Tuesday, 5 February 2013

44. Dr Abdul Ghani bin Mohammad (1906-1979)

Dr Abdul Ghani bin Mohammad (1906-1979)

Date of birth: 13 January 1906
Place of birth: Bayan Lepas, Penang
Date of death: 4 May 1979 at 4.30 pm
Place of death: Penang General Hospital
Place of burial: Tanah Perkuburan Islam Bayan Lepas (close to Kg Bukit, Bayan Lepas)


Chowrasta Malay School, George Town, Penang 1912-1916;
Penang Free School, George Town, Penang as Government Malay Scholar 1917-1923
Obtained Senior Cambridge Certificate 1921, Senior Certificate with Honours 1922

Medical Education

Awarded Federated Malay States (FMS) Scholarship to study medicine.
King Edward VII College of Medicine, Singapore 1923-1930
Graduated with LMS in August 1930 (Class of 1930).

Government Service

1958 - Kedah State Surgeon
1964 - Health Officer in Butterworth
-nd- Senior Health Officer (SHO) of Penang & Province Weleesley
-nd- Senior Medical Officer (SMO) in Penang

1932 - Member Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kg Baru, KL

1953-55 - Vice-President Old Frees Association (OFA), Penang
1961-62 - Committee Member, OFA
1963-c66 - Vice-President, OFA

1965-67 - OFA Rep & Member of BOG (Board of Governors), PFS (Penang Free School)

1951-53 - Hon Secretary Northern Branch, Alumni Association, KE VII College of Medicine & Faculty of Medicine, UM (University of Malaya)

1951-53 - Member of Pan-Malayan Council
1957-58 - President of Pan-Malayan Council

-nd- Founder Member & Committee Member, UM Graduate Society, Northern Division
1962 Chairman, UM Graduate Society, Northern Division
1965-67 Member of University Guild & Member of University Court

-nd- Member of MMA (Malayan Medical Association)
1986 - Committee Member of PMA (Penang Malays Association)

-nd- Chairman BOG & State Govt Rep to Sekolah Abdullah Munshi, Penang
1963-c66/67 - Vice-President Persatuan Melayu, Pulau Pinang

-nd- Committee Member of Penang Historical Society
-nd- Committee Member of Penang (Muslim) Welfare Association
-nd- Committee Member of Muslim Orphanage in Penang

-nd- Vice-President of MALRA (Malayan Leprosy Relief Association), Penang Division (1 year)
-nd- Committee Member of MALRA

1952-53 - Lecturer & Examiner in First Aid, St John Ambulance, Penang
-nd- Chairman, St John Ambulance, North Kedah Division (3 years)

1954-57 - Penang Settlement Scout Council

-nd- Committee Member, UMNO Chawangan Kampong Bahru, Penang

1953-54 - President of Sepoy Lines Recreation Club in Penang (support for Malay badminton and soccer)


He retired in 1961 at age 55 years.


Wife: Fatimah bt Zainuddin (1911-1983)
Children: 8 (5 deceased young and 3 survived to adulthood) - Fadzilah, Yahya, and Faisal.


Dr Haji Abdul Ghani bin Mohammad suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and passed away on 4 May 1979 at 4.30 p.m. He was interred at Tanah Perkuburan Islam in Bayan Lepas, Penang, which is not far from his village.

Author's notes:
  1. Able to locate a family member via friends in Facebook but unable to obtain family contact. I sent an SMS but got no reply.
  2. No update from his colleagues, MMA or the Malaysian public.
  3. Tok Kamarudin bin Md Noor knew Dr Abdul Ghani.
  4. Tok Chu knew Dr Che Lah
  5. I received a letter from Fadzilah bt Abdul Ghani (eldest daughter) on 5 February 2013.
  6. Fadzilah updated re her 2 brothers, Faisal and Yahya.
  7. Fadzilah remembers Dr Che Lah.
5 Feb 2013

I arrived in my department this morning and checked my pigeonhole first thing. There was a folded and stapled blue teaching time-table and a small white envelope. The envelope had my name and a coloured big foreign stamp of a family car going on vacation and a pack of penguins! I turned to view the back and saw the sender's name. I knew immediately that this was a missing link in my research. One more evidence has turned up today. Great! I am very happy. I will visit Australia next week, but not to see the penguins.

This letter comes from Fadzilah, the eldest daughter of Dr Abdul Ghani. She must be so thrilled like I am. She wrote about how she came across my TEMD blog and informed where she works. She updated about her 2 younger brothers. She also wrote she remembers my grandfather! Would you believe that?! She may also know some of the people of that era. It's really great! That's 50-60 years back in our history

5 Feb 2013

What is Pink Heath?
Epacris impressa, also known as Common Heath, is a shrub that is native to the south-east of Australia. The pink-flowered form, often referred to as Pink Heath, is the floral emblem of the state of Victoria. - Wikipedi

Dr Abdul Ghani’s elder brother is Captain Mohamed Noor bin Muhammad, a former teacher at Penang Free School.

Fadzilah's uncle is Capt. Mohd Noor Mohammad.

I have also written a separate post about Capt Mohd Noor. Altogether, there must be 2 such names. One was my granduncle and the other is Fadzilah's uncle. There may be a third man by that same "Capt Mohd Noor" name.


I must try and ask Fadzilah for a portrait of her father so I can upload it here and we can all search the various archives and repositories for "Dr Abdul Ghani". Ain't it great?! More research to do...

