Thursday, 31 May 2012

The V.I. Anthology

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Makam Datuk Jenaton & Makam Datuk Setia

Yesterday was my second visit but first successful visit to Makam Datuk Jenaton. I didn't have time to write about it as I did my father's biography last night till 2 am. My head still feels groggy and migraine seems to build up this morning. Today is my youngest daughter's 13th birhday - I promised to take her shopping, but it looks like that has to be put on hold.

Persiaran Minden
Persiaran Minden 1
Blue gates of the graveyard
TNB power shack
Grass footpath beyond the blue gates
Walk down to the graves
View of 9 graves and layout. The 10th grave is behind the cameraman, to the right in this pic.
Makam Datuk Jenaton is one of the 3 long graves and with brick  frame.
Plaque of Datuk Jenaton's headstone. Qiblat is to the right.
I'm standing at Datuk Jenaton's headstone.
I'm looking at the other (foot) stone of the same grave, and trying to absorb  the length of this long grave.
The wind suddenly blew strongly on the leaves of one tree to my left and I looked up. It felt like something descended or went up. I quickly held up my hands to read Al-Fatihah. The wind died down and I moved away.
Affandi reading doa at Makam Datuk Jenaton
3 long graves
This enclosure is the grave of Datuk Setia
Plaque of Datuk Setia's grave enclosure
Datuk Setia's plaque
View of Persiaran Minden 1 from the graves
My husband Affandi (54) and youngest daughter Yusrina (13). These souls are very supportive of my work all these years. She was in my womb and then on my lap when I started research on The Early Malay Doctors. Now she is a big girl. She knows about the places I visited and the people I interviewed, and practically a lot more about my research than anyone else, after her father. She reads my Facebook and blogs. She will become like me, insyaAllah.
He locks the gate in good faith. InsyaAllah we will all return here. 
 To Allah SWT we all belong and to Him we will return.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rojiuun.

I have to get some sleep now and we will be heading home to Kelantan this afternoon. My head is spinning from lack of sleep. I will edit later when I can see what I typed.

Tanah Datuk Jenaton

Makam Datuk Jenaton is in Minden Heights, which is beside the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) campus in Penang.

Why is Datuk Jenaton important?

From a historical perspective, Datuk Jenaton was awarded a large piece of land on Penang island by a sultan of Kedah, for his deeds, for saving the Kedah Sultanate from Siamese attack. The Kedah Sultanate is probably the second oldest of the Malay sultanates in present-day Malaysia. It was under constant attack by Siamese forces from the north. Datuk Jenaton and his followers helped saved the Kedah Sultanate from the last of the Siamese attacks. In this respect, his deeds to the Kedah Sultanate cannot be simply forgotten in the folds of history. Had he lost that battle with Siam, we would not have old Malaya and modern Malaysia today - we would be part of old Siam and modern Thailand today. We would be speaking and writing Thai. Sawad dee khap?

What land was he awarded? Why is it important to know?

From various accounts written about him and his land, we know he was awarded a large piece of land covering  what is today Minden Heights, USM, and maybe Kampung Batu Uban. Kampung Batu Uban is another historical village. We will need all the old maps of Penang and all related documents that have his name written. Places which may still have these old documents would be Penang Town Council and also the construction company that had made Minden Heights. I have not the faintest clue which construction company was involved with building Minden Heights, but I suspect it is a Chinese company and my Chinese grandmother's handsome young Chinese friend named Mr Ang, who also had construction projects (bina masjid) in the Arab states. I don't have any other clues in mind at present.

Was he the original settler?

From a historical perspective, Datuk Jenaton and his elder brother-in-law (abang ipar) Nakhoda Intan, had arrived in Batu Uban and Masjid Batu Uban was constructed in 1734. When he was awarded the land by the sultan of Kedah, he would be the first settler to open the land which was awarded to him (the area was a virgin forest). The British arrived in 1876 when Francis Light dropped anchor in Penang waters. The British developed Tanjung Peniaga/Tanjung Pinang as their administrative stronghold.

How did his land become Minden Heights?

