Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I've just touched Singaporean soil today and completed packing for the actual journey to China. I heard from the news that the weather is pretty cold out there near the Himalayans and I hope that I'm all geared up for it...

Anyway, it's been a very very hectic month in October and I'm glad to have this respite before another busy month in November. Learning lots in my department and loving every minute of it. Yet I need this break and somewhere cool to relax my mind.

A big thanx to my group of friends who stood by me during the difficult time past few weeks. Cheerios mates!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On friendship, betrayal and forgiveness

The most amazing thing happened to me yesterday. This is because for the first time in my life, I discovered the meaning of human cruelty. In my own humble existence, I had never envisage how mean and inconsiderate a person can be until now. The short 5 words uttered to me may seem insignificant to many people but to me, were almost unbearable as I ended an extremely succinct and surreal conversation in a dazed.

The main issue is not about letting go. I know it’s important to let bygones be bygones. Letting go is part of life and people do move on, some quicker than others. I have no difficulty in letting go as I understand that there is no use expending unnecessary energy over events I cannot alter.

The crux of the matter is how much of respect you should give to someone you consider as a friend and how much of respect I deserve in return. I have lost all respect and amicable trust in one single conversation as a result of possible betrayal and I am not sure if any friendship is possible. It left me wondering what terrible things have I done to my friend to deserve such action. In my soul-searching, I really couldn't single out any bad thing that I have done to earn this mean conversation. In this entire year, IMHO I have poured out only sincere, good-will and warm care.

In order to maintain my dignity, faith and joy, I am considering forgiveness and then forgetting the whole issue and the person on a whole. It will not come easily but I find that bitterness and sarcasm don’t really suit me. So I decide to retain my cheerful optimism and think of the best in every person, no matter how deep the hurt. However, it is still personally crucial that I release forgiveness and obtain closure on this matter, once and for all. As I embark on a path of forgiveness and healing, I guess things can only improve from now on. What goes down must come up and truly when we hit rock bottom, there is only 1 way to go…up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Malaysia..truly Asia?

The moment I pressed the button ‘publish post’ on my blogger site in my previous post, I know that I will be triggering an interesting floodgate of discussions and comments. After all, my ideas are a bit out-dated and seriously, people might mistake me for a religious bigot who likes to hide in a cave somewhere and meditate all day long or I am currently a scary old maid terrorizing medical students as a senior, unmarried lecturer in a medical school somewhere in Malaysia.

Actually, I’d like to state that I’m as open-minded and liberal as far as a normal educated Malaysian-Chinese can be. In fact, I have lost count of the number of friends I have who come from different cultural, religious and educational background. The advantage of our society and educational system include a very open tolerance to people from different races and culture. Somehow, as time goes by, people begin to forget that Malaysia is truly Asia.

Each of us develop our own system of thinking and comparative moral values depending on our upbringing and life events. Sometimes, I read up on human behaviour and psychology just to understand what makes human ticks. Just like how a child will dismantle a functioning toy car to see what makes it goes round, I was curious enough to hoard some books totally unrelated to my current practice.

There are different kinds of love languages and even single people do exhibit their love to various people in their lives. Sometimes, we love our friends through actions/service or at times, through concern or others through words. These expressions of love to friends are inherently different from a person who is our life partner. A lot of people accept someone who is very different from them because they see their future in the eyes of the person they are devoted to. In fact, some people used to say that opposites attracts. Yet two people who differ too much might be sowing a lot of discord and disharmony in their lives. Ultimately, it’s the balance of similarities and differences that make each couple so unique in their love.

Certain principles and values in lives are not blanket statements that apply to everyone. We should respect human individuality and freedom to express our opinions. When we are not willing to accept or understand other ideas, that’s when the rule of iron fist comes in. The blogging culture is the epitome of this freedom of expression and this is why I’m fast becoming an ardent follower of many blogs and let my writing style grow as I exposed myself to the variety of blogs and articles found online.

As I continue this discourse on love, freedom of speech and the world of blogging, I begin to understand human psychology. Marslow’s Hierarchy of needs, a famous pyramid begins to pop into my mind...

To be continued…

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lost and found and lost again...

During one of my chit-chat long lunch with some buddies, we were discussing about relationships. They were worried about my turbulent private life and the so-called dramatic ups and downs. I was more pre-occupied with the delicious fish fillet as they go on and on about love lost and found, etc, etc and ended up listening more than talking (for once in my life).

