Monday, 24 September 2012

Views of USM Health Campus

These are views of the USM Health Campus from the 8th floor (top floor) of the USM hospital building, Hospital USM (HUSM). The land surrounding the campus is flat. It is flat for miles, right up to the South China Sea. Because it is this flat, it floods easily everywhere except for built-up areas, hillocks, hills, foothills,  and the central mountain range in Jeli (~2 hours from Kota Bharu).

These views were taken while my daughter was admitted for tympanoplasty, to patch her eardrum, after she cleaned her left ear so hard and it bled from the burst eardrum. She had gone swimming at a ladies swimming pool in Bangalore, India. The surgery and recovery took 4 hours. So I took photos instead to kill time. I am no heroine when it comes to heights, so my husband had to hold me and direct me where to point the camera. I am scared of heights! My office was on this floor too back in 1983/84, in the left wing or Wad 8 Selatan. I was 3rd in rank for looking after the administration for this hospital then. Then I left for Australia to do my PhD in Feb 1985.

It was also on this top floor, in east wing (Wad 8 Timur), that Prof Salem and I taught programming to HUSM staff. That was the beginning of laboratory computerisation and hospital information system (HIS) for us. Today, we have our own in-house LifeLine for HIS and also for electronic medical records (EMR). We are presently on to the Case-Mix System from UNU-IIGH, despite the cons of the Case-Mix System. We think we can design a better Case-Mix System later but that needs a lot of discussion, and that is another story. I will be fully retired.

Big roofs in the foreground are those of the present (old) A&E Dept (a new one will open soon). The USM Dental School is the white-orange building with a blue dome. A covered bridge (at left) links the Dental School to the Medical School complex. The water tower is next to the surau (can see its minaret, top left corner). The pink roof (top left corner) is the old Sports Complex.
USM Medical School complex, Phase II, built in mid-1990s. The end of the campus is Sg Datu (near the skyline). The hexagon roofs are the lecture theatres. There are 3 such roofs and 5 lectures theatres. The 2 parallel roofs in the foreground are lecturers rooms. The long blue plastic strip joins the roofs. On the right are the rooms above the old Oren Mall. The previous shops of Oren Mall have now been renovated and converted to USAINS spaces for private ventures.
HUSM Students' Exam Block (big roofs), kitchen (lower roof with air vents), dhobi and incinerator (with long chimney). The north wing (Wad Utara) of HUSM can be seen at left edge of the photo. The airport in Pengkalan Chepa is towards the skyline and to the right.
A new shopping place called the Kubang Kerian Square is in front of USM Health Campus. There is Mydin and everything else. You can get everything here. All food is halal in Kubang Kerian except at a few ethnic eateries. This new shopping place is convenient for both USM staff and the patients' families. There is no need to stay in Kota Bharu. Kubang Kerian and Kubang Kerian Square have many places to stay. The roofs in the foreground are the Students' Exam Block. The lower roof beyond that (with exhaust fans and vents) is the recently renovated hospital kitchen.

Other photos of USM Health Campus

Close-up of the students' hostels viewed from the Medical School bridge to the library. The water tower is behind the students' hostel.

Distant view of the students' hostel from Medical School at the bridge to the library
Dewan Utama, the main hall for most public lectures on campus
School of Medical Sciences, USM Health Campus in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan since 1990
The Director of Campus office has moved to a new complex near the new playing field in early 2012
Old photo of the water tower in 2010. The students' old hostel block is behind the water tower. The campus surau is to the left of the water tower (not in pic). A new block of students' hostel was later built adjacent to the water tower and was commissioned in September 2012.

Courses offered at USM Health Campus:

Sungai Datu

This river is behind USM Health Campus. The river swells during the monsoon season and appears as in the photos below during off monsoon season. Many have used photos of the river for book covers, etc. There was talk of building a bridge from USM to the other side of the river but that has not materialised. The concrete slabs you see are for the intended bridge. Since it was known that the bridge was going to be build, many people bought land on the other side of the river, for setting up homes. However, since the bridge has been built, the landowners are frustrated. Land across this river is no longer cheap. The other side of the river is low lying and floods easily, and not many people know, so they buy up. When it floods, the water reaches waist deep. I don't see any point in purchasing land on the other side of the river and prospective buyers should know. To buy land in Kelantan, it is worth coming here during the monsoon months and then decide. There is no point crying after buying. A rule of thumb when buying land here is to look for the nipah palms. These palms thrive in marshland and signifies a waterlogged land. So don't buy land where you can clearly see the nipah palms unless you don't understand what they signify.

The present USM Campus is sited on very high grounds. If I recall correctly, they had to top up the land to about 50 feet high and then build the hospital buildings, the teaching complexes, etc. It does not flood on campus but the river water overflows and floods its river banks. My brother-in-law's family lives on the other side of the river. They were cheated into buying land there under the poor families scheme (PPRT). He has 10 kids, and during the flood, they all have to wade in waist deep water to go elsewhere. It is terrible to have to cope that way.

