Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Search 34

20 May 2005

It is Friday, 11.35 am.

The 34th search is to scrutinise a link page which I had accessed and printed on 8 May 2005 on the First Islamic Retail Banking Conference 2004 at . I was trying to find more details on Royal Professor Ungku Aziz, Founder of Lembaga Urusan Tabung Haji (LUTH) (Malaysia's Pilgrims Management Fund) at . His wife is Azah Aziz and their daughter is Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia. They are examples of  Malay intellectuals. However, I do not know if they would know something about the early Malay doctors considering that Prof. Ungku Aziz had served University Malaya (UM).

It is 11.51 am.


Royal Professor Ungku Aziz
First Islamic Retail Banking Conference 2004

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 35

20 May 2005

It is Friday, 11.51 am.

The 35th search is to scrutinise some webpages of Datuk Ramlah Adam at which I had accessed and printed on 9 May 2005. I was thinking may be she would know something about the early Malay doctors.

Professor Datuk Dr. Ramlah Adam (MA, PhD)
Department of History
Faculty of Art and Social Sciences
University Malaya
Tel: 603-79675503
Fax: 603-79675463

She has written "Dr. Burhanuddin Al-Helmy: Satu Kemelut Politik", 2000. Kuala Lumpur, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Also see Searches 6, 21, 23, and 24 re Dr. Burhanuddin Al-Hemy.

Earlier, I had searched for her under Professor Ramlah Adam using Google and came to IPPP, UM. But I could not access her webpages since it was a Sunday and a holiday for Selangor, and the UM server was switched off. So, I waited to re-do the search on Monday, 9 May 2005.

On another count, I had actually ran a search on 'educational technology' to prepare for an upcoming lecture when I stumbled on Professor Dr. Ramlah Adam's name listed on a website named"Sejarah Tempatan - Tokoh Pendidik" at . I had accessed and printed the page on 8 May 2005.

I only know Prof. Ramlah Adam on TV as she usually appears on TV commenting on political scenarios or elections which are easy for me to follow and enjoyable too. I particularly like her relaxed manner when commenting on sensitive issues, and she imparts an air of a modern working female intellectual.  She articulates in good Bahasa Melayu, something that seems missing from modern speeches and commentaries delivered on Malaysian TV.

It is 12.31 pm.


Professor Datuk Dr. Ramlah Adam
Department of History
Faculty of Art and Social Sciences
University Malaya
Tel: 603-79675503
Fax: 603-79675463

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 36

20 May 2005

It is Friday, 12.32 pm.

The 36th search is to obtain more details of the following book:

The Origins of Malay Nationalism by William R. Roff
I ran a Google search on 8 May 2005 on the book, The Origins of Malay Nationalism by William R. Roff to see if I was citing the right book, title, publisher and year. There were 3 articles by William R. Roff. I contacted Encik Ramli Abdul Samad, USM library on 8 May 2005 to see if they were in USM, and the return reply was "Yes"!
  1. William Roff. 1967. The Origins of Malay Nationalism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. USM library call number DS595M2R721.
  2. Roff, William R. "The Malayo-Muslim community of Singapore in the late 19th century". Journal of Asian Studies. 24:75-90, 1964. USM library call number DS1 J86.
  3. Roff, William R. The origins of Malay nationalism. Singapore: University of Malaya Press, 1967. 297p. USM library call number DS595M2R19.
I asked En. Ramli how to proceed to obtain the 3 articles. He had asked me to contact En. Amran Mamat (ext. 3468), Kaunter Rujukan (Reference Counter), USM Health Campus library.

En. Ramli had also phoned to let me know that he is no longer with Bahagian Malaysiana & Arkib. He is at Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut (PHS) 1, USM. He said that the 2 books are being sent to USM Health Campus while the journal is still being searched.

Encik Ramli Abdul Samad
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut (PHS) 1
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM, Penang
Tel: 04-6533888-3705

I met En. Amran Mamat on 8 May 2005 to place 3 separate orders for the 3 articles. There were 3 forms that I had to fill in; two for books and one for journal article.

The two books and journal articles by William R. Roff arrived on 15 May 2005 in USM Health Campus library. My husband went to pick them up as his office was nearer by 5 minutes. I received them in my office. I was amazed when I saw them on my cluttered coffee table in my small cluttered office! This was the first time I had used the interlibrary loan after many many years and it worked! One had thick dark blue and the other light green, worn cloth hardcovers. I can't tell whether these are the original covers. The pages were yellow after 38 years (1967-2005). The books may have been borrowed since 1980 as indicated by the rubber stamp on the inside back pages.

I browsed through the 2 old books and jotted down this information (contents and pagination identical):

The Origins of Malay Nationalism by William R. Roff (DS595 M2R719)
page 140
Photograph of Shaykh Mohd. Tahir Jalaluddin (noted religious reform journalist and writer, 1900-41).

page 167
Za'ba or Zainal Abidin b. Ahmad. Teacher 1916-23, chief translator, Malay Translation Bureau, S.I.T.C. 1924-41, writer and man of letters.

page 271
Graham, W.A. Kelantan: A State of the Malay Peninsula. Glasgow. 1908.

page 272
Ibrahim Shukri. Sejarah Kerajaan Melayu Patani (History of the Malay Kingdom of Patani). Pasir Puteh, Kelantan. n.d. 1960.

page 274
Majlis Ugama Islam dan Istiadat, Kelantan. Jambangan Melayu (Malay Bouquet). Kota Bahru. 1917.

