Saturday, 30 April 2011

Sejarah Awal Pulau Pinang

Muhammad Haji Salleh, Editor. Sejarah Awal Pulau Pinang. Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang. 2008. ISBN 978-983-861-356-9. Printed by Sinaran Bros Sdn Bhd. [Malay text]

Font: ACaslon Regular

Koperasi Kedai Buku Universiti Sains Malaysia Bhd
MPH Distributors Sdn Bhd

Other books by the same author:
Syarahan Perdana: Muhammad Haji Salleh, 1989. Puitika Sastera Melayu: Suatu Pertimbangan, ISBN 967-942-157-0

Points to ponder in Sejarah Awal Pulau Pinang:
  1. What ethnic groups existed in Malaya?
  2. Who came to Malaya before Independence?

Page 88, footnote 75
Terdapat juga pendatang dari India Utara yang disebut Benggali. [...] hampir semua kumpulan etnolinguistik dari India terdapat di Malaya. Antara kumpulan etnolinguistik India yang terdapat di Malaya pada tahun 1921 hingga 1957 ialah orang India Selatan (Tamil, Telugu, Malayali dan lain-lain), orang India Utara (Sikh, Punjabi, Pathan, Benggali, Gujarati, Mahratta, Sindhi, Rajput, Marwari dan Parsi) dan kumpulan orang India yang lain.

Pada awal abad ke-20, orang India di Pulau Pinang juga terdiri daripada dua kategori lain iaitu askar/sepoi yang dihantar untuk berkhidmat di Negeri-Negeri Selat dan banduan yang didatangkan dari Bangkahulu selepas Perjanjian Inggeris Belanda pada tahun 1824.

Askar dan banduan ini sudah pasti tidak terdiridaripada satu kumpulan etnolinguistik sahaja.

Kumpulan banduan ini juga mempercepatkan kadar pertumbuhan Jawi Peranakan apabila mereka mengambil keputusan menetap di Pulau Pinang selepas mendapat keampunan daripada kerajaan India.


Analysis of the footnote above is given below.

Composition of Indians who came to Malaya. This composition is by etnolinguistic (ie by their spoken languages) and also for what they were hired in the British Army.

South Indians
Tamil - the founders of Masjid Kapitan Keling in Penang are forefathers of the Merican doctors

North Indians
Sikh - non Muslim?
Punjabi - [Yasmin Begum Mokhtar Ahmad's ancestors]
Pathan - Sir Dr Kamil Ariff's ancestors
Benggali - Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Shaik Ismail Ballah's ancestors who arrived in Singapore
Sindhi - Dr Che Lah Md Joonos' ancestors in Butterworth who relocated to Kg Dodol, Jalan Perak
Parsi - non Muslim?

Soldiers (sepoy) - mixed etnolinguistic
Convicts - mixed etnolinguistic

  1. Two other groups which are not mentioned are launderers (dhobi) and tailors (tukang jahit). The tailors served in the British Army and made uniforms. The other group washed dirty clothes and linen.
  2. The sepoy category has sub-categories just like in the army today.
  3. I will try and match the various etnolinguistic groups to the doctors' families but only for the ones I know and have been informed. You can read about them when the proposed book is published.
  4. I was told that the Parsi group are non Muslim but are sun worshipers?  True? False?

Lung Cancer in Malaysia

I've picked out the salient points and listed them here for public interest and for my present research and writing, and maybe later for my IT contract research. I've written the points in appraisal form so you can see what's lacking in health & disease statistics wrt lung cancer in Malaysia.

Published review:

Dr Hooi Lai Ngoh
- comprehensive national population-based cancer registry 
- it is the leading cause of cancer death in Malaysia
- one of the most common cancers in Malaysia
- there were 38,836 cancer admissions to government hospitals in 1998 [ie 15 MOH hospitals excluding district hospitals]
- lung cancer was the commonest cause of cancer admission among adult males [which means we don't have to worry about adult females getting lung cancer]
Cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lung is listed as the leading cause of cancer death in Malaysia  [affected is the respiratory system and 3 major sites - the trachea, bronchus and lungs; can try pull out images from Radiology PACS and collate that with Pathology biopsy slides with all the different stainings; can also do height, body mass, BMI and other parameters on the patients physical attributes (anthropometry); then do Artificial Intelligence (AI) for selecting young smokers and work on their potential for lung cancer and get them on treatment earlier before cancer goes to a non reversible stage and cancer death becomes real; may have to co-plan for psychology and counseling for hard core young smokers]
- mortality rate is 2.48 per 100,000 population in 1999 based on deaths in government hospitals [should at least mention how many govt hospitals were used for the statistical analysis; with 10 years data prior to 1999 should be able to project data for next 10 years (1999-2010) and compare that to real mortality rate for 2010; can also do projection for the next 10 years (2010-2020)]
- lung cancer ranked fifth in males with a prevalence of 7.7 per 100,000 [ignore females for now; what are the 4 major killers in males?]
- lung cancer has an overall poor prognosis and low survival rate [the more reason to ban smoking in Malaysia. It is banned in USM Health Campus.]
- household community survey [what advice did the researchers give the smokers among family members? Among those smokers who were advised, how many did actually heed medical advice and totally quit? Was quiting ever surveyed? If not why not?]

