28 July 2005
It is Thursday, 10.46 pm. The whole world around me is sleeping. Rufina should be at her sister's house in Kota Bharu. I have not met her. I heard from the TKC75 e-mail that she is in town.
I am going through Dr. M. Bakri Musa's e-mail dated 8 June 2005. This time his e-mail is like a time bomb. I only have time to digest it today after more than a month incubation!
Dr. Bakri informed that his friend was in Malaysia and met Tan Sri Dr. Abdul Majid Ismail @ "Coco Majid" at the old Coliseum (is this stadium Merdeka?). Coco Majid has a son, Dr. Aljafri Majid, a cardiac surgeon and Head of Department, in University Malaya (UM). Dr. Bakri (in Silicon Valley, California) had tried to contact Dr. Aljafri (in UM, Malaysia) but failed. Dr. Aljafri led the first intern walkout in UM in 1976 (I was either in Methodist Boys School, Penang or in California State University, Chico). What was the exact date of this walkout? Coco Majid had just retired as director-general (DG).
So, Coco Majid was 55 in 1976? Was Coco Majid born in 1921? Check the date of birth of Coco Majid. When did he enter KEVII? When did he graduate from KEVII? Did he graduate in 1951? When did he become DG? The exact date of retirement would give his date of birth. Back calculation can point to his graduating class.
From Search 15, Tan Sri Dr. Abdul Majid Ismail, ex-Chief Director of Health Malaysia noted that he had received treatment from Dr. Abdul Latiff in GHKL in 1937. If Coco Majid was born in 1921, then he was only 16 when he met Dr. Abdul Latiff in GHKL in 1937. Is this correct?
I will need someone to contact Dr. Aljafri Majid in Cardiology, UM and get the right details about his father. I will also need someone to follow up on Coco Majid at the old Coliseum. Dr. Bakri mentioned that his memory may be slightly off but he is still mentally alert. So, time is precious.
Dr. Bakri recalled reading about Dr. Majid being the first Malay Queen scholar in medicine to do postgraduate work in Orthopaedics in the United Kingdom (UK). Dr. Bakri also came across Dr. Majid's paper on the destructive effect on tendon with local steroid injection when he (Dr. Bakri) was doing his residency in Canada.
Dr. Bakri also mentioned a new name, Dr. Awang* from Johor Bahru (JB). He was the Malaysian Ambassador to Australia and then Governor of Penang. Dr. Awang has two sons who are surgeons,Dr. Yahya Awang and Dr. Hussein Awang. Dr. Yahya Awang was former head of Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) and he did the first heart transplant in Malaysia. Dr. Yahya was Dr. Bakri's medical officer (MO) in JB. Dr. Hussein Awang is a urologist and performed kidney transplants at GHKL. He is now at Tawakkal. I have yet to meet both of them to clarify the details concerning their father. What was Dr. Awang's father's name? Mother's name? How many children does he have? When and where was he born? When did he enter KEVII? When did he graduate from KEVII? Where did he practise? When did he retire?
Dr. Bakri mentioned Dr. Ariffin Marzuki (Search 25) and another Malay doctor in Obstetrics & Gynaecology (O&G). Dr. Bakri could not recall his name. Dr. Bakri described him as a real professional because he dealt only with medicine and he did not get involved in politics. Dr. Bakri happened to meet him while serving GHKL from 1976 to 1977.
Dr. Bakri recalled he read Dr. Ariffin's thesis on baby prams.
Dr. Bakri mentioned he came across Dr. Ungku Omar's paper in the Journal of Physiology while he (Dr. Bakri) was doing research in transplant immunology in Canada, and that he was very excited to see a Malay name, so he promptly wrote to him. Dr. Bakri described him as 'very nice' because he replied immediately which is very unusual for Malaysians (includes me)! Following this, Dr. Ungku Omar recruited Dr. Bakri to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Dr. Bakri recalled while he was on a holiday trip to Malaysia, he heard Dr. Ungku Omar's radio programme on health and found it very informative. However, by the time he returned to Malaysia the following year, Dr. Ungku Omar had died suddenly apparently from jogging (I would query sudden death).
Dr. Bakri mentioned another name, Dr. Hussein Salleh. He was the first Malay Professor of Surgery at UKM. Dr. Bakri did not get to meet Prof. Hussein as when Dr. Bakri came to replace Prof. Hussein in January 1976, he had already left for Australia. Coco Majid appointed Dr. Bakri to take over Prof. Hussein's place in UKM when he was DG. Dr. Bakri stated clearly that he only got the job but not the title nor the pay. He noted something about appointment in UKM.
Dr. Bakri wrote he came across Coco Majid's paper in the British Journal of Surgery on liver surgery. He was excited to see a Malay name in a prestigious professional journal. Dr. Bakri requested for a reprint but never received a reply. While in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Dr. Bakri noted Coco Majid's reputation was 'less than sterling' among his trainees and associates.
Dr. Bakri ended his e-mail with two suggestions to this website. He wanted me to reduce the graphics as it took very long to download this page. He asked if it is possible for me to post some of the early papers by these early Malay doctors; he would love to read them. I cannot promise anything but I will first need to search and compile and send, just as I did for UM's Primary Health Care database.
Lastly, Dr. Bakri wrote "Best of luck in your work". Well, I will surely need this as this big project has finally found a printer who has kindly offered to print this humble research. I will update readers on this later.
*My husband says the name is Dr. Awang Hassan. Our ex-neighbour, the late Pak Cik Hassan knew him. Pak Cik Hassan's son-in-law is Dr. Ahmad Khairuddin in Institut Jantung Negara (IJN).
My son has just returned from UiTM in Macang and I have to check that he locks the front door. I have to stop to go to sleep. I am very hungry as I skipped dinner so that I could have time to write.
It is Friday, 29 July 2005, 12.23 pm.
Dr. M. Bakri Musa
Dr. Arifin Ngah Marzuki (Class of 1953)
First VC of UKM.
According to Dr. Arifin Ngah Marzuki, there were only 13 Malay doctors in the entire peninsular Malaya in 1953.
Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia