Monday, October 25, 2010

Diyana had told me over and over again the right road to take to get back to the road to Petaling Jaya.

As soon as I got on the road after sending her back to her apartment in Taman Melati, I forgot all that she had just said.

Within minutes I realized that I had taken the wrong road. I had missed the left tyurn at the traffic light, or was it the right turn?

I had taken the road to Setapak. I then decided to just follow my instinct and see where I would go.

Luckily, I could still visualize, through memories of yesteryears, where I was heading to.

The traffic was real heavy, cars were bumper to bumper on the still-incompletely-repaired road.

Finally I made it to the Federal highway. It was not bad for a forgetful man like me to reach Petaling Jaya in less than 45 minutes from Taman Melati.

Monday, October 18, 2010


We Malaysian Muslims are the most fussy when it comes to halal food. When overseas, we all will search high and low for halal food.

To us halal food is everything. We wouldn't mind paying extra money or driving a few kilometres just to find it.

What actually is halal food? Physically, it should not have pork in it, the cooking utensil should not be shared with pork or pork products, no alcohol products (be it cooking wine, red wine, white wine, etc)and if it is beef, chicken, mutton, chevron, venison or any meat that is halal to consume, the animal must be slaughtered in the halal way.

This can be confusing to Westerners. They say there is no pork, yet we still say it is not halal.

I remember once when I was in the Philippines many many years ago. I ordered a delicious-looking soup. Before ordering I asked the chef: "No pork?" The chef answered : "No pork."

So I ordered. Just before I sipped the soup, my eyes caught sight of another man with the same soup and enjoying his pork soup.

I immediately stopped what I was almost doing and went straight to the chef. "You said no pork."

"Yes, no pork in your bowl of soup. I've just removed the pork."

You see, he got it wrong in the definition of no pork.

Then there was this grilled fish that I ordered in the same food joint. Being curious, I wandered into the kitchen. In the earthen oven there they were pork, chicken, fish and other sea food items grilled over one another. Imagine pork satay grilling nicely over my grilled fish!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Allow me to clarify a few myths and make a few points about dogs in Islam.

1. It is NOT haraam to own a dog, though it is not hygienic to keep a dog in the house.

2. It is NOT haraam to touch a dog or any other animal. If the saliva of a dog touches you or any part of your clothing, then it is required of you to wash the body part touched and the item of clothing touched by the dog’s mouth or snout.

3. It is incumbent upon all Muslims who own animals, whether for farming or work purposes or as pets, to provide adequate shelter, food, water, and, when needed, veterinary care for their animals. Arrangements must be made, if one is going to be away from home, to have one’s animals taken care of as well.

4. It is haraam to keep a dog or any other animal on a short lead for long periods without food, water, and shelter. Dogs need exercise and are social creatures who form organized “family” structures in nature. Dog owners therefore need to spend time daily with their dogs.

5. It is cruel, and therefore haraam, to keep any animal in a cage so small that it cannot behave in a natural way.

6. Fireworks cause untold suffering to most domestic animals because of their acute sense of hearing.

7. It is haraam to participate in any blood “sport,” like dog fighting and trophy hunting.

No animal has been cursed in any way. Animals are referred to in many instances in the Qu’ran. In Surah Kahf, mention is made of the companions of the Cave and their dog. (S18: 18-22)

We would love for Allah to bestow His mercy upon us, so let’s show mercy and compassion to all His creation. This will also give non-Muslims a true reflection of Islam, aiding da’wah.

There are many Muslims who care well for their animals, and this article is aimed at those who are misinformed.

The appeal goes out to those Muslims: Please do not abuse or neglect any animal. This gives a distorted picture to others who are not Muslim.

May Allah be pleased with our efforts.

Please correct our misconceptions about dogs for dogs too need our tender loving care.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It was not a sexology class, mind you. It was an anatomy class and the subject was Reproductive system.

Strange but true, I was surprised to learn that many of the girls did not even know the difference between a prepuce and a penis!

It is in no way to belittle them. It is just to show you how little they know about reproductive organs, even for the female reproductive organs.

It was rather difficult for me to say the such words as clitoris, vagina, vulva without feeling a bit bashful, without making them sound so vulgar or blue.