___ , Kitab Semangat Kehidupan (The Book of the Spirit of Life). Kota Bahru. 1918.

page 276
Nagle, J. Stewart. Educational Needs of the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States. Baltimore. 1938.

page 277
Roff, William R. Guide to Malay Periodicals, 1876-1941. Singapore. 1961.

page 280
Wijeysinghe, E. A History of Raffles Institute. Singapore. 1963.

page 281
Kelantan Malay by C.C. Brown. 1927.

page 282
Haji Abdul Malek b. Karim Amrullah (Hamka). Noted Indonesian religious reformist, writer, and novelist.

Tengku Abdul Rahman b. Sultan Abdul Hamid. (First) Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaysia.

Abdul Samad b. Ahmad. Student, S.I.T.C., late 1920s. Teacher, writer, and editor in 1930s.

page 283
Hamdan b. Shaykh Tahir. Son of Shaykh Mohd. Tahir Jalaluddin (noted religious reform journalist and writer, 1900-41).

page 285 (Index)
Abdul Samad, Dr., 189 f.

page 189 (text)
Dr. Abdul Samad, the first Malay doctor.

His involvement in KMS is described on pages 189-190.

footnote 31 on page 189:
Dr. Samad, a Singapore-born Malay, was a graduate of the King Edward VII Medical College in Singapore.
Footnote 31 also described Dr. Abdul Samad as prominent in the formation of the Kesatuan Melayu Singapura (KMS) (Singapore Malay Union) but did not hold any post in KMS.

page 188
The Singapore Malay Union

The Malayo-Muslim World of Singapore at the Close of the Nineteenth Century by William R. Roff (USM library call number DS1 J86)
This title is slightly different from the one I had ordered: Roff, William R. "The Malayo-Muslim community of Singapore in the late 19th century". Journal of Asian Studies. 24:75-90, 1964. USM library call number DS1 J86.

This journal article did not mention anything about the early Malay doctors. It discussed the attitudes of the Malays and some of the interpretations of Arab-Malay words, in particular shaykhs which was accorded to descendents of people who originated from Hadhramaut in the Republic of Yemen (sheikh dari keturunan orang Yaman) in the Arab peninsular.

Hadhramaut was featured in Jejak Rasul on TV3.

It is 2.07 pm.


USM library on main campus:
William Roff. 1967. The Origins of Malay Nationalism. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. USM library call number DS595M2R721.
Roff, William R. "The Malayo-Muslim community of Singapore in the late 19th century". Journal of Asian Studies. 24:75-90, 1964. USM library call number DS1 J86.
Roff, William R. The origins of Malay nationalism. Singapore: University of Malaya Press, 1967. 297p. USM library call number DS595M2R19.

Encik Ramli Abdul Samad
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut (PHS) 1
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM, Penang
Tel: 04-6533888-3705

En. Amran Mamat
Kaunter Rujukan (Reference Counter)
USM Health Campus library
Ext. 3468

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 37

24 May 2005

It is Tuesday, 6.18 am.

The 37th search is to scrutinise for more contacts and leads from two e-mails, from Dr. Ghazaime (9 May 2005) and En. Ramli (15 May 2005). I could not write earlier as I was busy marking exam scripts for >200 undergraduate students in medicine and dentistry.

En. Ramli phoned on 10 May 2005 to provide plenty of assistance. I really appreciate his help because I have come to a state of not knowing what else to do (orang kata temu jalan buntu). He said I will need to contact Utusan, Pusat Dokumentasi in DBP, PNM, Dr. Bakri Musa, and Tun Dr. Mahathir. Dr. Ghazaime e-mailed to inform that Dr. Bakri Musa writes for En. Ramli e-mailed and gave Dr. Bakri Musa's e-mail.

I have not heard about Dr. Bakri Musa at all previously nor do I know who he is. It it worthwhile to try and ask him if he knows of any of the early Malay doctors, since I still cannot make my list right as I now have evidence of 2 conflicting records of our first Malay doctor. On one hand, I have Dr. Abdul Latiff bin Abdul Razak whose name was given to me by NUSS and I also obtained the same information from the Internet, but the political history book written by Professor William R. Roff (The Origins of Malay Nationalism, 1967) states that our first Malay doctor was Dr. Abdul Samad. I will still need to know why these two conflicting records were never studied and resolved for they create a lot of unhappiness in me when I go through old records and accounts of the early Malay doctors. As we often say in our Malaysian way, "More work, lah!"

Dr. M. Bakri Musa
Originates from Kedah, Malaysia.
He is a surgeon in Silicon Valley, California, USA.
His latest book is Towards A Competitive Malaysia.
He is a regular columnist with Malaysiakini ( (
48, Jalan Kemuja
Bangsar Utama
59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (603) 2283-5567
Fax: (603) 2289-2579
It was launched on 20 November 1999.
It is owned and operated by Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd.
It has its own Malaysiakini Editorial Policy.
It abides by the journalists' code of ethics.
It is an online forum for news, opinions, editorials, features, letters, and views.
It holds independent news and views on Malaysia.
It has very high number of daily hits, >50,000 visits per day.
It offers many kinds of services.
I had accessed the website and printed it on 11 May 2005. But I am not a subscriber to so I cannot get past the subscribed pages to find Dr. Bakri Musa to find out more about him and from him about our early Malay doctors. I will have to resort to e-mail him when I get in to work this week or next week, or even later.