It is a long story. His land was probably taken by force(?) or negotiated to build Minden Barracks, which is now USM main campus in Penang. Then the Minden Heights housing scheme was made in the early 1970s - 1971 to be exact. The housing scheme was designed by my grandfather who is my mother's father. I will tell you a bit about Minden Heights where my late grandfather's and my mother's houses still stand - side by side. My grandfather's house is the oldest house on site, in Minden Heights - it was built around 1970.

History of the Minden Heights housing scheme

In 1958, Dr Che Lah retired from Pahang early and returned to Penang. He had 3 houses built consecutively in Penang, over some 20 years. His first residence was near Dr SMA Alhady's house, along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah. His second residence was up on Lengkok Pemancar. His third and last residence was built in Minden Height, or rather, Tanah Datuk Jenaton. Dr Che Lah worked in his post-retirement years, as a designer for the Penang Town Council. He worked at various jobs too.

When Dr Che Lah started working on designing the housing scheme for Minden Heights, he first built his wooden bungalow on site, at the corner of Jalan Minden 1 and Jalan Minden 7. His house still stands at the original site - dilapidated with time, and the metal parts rusty from the salty sea breeze nearby. The sea was nearby before Penang bridge was built and land reclamation activities started. USM new campus was just recently constructed in 1969.

In the early 1970s, Minden Heights was virgin forest, really thick jungle - this I saw as I was in Form 1 and I had spent my school holidays with my grandfather and stayed with him. We sat and discussed the design for Minden Heights housing scheme. It was a difficult project. He was at the designing stage and everything else in the area was jungle - very green and very thick! At first I had thought my grandfather was crazy to have abandon his mansion uphill and come to live in a wooden house downhill. Orang Melayu kata buang tebiat. I asked my mother if my grandfather was ok. He was ok. He wanted to sell off his mansion and had his 3rd residence built in Minden Heights.

At the time he (Dr Che Lah) was planning and designing, I had heard the name Datuk Jenaton being mentioned. It was mentioned in almost every conversation and that name left an impression in me. Not knowing the actual problem, I had misconstrued and had thought that Datuk Jenaton himself refused to give up his land and that caused my grandfather to face difficulties proceeding with the housing project he had to do for the Council.

As a young teenager (Form 1), I had no idea of the significance of Datuk Jenaton, but my grandfather and my uncle (Uncle Din) had great respect for him - they spoke of him with great respect. In actual fact, the Minden Heights housing scheme that my grandfather had to do, was actually on Datuk Jenaton's land - this very land we call Minden Heights today (in Malay, we call it Cangkat Minden, which refers to a hillock, not a bukit or hill and certainly not a bukit tinggi or highland). About half of Datuk Jenaton's land is USM and the other half is Minden Heights housing area or scheme.

Minden Heights is a well-planned housing area in this part of Penang island. Some of Penang's super rich tawkays live here. When my grandfather designed Minden Heights, he had allocated a lane and 2 rows of low-cost housing for the poor Indians and Malays. My grandfather's house stands at the start of this 'poor man's row'. I cried when my mother related this to me. It was sheer disbelief on my part that my once super duper rich grandfather wanted to live in a poor man's row. But my grandfather only smiled and never regretted his idea of living on the poor man's row (Minden Jalan 7). My mother had explained to me, my grandfather sold his 2nd residence to help pay for my uncle's education in Australia, and all he was left with was this wooden home in Jalan Minden 7. All his other lands and landed properties in Cherating and KL had been given away too - FOC. My grandfather was preparing for his last farewell, and evidently another life. Minden Heights was the last project he designed for Penang. I don't know what or which model he had used but I suspect he followed an Australian model for the Minden Heights housing scheme.

There are some credibly famous roads in Minden Heights. The main road is Minden Jalan 1. Rich and expensive homes lie along Minden Jalan 1. Houses on this road are in the range of RM3 million and above. Poor man's row is Minden Jalan 7 (even millionaires live here today). My late mother's house is in Minden Jalan 7. Minden Jalan 5 was where USM expatriates once lived when the USM medical school was based at USM in Penang, before it shifted to Kubang Kerian, Kelantan in May 1990.

When Minden Heights was first designed, the roads did not reach far inward. I remember, the perimeter of Minden Heghts was only up to the playground. Later, it expanded to join Minden Heights to Brown Garden (Taman Brown) which is next door, and which also opens into Taman Sardon and the adjacent biggest modern fresh market. Almost everybody in the vicinity of Minden Heights knows the Taman Sardon market. It is the cleanest fresh market in Penang. During my grandfather's time as Penang Health Inspector, the markets must be clean and not sting or smell. But that is old news.

Anyway, coming back to Minden Heights, this area is also famous for another thing - it houses Makam Datuk Jenaton, the Malay hero and warrior who saved Kedah from Siam (more in the next post).

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Tok Chu

I spent the entire day today outside the house. I met with Tok Chu (husband & wife), the parents of Prof. Ahmad Murad Merican. This was the first time we met.  We met at his residence in Ayer Itam, and I interviewed both of them. Tok Chu knows a lot about Penang history. He can remember street names, people and events.


25 May 2012 - I left a note in the Facebook account of Datuk Jenaton group. 

26 May 2012 - I received a hp# of a lady (Kak Yang Kalsom).

26 May 2012 - My husband Affandi called Kak Yang Kalsom as I had the pictures to edit and upload. She SMS and informed of Tok Chu, who would have the key to Datuk Jenaton's graveyard in Minden Heights. Since it was about 1 am, I didn't call the # provided. It was a good thing I did not call.

27 May 2012 - Affandi called Tok Chu and asked about the key to the graveyard. Tok Chu said to come and see him. We went over to Tok Chu's house in Ayer Itam. Earlier after breakfast I checked Google Map for directions to his residence. The landmarks he gave were Kuil India and Kg Melayu. 



Tok Chu lives in Ayer Itam in Penang.

We decided to go down Jalan Masjid Negeri (old street name, Green Lane). We passed by Jalan Thean Teik - a narrow congested road, and the BHP petrol station on the left. We passed by Jalan Satu on the left. We passed by the Indian temple  on the right (Affandi recognised the temple first) - I took some photos of the temple. Then we reached the turn-off for Jalan Dua and finally Jalan Kg Melayu on the left. 


We followed Jalan Kg Melayu to Jalan Ayer Itam and got lost. We U-turned at the school and went back on Jalan Ayer Itam till we reached Jalan Pisang Embun. All the roads here were named after bananas. We turned right into Jalan Pisang Embun and went right till the end. Tok Chu's house is on the right, at the end of the row.

When we arrived, Tok Chu was outside sweeping his porch. We parked in the street (turn right) after his house. Tok Chu met us at his front gate and was happy to see us. He's 83 and still strong. He called out to his wife (also called Tok Chu) and she came to greet us at the door. Tok Chu invited us in and we went inside. 

We started with introducing ourselves. I said I am looking for the key to Datuk Jenaton's graveyard and that we had been there yesterday. I introduced myself as the 10th generation of Muhammad Saleh of West Sumatra (who was well-known as Nakhoda). I also introduced myself as a granddaughter of Dr Che Lah. Once Tok Chu knew where I stand, it was easier to talk as relatives, rather than interviewer-interviewee.


Tok Chu is Mohd Noor Merican  bin Ahmad Merican bin Osman Merican. He was born on 13 June 1929 in Penang and grew up in a big bungalow, now lies empty beside the Chinese girls' school in Jalan Dato Keramat. His mother was Zaleha bt Haji Yasin.

Tok Chu worked as an apprentice surveyor in Sungai Petani. He resigned after working less than a year, for some reason he explained but which I couldn't understand. He then returned to Penang and was with the City Council of Georgetown for 25 years, then with LLN and later TNB. He's retired 25 years ago in 1984.


Tok Chu's father-in-law was Haji Yasin, who was in charge of Masjid Titi Papan in Georgetown. Masjid Titi Papan is named as such because long ago the parit (drain) was large enough for sampan and tongkang to enter right up to the mosque. A wooden plank was used, and thus the mosque was named after the plank.

Haji Yasin was a goldsmith from Medan in Sumatra. His workplace was at Kinta Lane and later in Burma Road. According to Tok Chu's wife, last time there was no lock and key to keep the gold and gold ornaments safe at home. Haji Yasin had to hide his gold ornaments, stuffing them in between anything - books, clothes, etc. That worked fine.

Tok Chu showed us the Silsilah sheet for Datuk Jenaton and other ascendants. From what I understand Haji Muhammad Saleh (Nakhoda) had 4 siblings - an elder brother, himself, a younger brother and a youngest and only sister. Datuk Jenaton married the youngest and only sister of Muhammad Saleh. Thus, they became related by way of marriage. They were also blood relatives even before marriage as their ancestor cousins married in Sumatra. Datuk Jenaton was the younger brother-in-law of Nakhoda.



Tok Chu said long ago, Burma Road was a Malay place with many Malay families. Sir KM Ariff's house was opposite the Telekoms (I have not seen this location).



The Chowrasta School moved at least 2 places - Transfer Road and Jalan Hatin.

JALAN HATIN (old street name was Hutton Road)

The present Chowrasta School is at Jalan Hatin.


Tok Chu knew Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos.


Tok Chu's wife said a lot of Arabs reside in Batu Uban and their graves are at the cemetery attached to Masjid Batu Uban. There are also a large number of them in Jalan Kelawei (Kampung Syed).

Tok Chu also knew Aziz Yamani (my paternal granduncle) who was popularly known as Abdul Aziz Al-Yamani. Aziz was an anglophile. He was of short stature and wore shorts and shirt with short sleeves. He did not come from Yemen (Yaman) but from Malacca. Aziz Yamani had a garage at the corner of Anson Road and Dato' Keramat Road. The British gave him the European car business. (I remember being at his garage in the early 1960s.) They also gave him a double-storey bungalow behind Masjid Jalan Hatin - the bungalow still stands today - it is a bright yellow building (photographed 9 Oct 2011 and 27 May 2012). According to Tok Chu, the house is before '7 hotel'. Aziz Yamani married Nenek Jepun. The mother and child (Mazalifah) often returned to Tokyo.

Front gate of Ami Aziz's residence. His house is the yellow bungalow behind the mosque
(at far left, and partly hidden by the mosque in this pic).


Eastern Smelting was initially at ______________? It is now just flats.

See updates on 22 August 2013.


Tok Chu's wife is Hendon bt Ahmad bin Abdullah. She was born on 2 August 1932. She has 5 elder brothers - Zainol Abidin, Zainudin, Mohamad Tahir, Ibrahim and Abdul Halim. Hendon is descended from Datuk Jenaton.

The Founding of Penang

Who found Penang? Francis Light or someone else?

It was not Francis Light. He did not come here first. He obtained Penang illegally and without papers from the Sultan of Kedah. The Portuguese got here first, at Batu Feringghi (Portuguese Stone). The Dutch didn't set foot here and there is nothing Dutch on the island. The first Muslim to arrive here was Nakhoda and his brother/pal, Datuk Jenaton. Nakhoda (or his real name Muhammad Saleh) built a prayer place, now the mosque, at Batu Uban, called Masjid Batu Uban. He was Khatib Muhammad Saleh. 

The Sultan of Kedah had sought help from Datuk Jenaton from attack by Siam. Datuk Jenaton defeated the Siamese attack. The Sultan of Kedah rewarded him with a large land acreage on Penang island, the entire area today called Minden Heights plus Universiti Sains Malaysia plus Batu Uban, right down to the sea.

The problem now is some people (developers) want to demolish Masjid Batu Uban. Why do they want to destroy our heritage? Don't they know Penang history? Don't they know that Masjid Batu Uban is a tourism spot and under Malaysia Tourism? Don't they know this mosque is 278 years old in 2012? It has a village, Kampung Batu Uban, where a lot of Malays reside - including my uncle, Pak Cik Syed Ahmad bin Syed Sahil Jamalullail.

