w.I.b:warung ikan bakar:
Harap-harap INI KALILAH !

Tuesday, April 29, 2003  

Of wannabes and bochaps

The Star on Tuesday has something interesting to talk about, besides the staple SARS, Iraq and the economist.
Apparently, a survey by a media research group has conveniently categorised the colourful and complicated Malaysian society into merely 5 groups, namely the urban traditionalists, kampung traditionalists, wannabes, loners and bochaps.
I cannot see where I fit in. Just when I thought I belong to the wannabes type because I do care about issues (e.g. pollution) that may bore people, by no means am I someone who spend on expensive desserts to pamper myself after a long day's work. The other categories hardly fit me or my close friends.
According to the survey, the tidak-apa/not bothered group -the bochaps consist of semi-skilled workers, mid-income group..... and students !! Now, if the survey refer to primary and lower secondary school children, then it is alright. But if they refer to the supposedly more mature students of the higher secondary and tertiary level, then it is a sad, sad case, isn't it? But then again, it is not that surprising. Youths nowadays prefer to let the TV and media pander to them, and conform to shallow activities that are full of pseudo-glamour, without much thought. Their thinking glands have either atrophied or mal-developed.
Anyway, I say the survey results hardly reflect the whole socio-architecture of the society, but merely some simplified marketing facts for advertisers and media.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 8:24 AM

Monday, April 28, 2003  

A tale of ignorance & arrogance : Part 2

I found this from Jeff Ooi's Screenshots :

The writer of the articles that caused the 'displeasure' of Dr M's men, Christopher Lockwood replied to the current fiasco :
"It is impossible to write a survey without offending some people to some degree.... We also expect what we write to be criticised.
"If you criticise the prime minister, then you would expect his supporters to attack you.
"It is a little sad that the mindset is still o­ne that says if you don't agree with us o­n everything, then you are against us.
"I stand by all the things that I said. I feel that it is unfair to me as (the critics) made it seem as though everything in the article was negative."

Off tangent:sembang kat warung : Really, the way our leaders are reacting is embarassing. They should learn to welcome feedback, be it pleasant, encouraging or otherwise. Some chose to see the condemnation of The Economist as a way to show loyalty, now, this reason is even more degrading for our leaders. I feel for Mr. Lockwood, he must be shocked and hurt about the whole thing, and getting an introductory lesson to the peculiarity and the dark side of Malaysian politics, or rather politico-pathology.Although I do not agree with everything he wrote, I think he had done his homework before writing, and I would respect him if he choose not to apologise.
ignorance : Malaysians who condemn the magazine without reading it
arrogance : Malaysians who only want to read about good things written about them, and boast about it, otherwise, try to ban the material that contains the criticisms
ignorance : Foreign writers who do not foresee the consequences if they are going to write something critical about Malaysia
arrogance: Foreign magazines who like to highlight the weaknesses of other countries, but glorify their home country ; which at this time around, I cannot really say the Economist fall into this one, at least not by the current Malaysian articles. There are worse literature that made a fool of Malaysia and the people, both foreign and local
If they are going to ban The Economist, it will only be a black mark for the government, bordering on childishness.
I wonder what is Dr M's own response to the whole issue.

etc: Lim Kit Siang's media statement on the Home Ministry's call to ban the Economist click here

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 8:40 PM

Sunday, April 27, 2003  

a tale of ignorance & arrogance :

The article in The Economist and the reactions has created quite a storm in the local press scene.
Hah, I realised that I am still an amateur when it comes to political analysis. I was almost convinced by NST and The Star that the mag The Economist has nothing good to say about Dr. M and our country.
Until I checked out Onn Yeoh's transitions and Jeff Ooi's Screenshots this morning, that I managed to read the actual article about Malaysia in that 'rogue' magazine. It's not that bad. We cannot always expect a foreign magazine to see our country with the same tolerance and perception like most of us do. Diaorang tak makan gaji Malaysia, tak payahlah takut kritik benda yang patut dikritik, bukan?
I especially agree with the section that commented that the racial integration in Malaysia is still in its premature state. Come on, it is time to be honest with ourselves, or else, by being overfed with self-denial and self-pandering, we will only create lesions in our development as a state and as a economy.
Nasib baik there are blogs like Transitions and Screenshots, which give a more balanced view on the whole issue, if not I would have been swayed to a biased stand.
In whatever conflicts and arguments, it is always unfair to listen to one side of the story and then make a stand. It is sometimes better to sit on the fence before you understand the whole issue. From my experience, it is always apparent that arrogance is seen in both sides.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 7:20 PM

Friday, April 25, 2003  

Thank you Badawi !
Our acting Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi has shown good statesmanship and is in the highest level of inter-religion tolerance and national harmony when he decided to lift the ban on the Iban-language Bible , the Bap Kudus. In this season that sees ministers making bad decisions ( like our lawyer Health minister ), Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has given us new hope in the current administration. We are now optimistic of better governance to come when he takes over officially as the head of the Malaysian government. Thank you, Badawi !
for a detailed report, please go to thestar online

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 9:39 PM

Are we heading towards to self-destruction?