Encik Ramli Abdul Samad
Originates from Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut (PHS) 1
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM, Penang
Tel: 04-6533888-3705

Dr. Ghazaime Ghazalie
Hospital Perdana
Kota Bharu

I will still need to contact our local media for more details of our early doctors. There are 2 media houses which I will need to contact. One is Utusan Malaysia (a lady named Maimunah in the library section) and the other is TV3. Utusan Malaysia had a write-up on the early Malay doctors quite some time ago. I recall that TV3 ran a documentary on Tun Dr. Mahathir and the King Edward VII Medical College a few years back. TV3 will also be broadcasting on the early development between the East and the West in its new serial - its has a big team working for this serial. May be I should contact this team?

Utusan Malaysia
Maimunah, library section

IT Section

It is 7.43 am. The 3 kids have gone to school.


Encik Ramli Abdul Samad
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut (PHS) 1
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM, Penang
Tel: 04-6533888-3705

Dr. Ghazaime Ghazalie
Hospital Perdana
Kota Bharu

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 38

24 May 2005

It is Tuesday, 7.45 am.

The 38th search is to ponder over why I had not re-send an e-mail to a colleague earlier. She was away in Penang and she had received a blank mail from me regarding the early Malay doctors. This is very unusual as I had just re-boot my PC from scratch after it lost control of itself over an extreme darkness kaput mode. I was trying out new software which I had downloaded from the Internet and got my PC into a fixed and I had to fix my own PC for if I send it in, I would probably not get it back up and running ASAP. If you think PTK3 up to PTK6 will make you a better lecturer, then I feel you might just as well add fixing your own PC with your own two hands, for added value. Just a thought.

Well, back to the blank e-mail. I have re-send the e-mail to her. The subject should read "Re: Rv: [akademik] 13 early Malay doctors in 1953". In it I had asked if anyone knew any of the early doctors and to e-mail me.

It is 7.57 am. I have to stop to go to work.


Assoc. Prof. Datin Rashidah Shuib
Women's Health & Development Unit
School of Medical Sciences
Universiti Sains Malaysia

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 39

24 May 2005

It is Tuesday, 9.20 pm.

The 39th search is to follow up on the UM conference held in Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. This is the International Conference on Health Sciences (ICHS), 6-8 May 2005 organised by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya (also see Search 26 re ICHS). I had borrowed the abstract & programme book from Tengku Ahmad Damitri, my MSc student. The front cover says "100 years (1905-2005) University of Malaya".

There are many interesting things to note from the abstract & programme book:
  • Message from  the Vice Chancellor, University of Malaya, Dato' Professor Dr. Hashim Yaacob. It highlighted the Faculty of Medicine being the oldest medical faculty in Malaysia and University of Malaya's 100th anniversary.
  • The Steering Committee listing included Professor Dr. Ikram Shah Ismail, Deputy Dean (Undergraduate & Diploma), Faculty of Medicine, UM. I recall that I had e-mail him long time ago concerning a reference article which I needed to verify when Dr. Eid Mohammad was doing his MSc with me as Co-Supervisor. There was an article that Dr. Eid wanted to get hold of and I had e-mailed Prof. Ikram to request for assistance.
  • Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah bt. Haji Mohd. Ali (Class of 1947; wife of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad) gave a talk entitled "Lessons From Medical Practice of the 1960s in Malaysia".
  • Lecture entitled "A Hundred Years of Medical Education in Malaysia" by Dato' Prof. Dr. Anuar Zaini, Monash University, Malaysian Campus, Selangor. I had missed the ICHS and this lecture altogether as I had the USM Certificate Course Training for Trainers (TOT) to attend to in USM Penang campus and preparation for teaching the course upon return to USM Health Campus. I will need to find out who attended and made notes of this talk so that I can add to my writing. I will need to ask around or even write to Dato' Prof. Dr. Anuar Zaini. I can vaguely recall him from the first Malaysian Association of Clinical Biochemists (MACB) that I had attended where he was President. I may have confused him with another person. I will need to find out.
I will need to ask Tengku if he recalls anything of Dato' Prof. Dr. Anuar Zaini's talk.

It is 10.06 pm. I need to stop to make milk for my youngest daughter. She will be six next week.


Tengku Ahmad Damitri Al-Astani bin Tengku Din
(MSc student)
Dept. of Pathology
School of Medical Sciences
Universiti Sains Malaysia

International Conference on Health Sciences (ICHS)
6-8 May 2005
"100 years (1905-2005) University of Malaya"
Organised by the Faculty of Medicine
University of Malaya
Dato' Professor Dr. Hashim Yaacob
Professor Dr. Ikram Shah Ismail
Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah bt. Haji Mohd. Ali
Dato' Prof. Dr. Anuar Zaini

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 40

24 May 2005

It is Tuesday, 10.13 pm. My daughter is lying down sucking her milk bottle behind me. My husband has left home to study Al-Qur'an from a retired Ustaz in Kampung Pulau Hilir (I think that is the place as I always get this name mixed up with Kampung Laut and Kampung Pulau Melaka). He should be back by midnight. My two daughters are watching TV in the family living room while my two sons are upstairs in their room main komputer agaknya. Since I have nothing else to tend to, I will continue to write. I don't watch much TV but I am counting on my kids to get me the latest Star Wars VCD. I hope they will get it for me before I start teaching again in July when the university academic session begins Malaysia-wide.

The 40th search is to follow up on a surprise e-mail which I had received on 17 May 2005 from a person labeled Daijabu oishi or named simply Pak Man. I had read the e-mail then but only have time to digest it tonight. Pak Man mentioned a few names and emphasized that I will need to verify all the names of the early Malay doctors which I have gathered thus far. Here is an additional list fromPak Man:
  • Dato' Dr. Ezanee Marican, a royal physician, Kota Bharu, Kelantan. A contemporary of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah bt. Mohd. Ali; they frequented him in Kota Bharu.
  • Dr. Aziz, originated from Penang. He ran a clinic, either Aziz Dispensary or Klinik Aziz, in Kota Bharu for a long time and returned to Penang in early 1980s. He died in Penang. I think I know this clinic as I had brought my two sons to this clinic for their circumcision stint.
  • Tun Dr. Ismail, a dentist and former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Pak Man ended his short e-mail with "happy researching" which I feel is most appropriate.

I had replied to Pak Man's e-mail just before I left office in the afternoon today. I had asked Pak Man to at least reveal his identity somewhat so I could communicate in a more down-to-earth manner. It beats me when I don't know who Pak Man is because I cannot store his name in isolation; it must have some attributes and associations before I can retain Pak Man in my deep memory, just like I stored the name En. Fadli Ghani in the gigabyte of my deep memory.

Well, 3 more new names mean more researching but this should be good. May be I should just go downtown and check out all the clinics, new and old. Hopefully, I will meet enough people who can help me put the pieces of my jig-saw puzzle together. I can recall two clinics off hand, the Bates Clinic and Klinik Aziz. May be I should just check both the white and yellow pages if I can only locate where the kids hid the phone directory. Now I recall, I had a friend named Christine Anna Bates whose father ran the Bates Dispensary in Kota Bharu when I lived in Maktab Perguruan, Pengkalan Chepa between 1969-1971. We both went to Zainab Primary School 2 (Standard 5 & 6) and then Zainab Secondary School 2 (Form 1). I may need to search Google for Christine.

My late mother knew quite a bit about Aziz Dispensary and the doctors there and she spoke highly of the two clinics. Well, if I train my deep memory for total recall, I may be able to pull out a few more names but I am not counting on it too much. The last time I trained my brain at total recall was to read every line from an economics book from memory, cover to cover, while a friend held the book! It worked but I was probably very young that time, 19 or 20. Lama dah tak try total recall. But total recall can only work if things are thought of both logically and sequentially during the learning stage. Comprehension is also a necessity at the learning stage. Some say total recall is sheer regurgitation but I don't see it that way. I have not tried total recall for reading or memorizing the Al-Qur'an. Well, if there is nothing else better to do, I will set my mind to hafal Al-Qur'an, as the ultimate total recall. I will need to learn from my husband how he memorizes the Al-Qur'an. It is easy for him because he had learnt it by ear as a teenager while I learnt the script version only and now have to depend on VCD!

It is 11.33 pm.


Daijabu oishi or Pak Man

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 41

24 May 2005

It is Tuesday, 11.34 pm.

The 41st search is to note the Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine (SMCM), 30 June - 3 July 2005. This e-mail announcement was written yesterday (23 May 2005) but it arrived in my inbox today. It was posted at 18:29:32 (about 6.30 pm) by Professor Zabidi Azhar Mohd. Hussin, Dean, School of Medical Sciences, USM Health Campus. I had left office early yesterday (just after 5 pm) to pick up my daughter from As-Syabab in Wakaf Stan and only received, opened and read the e-mail this morning. I had replied to him today to look out for "100 years of medical education in Singapore" and to provided me some feedback.

Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine, 30 June - 3 July 2005
Organised by the Council of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore and the 39SMCM Organising Committee.

It is 11.50 pm. I have to stop now and put the kids to bed. Good night!


Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine (SMCM)
30 June - 3 July 2005
"100 years of medical education in Singapore"

Professor Zabidi Azhar Mohd. Hussin
School of Medical Sciences
USM Health Campus
(Dean until 30 June 2005; succeeded by Prof. Aziz Baba from 1 July 2005 onward)

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 42

25 May 2005

It is Wednesday, 16.48 on my office pc.

The 42nd search is to write about a surprise reply e-mail which I received today from Dr. M. Bakri Musa (also see Search 37 re Dr. M. Bakri Musa). His e-mail was dated 24 May 2005, 11:16:47 am with this subject "Re: need assistance re early Malay doctors".

Dr. Bakri congratulated me for embarking on what he thinks is a worthy project. Come to think of it, I feel that writing any bit about history is always a worthy project. Dr. Bakri indicated that he had wanted to write about similar line (history of medicine in Malaya) but never got around to doing it. He is far away half way round the globe and busy. I can't blame people for not writing and I surely can't blame people for not having time to write. I didn't have time to write but I had to force myself to write until writing became almost a daily practice instead of watching TV. Anyway, Dr. Bakri was kind enough to inform me of another of his previous ambitious writing project. But somehow he has switched gears and is now into political commentaries (

Dr. Bakri went on to say that he is more interested about the early doctors who are still alive 'before we lose them'. He named a few more doctors:
  • Majid "Coco" Ismail (refer Search 15 re Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid Ismail)
  • Ariffin Suhaimi  (should be Ariffin Ngah Marzuki; refer Search 25)
  • ALhady
According to Dr. Bakri, it would be nice to conduct 'oral history sessions' with them. I think this means having live interviews but since these doctors may now be quite old, whether they can withstand the pressure of live interviews, I have some concern. Dr. Bakri added that these doctors may remember 'the old ones'. Yes, I believe so.

Dr. Bakri kindly offered to help should the need arise. He is very much interested in my findings!

I am glad that readers are taking a keen interest in what I am writing for the net. This article is now 42 searches long. It holds a wealth of information and I hope some day I can find time to organize it into a book. I will need to find a good publisher for the book version. Care to help with book publishing? I have not even got to the images yet! Should I make this a book?

I browsed through my son's history book for fifth formers during lunch break today. It was written by Prof. Ramlah Adam along with 3 others and published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP). The cover had the faces of the first 4 Prime Ministers of Malaysia - Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is our present Prime Minister. I was trying to figure out what sort of cover design would be good should I decide to make a book. Please give me some ideas.

It is 17.24 on my office pc.


Dr. M. Bakri Musa
Columnist with Malaysiakini (

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 43

25 May 2005

It is Wednesday, 10.07 pm on my laptop at home. My husband is reading Al-Qur'an behind me while my youngest is disturbing him, as usual. The Qur'an reading behind me gives me a lot of calmness and makes my writing easy too; the mind is clearer.

The 43rd search is to digest an online news article. I had earlier searched for Christine Anna Bates and came to naught. Then I tried searching for Majid "Coco" Ismail using Google. I came to an article by The Star Online > News >. Here was an article dated Sunday, January 28, 2001 entitled Discovering the soul of KL. From forest to concrete jungle written by Susan Tam. For a while I thought Google had gone bonkers because I was searching for a man and not a jungle! But I thought to give it a try and read it anyway. The first paragraph ran this bit, Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid Ismail. I was thrilled but I was wondering why "Coco" did not appear in the text. I read further and the second paragraph had his year of birth as 1921. He is therefore 20 years younger than my late grandfather and should be 84 years in 2005. He was born in Kampung Baru, the same village as my dad! But my dad was born in 1931 in a Malay house in Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur which now houses the elegant Regent Hotel according to my dad. As I scrolled down further and read the third paragraph, then the magic word "Coco" Majid appeared! I was more than thrilled! I could not believe my eyes that I had indeed stumbled on a gold mine! My heart was racing! And a photograph of the great man was there in the third paragraph! I printed the article and read it in the car in the back seat on my way home. I broke the news to my husband that I had discovered "Coco" Majid and that got him excited too.

When we reached home, I quickly took my usual walk around my house, smelled the flowers and came inside the house to prepare our family dinner. I wanted to be quick so that I could have time tonight to write about "Coco" Majid.

The thrill has not faded! This article portrayed him as having an interesting typical Malay life with reference to vivid words such as beca (rickshaw), kereta lembu (bullock cart), hutan batu (concrete jungle), ikan (fish), udang galah (lobster), pucuk paku (a type of river bank fern used to make a delicious Malay salad), ubi kayu (tapioca or manioc, a common tuber in many equatorial regions, the leaves are boiled until soft, the tubers are either boiled, fermented or fried), and barut (a cloth tied around the navel).

There are two types of barut or bekongBarut anak is often a small piece of white rectangular sewn cloth with two or three tie strings at opposite edges which is  wrapped around newborns to cover the navel to prevent wind or colic and injury to this area. It also provides support and makes handling of newborns a whole lot easier. An oil rub is applied to the abdomen before the barut is secured in place. When tied properly, newborns often cry less and sleep better with barut on. Another is the bigger barut ibu (a girdle) worn by women soon after delivery to help them regain their pre-pregnancy shape and turgor. Beauty and vigor are big words of Malay women and the hour-glass waist is still being much sought by many. However, globalization has managed to make many Malay women either overweight or obese and less adorable.

It is 11.23 pm. Everyone is sleeping soundly.


The Star Online
Sunday, January 28, 2001
"Discovering the soul of KL. From forest to concrete jungle"
Written by Susan Tam

Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid Ismail (better known as "Coco Majid")
Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia
Birthplace and date: Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur; 1921

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 44

25 May 2005

It is Wednesday, 11.24 pm on my home laptop.

Search 44 is to continue to browse my son's history textbook, Sejarah Tingkatan 5, buku teks KBSM (Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah), written by Prof. Ramlah Adam, Shakila Parween binti Yacob, Abdul Hakim bin Samuri, and Muslimin bin Fadzil, published by DBP, 2004 (also see Search 42 re history book).

