Tuesday 30 January 2007

Physician heal thyself

I felt sick as a dog earlier today. There is obviously a bug going around and I am unwillingly hosting copies of it in my body. It is certainly most disheartening having to review patients in the condition that I was in.

However, duty came above self and I empathised as best as I could. My nurses were sympathetic to my plight and plied me with an expectorant which in itself is not therapeutic. It is psychological, I told myself. I shall overcome this affliction with sheer will power, and soon I will be right as rain again.

Lord, Thou Great Physician, I kneel before Thee. Since every good and perfect gift must come from Thee:
I Pray
Give skill to my hand, clear vision to my mind, kindness and sympathy to my heart. Give me singleness of purpose, strength to lift at least a part of the burden of my suffering fellow men, and a true realization of the rare privilege that is mine. Take from my heart all guile and worldliness, that with the simple faith of a child I may rely on Thee.
Author Unknown

Monday 29 January 2007

Antipathy to "tidakapathy"

Blogging actually matters in Malaysia.

Just ask the four plaintiffs who are suing two reknowned Malaysian bloggers for defamation in a civil suit as we speak. The emergence of popular politically-inclined blogs have been a godsend to the people, although it is proving to be an anathema to the present government. The development is not altogether surprising as governments as a rule, do not like entities that they can't control.

As a consequence, the internet, and blogs in particular, have become a powerful tool in the dissemination of ideas and free speech. For a developing nation like Malaysia, this is turning out to be a "revolution" of sorts, hampered only by the degree of internet penetration and the fact that the best commentaries are written in the language preferred by the intelligentsia, English.

Unfortunately, this amounts to a handicap which is proving to be a huge one, due to an unseen, but palpable, polarisation in society. A perceived inequity in education and persistent state-sponsored indoctrination has made the typical Malaysian averse to changes in the status quo. They may congregate in local watering-holes (read: warungs or kopitiams) and voice their disagreements in secret, but the herd mentality remain difficult to break.

Therefore, to affect any degree of actual change, we must first of all bring change to the grassroot level. To be rid of the mawkish yoke of elitism, just as what Ghandi-ji had achieved in India. But how many of us are willing and able in this respect?

These and many other questions are beyond the remit of this blog. However, with reference to the cases involving Jeff and Rocky, we are seeing evolution take place. And as it is, change in whatever shape or form, will ultimately be irreversible.

This is the defining moment where blogging comes of age in Malaysia. Watch this space.

Thursday 25 January 2007


Music! I am an oddball when it comes to my listening tastes (as evidenced by the protestations of my more contemporary-inclined wife). Am I the only one wondering why there's no bigger recognition for Dato' Shake or his exploits in the francophone world? Except for his official website, there is precious little out there. Also try clicking here (French), here (French) and here (Dutch).

An excerpt from his bio:

He bid goodbye to his family and headed to London where he studied vocal class for a year. Then he was offered to go to Paris France, within months, he had secured a label and his first single was released, entitle,"tu sais je t'aime" (You know I love you). Plus, he did indeed shake up the music scene and became the first Asian singer who sang in French. The single sprinted up the charts, followed by half a dozen other gold and platinum singles and albums. Concert appearances and television specials followed swiftly as Shake quickly became the toast of Europe. He became popular in all the countries where French is spoken - he was for instance, fifteen weeks at the top of the charts in Canada: he became enormously popular in North African countries and the cosmopolitan areas of Africa - such as the Ivory Coast and Senegal.

After watching Johnny Hallyday on a french version of Idol in a parisian hotel the other day, I felt he could have been up there too. Time for a revival perhaps, Dato'?

Monday 22 January 2007

Passions (Part un)

I possess several passions in life. The first two of them are probably stuck in traffic on their way to their respective destinations for the day. Mummy: workplace, Kid: creche. The kid (refer to the post below) is probably watching Spongebob on her portable DVD player and mum is busy negotiating the M50, also known as "The World's Largest Carpark" for the wrong reasons.

A workaholic by my own volition, I juggle two jobs; a private hospital and a convalescent home. Hopefully, something in the pipeline would also come to fruition. If there was a machine that could split myself into several functional pieces (preferably without pain) I would probably be first in the queue. Time has never been so envious of me. The days I spent lazing about in medical school are all but a hazy memory.

You may think its cliché, but I love my job. I love the camaraderie that I have with colleagues, nurses and patients. Of course I get the difficult ones, but I deal with them as best as one can. I have had valuable interactions with people from all walks of life; from spunky, unassuming nonagenarians down to celebrities Anne McCaffrey, Ronan Keating, Sinead O'Connor, Ray D'Arcy to name but a few. I treat them all with the same degree of professionalism to which I was instructed in.

I am also enamoured with the ancient metal of kings, Gold. Why have I become so? I don't really know. I think Gold came into vogue only about 5 years ago, to which I am a late entrant into the scheme of things. By the way, I am not talking about gold jewellery either. This is the real thing, bullions to be exact. Click the ad at the very bottom of this page for an easy way of owning some. (Plug plug... wink wink...)

A keen observer of the economy, thanks in part also to this great site, which I refer to on a daily basis. As I am one of those people who are paying off a hefty mortgage, it pays to be aware of these things. And I suggest that you, my dear reader, take the first step in gaining control of your finance by reading this.

A close friend, confidante and father-figure to me, mentioned in passing, "Work hard while you're still young, the payoff will come someday you'll see. You see me now living comfortably, but did anybody notice I was striving hard as a younger man?". Unfortunately, nothing comes easy in life, and very few things come free either.

So enough proselytising. I'm actually off this morning, need to go get some breakie and do some house chores. A bit of hoovering could be therapeutic, no?