The two icons above, belong to Singapore's and Malaysia's premier university respectively. These two icons would link you to their websites.
If you care to compare, you will see a huge difference between the two sites, and this reflects the difference in the quality and the atmosphere of excellence between these two centres of learning and research. Is UM too poor to hire world-class IT consultants to create a decent website that correspond to the current IT standards? Why is it that UM and most other bodies in Malaysia so lethargic to improve, and insensitive to changes in social demand and and ignorant of the current benchmark of excellence? Why are we so deep in our dreams about the glory in the past? Also, is Malaysia to poor to at least ensure one of the many universities to remain a world-class school? UM is really going somewhere in the past, but now, isn't it merely a jaguh kampung?
I cannot help but observe that the culture in UM is heading towards a self-destruction mode. If the intake of students is not properly screened and monitored, if the recruitment of teaching staff is not properly managed ( meaning only lecturers of high calibre should be employed) and if the level of quality is not upgraded, I do not see we will be going far, while other institutions are moving ahead, fast. Generally, the students do not have the attitude of a tertiary student, the lecturers ( this may be a sweeping statement, sorry ) are not good teachers, lazy researchers but loves awards and recognition.
The medical school in UM is also suffering the same situation, where the current administration prefer to feed themselves with comforting and flattering evaluation results about the new curriculum(NIC), and the standard of lecturer, students and facilities. I am one of the students - the grassroot level. I know if the aspirations from the top can trickle down to us, which we strongly feel they do not.
We may be the best decades ago, but if we continue to boast without substance while others are catching up fast, very soon we are just another medical school, of a third-world standard. Why are we blind to our own weaknesses? Is it so hard to admit that we are not up to the mark, and now we should buck up? Do we need to be on the defensive side, all the time, in a state of denial, as if emulating the methods and PR strategy of our lawyer Health Minister ?
I really hope the administration would succumb to their own conscience and stop bluffing themselves and us. The ISO certification that we get is meaningless but a stupid piece of pseudo-recognition and pandering by the auditing body, if we are not , actually up to the mark.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 3:49 AM

Tuesday, April 22, 2003  

I have always enjoyed P Ramlee movies, especially Ahli Nujum, Ali Baba, Bujang Lapok, and other comedies. He has really something original and unpretentious in his works. Those were last time.
What has the film and TV industry in Malaysia got to gain from this talented man, besides always featuring him in classic hits and using his name to glorify the present industry?
I have observed for many years that there are still a certain group of so-called ‘experts’ in the Malaysian film and TV industry that is blind and inert to change, and their ‘taste’ and designs, both conceptual and graphical is so stale, and weak that it is almost shamefully unbearable to make an attempt to enjoy the fruits of their production.
Take for example, the movie ‘Gerak Khas 2’ - the bad acting, the stereotyped story, the idiotic plot, and bad score and editing or the event ‘16th KL Film Festival Award Ceremony’- the setting, the emcees, the conceptual design, the score/theme for that night is hardly inspiring that can make it a memorable event.
But, does this mean we are dry in real talents? In the name of ikanbakar, NO !! We have a substantial amount of talents in Malaysia. You’ve seen their works, I hope, like Spinning Gasing, TV series like Kopitiam, Each Other, Getting Together (Ng Ping Ho) and the graphics and concept in NTV7, TV3 and ASTRO. Or check out the adverts in all kinds of media, those by LeoBurnett, Naga DDB , Grays ,etc they are really good, and with great potential. But why are these talents absent in events so important like the KL film festival. Is it because some old-hogs with poor talents are dominating the industry? I see that is the only reason to explain the below-par happenings. They are easily contented with achieving minor results and imitating superior works and take them as their own. Another clear example of the Malaysian Malaise Syndrome,..em alahai………..

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 10:57 PM

Monday, April 21, 2003  

Shaiks,forget about my one-week hiatus. I ate back my words as soon as the comp lab reopens. Anyway, I found Kaz with his Digital Fugue. Same tamplate with mine, but definitely more established. Hope he'll come here more often for some ikanbakar blognotes.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 7:40 PM

Sunday, April 20, 2003  

Off tangent: sembang kat warung
Ever wonder why I chose the name Ikanbakar? I’m not so sure myself, but it does have something to do with making this site feel Malaysian. I tried coffeeshop.blogspot or satay.blogspot, but they are taken. Anyway, I have gotten comfortable with this name, and in fact, I have come up with simple black and white logo. I just don’t know how to upload it to this site, sigh, I’m still an html amateur.
Now, talking about ikanbakar, Pang and I went with a pretty senior to this place in Sentul, a nightspot/eating place called Naili’s place. Ordered an ikanbakar, kembong for RM 6, and it doesn’t taste good ! You all know that ikanbakar doesn’t come cheap, but normally they come with olfantastic and glosso-glorifying taste, but this 6 ringgit venture went to the drain, it merely reminds me of the fish that my hostel canteen serve. Instead of this place, I should have just spent the same amount for a nice plate of nasi ikan bakar in Oasis, MidValley Megamall.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 9:25 PM

Friday, April 18, 2003  

~sigh, the pleasure of writing, of secreting from the thinking glands, of sharing the juices, but the pleasure of writing shall not ruin the importance of mugging, So I am announcing a one week hiatus, from the good old computer, the net, and the blogging world~

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 4:14 AM

Thursday, April 17, 2003  

Interesting find from DAP Malaysia. +Disclaimer+ fooji is not a DAP member/supporter, but merely find this an issue worth taking note

The assertion made by Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad at the undergraduates' congress in University Sains Malaysia, Penang on Saturday that university students should not get involved in politics for fear that this could distract them from their studies is a regressive one.