View of Sg Datu from USM Health Campus. There are nipah palms lining the river banks. The concrete slabs are meant for the proposed bridge.
Clear blue waters of Sg Datu. I have heard of crocodiles thriving in this river.
Another view of the Sg Datu river from USM Health Campus

Working definition of Malay

I'm copying this here from my old Zimbra Inbox before I lose it.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Prof Faridah Abdul Rashid" <>
To: "Akademik" <akademik@warga.kck.usmnet>
Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 10:38:28 AM GMT +08:00
Subject: [akademik] Working definition of 'Malay'

Back to the definition of Malay.
This is my working definition of the term 'Malay':
1) Has a Malay or Muslim name
2) Speaks Malay most of the time
3) Eats Malay food most of the time
4) Dresses to cover most part of the body
5) Professes Islam as a religion and way of life; the male goes for Friday prayers
6) Has Malay/Indian/Chinese parents born within the Malay World who are also Muslims
7) Has pan-Asian facial features with flat/high nose bridge
8) Has fair to dark complexion determined by his/her genes
9) Has black/brown/hazel-coloured iris depending on genes inherited
10) Has short stature, about 5 feet but not higher than 6 feet
11) Has black/brunette/pale orange (warna sireh) straight/wavy/frizzy hair depending on genes inherited
12) Greets by salam gesture (holds the palms of the friend in his/her palms for a few seconds) or similar
13) Has a headgear most of the time - the ladies wear a scarf, serban or tudung and the males wear a black songkok, white kopiah or serban
14) Observes Ramadan fasting most of the time
15) Goes for hajj pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime
16) Eats halal foods and avoids non-halal foods (pig products and alcoholic beverages)
17) Does not advocate gambling, prostitution and free sex
18) Marries a wife and can possibly have up to 4 wives at a time but does not have mistresses or call girls and the like
19) Has a halal source of income
20) Pays zakat of mainly 2 kinds - zakat fitrah and zakat harta\

Kota Jembal, Kelantan

If you reach the Kubang Kerian traffic lights, and proceed towards Bachok (beach), you will pass by a place named Kota Jembal. As you approach the traffic lights at the Kota Jembal junction, the marketplace will be on your left. Why is Kota Jembal important in Kelantan Malay history?

Kota Jembal was one of the many 'kingdoms' or 'rajadom' in the early vast Malay kingdom in Kelantan. Kota Jembal is a region on the eastern bank of Sungai Pengkalan Datu. As a landing place or pengkalan, it was (may still be) a place of trade. Pasar Kota Jembal is the present marketplace in Kota Jembal, an ancient Malay city. Its architecture is a mark of the ancient Malay architecture, very unique to the Kelantan Malay craftmanship of this region, and I don't think it is found outside Kelantan - I have not seen it outside Kelantan.

Next time you come and visit Kelantan, come and visit this ancient princely city of Kota Jembal and see its marketplace, Pasar Kota Jembal (they didn't have malls in ancient cities). I have not been around on foot in this city, but my vibes tell me, this place is 'very ancient'. Looks spooky too but I didn't see any big blood-shot eyes. That's ancient legend.

The people of Kota Jembal were religious people (Hindu in ancient times but now Muslims) and some of the descendants of that early kingdom are still around and rule this state. They are related to the other Malay royalties of a large Malay kingdom in this region. The ancient Malay kingdom spreads from southern Siam (now Thailand) to Kota Jembal and beyond. Sungai Pengkalan Datu opens into the South China Sea. There is an artificial sandbar built by the villagers to dampen the waves, to avoid erosion of the beach front. Many Malays settle at this rivermouth (muara). The homes are wooden and built high on stilts as this rivermouth is flooded during the monsoon season. Malay people from Cambodia and also from Malacca probably came to Kota Jembal via this rivermouth. The Malacca migrants settled at Pulau Melaka (a large sandy island in Sungai Pengkalan Datu) and others settled on the river bank at Kota Jembal. Both cities are princely cities. I would say that this part of the Malay region probably contains inhabitants who are descended from ancient Malay royalties, and thus we see the prefix 'Raja' and 'Puteri/Putri' in their names. Most have dark skin as they are descended from ancient Indian forebearers. However, the ones descended from the Cambodian Malays have fair skin - they carry the prefix 'Wan' in their names.

Prayer place at the entrance to the Ramadan bazaar adjacent to Pasar Kota Jembal.
I can't make out what the buildings are. The Ramadan bazaar is in the centre.
Ramadan bazaar in full swing in 2012
After the Ramadan bazaar, after the fasting month was over, back to normal.
Fenced marketplace, this is Pasar Kota Jembal. Note the unique architecture. Looks like a lodge or a princely residence. This is an example of fine Malay architecture. I like it very much.

There is a meeting of the royals of Kota Jembal on 6 November 2012(?).


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Research on the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and ... 
Jul 1, 2012 ... Research on the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore. by Faridah Abdul Rashid; Avg. Rating: Not yet rated; Publish Date: ...