Suddenly, someone raised up the topic about young successful female professional in their late twenties and thirties. He mentioned that most of us (I guess I m in that category as well) have dysfunctional relationships when it comes to romance and the whole works with one main reason being that we are too focused on our own career, projects, advancements, hobbies, etc. As a result, we became complacent and occasionally selfish.

I have to admit that I made a few mistakes before when it comes to love. I’m not about to wash my dirty laundry in the public but lets just say that I didn’t implement very good quality control when it comes to social life. I have plenty of goals in life and when I decided to insert some safety regulations for the matters of my heart, I lose all discipline and ended up getting all hurt and heartbroken. I know that it’s important to have a few ground rules and from now on, I am going to strictly implement them (fingers crossed).

One, looks no longer matter. I used to date decent-looking guys which are not really that hot but are generally pleasant-looking people. As I grow in age and maturity ( I hope), I have learnt to separate the fact that good-looks doesn’t guarantee anything at all. In fact, some of the cuter ones are too hot for me to handle and i ended up feeling very left out, confused and abandoned.

Two, I need to have someone I can look up to, a leader in every sense in life. If the sense of respect is not there, how can we work out things and problems in the future? It doesn't mean that the person has to be a healthcare professional (I don't discriminate) but the person has to have a proper job which he has the passion and concentration for. Three, the person must have deep integrity and similar moral values. Most importantly, the person has to be a wholly-devoted, committed, matured, genuine Christian who love God more than me. Interesting concept and hard to grasp at first but this is something that I have learnt to submit to totally, without any questions asked.

As I drove back to my habitat, I mused on the topic my friend mentioned. Am I one of those people totally distracted by myself and my goals? Is it that hard to maintain healthy relationships and be massively successful? As I journey on in life, I guess my question will slowly be answered as I go on searching, wandering, wondering…

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chilling out alas

What's more relaxing than staring at crystal-clear flowing stream amidst soothing green tropical trees and pure, fresh air all filled without any pollutants from human?

Chilling out at home!! The last time I could truly chill out at home in KL is like 3 months ago. I miss my bedroom, computer, Internet and little bro so much and now I can finally see all of them J Hanging out at my favourite neighbourhood mall, KLCC and having drinks with my gal-pal while people-watching..these are just some of my typical weekend activity once back in the metropolis.

The good thing about home is the easy accessibility to LRT station, meaning I don’t have to drive everywhere in town. I’m someone who goes all out to avoid traffic jams and it always seem that the Friday jams in town are the worse. I wish that we have better mass transit system in KL but we have yet to see any start to contruction of the new lines. Sigh..

Of course, my short respite from a small town is usually for only 3 to 4 days but at least I’ve satisfied my cravings for city life for a while. So, I’m looking forward to my next break as I work hard and play even harder. Hasta-lavista….

Friday, October 10, 2008

Patience is a virtue

There are some people born with infinite patience while there are many others like me, trying to be patient. To me, trying to wait for things to happen by themselves and unfolding in their own time is harder than watching paint dry on the wall. Extremely excruciating...a downright torture but I'm slowly realizing some things in life.

Cultivating a good temper and gentle disposition involves a lot of prayer and self-discipline. If possible, as human we would like to indulge our own whims and wants. Instead, the best and most influential people in history choose to forget themselves and influenced people greatly because of a few distinguishing features. One of them is the ability to think of others first before themselves..some like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, etc even choose to think of their people, or an entire nation and no longer care about their own freedom or well-being.

If I'd indulge in my own self-pity party and keep on blaming 'bad' people for 'bad' situations, I'll never learn from my mistakes and I shall never move on. In fact, I'll be ineffective and uninspiring..totally lacklustre and devoid of life or hope. I will no longer be a leader and a role model like how I aspire to be.

Therefore, I've decided to move on and learn to live in abundance in spite of annus horribilis. I shall look upon the Saviour and draw strength and joy from this everlasting spring. In fact, each day in the previous week was productive, exciting and colourful...bringing me so much of cheerful and interesting activities that I no longer feel ineffectual and indifferent in a small town. We're making baby steps in transforming the health, minds and hearts of the people in D.C. As I'm firing myself on all cylinders, I'm sure there are more fireworks amidst the obstacles to come. Bring it on, baby!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Annus horribilis

Queen Elizabeth declared in 1 decade ago that she had an annus horribilis. I think I have no choice but to declare that 2008 is my annus horribilis, the year that everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I don't want to go on further as I'm usually an optimistic non-complainer but I am so upset because one of my most important piece of belonging was stolen from my house while I was working..and my house is in the hospital compound!