I think we are at a crossroad now, where we need to sit and re-think about what is becoming of our madness for wealth creation and wealth accumulation. We destroy everything beautiful in our state (Penang) and in our country (Malaysia) and we do this because we see a lot of money coming into our big ever-hungry pockets. Because greed overtakes us, we are blind and tend to take risky roads to any decision, make ruthless decisions, make heartless decisions - with no ending to upsetting and hurting people - the very people we are robbing in order to become rich and super rich. We are killing the poor people who want to remain on their land and use that mosque, as their ancestors have done before them - since 278 years ago.

Please remember that there is a verse in Quran, where Allah SWT says, He wants to destroy this land where heartless people dwell (orang-orang zalim), like the greedy developers who prey on poor people, but He can't do so because there are good people as well in that land, who pray to Him and ask for His Mercy. So, those heartless greedy pigs out there and up there, you must be thankful to that little mosque down below from your high-rise. Stop for a moment and think what it feels like if you were in the mosque and people start attacking you and the mosque. Stop throwing water bombs at the mosque just because you worship a motionless tangible god while the people at the mosque pray to Allah SWT - the God that created you in your mother's womb, even if your mother was a bitch or a slut. Just open any medical textbook and you will see this leech-like structure which is called Halaqah in the Quran - also described as chewing gum with teeth marks - that's how you were made in the beginning. Did your scripture teach you about what was developing in your mother's womb? There is no scripture in this world that tells about Creation of Man except the Quran. So please, read the Quran and stop disturbing the little mosque down below and stop hurting its people. There is always room to learn from the poor people - they live without fear of not becoming rich but they fear becoming rich. Why? Because you become rich at someone else's expense. So becoming rich and richer actually is a deadly weapon of mass destruction that kills. So don't start but stop hurting Masjid Batu Uban - let it live. The mosque was there first - 278 years ago. You don't kill your own father. Give your respect to Masjid Batu Uban.

I married a very poor Chinese man and he is a Muslim, and prays at that mosque, the same mosque that you wish to demolish. He can read the Quran for you but you got to come down to the mosque to hear him read it for you. Learn not to be greedy and uncaring. Learn how to be caring from poor people, like me and my man. It is alright to be poor but there is every wrong to be rich. So the next time you hold your money in your hand, ask yourself where and how you got that money. Those thugs in Ayer Itam are a dying fad - they will grow old and sick one day. Learn to be good for once in this life. That's my medicine for you, greedy pigs.

Friday, 25 May 2012

The roles of kings and queens in medicine

I was wondering why a king's name was attached to the medical school in Singapore. I read about King Henry III, Edward VI and Edward VII. I watched RTM TV1 about Queen Elizabeth I and why she was called the Virgin Queen. My aunt had mentioned the Church of England. I used Google Map and located the St Mary's Cathedral near Padang Merdeka in KL. A lot of my friends said they were of Roman Catholic faith. I put everything together, and what do I get?

It seems to me that long long ago in history, a Moroccan man had gone to Britain, to seek help from the British monarchy, for protection against Spanish attacks. Britain aided Morocco. The Spanish armada attacked Britain but lost - Britain became supreme control of world power under her queen, Elizabeth I.

With so much power, Britain was able to control world voyages and trade missions. Britain was rich with all the assets amassed from the Far East (that's our home). 

At the turn of the 20th century, British doctors were already here in Malaya and Singapore. Old photos showed them in white uniform and pit hat. The medical school began. King Edward VII donated a part of his wealth for the largest building - the College of Medicine building. It must be the most expensive building at the time and outside Britain. If you look carefully at the facade, you will see some statues and a Roman eagle. What influence did these have on the nature of medicine taught then?

Now, who attends to religious affairs in Britain? The British monarchs do. They are in charge of religious affairs, economy and the nation's wealth. They have the Church of England and also the St Mary's Church. Read more about the British monarchs and religion at Wikipedia.

How did medicine reach Britain from Spain, Morocco and Rome?
How did religion reach Britain from Rome? 
How did religion reach Kuala Lumpur from Britain?

