Saturday, 24 December 2011


Modified comments from YouTube
lagu ini digunakan oleh malaysia semasa konfrontasi dengan indonesia 1963/1964 dan Indonesia mempertaruhkan lagu 3 malam nyanyian Lilis Suryani... betapa pengaruh lagi dalam meningkat motivasi perajurit...  pencipta lagu ni ialah Allahyarham Dato' Hj. Wan Othman Al Khatib
Kucupan Azimat by Ahmad Jais

My comments:
I wasn't in school yet at the time of the Konfrontasi. I was living in Banda Hilir, Melaka. Our family moved to Alor Star, Kedah some time in 1964, and I attended school for the first time in January 1965.

Moinudeen Chishty

Dargah is a Persian word. A Dargah is a shrine constructed for a sage or saint.

Dargah, makam, mausoleum, shrine, keramat are various terms used to refer to places where people come to pray, offer prayers or read doa. More about Dargah.

The general understanding is prayers are made and the deceased person can carry that up to the Supreme Creator. In Islam the Supreme Creator is Allah SWT. This is the Sufi way. However, the Wahhabi will not accept this and say it is not right to do so (tawassul) in Islam.

These are contrasting views of praying at graves (from Ziyarat in Wikipedia): 

Wahhabi views
The majority of Wahhabis believe that visiting the graves of saints should be classified as shirk and bid'ah except the visiting of the tomb of Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. in Madinah which may be done during Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage. However, it is not a required. They point out to the following sayings of Muhammad as an evidence for their belief.
Narrated by 'Aisha : Umm Salama told Allah's Apostle about a church which she had seen in Ethiopia and which was called Mariya. She told him about the pictures which she had seen in it. God's Apostle said, "If any righteous pious man dies among them, they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it; they are the worst creatures in the sight of God."
The most evil of mankind are those who will be alive when the Last Day arrives and those who take graves as places of worship.”
It is also reported in the most authentic books of Sunni Islam that Aa’ishah (wife of Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.) reported:
Had it not been so, his (i.e. the Prophet’s) grave would have been in an open place, but it could not be due to the fear that it could be taken as a mosque.
Sunni scholars declare that the purpose of visiting the graves and cemeteries is only to remind people of death and a curse be upon the Jews and Christians for taking the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.
  • “...Beware that those before you took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship. Do not take graves as places of worship, for verily I forbid you to do so.”
  • “The most evil of mankind are those who will be alive when the Last Day arrives and those who take graves as places of worship.”

Sūnnī or Sufi Views

The purpose of visiting a grave is to gain llim (divine knowledge), tafakkur and to pray for the person in the grave, but if the person in the grave is a Prophet or a Awliya (friend of God), fayd and spiritual benefits can be gained from their souls. The person who is visited, must be thought of as if he is alive and must be visited with the same good manners.

" The event of death is like moving from one house to another for the friends of Allah, the same good manners, respect and high regards must be shown to them, as when they were alive." Abdul Hakim Arvasi, Rabita-i Serife, 23-24; Halidiyye Risalesi, 58-60.
" Neither kissing the grave or moving the hands over the face after touching the grave for blessing, is suitable to the good manners (adab)." Gazali, Ihya, IV, 711.
" Hz. Rasulullah (s.a.w) has given the good tidings that the Angels say "AMIN" for the prayers which are performed for the brothers and the Awliya and Allahu Taala accepts them (at the exact moment)." Buhari, Edebu'l-Mufred, No:623; Ebu Davud, Vitr, 29.
" Visiting the grave is a duty which is performed for Allah's pleasure and visiting the grave of a father and mother on a Friday is appropriate ." Gazali, Ihya, IV, 711.

Whatever views Muslims hold, there is an interesting name which I have in TEMD that is connected to a book which I use for teaching History of Medicine. This book was written by a Sufi named Moinuddin Chishty. I still use the book for teaching traditional medicine. This has to do with rose oil as the rose is thought to have connection with the Great Prophet, Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. - even the Prophet's sweat smelled of roses.

When I was writing the biography for Dr Burhanuddin al-Helmy, his information contained a city named Ajmer in India. Google-ing Ajmer gave me the largest and most important Dargah in India - this is the Chishty Dargah in Ajmer.

History has it that even Shah Jahan came to Ajmer and he had donated to the Dargah. The Chishty Dargah is important in supporting the lives of Indian Muslims from far and near. 

Where I grew up in Malacca, there is Pulau Besar off the coast. This Pulau Besar is famous for one thing - it contained very long graves of Muslim sages/saints. At certain times, people would go to the graves, bringing along pulut kuning with chicken etc. I have not observed this in person but I read about it in the papers. These offerings were left at the graves. At one time, this practice of bringing offerings to the graves was banned by the Malacca State Government.

In Singapore, there is the shrine of Habib Noh. His tomb is placed high up and a concrete staircase leads up to the tomb. I've not been to the tomb but I heard from one of the descendants of Habib Noh in Penang, that he was a very important person (VIP).

In Kampung Kolam in Penang, just behind the Masjid Kapitan Keling, lies a dilapidated mausoleum (makam usang) that houses the tombs of Cauder Mohinuddin, his mother and younger brother, Nordin. There are other graves too. I was told that there is a pious Indian Muslim lady buried here too - a female saint.

At the large cemetery bordering Perak Road in Penang, there are 2 mausoleums, a dilapidated older makam, and a more recent makam. I was told by the graveyard caretakers that both the deceased persons were great saints. The more recent makam is that of Datok Keramat, for whom Jalan Datok Keramat was named. Jalan Datok Keramat was once a famous road as it had a tram line running the length of the road. The older makam belonged to Datok Keramat's teacher (I could have this info reversed). The boys who looked after the graves were young Tamils, either Muslims or non Muslims. In another part of this massive cemetery, an old Tamil Muslim looked after the graves.