At a time when many students had themselves expressed their interest and desire to play a part in the nation's political development - as evidenced by the positive response at the congress' session on "Students and Politics" - Musa's statement only serves to pour cold water on their healthy enthusiasm.

Even if we think that students should not involved themselves in party politics, there is no reason why they should be disallowed to concerned themselves with the affairs of the nation and issues of nation building which should be what politics is rightly all about, namely the science of government. Hence, to say that education must be free from all political influence, as Musa had remarked, is not only unfortunate but also unrealistic, since politics affect all and sundry regardless of whether one is studying or otherwise. To argue that students who get involved in politics would have their studies affected is too presumptuous. On the contrary, if we want our students to develop themselves holistically and not merely academic wise, then space must be given to them to fully express themselves in all areas; political issues being no exception..."Click here for the full copy of the article on "Disallowing student involvement in politics regressive"

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 4:52 AM

Found an interesting line while checking other blogs :- "success to me is embracing my passion and my individuality while enjoying the journey in harmonic overture between order and creativity. it is about connecting with others through recognition, onto an intertwining, influential and inspirational path.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 4:27 AM

Wednesday, April 16, 2003  

Yet another Wednesday entry.
Not surprising, at home, and can’t concentrate on that bloody brain stem chapter, all i want to do is write something to the blog. Think I made 3 wrong decisions this week: - To return to college on Sunday; to return yesterday ; to agree to let Indah Water pump the shit out of my house.

Which brings me to the topic – Indah Water
My father gave me grumblings over the decision, which made me, in the end, broke my word and refused to let them do it. Reason that my father give is that we are not going to pay for the charge of Rm 72 per year as ours are individual ‘private’ septic tanks, and used no service of Indah water. This issue has been lingering for some time, because we hardly notice the service and toils of Indah Water, and their lack of accountability too, to layperson like my father does not help the issue. So, I guess we are yet another household who turn a deaf year to them. Myself, I think no harm letting them do it, and pay the charges, but inevitably they will cause mess to my kitchen.

Really, Indah Water is one of the worst privatisation project. Why privatise this area in the first place? When you charge like that, typical Malaysians aren’t going to pay and appreciate,but if you charge hiddenly in water bills, ah…. I see ancient wisdom at work.
Those stupid PR campaigns don’t help too, it’s just too exaggerated and fake.If only they hire me to boost their corporate image

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 2:19 AM

Tuesday, April 15, 2003  

just found out about this RiceBowl journals site. looks like a blogger elite group. Loved the design and the grayscale photos. But i think my application is kinda rejected. Sigh....

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 10:25 PM

Wednesday afternoon of a solemn April
I really, really have very good friends. God really blesses me in this area. Somehow, I just undeservingly get their love and favour. Friends from church, family, coursemates, seniors, ex-schoolmates :- they really love me, and sometimes I wonder if I had done enough in return. Thank you all for your support, and the occasional calls for yum-cha, for not leaving me out of your plans!!

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 9:54 PM

Monday, April 14, 2003  

Tuesday morning of a morbid April
Woke up with a backache. And after the toilet rituals, my handphone rang, and I know, what's in store. My ah poh passed away this morning. Decided to return today. Wasn't too sure before this as I have intended to skip all the nonsensical taoist rituals, which recognise no filial piety but mere show-off of any superficialitics that remain.
Anyway, I realise my aunt and uncle who have taken care of her day and night for the past few years could be in need of support. So, I am going home again.
Ngui Ah Khoon is one fine lady, after 93 years, it's time to rest and call it a day.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 6:09 PM

Ruang 'kosong' reformasi

by Fathi Aris Omar

12:33pm Mon Apr 14th, 2003

Reformasi 1998 bukan sahaja persaingan Anwar Ibrahim-Mahathir, bukan juga krisis politik dalaman Umno atau pemimpin kerajaan sahaja. Ia krisis kebangsaan. Ia membongkar kebusukan mendalam negara ini, pemimpinnya, institusinya, ruang awamnya, masyarakatnya dan "tokoh-tokohnya".

Memang era reformasi melahirkan kecenderungan berpihak. Setiap orang memilih untuk menjadi pro-reformasi (atau Anwar) atau pro-kerajaan (atau Mahathir). Tetapi itu keputusan politik, bukan keputusan intelektual, keputusan jujur untuk mencari kebenaran yang lebih tinggi dan luas.

Ruang intelektual tidak dilihat. Ia ditinggalkan kosong oleh kita semua, termasuk apa yang dikenali oleh aktivis serta penyokong reformasi itu sendiri; misalnya, menakrif dan memahami "gejala" reformasi itu sendiri. Ia diabaikan oleh pemikir bangsa kita. Tidak rancak wacana yang melihat di luar percaturan kuasa, watak Anwar-Mahathir.

pasted from www.malaysiakini.com

My comment: What Fathi or even Farish say must/should be considered by Malaysians. But sadly, most Malaysians are preoccupied with superficialitics like money, fashion, glamour and whatnots. Not many, even undergraduates of theology or political science nowadays, hardly come up with views like this, or even feel like debating about it. Maybe that's why, this blogsite so unpopular, hoh?