The loss of the item is incomparable to the amount of work I have stored in it. IMHO, intellectual property is much more costlier than a depreciated item. The most important lesson that I learnt is that we must always back-up all our data every single week.

Anyhow, this event only reminded me that people (security guards) who are supposed to do their job aren't performing their duties and that some burglars are so cruel because they take the only thing that is important to me as a working doctor who is serving the people.

Therefore, I'm pushed even further into my impending move out of Malaysia as I have lost all hope in the state of affairs in this country. Until I regain my hope and optimism, I think I'll be quite depressed for a while...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My normal evening activities

This is my route for dinner @ the Glutton Square..passing by the leaning tower almost daily. The Glutton square is the biggest hawker centre in this town but the quality of food is debatable...sigh.. Yet we could be seen at that place after skating as this centre is the nearest to the 'Speedy Circuit'.

Ah, talking about the Speedy Circuit. My love for the moment involves 4 wheels beneath each of my foot and speeding around a fast circuit. My K2 Kinetic 10.0 skates are a good bargain and gives a very smooth glide around the circular path. It's also very stable and easy to learn stunts on it. Not to say that I'm daring enough to try stunts right? (wink, wink)

A circuit almost custom-made for roller-blades here in D.C..hardly any people jogging around us and just a lone biker practising his stunts while people like me wheeze past them.

This is how I wear my r-blades. We are supposed to wear protective gears, including knee pads, elbow pads, wrist pads and a helmet.

More stories on rollerblade coming up next...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My perspective..exploring life among OA in Tapah

I’m one of those people who moonlight in local GP (General practitioner) clinics very rarely, like for example once a month. So far I’ve seen a variety of cases in different clinics just to experience the life of a GP in various towns in Perak.

Not long ago, I’ve visited a clinic in Tapah town and realized that I enjoyed seeing the orang asli (OA @ indigenous) children a lot. There are plenty of settlements scattered along the mountains bordering Tapah town and as a result, many of them seek medical treatment and earn their living in this town. When I sauntered into the night-market during my break, it was interesting to notice the rather unique items on sale. Instead of the normal ‘Made in China’ products we see in most night-markets, I see a lot of Made-in-Malaysia products…for example, wooden/rattan handicraft, beads, embroidered crafts and unusual herbs, spices and plants.

As I browse through the interesting items, I can’t help but observe the traders. A lot of them have very big smile but poor dental hygiene. I wonder how long it has been since they last went for a dental check-up. As I glanced at their skin, I was greeted with very darkly-pigmented, loose folds and brown, coarse hair. Some have very thin limbs but protuberant abdomen.

The same goes for children. The range of nutritional deficiency and childhood illnesses that we see is just the tip of the iceberg. The stark contrasts between urban children I see daily in KL, Ipoh or Teluk Intan and the little kids in Tapah OA settlement draws me to muse about my role in life and some of my forgotten dreams. The reason why I don’t want to be a paediatrician is because I cannot bear to see ill and dying children. I love to see them happy and running around healthy. Of course I can still be a paediatric surgeon but that is something to be considered for now.

Anyway, back to the OA children. As I see very few patients in my clinic, I actually had the luxury of taking detailed history from the parents so that I could go in depth into the children’s state of health. This is very different from the usual extra-hectic government hospitals and clinics and as a result, I could even find out about their diet, daily activities and practices.

I found out that most of them eat very simple food…cassava, legumes, wild plants, fish from the river and some poultry like chicken, duck, etc. The meat products are reserved for once a week or during festive occasion. Of course they consume clean water piped in from water collected high up in the mountain stream but some houses do not have electricity or a proper sewage system.

The older children attend school up to a certain age but life begins early and hard among these community. Some teenage girls marry early and have 3-4 children by the time they hit 21 year-old. Their husbands work very hard manual work until they are way past retirement age. The older children (>7 yr old) take care of their younger siblings while the parents work hard to bring food for their many children.

While life goes on in these communities as if it was 50 years ago, the rest of us chat via Wi-Fi at Starbucks, Coffee bean and etc, drive the latest Honda or Toyota cars and eat at the best restaurants in town. Yours truly have the luxury of blogging from a nice computer in an air-conditioned room while being well-fed daily. All this makes me feel very humble and grateful for all that I have as I ponder on how certain segments of the society live in abject poverty. As we celebrate another festive season, let us examine ourselves and begin to do something for others instead of being so inward-looking. Charity begins at home...