At certain parts of the large Muslim cemetery at Kubor Banggol in Mukim Banggol outside Kota Bharu, Kelantan, there were similar happenings at the graves. There were dolls planted and offerings made next to the graves. I read that Kubor Banggol was an early settlement at the time when Kelantan was first opened by the Malays (probably of Tamil descent). So it is likely that these graves that I saw with offerings were from the same or similar Indian Muslim or Tamil Muslims. I don't know because I didn't see anyone at the graves or I could ask them.

I would take it that the Indian Muslims/Tamil Muslims are Sufi people and that Sufism is handed down or practised among family members and close friends. Among the Malay Muslims, Sufi activities are limited to male circles, and they join up with the Indian Muslims/Tamil Muslims who are more well-versed with Sufi practices. I may be wrong though.

These are keramats in Malaysia (from Ziyarat in Wikipedia):
  • Shrine of Syed Shahul Hamid, George Town, Penang
  • Tomb of Ismail Nagore, George Town, Penang
  • Tomb of Noordin Sahib, George Town, Penang
  • Tomb of Syed Mustapha Idris a.k.a. Dato' Koyah, George Town, Penang
  • Tomb of Wali Mohammed Salleh, Batu Uban, Penang - frequented by Naqshabandi Malays
  • Tomb of Syed Ibrahim al-Hashimi, Gelugor, Penang
  • Darga of Syed Lal Shah Bukhri (Jalan Hang Tua in masjed) Kuala Lumpur
  • Darga of Sultan ul Arifeen Syed Ismael Shah Aljillani (Pulau Besar) Melaka
  • Darga of Fikir Baba Maulana Miskin (Chulia St, Penang)
These are keramats in Singapore:
  • Shrine of Syed Shahul Hamid
  • Tomb of Wali Habib Noh - frequented by Malays and Naqshabandis
  • Shrine of Hazrath Khwaja Habibullah Shah at Kubur Kassim on Siglap Road near Chai Chee in Singapore.
Moinudeen Chishty

Indian Muslim Communities

Are the Tamil Muslims similar to the Malay Muslims?

The Aqidah of the Tamil Muslims is based on Sunnah basically influenced by the Sufis. Tamil Muslim families are patrilocal though their marriages incorporate Islamic mahr practice. For instance, it is common to see a groom pay the bride mahr sum of 10,000 rupees and the bride in turn would pay the groom a dowry sum of 100,000 rupees, though practice of dowry is banned by Islamic doctrines.

Tamil Muslims practice monogamy and male circumcision.

Like the thali of Tamil Hindu brides, Tamil Muslim women wear a chain strung with black beads called Karugamani which is tied by the groom's elder female relative to the bride's neck on the day of nikkah.

As a mark of modesty Tamil Muslim women usually wear white thuppatti (from Hindi/Urdu duppatta) instead of the black burqas (that are popular among Urdu-speaking Muslims) which is draped over their whole body on top of the saree. This has remained a hurdle in genealogical research.

Almost all Tamil Muslims go to Qabr (Dargah) ziyarat which is an important Sunnah.

The global purchasing power of Tamil Muslims in 2005 was estimated at almost $8 billion viz. $3 billion in Tamil Nadu, $1 billion in Malaysia, $600 million in Singapore.

Tamil Muslims have historically been money changers (not money lenders) throughout South Asia and South East Asia.

Generally Tamil Muslims are involved in various trades like retail, mutton shops, shops in foreign bazaar. They are also involved in gems trade & leather industry.

Due to the plenty opportunities in the Gulf region, a lot of Tamil Muslims went to the Gulf. Now Tamil Muslims are spread over in the Gulf countries and also in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

The Tamil Muslim community is a prosperous one. There are about 400 millionaires within the community and at least one billionaire viz. B.S. Abdur Rahman (better known as the Buhari Group) who constructed the conglomerate ETA Star Group, Chennai Citi Centre, Chepauk Stadium, Marina Lighthouse, Valluvar Kottam, Government General Hospital, Gemini Flyover, Crescent Engineering College, et al.. He owns over 70 ocean-going vessels (ships).

Source:  Tamil Muslim (Wikipedia)

Benjamin Henry Sheares

Benjamin Henry Sheares, GCB (12 August 1907 – 12 May 1981), was the second President of Singapore for 11 years (3 terms). More at

Professor Benjamin Henry Sheares was elected the President of the Republic of Singapore on 30 December 1970. He succeeded the late President Yusof bin Ishak who died in Nov 1970.

Prof Sheares was born in Singapore on 12 August 1907. He was educated at St Andrews's School and Raffles Institution before joining the King Edward VII College of Medicine in 1923. Dr Sheares BH qualified with LMC degree in March 1929 (Morais 1972: i; Lee 2005: 113). 

LMC = Licentiate in Medicine and C___ for what? (a certificate or diploma?)

LMS = Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery ( a diploma and not a degree)

Morais JV. (1972). Who's Who in Singapore. page i
Lee JS. (2005). To Sail Uncharted Seas. page 113

In 1931 he began his career as on obstetrician and gynaecologist (O&G doctor). In 1940, he was awarded the Queen's Fellowship but could not go because of the Japanese war. The Queen's Fellowship was for 2 years postgraduate study.

During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, he was HOD O&G, Kandang Kerbau Hospital. 

After the Japanese surrender, he was acting professor until May 1947 when he went to London. In London he passed as a MRCOG (Member of the Royal College of O&G) in January 1948.