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 2:25 AM

Neuroanatomy, neurophysiology starts today, and will only be running for 2 weeks, before we get 3 weeks of CNS diseases.
Ruby Husain today mentioned that while most other unis do 2 terms of CNS, we(UM) get a measly 5 weeks. Students from other unis? Comment please.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 2:18 AM

Friday, April 11, 2003  

Tribute to my grandmother, Mdm Ngui Ah Khoon
A humble lady, unassuming, and play her motherly and grandmotherly role with perfection without pretension.
She is now afflicted with renal and heart failure, and the family decided to let her take the natural course. For me, it is quite a dillemma, being a med student and knowing the possibility of reversing it. However, i have spoken to two doctors, and they share the same view with my family members.

To see her semi-conscious and waiting for the final breath to take, can be very painful. For her and for me.
I salute this lady, who has lived a ripe old age, most of her lifetime spent in Falim,Ipoh, and has touched my childhood and early teenage a great deal. Teaching me humility and kindness. She never had the chance to go schooling, if not, she might have been prominent figure. May God bless her.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 8:48 PM

Thursday, April 10, 2003  

Even Interns Get the Blues

from Medscape Med Students

Posted 01/03/2003

Daniel Egan, MD

Over the past month of my internship I have had a little case of the "intern blues." Ironically, although it feels like I am the only one going through the trials and tribulations of internship, I've actually borrowed that phrase from a book by Dr. Robert Marion with the same title, proving that it is not just me.

I read the book years ago as a premed waiting to get into medical school. Dr. Marion asked 3 pediatric interns, named Amy, Mark, and Andy, to keep diaries during the infamous first year of residency. As a college student reading the book, I thought it would be incredible to spend the night in the hospital when the rest of the world was sleeping. I was enamored of their language, sets of skills, and new roles as doctors. It didn't occur to me that death, human frailty, and profound illness would get to me. Now that I am the intern, their tales are perfect examples of the unexpected. Somehow, as I realize now, you continue to feel invincible -- "It would never happen to me."

My last month was in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). Every third night I worked for 30 hours, usually without any sleep. Monitor alarms are incessantly going off, screaming potentially fatal arrhythmias -- you run only to find out that the patient was moving and set off the detector. Nurses continually come up to you and ask for an order: "Can I replete the magnesium? Can I give the patient in bed 9 more sedation? What do you want to give for his heart rate of 140?"

Complicated cases came in at this time, patients died. I felt inadequate to deal with these situations. The schedule left no time for a social life, which might have helped me get through some of this, and I began to wish for a night at the theater or a classical music concert. I could not even get together for a casual drink with friends at a bar. My emails to friends were getting shorter and less frequent. It was essentially impossible to escape medicine since I was spending so much time in the hospital. (Those who will be interns next year should eagerly anticipate the changes in work hours!)

My MICU block ended and I moved on to a community hospital emergency department (ED) where I thought everything was going to be easy. While the ED has been much simpler to navigate in terms of both hours and medical complexity, initially I felt like a horrible doctor. I didn't know the system and, after having hours to spend with each patient the month before, I had forgotten how quickly you have to move in the ED. I was "spoken to" by an attending about my documentation because I wasn't using the proper terminology when describing a hand injury (surprisingly, I was never taught the terminology, but in the culture of medicine I was expected to already know it). That same attending told me that I needed to work on my speed. Essentially, I was not seeing enough patients per hour.

It was difficult because, as an intern, you find yourself walking the fine line between being overly thorough or missing something in your history and physical because you are not as strong at pattern recognition as those with years of experience. Additionally, this is my time to "learn," and getting patients out of the ED quickly is not going to contribute to that.

Essentially, I felt like crap.

Earlier in the year, a junior resident told me that interns go through a period of time when they feel like they know nothing. The same theme recurs each year of residency. We have so much to look forward to. But I was feeling more than just a gaping hole in my knowledge base. I felt an overwhelming discontent with my career choice and my job as it currently stood.

It is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and to understand that this is a means to a greater end. I cannot imagine a career that would ultimately bring me the same satisfaction, but at the same time I found myself envious of friends who were working normal hours and making a lot more money than me. Some of my college friends are teachers. They go home at the end of the day with work sometimes, but look forward to every weekend off. The investment bankers are working as many -- if not more -- hours than me, but they do get compensated for their time.

I have never been a person to complain or feel that way and, honestly, I did not know how to deal with these emotions. Luckily, I have kept in touch with friends from medical school and have made friends in my current intern class. Simple conversations in which I hinted at my frustration led to full-on catharsis. I talked to my best friend from medical school who is a preliminary medicine intern at a hospital in New York City working ridiculous hours while trying to maintain his outside life and relationship of 8 years. He came to visit me on a weekend off, and as we walked around Boston (exploring some parts for my first time) we vented to each other. Another close friend (also left behind in New York) who entered a surgical field told me of her crying episodes in the call room. I have met co-residents who moved all the way across the country to be at the hospitals where I work, only to realize that it is hard to start your life all over again at age 26. It felt wonderful to know that people I respect and consider so well-adjusted had many of the same feelings I did. Everyone is stressed and everyone cannot wait for this to be over.

I have a reason for choosing this relatively depressing topic. When I was graduating medical school, my school was talking about developing a short curriculum during the fourth year to discuss internship. Unfortunately I missed it. You hear the rumors (just like you probably did about medical school) but you never believe it until it happens to you. I guess I didn't have the heads-up that I should have had. I really enjoyed medical school and didn't mind the hours as much as I do now. Maybe it's because I was willing to sacrifice my outside life a little more as a single person. But now that I have moved to a new city, would like to pursue a relationship, and be a normal adult who has a career, it becomes much more difficult to watch the hours go by. So please use this as a warning. The friendships and support networks you establish before you move on to your internship will become key in your survival through the first year. Be prepared for the bad days (or, unfortunately, sometimes months) and you will probably sail through the year.