Queen Elizabeth I
St Mary's Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur

What is medicine?

If I asked you 'What is medicine?', what would your answer be?

My answer would be: A world of statues and sick people! Look at these pictures and you'll see why. That't a child's perception of the field of medicine.

I would still say that people still find it hard to define what is medicine today for a 9-year old child. How do you define medicine today?

Imhotep, an Egyptian doctor of the Pharaohs.
Egyptian surgical instruments depicted on papyrus.
Asclepius, a Greek god of medicine, holding his magic stick (rod),
with a serpent wrapped around it.
Hippocrates, a Greek physician and Father of Greek medicine,
made famous by his Hippocratic Oath.

Ibnu Sina, a Persian doctor and Father of Persian medicine

A Caucasian doctor deep in thought while attending to a sick
Caucasian child at home, whose family is grieved over her illness.

More photos and stories at Wikipedia

Who is the Father of Malay medicine?
Who is the Father of Malaysian medicine?
Do we have answers to these questions?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Chaulmoogra and leprosy

The chaulmoogra (Hydnocarpus kurzii) tree is treasured for its nuts and oil. The oil is used for overcoming leprosy lesions. Whether is it truly effective against leprosy remains to be seen.

Chemical analysis: Chaulmoogra oil contains potent bactericidal compounds - chaulmoogric acid and hydnocarpic acid. These acids supposedly 'kill' the mycobacterium that causes leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae
Traditional usage: The Indians and Chinese have used chaulmoogra oil for treating skin problems as well as intestinal worm infestations. Chaulmoogra oil is not effective in curing advanced stages of leprosy and synthetic sulfones are used instead.
Cold press: Chaulmoogra oil is obtained by compressing the seeds of the chaulmoogra trees. 
Indications: The oil is has bactericidal properties and has been used for treating eczema, skin inflammations, sprains, arthritis and bruises. 
Research: Research has been done to demonstrate the properties of chaulmoogra oil as a remedy for leprosy. Chaulmoogra oil may be used in several lotions, creams, balms, ointment, massage oil, lip balm as well as balm formulations for wound care.
Oil contents & uses: Chaulmoogra oil is rich in palmitic acid, hydnocarpic acid and oleic acid. The bark of the chaulmoogra tree contains tannins that are useful for reducing fever. The oil extracted from the seeds of chaulmoogra tree is used to cure a number of skin complaints, including different chronic conditions and scaly eruptions.
Other uses of oil: A liniment or ointment is prepared by blending equal parts of lime water and chaulmoogra oil and applied topically to alleviate rheumatic pains, cure leprous ulcerations, burnt heads as well as scruff on the head. The crushed seeds are applied in the form of a paste/poultice to heal skin diseases like eczema, scabies and ringworm, as well as to cure wounds.
Sg Buloh & Pulau Jerejak:
Sg Buloh, Setapak & Singapore:
Sg Buloh - Valley of Hope:

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Dr Burhanuddin al-Helmy's family and demise

Amir Burhanuddin bin Ungku Muhammad Noor was born on Monday, 28 August 1911  at Kampung Changkat Tualang in Mukim Kota Bharu, Gopeng, Perak, Federated Malay States (FMS). He was the first child born to Haji Muhammad Noor and Sharifah Zaharah  bt Habib Osman.

HIS FATHER, Haji Muhammad Noor, was a farmer and pious man from Batu Sangkar in the district of Tanah Datar, Minangkabau in Sumatra, Indonesia. He also belonged to the “Ungku” royal lineage of Sumatra. Haji Muhammad Noor studied under a religious leader from Makkah and Sheikh Mohamad Khatib Minangkabau. He was addressed as Abi Halim which referred to his kindness, soft-heartedness and calmness. Haji Muhammad Noor arrived in Perak in 1908. 

HIS MOTHER, Sharifah Zaharah bt Habib Osman, was from Melaka. She was a Peranakan of Malay and Indian Muslim mixed parentage.

Dr Amir Burhanuddin married to Che Suri bt Haji Yahya. [In Facebook, Haji Zul Tiger is trying to locate the family members through a Taiping group.]