In December 1951, he went to the US as part of the remainder of the Queen's Fellowship study leave and spent one year observing in-teaching in San Francisco, Chicago, St Luois, New York and Boston.

He was reading for the FRCS when he was recalled in March (when? 1949?) to act as professor. He became Professor of O&G, UM in Singapore in January 1950. Prof Sheares was the HOD O&G, UM in Singapore until June 1960.

He then entered into practice in June 1960. In July 1960, he was gazetted honorary consultant of Kandang Kerbau Hospital, Singapore.

Address since 30 Dec 1970: Istana Negara, Singapore.

He married Yeo Seh Geok, a migrant who came to Singapore in 1938. They have 3 children - Constance Alice Chengliu (born 1963; 27 in 1970, 68 in 2011) who holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts from London U and a MA degree from Singapore; Joseph Henry Hinggiam who hold the degrees of MA, MBCHB from Cambridge; and Edwin Charles Hingwee (21) then a 3rd-year student of liberal arts at Nottingham.

The above text is reproduced with modification for web browsing, based on The Who's Who in Singapore 1971-1972.

Prof Sheares was a colleague of another O&G doctor, Datuk Dr Ariffin bin Haji Ngah Marzuki (Perak).

Dr Ariffin meeting up with his Professor of O&G (Professor BH Sheares) at the International Rotary Meeting 1974-75, Singapore. Photograph courtesy of Datuk Dr Ariffin Ngah Marzuki. 

 Professor BH Sheares (12 Aug 1907-12 May 1981)
Professor of O&G
2nd Singapore President 30 Dec 1970-12 May 1981)

Prof Sheares had introduced the Sheares procedure for creating artificial vagina for those who did not have one, and which became necessary in transexual operations. Datuk Dr Ariffin introduced his own intrauterine device (IUD) when he worked in Ipoh. The IUD used a coil of nylon thread.

TJ Danaraj

TJ Danaraj was a graduate of the KE VII Medical College in Singapore. He wrote many books. Some of his books are listed below.

Japanese invasion of Malaya & Singapore: memoirs of a doctor
Danaraj TJ
Form: Book

Language: English
Published: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: TJ Danaraj, 1990

Available from Yale University Library

TJ Danaraj
Medical Education in Malaysia: developments and problems
TJ Danaraj

His biography can be found in The Who's Who 1963, pages 70-71:

Morais, JV (Editor & Publisher). 1963. The Who’s Who 1963. Malaysia and Singapore.
[USM Call No: Rujukan r DS 595.5 W628]

I did not take a photo of his biography in The Who's Who 1963.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Journeys Across Seas

View or Download at:

'Coolie' trade and the Far East

National Museums Liverpool
Maritime Archives & Library
T & J Harrison Ltd
History 1740-c.2003

Research Notes for Shipping Enterprise and Management 1830-1939,
by Francis E. Hyde (cont) 1820-1969

To view the line 'Coolie' trade and the Far East between 1877 and 1914,  
scroll down to more than half the page at:

The above notes are from the Liverpool Steamship Owners' Association.

I have requested on 13 March 2012, a Yahoo! Answers on the topic, to see if anyone can provide further leads on the coolie trade and especially one person, named Ballah, later Shaik Ismail. The link for this request is here:


  1. Hugh Tinker, A new system of slavery: The export of Indian labor overseas 1830-1920 (1974)
  2. Janet Ewald,  ‘Crossers of the Sea: Slaves, Freedmen, and Other Migrants in the Northwestern Indian 
  3. Ocean, C. 1750 - 1914.’ American Historical Review 105, no. 1-42, 2000. 
  4. Ravi Ahuja (2006) ‘Mobility and Containment: the voyages of South Asian seamen, c.1900 – 1960’, 
  5. International Review of Social History 51, Supplement, pp. 111–141 
  6. Rozina Visram  Ayahs, Lascars and Princes: Indians in Britain 1700-1947, (1986)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

UK Archives Network

The UK National Archives offers public access.

The National Archives, UK

British Library, Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections 1600-1948

British Library: Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections (previously Oriental and India Office Library) Archon Code : 59

Contact Details  
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
Tel: 020 7412 7873
Fax: 020 7412 7641 


Rulers of British India

You may wonder who were the British Rulers in British India. Here is a website that has the answer:

Robert Clive (1757-60) (1765-67)
Warren Hastings (1772-85)
Lord Cornwalis (1786-93)
Sir John Shore (1793-1798)
Lord Wellesley (1798-1805)
George Barlow (1805-07)
Lord Minto – I (1807-13)
Lord Hastings (1813 – 23)
Lord Amherst (1823-28)
Lord William Bentick (1828-35)
Sir Charles Metcalfe (1835-36)
Lord AuckLand (1836-42)
Lord Ellenborough (1842-44)
Lord Hardinge (1844-48)
Lord Dalhousie (1848-56) 1850s: Start sending Indian convicts to Penang, Malaya, Singapore
Lord Canning (1856-62)
Lord Elgin (1862-63)
Lord John Lawrence (1864-69)
Lord Mayo (1869-72)
Lord Northbrook (1872-76)
Lord Lytton (1876-80)
Lord Rippon (1880-84)
Lord Dufferin (1884-88)
Lord Landsdowne (1888-94)
Lord Elgin-II (1894-1899)
Lord Curzon (1899-1905)
Lord Minto II (1905-10)
Lord Hardinge II (1910-16)
Lord Chelmsford (1916-21)
Lord Reading (1921-26)
Lord Irwin (1926-31)
Lord Willingdon (1936-43) 1934: Stopped sending Indian convicts to Penang, Malaya, Singapore
Lord Linlithgow (1936-43)
Lord Wavell (1943-47)
Lord Mountbatten (1947-49)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Who's Who

Information about the early Malay doctors can be found in 5 volumes of the Who's Who.

