Wednesday, 19 January 2011

5. Dr Mohamed Ibrahim bin Shaik Ismail (1892-1962)

Dr Mohamed Ibrahim bin Shaik Ismail (1892-1962)
Graduated in August 1916 from the King Edward VII Medical School, Singapore

Date of birth: 9 September 1892
Place of birth: Singapore
Date of death: died during Hajj in 1962 . ... to check Hajj schedule for May 1962
Place of death: Madinah, Saudi Arabia
Place of burial: Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Analysis of Singapore's first Malay doctor
  1. Both Dr H. S. Moonshi and Dr S. I. M. Ibrahim graduated in medicine in Singapore in 1916.
  2. However, Dr H. S. Moonshi graduated in March 1916 while Dr S. I. M. Ibrhaim graduated in August 1916.
  3. Dr H. S. Moonshi was born in Surat, India and came to live to Singapore, graduating as the first Muslim doctor. He opened the first Muslim clinic. However, he cannot be considered as Singapore's first Malay doctor for he was not born in Singapore.
  4. Dr S. I. M. Ibrahim was born on 9 September 1892 in Singapore. His father was an archivist with the German Embassy when it first opened in Singapore in 1892. His mother was a noble Bugis lady descended from Dang Anum. His mother was the 4th generation of Dang Anum.
  5. Since Dr S. I. M. Ibrahim was born in Singapore, he qualifies as Singapore's first Malay doctor (born, raised, schooled and educated in Singapore). He had worked a few months/years in Kajang and also in London, but worked mainly in Singapore, till his untimely death during the May 1962 Hajj. He died in Madinah but was laid to rest in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
  6. Historian, J. M. Gullick had cited Dr Abdul Samad bin Pagak as the 'first Malay doctor' in Singapore when Dr Abdul Samad was involved in Singapore politics in 1921. He noted that Dr Abdul Samad had graduated from the KE VII but did not hold any political posts. However, this information on Dr Abdul Samad as a graduated doctor turns out to be inaccurate. Abdul Samad was born in 1902 and probably just a newly registered medical student in 1921, and not yet a doctor. He was only 19 in 1921, and not a graduated doctor, not 'Dr Abdul Samad' yet.
  7. A check with Prof Edmund J. D. Lee's book, To Sail Uncharted Seas (2005) provided evidence that Dr Abdul Samad graduated in 1928, i.e. 12 years after Dr S. I. M. Ibrahim had practised medicine in Singapore.
  8. Dr Abdul Samad's full name is Dr Abdul Samat bin Pagak as appeared in a newspaper article that listed visitors to the Asylum; his name was the last entry of 32 names.
  9. In a newspaper article re a Singapore election campaign, it had Dr Abdul Samad's portrait and his birthplace. Dr Abdul Samad was born in Malaya, however, Malaya was unspecified. If he was born in Singapore, he would have stated Singapore as his birthplace. So he was not born in Singapore but in a state in Malaya. Where? Which state? Why didn't he state Johor or any state? Why did he state Malaya? Had he obtained Singapore citizenship and therefore the state where he was born did not matter? Did he move to Singapore as a child or after he graduated as a doctor? Why was he involved in politics when he entered medical school?
  10. I have eliminated both Dr H. S. Moonshi and Dr Abdul Samad as described above.
  11. In conclusion, Dr S. I. M. Ibrahim is Singapore's first Malay doctor.

Author's Log:
  1. 26 Jan 2011 - Searched for 'Prof Ahmad Ibrahim' at and identified 2 contacts - granddaughter and great granddaughter. Left message in - gave great granddaughter link to TEMD blog and request to join Facebook. Left a second message in - gave granddaughter link to TEMD blog.
  2. 27 Jan 2011 - Managed to obtain family contact and details from a 3rd contact (also informed him of TEMD blog). No photos yet (need to scan first)
  3. 28 Jan 2011 - Received a portrait of Dr Mohamed Ibrahim from his great grandson, younger son of the eldest grandson. Prepared first draft and e-mailed to his eldest grandson. Waiting for responses & feedback from his eldest grandson and the respective families.