Sunday 21 January 2007

A kid's letter

Salam unca and aunty

Daddy's too busy working, so sorry he couldn't reply to your email. Things are good, I am in a creche now (mummy says it is costing her a "bomb"). Mummy is working in a civil engineering firm near where my creche is. She has her masters all wrapped up and am putting pressure on poor ol' dad to finish his MRCP. Dad just sighs a lot and shrugs his shoulders.

Dad says that house prices are "stagnating" here in Dublin. I dunno what that means. Has it been windy at your place unca? I like the wind but daddy always calls me indoors or into the car. I think he is just a fusspot.

Do come over to visit us when you can. You must call daddy first though because he says he is a "workaholic". Maybe if you come then daddy can stay home too instead of going to the hospital.

There are people there called "nurses", and they like to hug me and pinch my cheeks so I don't like it anymore. But daddy brings me around to the shop and I can get some chocolate buttons. Mmmmm.. I think daddy just likes to show me off.

OK unca, I have to go now. See you soon. Bye-bye.


Saturday 20 January 2007

These are actually..

...clips from my favourite Irish comedy called "Father Ted" courtesy of Channel 4. Enjoy!

My name is..

The green, green grass of... Ireland? (Part deux)

Don't get me wrong. I am proud to be Malaysian and have no allusions to being otherwise. However, that does not discount the immense affection I have for this adopted country of mine.

Is it ever easy to explain why you like something or someone? It is the same with me and Erin (Ireland's many pseudonyms). It is a country of contrasts, in the inhabitants as well as the geography. From the lilting Cork accent to the Belfast drawl. From the fields of Athenry to the craggy coast of County Antrim. Eireann go Brach!

The keen observer will find that the Irish and the Malaysian are nearly equal in character. I have often met, including members of the Catholic clergy, Irishmen and women who have graced our warm tropical shores as an educator or administrator. In fact, one of them taught in my old alma mater (St John's) many, many moons ago. This fact alone enforces the long and illustrious relationship shared between the two nations.

So what do I make of it? What makes them tick? There is an Irish saying that goes, “Leprechauns, castles, good luck and laughter. Lullabies, dreams and love ever after. Poems and songs with pipes and drums. A thousand welcomes when anyone comes... That's the Irish for you!”. Although admittedly, a very romantic view of a race very much in danger of being swallowed up by the encroaching beast of capitalism.

As a people, they remind me of our situation in Malaysia, of a strong sense of tradition and patriotism, of old ways and customs. For better or for worse, religion has become a peripheral influence in the lives of the people. As Gaeilge, their language, the everyday use is clearly confined to the western seaboard, an ghaeltacht. For most, admittedly they do struggle to string a few sentences together.

Whensoever I do leave this land, it will hopefully be accompanied with this blessing:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Thursday 11 January 2007

The green, green grass of... Ireland? (Part un)

13 years, just over 13 years.

And they are always bound to ask, do you ever not think of (i)going/(ii)coming home?

A good question indeed. Soalan cepu emas yang belum bisa kuberi jawapan.

Where is home?

Tuesday 9 January 2007

Sprucing the goose

Now lookie here, I've gone and did the place up. Added a shoutbox! (just in case anyone wants a go at it) cause it looked kinda cool. I even considered putting a pacman game here. But that was kinda lame.

One thing about setting up a blog, is that you're spoiled for choice by the number of widgets and didgeridoos that you can lump on one page. My favourite source for all things to do with blogging at the moment is here. You have everything and anything you need, and hell, the depth and range is mind-boggling. Trust me...

Great, now time to surf around and drop by a blog or two... and talking about blogs, some of them are just pure gold. Creativity by the cartload. The best blogs are arguably feminine in nature, the ones that nearly allow you to see thru the windows of their souls. How vicarious can one be!

The bottom line is, I'm gonna try my best to distill this obsession with blogging, this desire to peek into other peoples' lives. A bit like my favourite piece of literature, Perfume by Patrick Suskind. I don't think it was meant to be filmed but hell, some bright spark went ahead with it anyway. I bet they've screwed it up bigtime.. tsk tsk... For heaven's sake, go read the book before popping down to the cinema will ya..

Got that sorted (sniff!!), will plug some more stuff next time... arrivederci..

Monday 8 January 2007

The birthing process

Did anyone tell you how difficult it is to decide on a name? It was hell for me, dude.

For the sake of being original, I'd already decided I had to go with dusundurian (dusun is malay for grove) for the URL. You have to taste that weird spiky fruit man. Just drop by your local Asian store and smell it out. A patient of mine who lived in Penang for years as a landscape designer swore that the two things he missed most about Malaysia was the aforementioned fruit and fried pomfret (a type of fish). Go figure...

Anyway, back to the name searching. Something random, special, unique. Man, how hard could it be..... moments past by, still nothing... Random, random, something cool.

Random imaginings.. yeah, sounded kinda hip and abstract. Bah, that's taken by this chick already. Crappers. What about random thoughts, random musings, bah.. all taken..

Then again, maybe it wasn't so cool. Could do better than that, man. What about some weird sounding shit like Apparatchik or Nomenklatura or Panacea - cool except for the "goddess of healing" bit; Anthology - not writing a book am I... help! This is going nowhere..

Then Ms Google showed me this website. What a stroke of cyber genius! Anyway, clicking "refresh" got me through loads of words - man, I could have done this with a dictionary, but this is way better - and I settled on "internally".

Heck yeah! Internalise this, you MOFO! Hahahahah!!

Because of my allopathic background, it sorta dawned on me that perhaps you shouldn't internalise my ramblings on this blog. Then a dim lightbulb seemed to light up in the mist of my conscience. Only for external use!! Yeeehhaaa.. yippee ki yay kimosabe...

OK gonna go and have my bath now.. ciao netizens...