Who’s Who 
1.      Fisher, JS. 1925. Who’s Who in Malaya 1925.
2.      Fisher, JS. 1939. Who’s Who in Malaya 1939.
3.      Morais, JV. 1963. The Who’s Who 1963. Malaysia and Singapore.
4.      Morais, JV. 1965. The Who’s Who 1965. Malaysia and Singapore.
5.      Morais, JV. 1972. The Who’s Who 1971-1972. Malaysia and Singapore

The Who's Who collection should be available in major libraries and university libraries.

USM Library:
The Who's Who is available at USM library:
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut 1 (PHS1),
Reference Counter, second floor,
USM Main Campus, Penang.

Mohd Ikhwan Ismail, Pustakawan,
Bahagian Rujukan dan Penyelidikan,
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut 1 (Kaunter Rujukan, Tingkat 2),
Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Penang.
Tel: 04-6533888 ext. 3891 or 04-6533891

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Family Medicine in Singapore

Dato Seri Di-Raja Dr Syed Mahmood bin Syed Hussain Jamalullail was a member of the College of General Practitioners of Singapore.

A group of family physicians in Singapore wanted an institution to enshrine and promote the values and ideals of family medicine.

The College of General Practitioners Singapore was officially inaugurated on 30 June 1971.

It was renamed ‘College of Family Physicians Singapore’ on 17 November 1993.

More at:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Majlis Bacaan Yasin dan Tahlil

Assalamualaikum Warga Staf Kampus Kesihatan.

Saya bagi pihak keluarga Allahyarham Ayahanda Prof Syed Mohsin menjemput Warga Staf Kampus Kesihatan bagi Majlis Bacaan Yasin dan Tahlil pada tarikh yang berikut;

Tarikh : 17 Dec 2011 (Sabtu).
Masa : Lepas Isya'
Tempat : Rumah Keluarga kami.

796, Taman Hidayah,
Kampung Huda,
12500 Kota Bharu.

Atas kehadiran Staf Kampus Kesihatan Pihak Keluarga mengucapkan terima kasih.

Semoga Allah memberkati Warga Staf USM.

Dr Syed Hasanul Hadi Syed Mohsin.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


The Dutch occupied the Indonesian islands and ruled Indonesia before the Indonesian independence. They set up schools, including two for training of medical doctors. The medical schools were set up at Batavia and Surabaya on Java island. The first medical school was Sekolah Dokter Djawa or later known as the School Tot Opleiding Van Inlandsche Artsen (STOVIA) at Batavia. The second school was Netherland Indies Medical School (NIAS) at Surabaya.

Milestones of Dutch VOC medical schools in Indonesia:
  • In 1851, the first medical school, Sekolah Dokter Djawa, was opened by the VOC in Batavia, Java. It trained 20 Javanese men. Two more men joined later.
  • Dokter Djawa was later renamed STOVIA.
  • In 1912, a second medical school, the Netherland Indies Medical School (NIAS), was opened in Surabaya, Java.
  • Local Indonesian women were allowed to attend the two medical schools (STOVIA and NIAS) after the first Dutch female doctor, Dr Aletta Jacobs, intervened and met with AWF Idenburg, the VOC Governor-General, on 18 April 1912.  She pushed for local women to be allowed to be accepted into Sekolah Dokter Djawa and to be trained as doctors.
  • The first Indonesian woman to graduate from Sekolah Dokter Djawa was Dr Marie E. Thomas (1896-1966). She was born at Likupang, near Manado Minahasa. She was from the Minahasa tribe of Manado. After 10 years of medical studies, she graduated in 1922. She worked as a midwife (bidan; Midwifery is now Obstetrics). She first worked as an assistant obstetrician at Weltevreden on the outskirt of Batavia. 
  • Dr Marie E. Thomas married to Dr Mohamad Yusuf, who was from Solok, Sumatra. He too graduated from Sekolah Dokter Djawa. He worked as a private doctor (ophthalmologist?) in Padang, Sumatra. Dr Mohamad Yusuf's private practice went bad and he was incarcerated at Penjara Struiswijk. He died in 1958.
  • Dr Marie had worked as a Government doctor in Padang till 1931 when her husband was working in Padang.
  • Dr Marie returned to her homeland, where she joined the Dewan Persatoean-Minahasa in 1932. She died in 1966. It is unknown if she had any issue.

External links:

Dokter Djawa


Dr Marie Thomas (1896-1966)

Minahasa, Manado

Overview dan Sejarah Kurikulum Pendidikan Dokter Indonesia
by Dr Masrul, Unand, Indonesia.

Aishah's (medical student) blog on STOVIA (Museum Kebangkitan Bangsa)

Koleksi Sejarah Kesehatan Indonesia

Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde
(Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies)
P.O. Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands
KITLV is an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

{We have not yet got anything written about the History of Medicine in Malaysia. It will be great if someone can write on this topic.}

Thursday, 1 December 2011


MMA building, 12 May 2007

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) was set up in 1951. It is the national association for medical doctors.

On 30 November 2011, the Star reported that the MMA was given a six-month reprieve to put right its activities concerning 2 issues - mismanagement and election of its office bearers.

The MMA was de-registered by the Federal Territory Registrar of Societies (FT RoS) as it did not comply with the Societies Act 1966.

The MMA has appealed for the withdrawal of the de-registration.

More on MMA gets six-month reprieve(the Star, Bernama)

Address: Malaysian Medical Association, 4th Floor, MMA House, 124 Jalan Pahang, 53000 Kuala Lumpur.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Professor Syed Mohsin bin Syed Sahil Jamalullail

In memory of a lovely Arab man with a beautiful heart ...

