Monday, 2 September 2013

Obituary: Dr Ruby Majeed 1924-2013

I received news from En Amir Mohd Wal (Jabatan Warisan Negara) this morning that Datuk Paduka Dr Ruby Abdul Majeed has passed away. I don't have the details of her demise as yet. We are saddened by her passing. Al-Fatihah.

Datuk Paduka Dr Ruby Abdul Majeed

En Amir has shown my book, Biography of the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore, to Dr Ruby's youngest sister, Datin Paduka Profesor Emeritus Zuraina Majid (Pesuruhjaya Warisan), and she is touched.

Dr Ruby bte Abdul Majeed's short biography is on pages 751-754 in my book.

Name: Dr Ruby Abdul Majeed
Date of birth: 6 November 1924
Place of birth: Kuala Lumpur
Medical studies in Australia: - malay girl doctor
Malay Girl Here To Become Doctor. (1948, April 13). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), p. 6 Edition: HOME. Retrieved September 6, 2012, from
Qualification: MBBS 1959 University of Adelaide
Private practice: Clinic Drs Syed Mahmood & Ruby Majeed, Kuala Lumpur

This short (one A4-page or two 9"x6" tradebook-pages) biography below is taken from my other book,  Research on the Early Malay Doctors 1900-1957 Malaya and Singapore (Xlibris, 2012: pages 258-259).

43. Dr Ruby bte Abdul Majid

Dr Ruby is the wife of Dr Syed Mahmood bin Syed Hussain Jamalullail. Prof. Farida Jamal furnished the biographies of both doctors after consulting them.

Ruby was born on 6 November 1924 in Kuala Lumpur. The third of eight siblings, she grew up in the vicinity of the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur, across the road from the Institute for Medical Research (IMR). She watched the activities in her neighbourhood with great interest and dreamed of becoming a doctor, like the ones she saw walking to the hospital. She learnt many skills from her mother and relatives at home. She commenced formal schooling at Kampong Baru Malay School at age five and moved to the Bukit Nenas Convent in Kuala Lumpur at age seven. Upon completing the OSCE (Overseas School Certificate Exam?) in 1948, she proceeded to Australia for further studies. She graduated from the University of Western Australia, majoring in Zoology, and trained in Histology at the University of Melbourne. From 1952 to 1954, she taught Histology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, in Singapore.

She married Dr Syed Mahmood in 1956. With the encouragement and support of her professor and head of the department, Ahmed Mohiuddin, she left for Adelaide, Australia, during the same year to study medicine. Her training and work at the University of Malaya was given recognition, and she was exempted from some courses. She graduated from the University of Adelaide as a medical doctor in 1959.

Upon completing her housemanship at the General Hospital, Penang, Dr Ruby Majeed was appointed Medical and Health Officer in Perlis. She founded and chaired the Perlis branch of the Federation of Family Planning Association of Malaysia and the Red Cross Association of Perlis. She also chaired the St John Ambulance, Perlis, and served as patron of the Perlis Girl Guides Association.

Dr Ruby Majeed moved to Kuala Lumpur in 1967 and set up private practice in the MARA building, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Dr Syed Mahmood joined her two years later.

She was a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP), which was awarded by the Australian College of General Practitioners. Together with a group of dynamic doctors, she strove to get general practice registered as a medical specialty in Malaysia. The Academy of Family Physicians (formerly known as the College of General Practitioners) was established, and from 1980 to 2002, she served as the president of the College of General Practitioners/Academy of Family Physicians. She was invited to sit on several committees of the Ministry of Health, Malaysia, subcommittees of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), and committees of the Private Medical Practitioners Association of Selangor, where she served as president for one year. She also served as the treasurer at MMA Foundation for four years.

Her passion for education resulted in her involvement in teaching and curriculum development in Family Medicine at the University of Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). In the 1990s, she also served as an adjunct professor in Family Medicine for four years at the Faculty of Medicine, UKM. Throughout, she worked as a general practitioner. Dato’ Paduka Dr Ruby bte Abdul Majeed is noted for her dedication, determination, sincerity, honesty, and integrity. A good listener, she is much more than a giver of health care to her patients and is always willing to help people in need. She is dearly loved and admired by her large, extended family and her many friends.

From me: It will be great if we can expand and make her biography a more complete one.

Contact for Jabatan Warisan Negara:

Amir Md Wal
016-286 8586

Bangunan Pentadbiran
Istana Negara (Lama)
Jalan Istana
50460 Kuala Lumpur

No. Tel : 03-2260 9000
No. Faks : 03-2272 1392


Sellene said...

I recall being undergoing a medical check up back in 2003 which was required by my former employer whose firm was attended to by Dr Ruby's clinic in Jalan Raja Laut.

I had the (good?) fortune of being attended by Dr Ruby herself, who I was quite surprised was still in practice back then. She would have been 79,then.

Dr Ruby was peering short-sightedly and resorted to poking my arm a few times with the hypodermic needle in different places for the blood test because she said she "couldn't find the vein". She managed to get my blood after a while but not before being pricked in several places about my arm. Unnerving experience.

My former colleague (a female) who was subjected to the same treatment actually fainted and had to come back another day for the blood test.

I was greatly relieved when I heard that she ceased to practice soon after. That sort of thing can't have been very good for her reputation or her clinic, for that matter.

Anyway, Al Fatihah and may God rest her soul. I'm sure she performed lots of good deeds during her lifetime.

Prof Faridah said...

Dear Sellene,

Private medical practitioners usually work until day before they die or if illness makes them bed-ridden, they retire early from clinic practice. It is no surprise that doctors work till they are very old. For blood taking, sometimes it is difficult to find the veins even in normal persons. In many persons, the veins are easily visible and therefore poking all over is avoided. I suppose you and your friend had the worse experiences, which are expected. TQ for bringing up this matter.

ScHaH 'Ain said...

saya pelanggan tetap klinik dr ruby masa saya kerja di jabatan perpaduan (wisma bumi raya) 1994-2001..
semoga roh beliau ditempatkan bersama-sama orang beriman...

ScHaH 'Ain said...

saya pelanggan klinik dr ruby semasa saya bekerja di jabatan perpaduan (wisma bumi raya)
semoga roh beliau ditempatkan bersama insan yang beriman...

Prof Faridah said...

TQ untuk komen anda.