Daniel Egan, MD, 2002 graduate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and first-year emergency medicine resident, Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 1:32 AM

The more than doubling of suspected SARS cases in a matter of a week, i.e. from 44 cases on 31 March (when there was “zero case” on 30th March) to 99 cases yesterday, must be a matter of grave concern, which has not been reflected in any of the pronouncements by Chua, who seems to be more interested in an “ego” trip, endlessly referring to the commendation at the way Malaysia handled the SARS outbreak by the World Health Organisation (WHO) regional representative some three weeks ago when he was very successful in keeping under wraps the actual SARS situation in the country or claiming that he had done better than Singapore in dealing with the SARS crisis.

Chua should forget his “ego trip” and single-mindedly concentrate on the task at hand – to stop the SARS outbreak in Malaysia, which must be based on a combination of three factors, professionalism, public confidence and transparency. The battle against the new killer virus cannot be won if there is no professionalism or public confidence, and the latter hinges on a policy of full transparency.

DAP hereby makes five proposals for Chua Jui Meng to restore public confidence in the Health Ministry’s capability, professionalism and transparency in handling the deadly SARS outbreak, viz:

Reinstate the daily report on the cumulative number of SARS cases in the country, to banish any suspicion that the Ministry has things to hide.
End the Health Ministry’s arbitrary definition of SARS cases and comply with the WHO case definitions of "suspected" and "probable" SARS cases and make public the two sets of figures daily.
Give a full log of the incidence of SARS cases in the country, giving date, location, age and gender for each case in order to enable the public to better understand the SARS outbreak, and explain why the public and the nation were not alerted and warned when the first few SARS suspected cases were reported to the authorities very much earlier last month.
As the briefing to MPs yesterday was a farce, raising more questions than answering them on the SARS outbreak, Chua should appear in Parliament for a two-hour session tomorrow (last day of the current Parliament) to report on the latest SARS situation and to answer all the questions of MPs, with the whole proceeding telecast live on TV which will go a long way to create nation-wide alert and awareness of the deadly SARS outbreak.
End the government media blackout on information on the current dengue epidemic, and give full, accurate and timely information about dengue cases and deaths. The Health Ministry cannot secure public trust in dealing with the SARS outbreak if it cannot be trusted with the handling of the ongoing dengue epidemic with the total number of dengue cases and deaths still kept a top government secret.

by Lim Kit Siang

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 1:27 AM

THis blogsite too serious ?
Well, maybe yes because when it comes to healthcare and politics, even the jokes require some serious thoughts. Anyway, this doesn't mean the author does not have a sense of humour. In fact, this is an avenue for the author to keep his serious side, cos once he leave the computer room for his hostel, there begins the wackiness !!

Enjoy the articles posted, I hope.
Kokming, contribute some la!

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 1:23 AM

Wednesday, April 09, 2003  

To all readers ( if there's any, it's so new I dare not say there is), please scroll down to the comments section, and give me some feedback..... trying to feed my ego here.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 8:26 AM

Are we overreacting? KIASI, perhaps?
During our MMB tutorial just now, Assoc. Prof Dr. Ng Kee Peng commented that perhaps the world has overreacted to the whole episode of SARS, do you guys agree? People are dying everyday, pneumonia and other forms of respiratory sickness do happen all the time, I wonder how many of those have been implicated with SARS. How many of those suspected ones are actually from the rogue virus? The huge number of warded suspected cases, seem so horribly frightening, thus panicking the people.

On another issue,
the standard of medical students are dropping, Dr. Ng lamented. He asked a simple yet thought-provoking question:- How are we, the present generation of students are going to be effective lecturers/academicians in the future? When our lack of enthusiasm and shallow foundation in the basic sciences are so glaring.

Sigh, sigh.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 1:22 AM

Tuesday, April 08, 2003  

Case Definitions for Surveillance of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

To describe the epidemiology of SARS and to monitor the magnitude and the spread of this disease, in order to provide advice on prevention and control.

Case definitions (revised 1 April 2003)

The case definitions for global surveillance are subject to limitations because of the rapidly evolving nature of this illness. They are based on current understanding of the clinical features of SARS and the available epidemiological data, and may be revised as new information accumulates. Preliminary clinical description of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome summarizes what is currently known about the clinical features of SARS. Countries may need to adapt case definitions depending on their own disease situation. Retrospective surveillance is not expected.

Suspect case
1. A person presenting after 1 November 20021 with history of:
- high fever (>38 °C)
- cough or breathing difficulty
AND one or more of the following exposures during the 10 days prior to onset of symptoms:
- close contact2 with a person who is a suspect or probable case of SARS;
- history of travel, to an affected area 3

- residing in an affected area 3

2. A person with an unexplained acute respiratory illness resulting in death after 1 November 2002, 1 but on whom no autopsy has been performed
AND one or more of the following exposures during to 10 days prior to onset of symptoms:
- close contact,2 with a person who is a suspect or probable case of SARS;
- history of travel to an affected area 3
- residing in an affected area 3

Probable case
1. A suspect case with radiographic evidence of infiltrates consistent with pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) on chest X-ray (CXR).
2. A suspect case with autopsy findings consistent with the pathology of RDS without an identifiable cause.