Professor Syed Mohsin was popularly known as Tuan Syed or Prof Syed. He was born in Batu Uban, Penang on Independence day, 31 August 1951. This is information of his schooling and higher education from his CV.


Primary Schools

1957 – 1959 Government English School, Port Dickson

1960 – 1962 Abu Bakar School, Mentakab

1962 – 1963 Cator Avenue School, Ipoh

1963 – 1964 Kangar English School, Kangar

Secondary Schools (Main)

1965 – 1966 Abu Bakar School, Temerloh

1967 – 1968 Anglo Chinese School, Ipoh

1968 – 1970 Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Setar

Higher Education

1971 – 1973 (B.Sc.) Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

1974 – 1975 (M.Sc.) University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

1983 – 1986 (Preclinical Sciences) Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London, United Kingdom

1989 – 1992 (Doctor of Medical Sciences-D.Med.Sc.) Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Tokyo, Japan


1974 – 1976 Tutor Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

1976 – 1979 Lecturer Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

1979 Acting Head of Dept. Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

1979 – 1983 Foundation Head of Dept. Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, K. Kerian, Kelantan.

& Assisted and Represented the Foundation Dean of the Medical School with administrative duties and at meetings during the formative years of the Medical School.

1983 Associate Professor Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

1987 – 1992 Head of Dept. Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.

1991 – 2001 Associate Professor Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.

2001 – 2005 Deputy Dean School of Health Sciences, Academic & Student Development, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.

2002 – 2011 Professor of Pharmacology School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.

2006 – 2011 Dean of Research Biomedical & Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

This information is about his teaching experience and academic milestones at UKM and USM.


  • Undergraduate Medical Students, UKM (1975-1979) 
  • Undergraduate Pharmacy Students USM (1979-1982) 
  • Diploma Nursing Students, USM 
  • Diploma Medical laboratory Technology, USM 
  • Undergraduate Medical Students, USM 
  • Postgraduate -Masters in Medicine Programs USM 
  • Undergraduate Dietetics Students 
  • Undergraduate Biomedicine Students
  • Undergraduate Medical Radiation Students
  • Undergraduate Forensic students
  • Undergraduate Nursing Students
  • Undergraduate Exercise and Sport Sciences student
  • Undergraduate Speech Therapy students
  • Undergraduate Audiology students
  • Currently teaching undergraduate Health Sciences students for three courses – Pharmacology I, Pharmacology II and Toxicology.


  • Pioneering staff of the USM Medical School 
  • In charge of Staff Recruitment and Human Resource
  • Foundation Head of the Department of Pharmacology, USM (1979)
  • Promoted to Associate Professor by UKM (1983)
  • Member of the Committee for the Formation of the School of Health Sciences, USM
  • Invited lecturer in Pharmacology to Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (2000)
  • Promoted to Professor by USM (2003)

Prof Syed Mohsin had previously taught at the UKM Medical School before he was seconded to the USM Medical School. He was one of the 4 founding lecturers of the USM Medical School in 1979. The 3 others from UKM were Prof Mohd Roslani bin Abdul Majid. Dr Saidi bin Mohd Hashim Tahir and Dr Ong Kok Hai. At the time Prof Syed Mohsin was known as Tuan Syed as he was the only lecturer with a Syed name. He became a full professor at USM (in 2003), for which he was called Prof Syed.

A pharmacologist by training, Prof Syed Mohsin taught Pharmacology to medical students. He was a good teacher. A gifted man, he was not only a lecturer, but he was an advisor to all who came to seek his knowledge and wisdom. Everyone liked him and came to seek his unlimited advice. Even the postgraduates and faculty members sought his advice. He was easily approachable. He loved all who knew him and that was the most remarkable characteristic of Tuan Syed/Prof Syed. He was soft spoken and loved to crack jokes to lighten up things when he was in advisory mode. It did not matter to him where people met him to discuss important matters - even the parking lot was fine. He would stop to talk without a care to his status as a member founder of the USM Medical School and a responsible faculty member. He was highly committed to make the USM Medical School a great centre of learning and was successful at it. Then he ventured to assist in the set up of the other two sister schools - School of Dental Sciences and School of Health Sciences. His experience at the USM Medical School and at the University level are stated in his CV:


1979 – 1980 Invited member of the task force for the development of the Medical School

1979 – 1981 Member of the Board of Studies of the Medical School

1979 – 1983 Member of the Medical School, Dean’s executive committee

1979 – 1983 Member of the Medical School School’s Technical committee

1979 – 1983 Member of the School’s Staff selection committee

1980 – 1983 Chairman of the Medical School’s Bahasa Malaysia Implementation Committee

1979 – 1983; 1987 – 1991 Member of the Medical School Interview Board for Selection of Medical Students

1980 Secretary, International Workshop on Medical Education ‘A Relook at Medical Education in the Eighties’ Penang

1980 Member of the Committee for the Development of the Medical School Curriculum Workshop, Genting Highlands

1981 – 1983 Chairman, Medical School’s Medical Museum Committee

1981 – 1983 Medical School representative to the Safety Committee USM

1987 – 1989 Academic Editor of Medical School

1987 – 1989 Represented the Medical School to the USM Publication Committee

1988 – 1989 Member of the Medical School ‘Surau’ Committee


1979 Member of the University Senate, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

1979 – 1980 Quiz-master, Kuiz Siswa – Student Representative Board USM

1981 –1983 Advisory Panel member for Muslim students, USM

1982 – 1983; 1996 – 1997, & 2005 – 2011 Member of the Universiti Sains Malaysia Senate