Whilst in detention under the ISA, Dr Amir Burhanuddin fell ill. He was taken ill since being detained under the ISA. His illness was still not relieved when he was released from ISA in 1966. Dr (H) Amir Burhanuddin succumbed to asthma and passed away in Taiping, Perak on Saturday, 25 October 1969.   

According to Haji Zul Tiger, Dr Burhanuddin is interred at Masjid Lama Bandar Taiping (built in 1893). His wife is also interred at the same cemetery. [Haji Zul Tiger is trying to locate the wife's grave.]

(all photos by Haji Zul Tiger from his Facebook)

Haji Zul Tiger with a cat
Grave of Dr Burhanuddin in front of the green board (near camera/reader).
External links:

Newspaper articles
Balu tokoh PAS uchapkan terima kaseh
Berita Harian, 31 October 1969, Page 6

Sunday, 20 May 2012


I worked on the online photos and history of IMR last night and this morning (20 May 2012), and I stumbled on a big chunk of missing information about Walid, my grandfather. Why is Walid important to me and to our history? Walid is important because Walid took a lot of photos while he was working and he wrote on the back of most of his photos, which my father inherited initially, and now the photos are all with me. Walid wrote in English as well as in Malay Jawi script. The Jawi script is difficult for me to decipher. I have managed to fix a brief biography of Walid this morning. I will share his biography with you. 

Click to go to Walid's short biography.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Red Warriors

Kelantan Red Warriors beat Sime-Darby 1-0 awhile ago.

Tomorrow is a holiday for us here - Cuti Peristiwa for Kelantan.

We are waiting for the Kelantan State Government to declare Monday a holiday because of this significant win.

Congratulations to Mohamad Ghaddar (Lebanon) for scoring the only goal tonight.

Thank you to the all the boys of both teams who played tonight.

90 minutes plus 5 minutes extra time is no small play. This is big game.

Kelantan is now the new FA Cup Champion for 2012. Syabas!

Thank you to the sponsors for both sides.

May we all continue to behave in big games like the one tonight.

I didn't expect to see so much injuries tonight - bloody faces and severe crams. I was about to have dinner when Sundram was badly injured and blood oozed from his face. I tried to eat my dinner and did ok but it is still not firmly down and may come out soon. I hope the injuries will be duely attended to before the next game.

Kelantan is very quiet today and tonight as everyone has gone to KL to watch the biggest and most important football match tonight. I heard that even Pak Cik Tukang Urut from near Tanah Merah also went down because the football fever is very great here in Kelantan. Moreover, the Kelantan people all come together when it comes to football.

My son also went and SMS me at 4 pm as he couldn't find a parking lot. Then after the game began he again SMS and I replied to him 'G'day mate'! And he replied similar. I asked him where he sat and he said he sat near the goal side for Kelantan - for the second half (near Apek).

I think football is great and even better when players and audience observe rules - no hitting, kicking, etc.

Everyone will be heading home tonight. We are expecting very heavy traffic tonight on the Gua Musang road and all roads leading home to Kelantan. It is a lovely feeling when the winning team comes home to show its trophy. I hear it is a new trophy made for this year - made in Kelantan, with Kelantan silver?

From me, a retired female footballer & football captain.

More on Kelantan FA in Wikipedia.
The Red Warriors official portal

Institute for Medical Research

I was at the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), maybe around 1978 or near that. Why was I there? I was there looking for a job! My first job! And in Kuala Lumpur!

My dad had said to me, to study and then go to work at IMR. He said to do research. At the time I was 19 and didn't know anything about research nor what it really meant. I sat in the empty waiting room, waiting to see Dr De Witt (that was what was written on his door).

I didn't like the idea of working at IMR, and working in KL was far from what I was used to - kampung life! But I couldn't simply turn back and say to my dad that I wasn't interested in IMR or life in KL. So how? What to do?

After waiting to see him for almost 2 hours, I got very hungry and thirsty. I said to myself: I need to tell my dad that I am really hungry and thirsty and not that I didn't want to work at IMR and stay in KL".

That worked. I cancelled my appointment to see Dr De Witt and went home (to Penang). Then I flew to my home, overseas.

I went back to visit the IMR in 2005 to see what the place was like. I took some photos of it, but they have all gone missing except one - the old wooden building (low resolution).

I went back again to the IMR in 2011 to try and capture some photos of it for my book but none came out nice enough. I didn't make any appointment with the director so I only took photos from the monorail.

I plan to go to KL again this weekend, insya Allah, to take some photos of the IMR (a big dream though). I need to email the director to request permission to do photoshoot on site so I can get some good shots. No point travelling down 8 hours and get lousy photos of the IMR.

I just noticed that many of the heads at IMR have better than professors' pay - many are Jusa C, few Jusa B. A novice professor like me is Jusa C, and it can remain status quo till I retire.

My overall impression of IMR:
IMR was instrumental and leading in research in British Malaya. IMR is still the best medical research institution in Malaysia today. The best in UK is the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).


IMR photos (1 August 2012) taken by Dr Lim Ju Boo (retired from IMR):

Entrance to IMR, in front of the Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
Old wooden colonial building of IMR, built in 1900 (viewed from the left/west end or entrance).
This part housed the malaria and filariasis research.
Mid-section of the colonial building houses the IMR library (viewed from the left/west end).

Another view of the colonial building (viewed from the right/east end).
The former Nutrition Division at the right corner (east end) of the colonial building.
1953 building
1976 building which was officially opened in 1978. Refer to Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin's biography and photos in Arkib Negara Malaysia for details.
College of Medical Laboratory Technology, IMR. The two-year IMR medical lab training programme produced Malaysia's first batch of highly skilled medical laboratory technologists in 1980. Some of the IMR graduates are still working today at universities, but as associate professors; a few became professors. The IMR graduates were much sought because they were very well-trained. Even the med techs of California could not match these IMR graduates.

Update 25 Jan 2016

Dr Mazlyn Mustapha shared an aerial view of the IMR, taken from her office at the Grand Seasons Hotel in front of the IMR.


There is a laboratory manual that IMR produced which is still around in the USM medical library. I have not seen an updated version. I heard that IMR was going to update the lab manual but maybe it has not materialised. No doubt lab tests and backup lab tests are all automated today, the manual is very useful for manual tests.


IMR was founded by Frank Swettenham in 1900. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1950, and its 100th anniversary in 2000. It will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2050.

There is a book compiled about the status of health in the Federated Malay States and research done at the IMR 1900-1950, to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Some data for Blackwater fever for 1939 and 1940 are missing. This book was published in 1951, after WW2.

front cover:

Studies from the
Jubilee Volume
No. 25.


inside cover page:



next page, a lithographic map of the:


next page, frontispiece, Plate I featuring the profile of:

1861-1901, HIGH COMMISSIONER 1901-1904 AND

next page, page i, Title page:

Studies from the
Jubilee Volume
No. 25.


Various Authors


Next page, page iii, Dedication:

To the memory of
First Resident-General, Federated Malay States, who
saw the need and fostered the means for medical research in Malaya.

Next page, page v, Acknowledgments:

This Jubilee Study from the Institute for Medical Research. Federation of Malaya, has been written by members of the staff and edited by an internal committee. The scope and arrangement of the work has been planned by this committee but individual authors are responsible for the sections which bear their initials.

The editorial committee acknowledges with pleasure the help received from many sources, within Malaya and elsewhere.

Further down the page, there is mention of Dr Sulaiman bin Mohd Attas, an early Malay doctor:

Medical colleagues in Malaya and elsewhere who have helped the committee with suggestions and criticism include Dr Bernard Day (Chapter IV), Mr W. E. Lancaster (Rabies and Surra Sections), Dr W. T. Quaife, Professor J. H. Strahan, Dr R. B. Wallace (Malaria Section), Dr W. Young (pre-war work on yaws at the College of Medicine, Singapore), Dr A. Viswalingam (Yaws Section), and Dr Suleiman bin Attas and Dr Jaswant Singh Sodhy (Blackwater Fever Section).