Exclusion criteria
A case should be excluded if an alternative diagnosis can fully explain their illness.

Reclassification of cases
As SARS is currently a diagnosis of exclusion, the status of a reported case may change over time. A patient should always be managed as clinically appropriate, regardless of their case status.
- A case initially classified as suspect or probable, for whom an alternative diagnosis can fully explain the illness, should be discarded.
- A suspect case who, after investigation, fulfil the probable case definition should be reclassified as "probable".
- A suspect case with a normal CXR should be treated, as deemed appropriate, and monitored for 7 days. Those cases in whom recovery is inadequate should be re-evaluated by CXR.
- Those suspect cases in whom recovery is adequate but whose illness cannot be fully explained by an alternative diagnosis should remain as "suspect".
- A suspect case who dies, on whom no autopsy is conducted, should remain classified as "suspect". However, if this case is identified as being part of a chain transmission of SARS, the case should be reclassified as "probable".
- If an autopsy is conducted and no pathological evidence of RDS is found, the case should be "discarded".

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 8:26 AM

Public Forum:
The US-Iraq War:
Impact & Consequences

Date: 11 April 2003
Time: 8pm - 11pm
Venue: Crystal Crown Hotel, PJ Speakers:
1. Datuk Param Cumarasamy- UN Special Rappoteur on Independent of the Judiciary
2. Dr Chandra Muzaffa - Just President
3. Zainur Zakaria - Former Bar Council President
4. Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman

Admission free. All are welcome

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 8:16 AM

Monday, April 07, 2003  

Something from MOH Singapore
Summary of SARS cases

To date, the total number of people diagnosed with SARS is 113. Among these are 3 children below 18 years of age. Out of the 31 patients still hospitalised, 12 are in intensive care. Since yesterday, there were two deaths and 1 new admission to intensive care who is the nurse from the private nursing home.

Apart from the first imported case, the 6 other imported cases have not given rise to any SARS cases.

The number of suspect cases admitted is 73, including 3 children (below 18 years old). The number of people under Home Quarantine Orders is 133.

Expanded list for travel advisory

MOH urges the public to heed World Health Organisation (WHO)'s advice to postpone travel to Hong Kong and Guangdong until another time. We would also like to advise the public to avoid travel to other SARS affected areas - Shanxi, Taiwan, Hanoi and Toronto, unless absolutely necessary.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 8:41 PM

Chua Jui Meng given 48 hours to withdraw his "national security" threat against me or I will lodge a report with Suhakam on Tuesday for his quadruple violation of human rights - the right to life, information, personal liberty and freedom of expression

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Sunday): I want to clarify the Malaysiakini report yesterday under the headline "Sars: Kit Siang challenges Pak Lah to use ISA", with the following introduction:

"DAP chairperson Lim Kit Siang today challenged Home Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to detain him under the Internal Security Act for his criticism over the manner in which the Health Ministry was handling the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars)."

A check with the relevant media statement which I issued will show that I had never issued such a challenge to Abdullah to detain me under the Internal Security Act (ISA). The Malaysiakini headline and introduction were not correct reporting of my media conference statement in Penang yesterday, which is available on the following websites:


At the DAP Bruas new village dinner in Perak last night, I said I was not sure yesterday whether I could keep my dinner appointment with the people of Bruas or whether I would have been taken into police custody a third time under the ISA as threatened by the Health Minister, Datuk Chua Jui Meng on Friday when he virtually accused me of sabotaging national security in pressing for full accountability and transparency from him on the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) situation in the country.

Chua's warning of dire action against me after he chaired the first meeting of the National Committee on SARS and declared that SARS was now "a national security matter" was most ominous.

When associating me with "rumour-mongering", "irresponsible statement", "global health scare", and warnings about "plunging tourism" and "economic slowdown", and tying them with "national security" together with the statement that the Home Ministry and the police have "taken cognizance" of my statements, the implications are clear - that I will be the subject of a police crackdown.

There are two ways for the police to take action - one is by the ordinary process of the law arresting and prosecuting a person for criminal offences and the other is by extra-judicial actions like invoking the ISA with detention-without-trial powers.

As Chua has not lodged any police report against me for the police to initiate investigations of his specific complaint that I had violated a crime chargeable in a court of law, the only police action that could be contemplated is the ISA which has often been sued to arrest opposition leaders on trumped-up charges.

As I said in my speech at the DAP Bruas New Village Dinner last night, I do not wish to be an ISA detainee for a third time, but just like the first two occasions in 1969 and 1987, I will not run away from the country to avoid arrest, as is the wont of MCA leaders nor will I stop demanding that the Health Minister must be fully open and tolerant in his handling of the SARS outbreak - as the right to life is mother of all human rights.

I have no doubt that if Chua has the powers to use ISA, he would have put me behind lock-and-key by now, not because I am a threat to national security but a threat to his personal political security and future by exposing his Ministerial irresponsibility and ineptitude!

I never challenged Abdullah to detain me under the ISA, but I did challenge Abdullah to repudiate Chua's threat of dire action, including ISA, for my criticism of the Health Minister's handling of SARS outbreak.

I take Chua's threat seriously, because there are more than ample examples of the Barisan Nasional abuse of the ISA for its own political purposes completely unrelated to national interests or national security.