Sejarah Tingkatan 5 (buku teks KBSM)
Ramlah binti Adam, Shakila Parween binti Yacob, Abdul Hakim bin Samuri, and Muslimin bin Fadzil. Publisher, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. 2004

Here are some useful facts and links from the history textbook:

Malaysian Prime Ministers
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman (1957 - 1970) (Chapter 5, page 121). Elected as UMNO President to replace Dato' Onn Ja'afar on 26 August 1951. First Prime Minister of Malaysia.
  • Tun Abdul Razak Hussein (1970 - 1976) (Chapter 5, page 131). UMNO Deputy President and Second Prime Minister of Malaysia. "Bapa Pembangunan Malaysia".
  • Tun Hussein Onn (1976 - 1981)
  • Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (1981 - 2003)
  • Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (2003 - present)
Independence (Merdeka)

Malay News Writers
  • Za'ba. Real name is Zainal Abidin bin Ahmad. A linguist, philosopher, and Malay intellect. A renowned news writer in the 1920s
  • Dato' Onn Ja'afar. Chapter 4, pages 103-104. Administrative Officer in Johore, journalist, Third Prime Minister of Malaysia
  • Abdul Rahim Kajai
Malay Leaders
  • Dato' Hamzah Abdullah
Malay Administrator (1910 - 1921)
Malaya Civil Service (MCS)(1921 - 1941)
Chairman of the Public Service Commission (1958 - 1963)
  • Dr. Burhanuddin al-Helmy
Chapter 4, page 105
Burhanuddin bin Haji Mohd. Nor
Presiden PKMM and advisor for PUTERA
Education: Madrasah al-Mashyor and Aligrah University, India
  • Datu Mustapha Datu Harun
Fought against the Japanese invasion in Sabah
1st Yang Dipertua Negeri Sabah, 16 September 1963
3rd Chief Minister of Sabah (1967 - 1975)
Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Rulers of Malaysia)

National Educational Policy

National Philosophy of Education
Chapter 8, page 215

Western Leaders

World Wars
First World War (1914 - 1918)
Second World War (1939 - 1945)

Atomic Bomb Museum

Established in 1931
54 developed & developing nations which were former British colonies
Secretariat was established in 1965
Headquarter is based in London

United Nations
Established in 1945 after WW2
Original HQ in San Francisco was shifted to New York in 1946
Consisted of 51 nations initially, and 189 in 2002
Malaysia joined in 1957 after independence (Merdeka)

North Atlantic Organisation (NATO)
USA + 11 nations signed on 4 April 1949

Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
Established in September 1961 during peak of Cold War
Consists of 113 nations, 16 observer nations, and 28 invited nations
Advocates world peace
Does not support the eastern and western blocks

Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Bangkok Declaration made on 8 August 1967

Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC)
Established in 1971
HQ in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Consisted on 57 nations and 3 observer nations
Malaysia hosted the OIC Conference in 1974 and 2003

Zone of Peace, Free and Neutrality (ZOPFAN)
Kuala Lumpur Declaration made in November 1971

It is 1.14 am on Thursday, 26 May 2005.


Sejarah Tingkatan 5 (buku teks KBSM)
Ramlah binti Adam, Shakila Parween binti Yacob, Abdul Hakim bin Samuri, and Muslimin bin Fadzil.
Publisher, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. 2004

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 45

28 July 2005

It is Thursday, 8.14 pm on my home laptop. My little girl is next to me learning how to tell the time in her activity book.

Search 45 is to scrutinise whatever I had printed from my earlier searches. I had accessed the Star Online. An article dated 11 May 2005 read "Check with MMC first, parents told". It was concerning the authenticity of medical institutions. The director-general, Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia, Datuk Dr. Ismail Merican had asked parents to check with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC). It also had his image. What was running through my thoughts was whether I should contact both the director-general and MMC to enquire if they could be of help. But on second thoughts I decided not to. I was just wondering how the MOH and MMC kept records of the early Malay doctors.

Another article dated 7 May 2005 read "Penang hospitals join diseases database team" by Choong Kwee Kim. Prof. Liew Choong-Chin, a scientist and director of Chondrogene Ltd based in Toronto was collecting blood sample data for developing molecular biology databases for customised patient support programmes at two Penang hospitals. I was just wondering whether any Malaysian residing outside Malaysia would know of our early Malay doctors.

It is 8.39 pm.


The Star Online
Wednesday, 11 May 2005
"Check with MMC first, parents told"

The Star Online
Saturday, 7 May 2005
"Penang hospitals join diseases database team"
Written by Choong Kwee Kim

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 46

28 July 2005

It is Thursday, 8.40 pm.

Dr. M. Bakri Musa mentioned to search for Alhady. I searched Google for Alhady and found a book authored by Alhady (128 pp, 5x7.25", illustrated by 13 plates, priced at US$17.82). I wrote to En. Ramli Abdul Samad, Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut (PHS) 1, USM Penang to enquire. En. Ramli wrote back on 27 May 2005 that PHS1 had the book among its collections. I filled in the interlibrary loan form on 29 May 2005 and submitted it to En. Amran Mamat in the library on USM Health Campus as I did previously. I waited and received the book on 12 June 2005 (USM library call number: DS 594 A478).

"Malay Customs and Traditions" is a small blue book and  deals with the general and royal Malay customs and traditions in two parts. The same author's name was spelt differently on the hardcover and on the title page. The hardcover had his name as Syed Alwi bin Sheikh Al-Hadi but the title page had his name as Alwi bin Sheikh Alhady. It was first published in Singapore in 1962 by Donald Moore for Eastern Universities Press, Ltd. It was reprinted in 1967 by Donald Moore Press Ltd. What does the word Eastern Universities imply? Does this mean there were more than one university in Singapore in 1962? Who was Donald Moore? The book was printed by Ho Printing Co., Singapore. Does the printing company still exist today? Would it have records of all the printed matters it printed? The Foreword was written by En. Ismail bin Abu Bakar, Dato' Penghulu Isti'adat, Johore. This gave me an impression that Johore was well-established and probably had good records kept of its Malay courts (istana). I was just wondering whether the Johore Malay Customs department had anything to do with the early Malay doctors, or would the early Malay doctors have anything to do with the Malay courts. En. Ismail addressed the author as Tuan Syed Alwi bin Sheikh Alhady, a salutation for a man of Arab descent (Syed Alwi). So, the Arabs were involved in the Johore Malay courts in 1962. Alwi bin Sheikh Alhady was born in 1895 in Rhio and came to Singapore at age 13 in 1908.