It was not vulgar in any was reproductive system! Pure and clean, straight from the experience and knowledge that I have gathered all these years.

Cattle only mate when they are in standing heat...human do it all the time, some even during menstruation!

The practical was worse...I have to hold and show them the clitoris, the vagina, the penis, the testicles....

I am sure they will act more naturally with time...they are animal scientists, aren't they?

The seniors, I found that they were more at ease when they mentioned those words as they presented their industrial training.


A salesgirl approached us and addressed me as 'Pak Cik" (uncle) and my wife as "Mak Cik" (aunt). What do you all think? Is it appropriate way of addressing a client in a commercial centre?

No, I don't think so. It is not appropriate for a salesgirl or a waitress/waiter to do so. In fact I have known a friend who, when addressed as such, went straight home and never ever came back to the joint.

It is ok if a primary school student to do so. It is very polite.

But it is not so for those who are in the commercial sector. It insults the client to be.

No, I don't mean for them to be addressed as Dato', Dato' Seri or Tan Sri...What I mean is that it is more appropriate for them to address the client as Encik (Sir) for a gent and Puan (Madam) for a lady.

For a lady, even words like 'Adik', 'Kakak' are taboo to some people. Never use the word adik for a married lady. For those who want to look and be young forever, the word kakak is a no no.

I used to say out to many salesgirls and sales executives that I have met who addressed me as Pak Cik not to do so and advised them to address me as Encik instead.

However, there are people who insist that they are addressed with their awarded names such as Dato', Dato' Seri, etc. I have met a man who said: "Dato? What Dato'? Dato' Seri lah"

I am not that type. Address me only as Dato' in official functions please...a strict no no amongst friends.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Here are some real stories that I had personally confronted in dealing with the public services. This is not in any way trying to ridicule or belittle anybody, It is just for us to think about them and try to improve things.

1. I was in pain. My right index finger was busted open when a 2X4 plank flew, after being back-kicked by an angry cow, and landed on it. I could still hear the smack sound of the smashed-up finger.

In the doctor's room in a government's hospital down south. She looked at my card and asked "Why don't you put the Dr in front of your name? . She wrote it down and asked me to go to treatment room for cleaning and suturing.

In the room I saw an old Malaysian Chinese screaming as he was sutured raw. I shivered at the thought that I was soon to undergo the same. I lay on the treatment table as they got ready to do their thing on me. Roughly they pushed and shoved my finger to clean it.

Then, suddenly from the corner of my eye I saw the man pointing to my card as he realized that I was a doctor. "Doctor, doctor," he silently whispered to his friend. They stopped. One of them slowly put on the surgical cloth around my finger and then he applied local anaesthesia (ring block) to it.

"Why don't you do that from the beginning?" I asked sarcastically.


I was then sutured, without pain while the man next to me was howling in great pain. Why this has to happen?

2. My appointment letter came late. I had to undergo medical examination that day itself. I rushed to the hospital for the examination. At the registration counter I was told that medical examination was only done on certain day of the week and today was not that day. Every Tom, Dick and Harry knew that. It was boldly written on a notice board. But this was something out of the ordinary. I was going to join a government service. I begged but they refused. Then I took my appointment letter and showed it to them. You know there it was clearly written my job and my salary. There and then they said that it was ok. The examination could be done that day itself!

What if that someone needing the examination was not a division A officer-going-to-be?

Monday, October 11, 2010


I was shocked. Twelve people killed and 40+ more injured in a bloody road carnage yesterday. A bus literally flew across the road divider and rammed against a van, a car and another bus travelling on the opposite side of the road!

That bus driver must be driving at more than 120 km/hr!

Our road is no longer safe to travel, even if you drive so ever carefully and following all traffic rules. You never know that one fine day a maniac driver just fly in and knock you dead in your badly crushed car.

We just never learn from such road horrors. Memories linger just for a couple of hours, then it will be to normal - speeding like hell.

I think it is high time that all public transport be locked at 90 km/hr. Period.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


A candle light dinner organized by Impiana resort for two newly weds on a gazebo was rudely interrupted by a herd of wild pigs scrummaging for earthworms. The bride and bridegroom were too scared to continue and chose to have their dinner in their room instead.