1990 Acted as the Master of Ceremony, International Islamic Conference, USM

1992 Chairman for Prof. Mohd Roslani Professorial Public Lecture.

1992 Chairman, Subcommittee for the USM Professorial Public Lecture of Prof. JN Sharma.

1992 Committee for the USM Professorial Public Lecture of Prof. Mohd Roslani Abdul Majid

1992 Member of the Campus Beautification Committee of the USM Kelantan Sub Campus.

1992 Co-Chairman and Panel Member for the Interview of students for the MATES program of USM and Australia and Ireland.

1992 Secretary, Golf Club of the USM Kelantan Sub Campus

1994 – 2003; 2006 – 2009 Vice President, Golf Club of the USM Kelantan Sub Campus. (V/P runs the club as the President being the Campus Director who do not play golf as he is by rule the president of the club)

Prof Syed Mohsin contributed considerably at the Ministerial level. He negotiated for a lot of useful things for lecturers, especially for their postgraduate studies overseas. Not only that, he was also the Head of Malay Pharmacological Medicine. In research, he ventured into medicinal herbs. He is best remembered for his zest in medicinal herbs and traditional healing practices. Among his remedies are goat's milk for liver diseases. A Chinese-Malay remedy for liver disease (eg hepatitis infection) and also breast cancer is goat's milk which is taken together with boiled aqueous extract of the dukung anak plant. There were many more remedies which he knew. He was always in a position to inform others of the herbal remedies he knew. Some of his untiring efforts are given below based on his CV.


At Ministerial Level

2009 Member, panel to audit academic performances, MQA P.J.

2008 Committee member – ‘Kajian Pengumpulan Maklumat Pengggunaan Formulasi Tumbuh-tumbuhan Berubat dalam Perubatan Melayu’

2008 Member, panel to assess the health sciences curriculum of local IPTs, MQA P.J.

2007 - 2011 Head, delegation to assess Universities in Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing, Public Service Department, Malaysia

2005 - 2011 Committee member - Criteria & Standards Formation, Traditional & Complimentary Medicine Programs, Ministry of Health Malaysia

2007 - 2011 Chairman - Panel for the Qualification Assessment of the Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Chinese Peoples Republic, Public Service Department, Malaysia
1977- 1980 Member/Representative ‘Istilah’ Committee, Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka

He had a good research group at the School of Health Sciences where he led research into fortified foods. He was successful in research with an award winning project which had used cornhair for nutritious vitaminised biscuits.

Before he migrated to the School of Health Sciences, he was with the School of Medical Sciences for many years since its inception. He was the HOD in the Dept of Pharmacology. He was also a great academic advisor to all new academics who were seeking further studies (mainly PhD) overseas. At the School of Health Sciences, he held other posts. He last served as the Dean of Biomedical & Health Sciences Research Platform (Dekan Pelantar Penyelidikan Sains Kesihatan & Bioperubatan).

He was an advisor to many governmental and private bodies, including drug companies.

At Agencies Level

2009 Board Member – KDU College, Penang Campus

2008 – 2011 Editorial & Advisory Board Member – Biomedical & Pharmacology Journal

2008 Negotiator for Bio-Ti International Sdn Bhd

2007 Chairman - Program Evaluation Committee, LAN (now MQA)

2007 Panel - Selection of the Best Publication in Science, Technology and Medicine, MAPIM, Majlis Penerbitan Ilmiah Malaysia 2007

2007 Chairperson - Committee for Program Evaluation: Diploma Pharmaceutical Assistant, Unity College International, LAN. *Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Penilai Program

2007 Committee member –Accreditation Committee, MQA, Malaysian Qualifications Agency. *Ahli Jawatankuasa Akreditasi, LAN

2006 Malaysia Novartis Propose Biotechnology Initiative Working Group Member

2005 Member - PEMADAM, Kelantan

At University Level

2009 Advisor Persatuan Sarjana Lanjutan (PERSALA), Health Campus 2008/09

2009 Fasilitator, J/K Bertindak KPI Penerbitan USM

2009 Ahli J/K Anugerah Akademik Negara 2008

2009 Chairman “J/K Sambutan Ulangtahun ke-10 PPSK”

2009 Committee member in publication evaluation of PPSK

2009 Interview Panel – IPPT, USM, Penang

2008 – 2009 Interview Panel – School of Medical Sciences

2008 – 2009 Interview Panel – School of Dental Sciences

2008 Committee member ‘Jawatankuasa Penganugerahan Dekan Pengasas’

2008 Ahli J/K Kecil Pemilih, Pengesahan, Lanjutan Perkhidmatan, Cuti Sabbatikal, RLKA dan RPTKA, PPSP

2008 Ahli J/K Kecil Pemilih, Pengesahan, Lanjutan Perkhidmatan, Cuti Sabbatikal, RLKA dan RPTKA, PPSG

2008 Advisor 1 - Persidangan Kebangsaan Sains Makmal Perubatan Kali ke-2 (2nd NaCMeLS)

2006 Senate Representative ‘Jawatankuasa Perolehan’

2007 – 2008 Committee member Internal Audit Research University, USM

Since inception Member of the board, INFORMM (Institute for Molecular Medicine)

2007 – 2008 Appointed member, Academic Planning Committee, USM

2007 Committee member, University Audit, USM

2007 Committee member, Implementation of USM. Performance Evaluation.
*Ahli Jawatankuasa Pelaksanaan Pengukuran Prestasi USM.

2007 Technical evaluator, Committee of Life Sciences, Research Platform.
*Penilai Teknikal, Jawatankuasa Penyelidikan Pelantar Sains Hayat

2007 Committee member, Appeal Committee, USM
*Ahli Jawatankuasa Rayuan

2007 Chairman, Promotion Endorsement Committee, School of Health Sciences, USM
*Jawatankuasa Kenaikan Pangkat PPSK.

Other Advisory Services

1983 – 2011 Medical Laboratory Technologist Society, AMELS

1989 – 1994 USM Medical Alumni Society, PADU

1993 – 1995 Students' Medical Science Society, PPSP

2001 – 2011 Students' Health Science Society, PPSK

1997 – 2007 Students' Medical Adventure Team (MEDICAT)

Student Representative Council - SPM Excellent Perfornance Programme for rural schools in Kelantan

1989 – 1990 Advisor for the publication of Abdul Rahman Isa et al: First Aid: Principles and Practice (in the Malay Language) Crescent News (KL) Sdn. Bhd

2002 Run workshop on ‘Perubatan Tradisional Melayu’, organized by Malaysian Ministry of Health, Kuala Lumpur International Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

2003 Run workshop on ‘Perbidanan Melayu’, Organized by Malaysian Ministry of Health & USM, Perdana Hotel, Kota Bharu, Kelantan

2004 Run Homeopathy Workshop, Organized by thr Federation of Homeopathy Society of Malaysia & Malaysian Ministry of Health, Brisdale Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

2008 Run Workshop for the development of curriculum of the Malay Traditional Therapy - Malay massage for M.O.H., Hotel Seri Malaysia, Malacca

2009 Run Workshop ‘Perkongsian Maklumat Kepakaran Sains Perubatan UTHM’, Batu Pahat, Johor


  • Personal advisor to Sabira Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. and Sabira Marketing Sdn. Bhd. Manufacturer and distributor of Malaysian herbal Products - Assist in achieving the Health Ministry, GMP status for the company’s factory in 1999. 
  • Advisor to Nona Roguy Sdn. Bhd. - Initiated the discussion, which lead to the Memorandum of Understanding between Nona Roguy Sdn. Bhd. and USM. 
  • Research Advisor to Cerebos (M) Sdn Bhd. - The producer of Brand’s Essence of Chicken. 


2009 Speaker. Challenges faced by young researcher in doing research, 7th Student Scientific Conference, PPSG

2009 Speaker. Biotechnology Industry in Malaysia, Opportunities and Challenge, Research Enrichment Seminar

2009 Facilitator. Manuscript Inscription Workshop

2008 Invited Speaker. 2nd National Seminar, Medical Laboratory Sciences

2008 Speaker. 2nd Health and Medical Sciences Conference (HMSC)

2008 Talk on career guidance, MRSM, Jeli

2008 CPD Lecture, USM Staff.

2008 Talk to participants of the Young Scientist Programme, School of Health Sciences, USM, (2007-2008)

2007 Speaker. (i) A Potential Source of Anti-Aging, (ii) Some Aspects of Traditional Malay Medicinal Approach to Drug Abuse, 6th International Traditional & Complementary Medicine Conference & Exhibition (INTRACOM); Post Conference on Anti-Aging, Organized by Malaysian Ministry of Health, PWTC.

2007 Speaker. (i) Thermal, XRD and FT-IR Investigations of Swiftlets (Collocalia), (ii) Content of Cu (II) and Zn (II) in Ten Selected Tobacco Field Soils of District Bachok, Malaysia, International Conference on Chemical Sciences, Yogyakarta.

2007 Chairperson. International Medical & Health Congress 2007, organized by USM, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

2007 Speaker. Best Business Practices in Herbal – Based Industry, The Case for Healwell Pharmaceuticals Sdn. Bhd., ‘Seminar IMT-GT-SME’, Equatorial Hotel, Penang. Organised by SMEDEC

2007 Speaker. Therapeutic Properties of ‘Gamat’ & ‘Gamat’ Products, organized by Malaysian Ministry of Health, PWTC.

2007 Chairperson. AEI Postgraduate Seminar 2007, Organized by the Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur.

2005 - 2007 Speaker. PTK Lecture to USM staff.

2006 Chairperson. AEI Postgraduate Seminar 2006. Organized by the Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur.

2006 Chairperson. ‘Persidangan Biologi Kebangsaan 2006’. Organized by the Biology Department, UPSI, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur .

2006 Chairperson. 11th National Conference on Medical Sciences. Organized by USM, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan.

2006 Chairperson. 1st International Conference on the Medicinal Uses of Honey, Grand Riverview Hotel, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

2006 Speaker. Challenges in the Commercialization of Research Products: The Case for Biologicals in Developing Countries, organized by UPSI, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Legal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

2006 Speaker. ‘Burung Walet : Penemuan Hasil Penyelidikan Ilmiah’, ‘Kursus Perladangan Burung Walet, Organized by Kelantan Veterinary Department, Perdana Hotal, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

2006 Speaker. ‘Aplikasi & Perkembangan Terkini Bioteknologi dalam Bidang Perubatan & Kesihatan’, ‘Seminar Halatuju Bioteknologi Negeri Kelantan’, organized by Kelantan Biotech, Perdana Hotel, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

2005 Speaker. ‘Persidangan Jurupulih Carakerja Kebangsaan Dalam Pemulihan Kanak-Kanak, Jointly Organized by HUSM, USM & Persatuan Jurupulih Carakerja Malaysia, New Pacific Hotel, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.


Prof Syed Mohsin comes from a well-known and respected Yemeni Arab family based in Penang-Kedah-Perlis region. He was descended from the early Arabs who came to Malaya from Hadramaut in Yemen. The early Yemenis arrived in Penang and settled in Jelutong, and Masjid Jamek Jelutong marks the area where this historic landing occurred and where Islam spread in Penang. Masjid Jelutong is where the early Yemenis were buried (their burial plot is called "Kubur Syed"). The Jamalullail Arab clan is connected to the Perlis throne. It is the first instance that the Arabs married to the royal Malay household. The Perlis throne still carries the Syed prefix and the Jamalullail suffix.

Prof Syed Mohsin's father is Syed Sahil Jamalullail who died in 2010 and was interred at Masjid Arau in Arau, Perlis. Prof Syed Mohsin's mother is Sharifah Mariam bt Syed Alwi (aged 80) who lives in Jitra, Kedah. Sharifah Mariam's half-sister is Sharifah Rahmah bt Syed Alwi, whose daughter is Dr Sharifah Mariam bt Syed Aidid.

Prof Syed Mohsin and Dr Sharifah Mariam bt Syed Aidid were cousins. Dr Sharifah Mariam bt Syed Aidid was the first Chairman of the USM Women's Association (Persatuan Wanita USM) in the early 1980s.

Prof Syed Mohsin was also related to Emeritus Professor Dato' Zuraina Abdul Majid, the youngest sister of Dato' Paduka Ruby Majid. Prof Zuraina is Malaysia's foremost archaeologist whose work led to the discovery of Perak Man and the historical diggings at Lenggong.

Prof Syed Mohsin is also related to another famous early Malay doctor - Dr Syed Mohamed Alwi Alhady, a gastroenterologist who served at Penang General Hospital before he moved to General Hospital Kuala Lumpur. Mr SMA Alhady was responsible for the set up of the National Science Foundation. A pioneer and entrepreneur, Mr SMA Alhady, Dr Haji Abbas bin Haji Alias and Dr Hassan set up Hospital Pantai, the first Malay private hospital in Malaysia.

Sharifah Mariam bt Syed Alwi married to Syed Sahil Jamalullail. They were blessed with 8 children, 4 sons and 4 daughters. Prof Syed Mohsin was the third of 8 siblings:
  1. Syed Omar Syed Sahil
  2. Sharifah Zahrah Syed Sahil
  3. Syed Mohsin Syed Sahil (b.31 August 1951-d.6 November 2011)
  4. Sharifah Sakinah Syed Sahil
  5. Sharifah Alwiah Syed Sahil
  6. Syed Mohamad Syed Sahil
  7. Syed Haizar Syed Sahil
  8. Sharifah Azizah Syed Sahil

Prof Syed Mohsin married to Puan Hasnah bt Ishak. She had served several posts in USM and was the Head of Graduate Studies (Institute Pengajian Siswazah, IPS) at the USM Health Campus before she retired in September 2012. They are blessed with 7 children.
  1. Syed Hazman is an architect.
  2. Syed Muhammad Hilmi is a petroleum engineer with Exxon Mobile.
  3. Dr Syed Hasanul Hadi was trained by PCM & Sheffield. He underwent training as surgeon in the MMed Surgery Programme at the USM Medical School. He completed his MMed degree in 2013.
  4. Sharifah Muna Maisara is a schoolteacher in Sabah.
  5. Syed Muhammad Husni prefers the Arts and composes songs.
  6. Syed Muhammad Harith has a Diploma in Mechatronics. He is a technician and works with Samsung in Senawang, Negeri Sembilan.
  7. Syed Muhammad Hafizuddin was at Poly. He is now in Petaling Jaya.

A simple and quiet person, Prof Syed Mohsin enjoyed good friendship beside golf and reading. He played golf even during Ramadhan. It was at his last golf stint in Ramadhan (three days before Aidilfitri) that he swung his golf club too hard and suffered pain which landed him in Hospital USM (HUSM).

When I visited him at home after he was discharged from HUSM, he was on home rest and recuperating at home. He was in a good mood to receive my visit and we started talking about his health condition among others. He had suffered from chronic prostate cancer. He had just finished reading Tun Mahathir's book - A Doctor in the House. I had come to consult him about the 'Arabs in Penang' for my book, The Early Malay Doctors. As usual, we shared a lot of fun in telling stories about history - after the war, the early post-Merdeka days, etc. I was to come back later for follow-up on some of our stories. He was thankful that I had come to visit him, which made him happy and lifted his spirit to live. Alas! That was the last time I met Prof Syed Mohsin.

Prof Syed Mohsin passed away on Sunday, 6 November 2011, which coincided with the first day of Aidiladha celebrations, 10 Zulhijjah 1432 Hijrah. He died in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. He was interred on 7 November 2011 at Kubur Demit in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. He is dearly missed by his students, peers, family members and relatives.

This is uttered as an expression upon hearing the news of some loss or some one’s death:
Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon
Translation: To Allah we belong and to Him is our return


The first time I heard the word 'freemason' was when I first arrived in California at age 17, in 1976. I was in my undergraduate course and the Vietnam War was just over; my classmates were American GI, some on wheelchairs, some with schizophrenia. It was also a time after Woodstock Festival (a festival of drug addicts). There was talk about Freemason and the murder of Sharon Stone. I had thought it was a cult. That time there were many cults that dealt with sacrifice. It was also the time the movie Exorcist became box-office. It was also a time when Jonestown witnessed the mass suicide at a secluded camp in Guiyana, South America - they all drank cyanide and died.

What then is this 'freemason' thing? Many people have written about the Freemason. You can read about it here to get some ideas about it:

One of our former USM Medical School professors in Pathology is the chief Freemason at a Lodge, where the freemasons have their activities.

According to Internet forums on the Freemason, the freemasons worship the Satan, Lucifer (ketua syaitan).

Freemason Lodge, corner of Jalan Utama and Jalan Brown, Penang