It is interesting to note  from this small book the meaning of rare Malay words. Chindai emas refers to a type of fabric with gold flowers. Khasa bunga emas refers to a muslin cloth with gold flowers.Kain antelas refers to satin. These fabrics give the impression that there were different cloths which were used among the Malay community then. The fact that muslin was used indicates an advanced textile industry existed and was connected with the Malays. Textile would be a key link between the community and a hospital in its vicinity. Naturally, a Malay court would have a good link with a local textile supplier for its fabric needs, and a hospital would be nearby too for the same reason. So, doctors would have something to do with the Malay courts.

There are also other words which may help toward a better understanding of the Malay culture and lifestyle, and which I feel both Malay and non-Malay medical students and doctors must learn to familiarize themselves with if they have not already done so.

Masjid is a mosque and not a temple. Mukim is a district round a mosque; every district has a mosque. Siak is the caretaker of the mosque. Bilal is the person who cries the call to prayer (azan). When the azan is heard, the Muslim stops talking, remains silent and listens to it attentively and replies to it in his heart. The volume on the TV or radio is also turned down (or simply muted) so that theazan is heard above everything else. I must say it is very enchanting to hear the azan when everything else is turned down. Imam is a leader of a congregational prayer. Lebai is a clergy. There are no priests or priesthood in Islam.  Sembahyang refers to prayer. Sembahyang jemaah is a congregational prayer held either at home or in the mosque. A minimum of two persons is needed to qualify a prayer as sembahyang jemaahDo'a refers to prayer. A do'a precedes everything that a Muslim plans or wishes to do, including examining a patient. Do'a selamat is a prayer for blessing and thanksgiving. It is usually held before someone or a company embarks on a big plan or something new, for example, going for further studies, opening a new project or factory. Maulud (maulid; maulidur rasul) is the birth of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Bergotong-royong is communal assistance and often applies to villagers working together in an activity, for example, in cleaning their village or preparing for a feast. Kenduri is a quasi-religious feast and often involves inviting the entire village. Jamuan just refers to feast. Hidangan is a tray of dishes served in a feast. Each hidangan serves 5 adults. There are many types of feasts in the Malay community! Some imply payment while others do not; you have to ask (I have to ask sometimes). The implied minimal payment is now roughly RM10 per adult in Kelantan. Even if you get an invitation but cannot make an attempt to attend, you may still want to make a small contribution of roughly RM10 as a gesture of generosity. Do it with sincerity.

With regard to music, only percussion instruments are allowed such as kompang (hand drum or tamborine). The serunai (flute) is not preferred as it is a wind instrument.

Haji is a Muslim male who has performed the pilgrimage to Mekah (Mecca; Makkah; Makkahtul Mukarramah). Hajah is a Muslim female who has performed the pilgrimage to Mekah. It is not compulsory nor necessary to use the title Haji or Hajah but most people prefer to use it. 'Alim is a religious scholar. Khatam Quran marks the completion of reading Al-Quran. It indicates an educational milestone of any Muslim, regardless of rank and birth. Many Muslim children are able to read Al-Quran by age 6 and complete the entire Al-Quran by age 12, before puberty. So, if a doctor asks his patient, "Have you Khatam Quran?", and the reply is "Yes, at age 9", then the doctor should immediately know that he is dealing with an intelligent child. Most children can recite well before they attend formal school, i.e., before age 7.

Some other words have to do with the Malay childbirth practices and closely mimick the Indian practices. Many doctors may be aware of these already but I was not when I first had my own child and I had to learn from many people, in order to earn the respect of the Malay society I lived in. Bersalin is childbirth or delivery. Bidan is a medicine-woman who sees to women folk. Bomoh is a medicine-man who sees to both men and women. Nasi kunyit is cooked glutinous rice and is often used as an offering (I am not too sure to whom). Berteh is parched or par-boiled rice which resembles rolled oatmeal. Setawar are leaves of a type of plant. Air tepung tawar is spell water prepared by the bidan or bomoh using plain water, for the patient to take home to drink daily; it can only be taken by the patient for whom the water was specially prepared. Berpantang is taboo during confinement and must be observed for forty-four days. Bertungku is the application of a heated hearth stone (roughly about the size of an ostrich egg) to the abdomen of the mother for about 30 minutes to 1 hour once or twice daily, to rapidly reduce the abdomen to pre-pregnant state. This works is a few mothers but not in many; it did not work for me! Berdiang is medicinal heating of the mother's abdomen and back alternately by charcoal fire placed beneath the mother's rattan bed, for about 30 minutes to 1 hour also once or twice daily. This is the equivalent of a sauna bath except that it is a dry bath. My late mother once said this was a painful procedure and not to try it. Mandi bunga is a bath with flower petals, fragrant pandanus leaves and rose water, to refresh the mother's body and mask the smell of blood. Mandi tolak bala is a bath to dispel harm and misfortune. Mandi pelepas is a ritual bath to break the evil spell between a mother and her newborn (or child) so that they will bond well and the child is freed from afflictions. I did this bath when my last child was afflicted with severe ringworm (tinae capititus) and she lost so much hair. Her scalp was covered with pus all over. It came to a hopeless point and I was desperate; the child was simply crying from so much pain to her scalp. The bidan used chewed areca nut and spat on my child's raw scalp - it worked! I never went back to study the details of her procedure. It sure took the antibodies a long time before my child was able to fight her affliction. But all is well now. Kacip is areca-nut slicer which resembles a blunt pruning shears. Sintok is bark of a tree used for cleaning the hair. It is agitated vigorously in river or well water to yield a fragrant shampoo. Limau purut is a medicinal lemon; the juice is used to overcome body odours. It is also used for the dead. Betan is recurrence of illness due to the violation of a taboo. Tangkal is talisman (and this is forbidden in Islam).

