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