liked by KT people.

The ferocious campaigning might in itself be the main factor for the result. People were fed-up with all that happened during the campaign period.

Things have changed. Development could no longer be used as a campaigning tool. It was no more effective in this ICT era. It is expected of the ruling government to bring development to the people.

People want an MP who is people-centric, ready to serve and down-to-earth.

Congratulation Wahid!


Monkeys (I am referring to Macaca fascicularis mostly)are every where in Malaysia. They are no more confined to the forests like may be twenty to thirty years ago.

Now many of them are near human dwellings, be it in the city, urban and peri-urban areas.

Because of many human sympathizers (are they really?) they could now find easy access to food, mostly human food - either from garbage sites or even being fed by their human neighbours.

The abundance of food makes them very prolific breeeders. Their number in an area easily double in no time.

If before (after their area is replaced by human dwellings) they are squatters in human land, but now they think that they are the masters.

They raid houses for food and there are also cases they raid just for fun and to satisfy their curiosity.

In many places they now become public nuisance. They have become an issue worth said even in the state action committee, these monkeys.

Ways to overcome? Not too many. One of them is to translocate them to another forest area. Sound so easy.

Having so used to easy life, these translocated monkeys do not do that well in their new area. They soon migrate to areas near human. They soon become a problem, even to the orang asli!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It is true whan Tun M said, Malays forget easily.

Once, the issue of school children having to carry heavy bags was a big issue in our dailies.

It was a topic spoken and debated by all, at least for that duration of time.

Now, it is forgotten. Children continue to slog it out daily carrying the heavy but unnecessary burden.

Text books are still required to be brought to school. Even after following the daily timetable, school children still have to carry too many text books.

Are these text books really necessary? Are they ever used by the teachers? Can't they be left in the classroom? Can't they be replaced by notes?

What ever happen to e-books that they talked so much about?

I think, even the exercise books could be replaced, if they want. Why not allow the children to do their homeworks on pieces of papers? Why not ask the children to file the corrected papers in files instead?

There are so many whys from me, but I think these whys are so easy to be answered - that if they were serious about it.


Both Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Nipah Virus Infection involve human and pigs (though not exclusively pigs).

But JE is JE and Nipah is Nipah. They are different diseases, not the same, as there are still many who think that they are the same.

JE is endemic (present and occur here) while Nipah is a new infection and non-endemic. Nipah is a one-off thing (I hope and pray it is so)

JE is caused by a flavivirus, transmitted by mosquitoes and its reservoir (multiplier) are domestic pigs and wading birds. Horses, cows and human are dead-end hosts. There is no human-human, horses-human, or cattle to human (the virus is too little for the mosquitoes to transmit).

Nipah is caused by a paramyxovirus (like measles and canine distemper) and disease is transmitted through contact...only those people working closely with infected pigs or fruit remnants infected with virus from infected flying fox (kluang) are infected.

JE normally infect children and the very old (debilitated), whereas Nipah can infect all - in our last case the very strong were infected as they work very closely with the pigs.

When Nipah first struck Perak and Negeri Sembilan in the late nineties, at first it was thought JE. But when the infected areas are continuously fogged that no insects (flies especially) survived (dead pigs were strangely free of maggots), yet people still came down with the disease.

But the problem was that the press and politicians too, had always and still is referring the disease as JE that it got stuck as JE.

JE was blamed for something it was not responsible for.

JE infects many Malaysians annually. If I was not mistaken, in the region of 90- 100 per year came down with the disease - but it is well spread all over the country and throughout the year.

A few days ago a 11-year old Malay girl in Temerloh was confirmed as JE victim. She is recovering now.

When JE occurs in human, there is very little that we vets could do. We could not go around killing all pigs and birds. The best advice is to prevent mosquito bites. This is easier said than done.

But when Nipah or Avian Influenza (HPAI) occurs here, oh yes, we would go and destroy all the pigs and birds in infected areas.

In countries like Japan, Taiwan, Thailand - they vaccinate the people with JE vaccines. Mosquito control is ineffective.

To Sahirin bt Zambri of SK Charok Puting, our prayers are all for you for your speedy recovery. Amin.


"Bye Iwan!" Our little Syazwan bade farewell to his school-bus driver as he got off the bus. He was still in Pre-Kindergarten class - so the bus stopped right in front of our apartment and he would only be allowed to alight if we open the apartment's door. He would be ferried back to school for the after-school service if otherwise!

Bus drivers there knew all his / her passengers by name and they also knew the passengers' addresses and who to call in case of emergency.

Best of all, the bus service was FREE! And so were the daily breakfast and lunches.

That was our experience when we were in US.

Compared to them, here in our beloved MALAYSIA our school bus system is still far from satisfactory. That is why it is an almost mandatory chore for parents to send and fetch their children to and back from school daily.

This leads to: i. waste of working time of parents, ii. massive traffic jams near schools

May be we cannot copy what is done in US 100% as over there school bus system is sponsored by state lottery and their class size (student population per class) is small - max. 20).

What I think is the government should step in and find the best way to organize the school bus system.

An effective and student and parents friendly school bus system is what we need urgently now.

Parents will be able to spend more time with their work and less time worrying about getting their children to school and getting them back again after school.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Since they unceremoniously cheated and robbed their land in 1946, the Israelian zionists have butchered the Palestinians, women, children and civilians.

The world just watch. The oil-rich Arab brother countries also just watch or at the most talk only (except for the 1967 war).

The puppet UN Security Council made resolutions after resolutions...but they all remained just words on paper. Israel, the illegitimate son of Britain and adopted son of US is still free to do things with the Palestinians.

We don't negotiate and have treaties with the God-condemned people. They are not the people to trust with anything, let alone our lives! Remember, they even murdered their own Prophet.

Waste no more time on talks...let the sword or guns do the talking for once.

Trust in God and move on...let there be another Saladdin out there amongst us..never let their might scare you...they know that if we were united and follow the teaching of ISLAM fully, we will be a force not to be taken lightly...

But if we went astray and have our chins tied to the infidels, then there is nothing more we can do except to face the wrath of God...

Come on, wake up brothers and sisters...don't let our brother Palestinians fight alone...There was this story of a Muslim Mother who sent words to The Caliph asking him for help when she was laughed at by an infidel King and his followers when her skirt was blown up by the wind revealing her aurat...The Caliph answered her plea and sent her an army to teach the rude King a lesson he won't forget!

We (Muslim countries) all should be ashamed of ourselves to let Israel butchered our brothers and sisters in Palestinian and did nothing about it!


I was nauseus, had low grade fever and a general malaise. The abdomen was hard and distended with gas. Braving all those symptoms, I made myself conspicuous at the grand launching of Lanchang Food Park by the Prime Minister.

There was no representative from HQ.

To me, ECER was robbing DOA Pahang's hard all looked as if ECER was the real reality, it just organized the extravaganza launching ceremony, that was all there was to it.

Immediately after lunch and with no 'from-Lanchang-to-London' papaya as token, I quickly left Lanchang for Port Dickson.

The venue for the New National Agriculture Policy workshop was Corus Hotel.

I was in the Deer group. I could not do much with the condition I was in. All I could do was to give a few ideas to what we should plan for deeer industry in Malaysia.

News from home - Mrs and daughter were down with the same symptoms. I wondered what it was. I did not think that it was a case of food poisoning. I was more inclined towards a virus...stomach flu may be.

Early morning the second day I was in PD I began to have shooting diarrhea. It went on and on throughout most of the day and the next day.

As usual, with that amount of going to the toilet came my friend, the hemorrhoids. It not only showed itself but with it came the bleeding. The toilet bowl and the toilet floor was decorated with spots of fresh blood!

Luckily for me, the prescription of Flagyl )antibiotics) and Immodium (anti-diarrhea), though late as usual, successfully stopped the diarrhea.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Despite of tigers, pangolins, sumatran rhinos, monitor lizards and phytons being poached and smuggled out, there are still many wildlife species flying freely around us.

All it takes is a minute or two of our precious time to observe them in their natural habitat. Only then you will appreciate what nature has to offer.

First, the hornbills. Many will think that they are only found in our jungles. You are wrong. They are every where now. I am surprised how they manage to adopt and adapt to our environment.

I saw a few pairs (they pair for life these birds) flying around peacefully right in the middle of Kuantan! They seem oblivious to the busy traffic below. Perhaps they know that us human do not bother about their presence.

We should learn from them. They are loyal to each other. The female lays eggs in holes in tree trunk. While incubating the eggs till the chicks are big enough to fend for themselves, she is locked in the nesting hole by the male with mud wall with hole big only for him to feed her and the youngs.

All throughout, it is him who does the search for food!

Next come the cute and delicious pink-necked pigeons. They are what their names describe - self-explanatory.

They are in reality not-too-distant cousin of our domestic pigeons. Even right in the centre of Kuantan, they could be found flocking in fruiting trees.

Nobody seem to care for their presence. Quite to the contrary, when I was small they were gunned down by hunters as they flew home by the hundreds at near sunset.

I remember I was always there collecting the fallen pigeons with a reward of 20 cents per bird safely returned.


Stocking, my cat, (remember him?) is coming of age. Can't believe it that he is already sexually matured now.

Yesterday, for the first time I saw him courting a damsel next door. There was no time for romance though. Not that she was not interested or anything like that.

It was just that that bad tomcat spoiled his day. Suddenly, as love started to bloom, there that tomcat was, appearing from no where.

As usual, Stocking, being inexperienced as he was, quickly said good-bye to his newly found love and hurried back into the safety of my house compound.

Earlier that morning, I saw him trying to ambush a magpie robin. He was doing all right in as far as the technique, but it was just that he was still slow. The bird escaped with a few missing tail feathers!


Suddenly I feel tired, very tired. I am exhausted, burnt-out - call it whatever you want, but I am just that, completely drained.

The work pressure, or to be more exact, the pressure of working understaffed in a state as big as Pahang, finally gets to me.

The anger, frustration and the feeling of being 'step-sonned' and uncared-for by the management that I manage to put under carpet all these while, finally come to surface.

I become hypersensitive and easily riled, even by small things - things that normally I pass without paying much attention. My wife's friendly reminding words suddenly becoming more of nagging and get to my nerves and they often end up into heated and emotional exchange of words between us.

Sulking and silent protests become the norms rather than the exception for me. That is my only way to cool things down. They are often misunderstood though.

Children are getting worried. My youngest keeps on 'sms'ing her sister and brother letting them know what is going on between the two of us. They are worried about us breaking up and leaving them.

I tell them not to worry. It is just that phase of my life. I am aware of it and will not allow it to deteriorate beyond repair. I know the consequences of failing to put things right - the thing that had happened to my parents.

It is just that I am exhausted, both physically and mentally. Like her, I too need love, attention, care, understanding and supporting words, more so now.

I am, after all just a normal human being. I think, after nearly 28 years of service, I need a rest, a long rest. That's why I made that decision. The decision to call it a day at 56 years of age.

Don't you worry what's going to happen after I retire. I won't just lie down in front of tv...I will continue living. I want to do what I like most but so far was unable to do - to write and to teach all that I know to others.

I want to write novels. There are already two in the process and another one is in mind, just ready to be clicked in.

There is no more that ummph that I used to have to do things for my career. There is nothing more that I can attain. I am already knocking against the wall in as far as my career is concerned.

I have written the letter to the DG letting him know about my intention. I hope he agrees and may be he could arrange something for me to help the juniors in the department. Say, it will be good if he could give me a contract work in pathology.

I will have another 18 months to go...may Allah blessed me with continuous good health, sound mind and dedication to obey him till I breathe my last.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009


How will you feel when a family just barged into the doctor's room without having to wait for their number being called, just because they were from the same ethnic background?

Or when bundles of forms were passed and collected for processing right in front of your eyes while yours was still with you and not collected for the reason of 'there is no one to process it' excuse?

Worst still when your daughter with a 3.85 CGPA was refused a place in IPTA and yet a daughter of a so-called VVIP with a mediocre 2.8 CGPA got a place and even a scholarship!

I remember a few incidents that happened to me that I think worth telling:

1. I was collecting blood samples of a herd of dairy cattle.
A cow back-kicked a 4X2 plank used to separate the
animals. It flew a few feet into the air and then landed
right smack on my left index finger. The tip of my finger was wide open and blood started to flow from the gash.

I went to see a doctor in Kluang Hospital. Realizing that I
was a doctor, she then added the initial Dr in front of my
name on the treatment card.

I then went to the treatment room for wound suturing. I
saw an old man crying in pain as he was sutured raw. I
shivered at the thought of receiving the same treatment.

A medical assistant then roughly wiped my finger and
began suturing.

Just before the needle went through my skin, from the
corner of my eyes I saw another man pointing something
to him. Realizing that I was a Dr. he immediately stopped
what he was going to do. He then followed what he was
supposed to do in the first place. He put on the drape
around my finger, then he injected local anaesthetics
around my finger, waited a while for it to take effect and
only the he sutured the be continued


When a crocodile devoured a man, there will be a massive hunt for that so-called 'evil' man-eater and in our over-zealousness, many innocent crocs are killed for nothing.

When a tiger mauled a man, there will be an automatic hunting party organized by man to hunt down, again, the so-called 'evil' tiger.

When a herd of elephants grazed and destroyed acres of oil palm plantation or banana trees, plantation owners and politicians included will run here and there forcing the relevant authorities to take action.

But, when careless drivers and riders cause thousands (if my fact is right, about 5,000 people die yearly due to road accidents in Malaysia) of people to lose their lives and disable many more, many people are either quiet or start pointing fingers to other things besides themselves.

Why is it in this case, they don't go around hunting the real culprits? Or why don't they hunt down the cars so that there will be no more unnecessary deaths?

Crocodiles and tigers, they kill for food. Elephants destroy plantation also for food. Why? Because it is us who destroy the forests and pollute rivers where they obtain their food.

Man kill millions of animals in the like chickens, ducks, birds, cattle, goat, sheep, camel, fish, prawn, crabs, bivalves daily, not only to eat to survive but to show off their wealth and end up obese and suffering from diseases.

Can you imagine how much good food we waste everyday at buffet tables and in our homes and whereas millions of peole starving and malnourished in Africa?

Farmers in developed countries feed their cattle in feedlots with grains (instead of grass) so that they (the animals) will grow fast and tender. Don't tell me that they don't know that those grains are staple diets of millions of hungry people?

Just you all think about these few points as food for thought in the first week of 2009. Don't you all become overnight vegetarian for this, just don't react but think before you react.


My blood is always boiling whenever another car, more so if it was (always is) a Kancil or a much smaller car than mine, hogging my car and flashing high beam light to me forcing on me to give way.

It is not that I am too egoistic to allow smaller cars to overtake me, it is just that I don't like the way they force on me to pass. I will normally go to the left willingly if I saw another car speeding fast behind me.

The attitude or more exact, the arrogance of the driver that irritates me.

I don't know about your personal experience, for me I always observe that most drivers of luxury cars do not flash their high beam lights when they want to overtake another car, they just follow closely and most often the car in front will voluntarily go to the left once there is a space.

It is just a sign of respect. Remember, respect has to be earned and it is always reciprocal - one will be respected if one respects others who deserve to be respected.

This morning I heard a deejay of an English radio asking for listeners' opinion on whether we can judge a person by the car he/she drives.

It is somewhat related to what I am discussing. Yes, we can, but still it depends very much on how one drives!

A driver driving a luxury car should be respected if he drives properly, taking care of the safety of his or her fellow road-users. It is just similar to what is called pecking order in the animal world - a junior respecting a senior member of the animal group and in this car business, a cheaper car respecting a more expensive car!

But, if he or she drives recklessly, paying no attention to thers on the road, he or she does not deserve to be respected, no matter how expensive the car is.

Next to flashing cars, I also despise drivers that always drive on the right lane come what may. He or she drives as if he/she is the only driver around, never bother to look into the mirror to see an unnecessary long line of cars lagging behind him/her.

They should also be compounded as well, I think. Why? Because the frustration caused by the long wait normally will cause drivers to overtake even when the risk of a head-on collision is there.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Amalia, in her brand new secondary school uniform of white baju and turqoise baju kurung, was jittery about going to the secondary school for the first time.

She chose SMK Sultan Ismail as her school of choice despite of offers from a Sports school in Setiu and from SMK Chukai, a Premier school.

She was steadfast in her decision. Though many of her classmates who were supposed to be in SMKSI have left for greener pastures in other more prestigious schools, she sticks to her decision.

The registration process was fast - except for the rather long speech by the school's PTA Chairman.

She was placed in Form 1A1. My hope of getting her in a more multi-ethnic class was dashed when I saw all her classmates will be Malays.

Now there is one big problem looming ion her way. Just like her sister and brothers before her, SMKSI is out of the way from our house.

There is not many school vans ferrying students from our area to that school. Sending her to school is not a problem, but fetching her back from school is.

I had to go from one van to another in front of the school searching for one that would take her. I found none, but a van driver told me that there was a van from Binjai that takes student from our area to SMKSI.

Only at eleven that we finally get one. She, the van's driver, agreed to send her back from school. Amalia was all smiling hearing the good news.

During the orientation day, she overheard a Fiver telling her friends that she, a Form one student, was taller than most of them!

Good luck Amalia. May you continue the tradition of excellence set by your elder sister and brother.


I was in Ward 5 Kuala Lumpur Hospital trying to get my son, Syafiq, transferred to Kemaman Hospital.

Syafiq injured his neck when he slipped and fell on the staircase of his apartment. Strange, but according to him, he had stepped on a pool of air sireh spat (Betel nut) out by a Bangladeshi resulting in him losing his balance and fell; his neck hit hard against the staircase railing.

Luckily, no bone was broken. There was quite a severe soft tissue injury though.

Before he was allowed to go home, he had to get a soft neck collar from a supplier in Ampang to replace the one that he was wearing.

After a long wait (more than three hours) there they were bringing with them three pairs of soft neck collars.

Wasting no time, Mr Suip tried the collars on Syafiq's neck. The Large one fitted well.

I was looking at him while he was doing his job. He was kind of very familiar - his facial as well as physical structure reminded me of someone that I knew. But I just could not place exactly who.

He gave me his business card and left. I looked at it and saw his name - Suip bin Ahmad.

Then only it came to me. He was a mirror image of my friend when I was in the States, Nordin bin Ahmad.

I quickly 'sms'ed him asking him whether he had a brother by the name of Nordin bin Ahmad.

It took him quite a while to answer my sms, a full 24 hours to be exact.

He said he did have a brother by the name of Nordin Ahmad, but he had passed away since he was still a toddler.

We were all flabbergasted at this strange almost 'twilight zone' in nature coincuidence.

Was it another case of pelanduk dua serupa (direct translation - twin mousedeer) that I had spoken of before?
Pelanduk (Mousedeer)

I then 'sms'ed Nordin telling him the weird story. He too thought that it was a case of pelanduk dua serupa.

How wonderful will it be if Mr Suip and Nordin could meet face to face!