A mousedeer was badly damaged when it ran over a rogue wild boor. A mousedeer? No, it was a Perodua Kancil !

A 'palas shoot' collector promised never again to go and search for the 'palas shoot'. He was badly mauled by again a wild boar in a bush in Bukit Mentok, just a few days from the Eid.

A patron of a food joint in the Sultan Ahmad mosque in Chukai was injured when a wild pig, out of nowhere, ran and mauled him as he was about to have his nasi lemak.

They are every where in Malaysia, as long as there are some bushes around for them to hide.

Their reproductive efficiency is beyond compare. They can give birth to 10 piglets at one go with ease!

They are omnivorous just like us. They can survive on anything. Their thick hide made fencing them out very difficult, if not impossible.

How then to control them? Selective and periodic culling is the answer perhaps. A certain section of our society just love their fat-free pork out of wild pigs. Beware of tapeworms though!

This morning I just missed running over them near Kijal.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Last night or rather very early this morning I suddenly woke up from my sleep. Memories of Khairul Syakirin, my beloved son, all of a sudden flooded me.

He was there, comforting his tired and lonely dad. He was still that energetic forever smiling little boy that I used to know.

After breakfast I called my wife and asked her: "Remember what day today is?"

"Of course I remember. Last night I dreamed that I gave him pieces of cucumber to eat." There were motherly sadness in her voice.

Today, 7 October, was the day some nineteen years ago and almost the same time as I was awakened up this morning, on a bed in the Institute of Paediatric, Kuala Lumpur, our beloved son was called by his creator to be with Him.

The day that everybody in our family remembers well till now, even his sister, Noorul Amalia, who has never met him in person.

We all hope that he is very happy where he is now and pray that he will wait for us, to take us into heaven.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Syafiq met someone he claimed to be our distant relative. He is the son of Mok Su Tijah of Batu 9, Ibok.

I explained that if that was the case, that person must be his pok sepupu (uncle once removed) and my dua pupu (second cousin).

Sepupu, dua pupu, tiga pupu, pok sepupu, mok sepupu...these are terms used to denote blood-relationship between human beings.

How close they can be depends very much how physically and emotionally close they were.

I have some dua pupu who are very much closer to me than my sepupu and a few sepupu who are as close as and more dependable than even my own siblings!

As far as my mother's cousins or second cousins, I have only a handful still surviving. For that I try my level best to be closer and more intimate with them.

My late grandmother was smart. She had her daughters cross-breast-fed many of her grandchildren or the eldest ones. So, we were all milk-brothers-and-sisters and marriage between us cousins were out of the question.

That was really a smart move to prevent in-breeding!


Strangely before this I never considered myself an animal anatomy expert. In fact, come to think of it, I found anatomy as a mind-boggling subject.

Now I am teaching animal anatomy. Who am I to teach anatomy? People may ask me this question.

Who am I now, beside a lecturer?

Well, I have been an anatomic or diagnostic pathologist for years without consciously recognizing the word 'anatomic'.

Without knowing anatomy, both gross and microscopic (histology) how could I describe things.

Without knowing the normal gross and microscopic anatomy how can I know that something is abnormal or something is missing or something is not supposed to be there?

I am an expert in animal anatomy then, no one can deny it. Thus, I am competent to teach the students animal anatomy. Tell me that, Dato' Dr Azahar.

No, I don't mean to brag. I'm just psyching myself to stand tall in this noble profession.

It is tough, I'm telling you, to transform myself from a manager, a director of a government department to a lecturer, a teacher.

It is just two-months now since I first joined UniSZA. I have got all the time in the world.

I have been spicing up my anatomy lectures with with pathology and diseases, both of animals' and human's so that they can appreciate more what I teach them.

Imagine them seeing for the first time chicken testicles in the abdominal cavity.
"How then Prof, they produce sperm with all the heat?"

It's Allah's mighty power. Chickens' male reproductive system is blessed with a complex circulatory system to give the testicles an environment suitable for the continuation of chickens' species..ha ha

Well, actually even the mighty elephants have intra-abdominal testicles!