For this reason, I am giving Chua 48 hours to withdraw his "national security" threat against me or I will lodge a report with Suhakam on Tuesday for his quadruple violation of human rights - the right to life, information, personal liberty and freedom of expression. As a lawyer by profession, Chua should know that a threat to violate human rights is a human right violation by itself.



* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 7:43 AM

Here's something interesting I just found : - Should Malaysia be an Islamic state ? by Farish A. Noor
Ever since I got my hands on his book 'The Other Malaysia' , I have great respect for this man and his insights.
Go this site:- http://www.malaysia.net/dap/bul1458.htm to read

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 6:54 AM

Busylike mad, but blogging got my attention, so I'm putting off my study plans. WHo cares about Breast cancer and Vaginitis , anyway, at such time, when SARS is reigning for the moment.
Still so very new in blogging, can't help reading with envy of how nicely established the other blogs are, and how varied the features are. To note a few great site, bigblueblog and buggered and kotakkosong.blogspot.com

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 4:55 AM

The sweet promises have run dry, and now in second year, the intricacies and mechanism that drive a PBL session has almost worn out. Malaysian students, being not so proficient in communicative language, and in my school, in particular, the lack of enthusiasm to spend more than 2 hours in a warm lab in the afternoon, would not abe able to make good use out of a PBL. I would have liked to know more and discussed, but i should not impose the same expectations on others, right? So, this is where the PBL stopped working, functioning to its highest potential. Perhaps, what the school can do is to teach and train to have quality SDLs !

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 1:17 AM

Saturday, April 05, 2003  

Again, this is another old piece of writing, ordered to write by one of my friend in college. Well, it never get published, wasn't too serious actually.
Damn this is so hard to write ………. What on earth does Pang think I have that I’ll write e decent presentable piece of essay that will be published by the local dailies?

Anyway, here goes…

Sample One
We are medical students of University of Malaya, and we are really disheartened to sharing our lifetime with some ruthless people bent on using aggression to achieve their goals. These people that I mean are none other than President Bush, Bugger Rumsfeld, Laden, Saddam, Kim-jong Ill, Jayakumar,Ling Liong Sik, Samy Vellu, Chua Jui Meng, and other bastards we would not even mention.
We hereby want to tell these people that their intention for war really suck to the bones, and we condemn them for making the possibility of a world war so real and threatening.
You all suck.

Sample 2

We are a group of students given the opportunity to train in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya so that one day, we will graduate as doctors, as members of the society entrusted with the noble task of healing and providing comfort to those in distress and in pain. We choose this field because we are inspired and thrilled with the difference each of us can make as a doctor. (my foot!) Our ethics and aspirations rests heavily on the ideals of love, peace and kindness. Alas, the recent threats of war under the pretext of anti-terrorism , national defence and issue of sovereignty have made a mockery out of our ideals and hopes in the medical world.

When this world succumb to fear, give up on peace and turn to aggression, war would be inevitable. When this happen, there would be hardly any meaning and purpose left of our medical education.

We are being trained to treasure life, to save lives, and to comfort those in pain and distress – but what good can we do out of this training if by the time we graduate as doctors, the world had gone chaotic and people were decimated because certain political powers like the US started a war with haste and with vengeance in mind ?

War is one of the modes of mass destruction of lives that can make medicine look lame and pointless. We toil and labour just to save one life and but war can destroy so many.

In the medical world, we are fighting hard against diseases like AIDS, cancer, etc. but none of these is as malicious as war. Any party that campaigns for a war can be seen as unkind and an enemy to the ideals of medicine. Therefore, we medical students of University of Malaya condemns the Bush Administration for their unreasonable, almost silly, plan to conduct an unprovoked armed aggression against Iraq that is merely justified by suspicion and weak excuses.

The US leads in many scientific endeavours and humanitarian efforts that are richly benefiting mankind. Many talented individuals in US have dedicated their lives to medicine and their research work and discovery has helped medicine made many great leaps in advancement. We are truly grateful to these people. We believe they share similar hopes and ideals for this world, and they too believed in love and the importance of peace. Unfortunately, the current government of the US does not reflect their ideals. Therefore, we have two points to make from this context – firstly; only the Bush Administration not the Americans supports the war. Secondly, we urge the Americans of setiap genap lapisan, including the Joints Chief of Staff, all the soldiers to ask the Bush Administration to *%#+ themselves. Also, to impeach the idiotic draft-dodger George W. Bush.

It is heartening to see so many groups from Malaysia and the international scene to have come out boldly to speak against the war. We join them in condemning the war. We also appeal to those who are, till now, still indifferent and spineless about this issue to make a stand, and to tell the war-mongers that they suck big time.

Our hopes and ideals may look naive and our response futile, but while there is still a chance, we shall do our bit to prevent this world from degenerating beyond hope and healing. We medical students of University of Malaya would like to give peace a chance.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 10:21 PM

LIFE is IndescribableSome people say – life is difficult, life is unfair, life is beautiful, life sucks, life is great. To me, life is indescribable. In its core there are hopes and smiles, but filled with difficulties and trials. Whatever that are beautiful and meaningful in life, can only be manifested to us, and experienced,.. if we choose to participate in it.