Death is respected and the onus is on the community to proceed with full burial rites. Islam enjoins that the burial of a dead body should not be unnecessarily delayed for more than 6 hours after death. Thus, this means that the dead body must be buried before the upcoming prayer or immediately following it. The following words may have to do with Community Medicine, Pathology and the mortuary. Mayat is dead body or corpse. Hantu is ghost. Syaitan is devil. Iblis is evil spirit. Setanggi gaharu is joss-stick with sandalwood or agilawood incense prepared by bomoh. Tukang mandi mayat is the person who bathes the dead body. Kain kapan or kapan mayat is two pieces of white cotton cloth or grave clothes. Kapan is to enshroud. Kubur or tanah perkuburan is graveyard which usually adjoins a mosque. Sembahyang mayat is congregational prayer before burying the dead (before interment). Men and women can perform the sembahyang mayatTalqin is a short prayer read by a clergy for the dead soon after burial while still at the grave. It is also a reminder for those left behind by the dead (that we all come from Allah and that will all die one day, and therefore return to Him). Tahlil is praising Allah and is held during kenduri arwahKenduri arwah is a night feast held in the honour of the dead. It is held in the house of the dead for a week and is repeated weekly, fortnightly, monthly and then on the 100th day of death. Only men are involved in the tahlil. Dinner is provided by the family of the dead; neighbours sometimes assist with the dinner preparation. We should know that Islam never enjoins any feast to help the dead in the hereafter.

In the Appendix lies a great surprise! It did not have anything concerning the early Malay doctors but it carried a brief biography of Engku Mai, a woman of the royal Malay court. Engku Mai was born in Kuala Linggi, Malacca as Raja Maimunah binti Raja Hassan ibni Almarhum Raja Abdullah. Rajah Abdullah was Tengku Panglima Besar and son-in-law to Almarhum Sultan Muhammad. Sultan Muhammad ruled Selangor from 1826 to 1856. Who ruled Selangor from 1857 onward? Were the Malay courts of Selangor and Johore close? Did they share the same doctors? Engku Mai was 15 at the time of the Battle of Raja Mahdi in Selangor. When did this battle occur? What was this battle about? Who took care of the wounded? Engku Mai was more than 120 years at the time the book was written (1962). Thus, we now have evidence that the longest surviving woman was a Malay, and not French as the world understands.

I had to stop writing for a while as my brother in-law came knocking on our front door asking for urgent help. His youngest son aged 2 has a bead stuck in his nose and he could not get it out. My husband told him to rush the son to hospital before the bead goes down any further. He is heading for HKB.

It is 10.05 pm.


Malay Customs and Traditions
Syed Alwi bin Sheikh Al-Hadi (hardcover)
Alwi bin Sheikh Alhady (title page inside)
First published in Singapore in 1962 by Donald Moore for Eastern Universities Press, Ltd.
Reprinted in 1967 by Donald Moore Press Ltd.
(USM library call number: DS 594 A478)

Encik Ramli Abdul Samad
Perpustakaan Hamzah Sendut (PHS) 1
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM, Penang
Tel: 04-6533888-3705

Dr. M. Bakri Musa

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Search 47

28 July 2005

It is Thursday, 10.08 pm.

En. Fadli Ghani e-mailed on 1 June 2005 to inform me that he would be in Kota Bharu but I could not find the time to meet and discuss with him.

Prof. Nor Hayati Othman, Deputy Dean (Research) e-mailed on 8 June 2005 to enquire whether I knew the names of Malay doctors who are active in doing creative writing (past and present); she only knew Tun Mahathir. I replied to her that I would need time to read their biographies first and then compile the needed information. But she needed the information urgently within a week! I referred her to the Telehealth website  on the early Malay doctors. But she said there was no specific mention of their literacy. This need for information really makes me wonder whether our early Malay doctors took up any creative writing. Did they? I need help here.

I had to stop writing again as an ex-classmate called to enquire. We dispersed after the completion of the Malaysia-Cambridge Exams (MCE) in 1975. So it was 30 years since we last saw each other. Thanks Halimatun Aziz for calling. Sorry, I didn't recognize your voice! I told her I am writing this book and she immediately mentioned Arkib Negara! I will inform my fifth formers so that everyone can help me with writing and this big article.

It is 10.45 pm.


En. Mohd. Fadli Ghani
(writer & PhD student)
Pengarah Akademi Kajian Kota, Kuala Lumpur

Professor Nor Hayati Othman
Deputy Dean (Research)
School of Medical Sciences
Universiti Sains Malaysia

Puan Halimatun Aziz
Tunku Kurshiah College (MCE 1975)

Telehealth Research Group
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia