Friday, 7 January 2011

Guess how many "early" Malay doctors we had?

Friday, 7 January 2011   2:06:18 PM

How many doctors were there altogether?

Let’s clarify and qualify a few things first before we try to answer that jackpot question.

"Early" here refers to the period during British Malaya (1856-1957), before our country gained Independence.

"Malay doctors" here includes both the allopathic and homeopathic doctors, and dentists. I will explain (in another post) why I have lumped all three categories together.

"Malaya" generally refers to the common name of our country between 1856 and 1963. After that Malaya became Malaysia. On another note, in the past, “Malaya” also referred to peninsular Malaysia (some call it West Malaysia today).

“Tanah Melayu” literally means lands where people of the Malay ethnic group are habitually found or predominate as they breed, live and have become acculturated. The region can be vast, covering the entire Malay Archipelago stretching east-west from the Indian subcontinent to the Polynesian islands and stretching north-south from the interior of mainland China to the northern territorial lands of Australia. This means we can expect to find the Malay people mainly in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines, and less numbers in Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, and all the islands in this region.

We must remember our past history that there were many migrations of mainly traders who made it mainly by sea, to Malaya (now Malaysia).

Through years of migration, the various migrant populations (Indians, Chinese and Europeans) have successfully assimilated with the local Malays. Their offspring were initially categorised as “Peranakan.” Now, with better understanding of our history and all migrant Muslims are categorised as “Malay.”

In the light of all the clues provided above, try to answer these history questions:
1.      How many early Malay doctors did we have?
2.      How many early Malay doctors were serving in Malaya prior to Merdeka?

What is your answer?
A.    36
B.     43
C.     48
D.    52
E.     Need more clues