Many a times, I grew cold and withdrawn after a setback, a discouragement, a disappointment, and failure. Perhaps, by not getting involved in the intricacies and the lives of people, I’ll be free from many obligations, and the risk of being rejected, betrayed, or disappointed. Maybe that’s why some people chose to opt out, and give up – to quit a struggle, to fall away, to break up, and to turn one’s back on a request, invitation.

Oh yeah, one will feel safe by minding one’s own business, downsizing one’s ambition to things pertaining to oneself, owing the least to people, and deriving the least from people for emotional security and strength. Then, of course, life shouldn’t be too bad, not so difficult. When we turn blind and deaf to matters, then of course, we won’t notice or be bothered by life being unfair, or being a big joke. Turning into skeptics or cynics is indeed a reliable way to escape. But in this way too, life can never be beautiful, meaningful. By not participating in life with others, life is nothing but a routine, an act of grasping for the wind everyday.

Perhaps, that’s why life is indescribable, and interesting. It involves taking risk, making decisions, applying wisdom and relying on God.

For the past 2 years, I have participated in some and retreated from some, finding joy, amusement, and also absolute rubbish in my experiences. Policies & priorities are reviewed, myself is rediscovered, ambitions challenged, threatened, ridiculed, and faith tested, renewed and being ruined. Pride has both shrunk and redefined. Maturity has collapsed and rebuilt. And as I type, I am still choosing between participation and withdrawal in certain issues.

Oh yes, indeed, Life is indescribable! So, seek Him first!

Chee Hoe
4th September 02

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 9:54 AM

It would be a fantasy to have someone read this now, but, whoever is attracted enough to want to be a blogger here, offering interesting articles, join me ! just email me, and i'll give you the password to administer this site, or i'll just add you as my team member

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 9:45 AM

As the maiden posting to the blog, meant for more contributors and thinkers in the future, here i present a letter meant for the Star when the issue about iatrogenic deaths and disease were discussed in the media and the legal scene, about 2 years ago. Letter to the editor
I want to ask , “What good can the current debate on medical errors do to our healthcare system ?”. Let me make an honest statement which undoubtedly will be agreed upon by many others – our present healthcare system is full of weaknesses, imbalance and ineffective policies that create chances for occurrence of medical errors and disappointment from the public. Without doubt, the kind of healthcare most of us Malaysians get is not compatible with the kind of quality we should have ( or we claim to have ) as people of a developing country with supposedly comprehensive and strategic development plans. We need a well-planned, well-organised and well-executed healthcare system.

Will any successful legal action against the CAP from the MMA make the doctors more confident and help them become better doctors? Will the CAP and the public achieve anything by plainly exposing such embarrassing findings about medical errors? Firmly, no. It is the attitude that needs to be changed.

What we need is an honest reaction to the fact that we deserve a more proper, safer, friendlier and more caring healthcare system. Sometimes it is not merely Defensive Medicine that can prevent a doctor from making mistakes. If a doctor is willing to spend more time on a patient with genuine care and concern, perhaps the doctor could make a more accurate diagnosis and not miss out on any symptoms. We need doctors who want to make the patient feel better and assured, not doctors who just want to fulfill their duties of checking the patient and later prescribe some medication or suggest tests and scans for further diagnosis. Why make so many tests when you merely scanned through the reports and making no firm conclusions but only mere speculations? Helping the patient to feel good should be of first priority. Before sending a patient for tests, the doctor should explain the purpose and the procedure and also discuss the cost and risk involved. When a patient does not respond well to a certain drug, the doctor should show concern and find out why and look for an effective alternative. Be ready to help anytime.

Till now, I seldom see doctors who show great knowledge of the art of medicine. From my observation, patients with serious disease seldom come out from their consultant’s room feeling more assured and better. They are worried about additional drug and worsening health condition because very rarely the doctor will walk the extra mile of comforting the patient by being more personal and friendly. Although the doctors should be important and efficient caregivers, they more inclined towards being impersonal and not getting too attached. Some physicians left the patient and his family by themselves after diagnosing him with cancer and giving some simple explanations and suggestions. I have always fantasized of having doctors who actually call up patients to check out their condition and to offer further help. Even if the doctor could no longer offer any medical assistance, his relationship with the patient just stops there ? What about caregiving tips and support materials?

Perhaps I am speaking out of my own frustrations. One can argue that not all doctors are like what I mention. I certainly hope so.

There many more situations that I am dissatisfied with. A significant one would be that of patients waiting for their doctor just because the doctor wants to have extended lunch break or because he has to entertain a friend who has come for a visit. If you are not commited to being a doctor who has to sacrifice a lot of personal time and space, why choose such a career in the first place ? For money and status ? Doctors, you chose medicine so you are the one who asked for all the labour and pressure, stop getting pampered and SERVE !

There is a gap between private and government healthcare. There is very little co-operation and inter-consultation. They exist on their own as if they have different roles. We could have had a better environment for healthcare and had saved more lives if the government is willing to spend more on healthcare and the private sector more serious about being healthcare service provider for the community and not only the rich. (Sometimes it can be funny to read mission statements of private healthcare institutions thinking of its irony and their hypocrisy) While the government has no urgency of increasing the salary of its healthcare staff, the private sector could not help increasing prices and ‘stealing’ experienced government doctors.

Healthcare is vital to our society. The present healthcare system must stop heading the wrong way. Doctors, have a change of heart and attitude. When we are ill, do not make us feel helpless and unsafe.

| |fooji made noise at the warung at 9:29 AM

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