Selected References:
  1. Ministry of Health Malaysia.  Discharge rate and mortality rate in government hospitals per 100,000 population.  In: Malaysia’s Health 2000; Appendix 4: 293.
  2. Ministry of Health Malaysia.  Cancer control.  In:  Annual report 1999; 132.
  3. Ministry of Health Malaysia.  Mortality rate of malignant neoplasm/cancer per 100,000 population, Malaysia, 1999.  In: Indicators for monitoring and evaluation of strategy for health for all by the year 2000; Health Indicator No. 3.10, 2001; 78.
  4. Lim KG.  Cancers.  In: A review of diseases in Malaysia.  2nd edition 2001; 7: 79 – 85.
  5. Norhayati O, et al.  Cancer statistics, HUSM 1985 – 1992.  Mal J Pathol 1994; 16: 103 (abstract No. P10).
  6. Penang State Health Department.  Penang Cancer Registry 1996 statistical report.
  7. Ismail Y, Zulkifli A, Zainol H.  Lung cancer in Kelantan.  Med J Malaysia 1990; 45: 220 – 4.

A Review of Diseases in Malaysia

Lim Kean Ghee, A Review of Diseases in Malaysia. 2001, Second edition. 456 pp. ISBN 983-40800-0-X. (RM80). Published by Lim Kean Ghee, 5, Upper Museum Road, Taiping 34000, Malaysia. E-mail:

Dr Lim Kean Ghee is a consultant surgeon in private practice. He had previously served in the Ministry of Health (MOH) hospitals as medical officer and consultant surgeon.

The book is a compilation of diseases in Malaysia. It is a good resource since it covers most diseases and gives citations. Most of the information is not easily obtained elsewhere and often inaccessible to researchers.

The Preface gives an important message to all doctors who wish to practise in Malaysia. It reminds us that our medical textbooks are mostly written by doctors in Britain and United States whilst we try to apply such texts in our Malaysian context. While the diseases are similar the disease severity and pattern of disease spread are often dissimilar. Thus, our management of the same diseases cannot be similar and cannot be verbatim from such textbooks.

A second message in the Preface is prior research data of a locality would serve as basis for further research. Thus, this book captures prior research data for that purpose.

A third message in the Preface is for medical students to use the book to familiarise themselves with data for local diseases since they will rejoin and serve the Malaysian community upon graduation.

A fourth message in the Preface is for non medicos (including lawyers, researchers, etc) who need to quickly refresh themselves on knowledge of Malaysian diseases which we don't find in medical textbooks written by the West.

Reviews of the book are available online:

Singapore Medical Journal:
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(12) : 1101

Malaysian Family Physician:
Malaysian Family Physician 2006; Volume 1, Number 1, page 45

Medical Journal of Malaysia:
Reviewed by Akhtar Qureshi, International Medical University
Med J Malaysia Vol 57 No 2 June 2002

I actually bought this book because this was exactly what I needed for research and writing. I needed past health & disease data to verify disease patterns and spread in order to account for the high number of deaths resulting from malaria prior to, during and after the Japanese war. The postwar period up till Merdeka also recorded many deaths from malaria among the Malay families so far under study. I am a bit upset about our past health and disease statistics and accounts by families as in none of the narratives by the families have they mentioned quinine which we know the Malay people use for malaria. I am most concerned about malaria since I grew up in Malaysia after the Independence when malaria was the number one killer before heart disease superseded it. We had to use mosquito nets at night and also use ubat nyamuk made from cow dung to fumigate our bedrooms at night. So bad was the situation with malaria that I also had a classmate who died of malaria in 1972 in Malacca. We were 14. Measures to destroy the Anopheles mosquito breeding grounds were stepped up and malaria was then well-controlled. Malaria is non existent in Malaysia today. Even Gua Musang in Kelantan has ceased to report any malaria cases - the last being in the early 1980s. When I worked with Hospital USM Diagnostic Labs in 1983-5 I didn't hear of any malaria cases. Researchers from outside Malaysia still come to want to do "malaria research" in Malaysia when malaria has been non existent for so long now. The last group of "mosquito researchers" was an Australian group that came to our Routine Lab in Chemical Pathology in 1994 to try and determine serum electrolytes for malaria cases when they hoped to get such cases from Gua Musang but the entire research came to nought! Haven't they read about Malaysia before coming? They should read this book then.