Dr Abdul Ghani bin Mohammad (1906-1979)
Portrait from Fadzilah Abdul Ghani (Melbourne)


What is his full name? I have 2 "Dr Abdul Ghani" names so far:
  1. Dr Abdul Ghani bin Muhammed ... should be this one...refer Capt Mohd Noor Mohammad.
  2. Dr Abdul Ghani bin Zakaria

I will list him as Dr Abdul Ghani bin Mohammad. The variant name spellings to take note are:
  1. Dr Abdul Ghani bin Muhammed 
  2. Dr Abdul Ghani bin Muhammad
  3. Dr Abdul Ghani bin Mohammad 
  4. Dr Abdul Ghani bin Mohamed 
  5. Dr Abdullah Ghani .......................will still keep this as some records used this name.

They were both Penangites but from different parts of Penang.

I remember writing a post and mentioning that Dr Abdul Ghani and Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos were classmates at the King Edward VII College of Medicine. They graduated together in 1930.

The NUS book, To Sail Uncharted Seas listed their names under the graduation list for 1930.


Dr Abdul Ghani and Dr Che Lah were close friends. They worked in Kuala Lumpur and in Klang.

Dr Abdul Ghani was a member of Sulaiman Club. It is not known whether Dr Che Lah was a member of Sulaiman Club.

They were together in Kuala Lumpur at a seminar at the Sulaiman Club in 1932.
  1. They attended a debate on 'Women's Freedom' at the Sulaiman Club as reported in Majlis, 1 December 1932. 
  2. When Dr MJ Che Lah moved from Klang to work in Kuala Lumpur in 1932, Dr Abdul Ghani succeeded him in Klang.

A photo from Dr Che Lah's collection showed himself and Dr Abdul Ghani at a rural clinic in Penang - probably after 1958, after Dr Che Lah returned to Penang.

Dr MJ Che Lah (seated 2nd left) and Dr Abdul Ghani (seated 2nd right), circa 1960s.
Photo from the collection of Dr MJ Che Lah.

Dr Haji Abdul Ghani is the husband of Iszham’s maternal grandaunt. Fatimah's sister is Siti Aminah, whose daughter is Hajjah Zaleha bt Che Long, Iszham's mother. Iszham’s mother (Zaleha) is Fadzilah Abdul Ghani’s cousin.  Iszham's mother remembers Faisal, whose call name is Pisol.

Fatimah's youngest sister is Hajar, who was the late wife of Tan Sri Khalid Hj. Abdullah, now living in Alor Setar. His daughter is Mustazah.

Iszham Idris can be contacted in Facebook.


Sir Kamil Ariff’s grandchildren are cousins Rokiah Hanoum bt Omar Farok, Mohd Aiyub Mohd Aziz, and Datuk Khalid Ariff.

Rukiah Hanoum was born was 22 December ___. She completed school in 1972 at the St George's Girls' School, Penang. She has 3 sons.

Mohd Aiyub was born on 11 April 1964 (hp: 012-583 7485). He married Rositah Basri on 12 November 1994. They have a son Mohammad Inammul and a daughter Soffia Aisya.

Datuk Khalid was born on 17 May 1954 (hp: 012-296 5688). He married on 1 August 1982 and has a son Khairi Ariff and daughter Inaaz Ariff.

Cousins, Rukiah Hanoum bt Omar Farok and Mohd Aiyub bin Mohd Aziz at the Penang Story Lecture on the Hajj 2013 at the E&O Hotel, Penang.
Both can be contacted in Facebook.
Rukiah Hanoum in Facebook.
Mohd Aiyub in Facebook.

Datuk Khalid Ariff bin Mushir Ariff knew Dr Haji Abdul Ghani’s son, Faisal, as they were classmates at Penang Free School (MCE 1970).

Datuk Khalid Ariff can be contacted in Facebook.


Dean Archer called this morning. I was in the bath brushing my teeth and had to get ready to go to work. I picked up my basket and handbag and dashed through the front door and got in the car, while I talked to him on the phone! He explained the position of my books and his plans for marketing my books. I listened on my handphone but the signal was so bad this morning that he had to call back. I put on my socks and scarf in the car while my husband drove and we stopped the car near our daughters' school where the handphone signal was much better. Dean was still talking on the phone throughout! By the time we got through the USM main entrance, Dean ended his call. That's how I manage phone calls - multitasking! And that's why it is better to post or email me. I hope my son locked up our house door. I remember I have fed the cats and filled the water container earlier this morning. I'm glad I did or my cats would be hungry.

Ok. What do I do now? Now I have a few things to think about:

  1. Xlibris is a good self-publishing company and it does some amount of online marketing but at a "dear" price. I took this one for my books because this was the only thing I knew at that point. Overall I think Xlibris services are fine for me and it allowed me to publish 2 books for the price of one. So it was a good deal and I am really thankful for this negotiated bit which benefits me as a beginner in self-publishing my books. The copyright stays with me as opposed to the publisher. I own my books, the text and the low-resolution images which I submitted. I own everything re my books. Revenue is shared at 50:50 which is fine for a beginner like me. The posters are plain but of very good quality (very good paper and glossy finish). The business cards (made for each book) are great (really cute)! I have almost run out of the business cards. I still have the picture postcards.
  2. BookWhirl is also a self-publishing company and it does a great amount of online marketing but at a cheaper price. Is this any better than Xlibris? I don't know. I have never published with BookWhirl. But the posters/flyers, trailer used for email marketing that I see, are the best I have ever seen made for books. The posters are really great. I have commented on the posters and videos before in a previous post. Dean Archer was down to earth. He said he cannot promise the moon but we can try the many stars and get my books marketed. True, nobody can promise anything in business but if we don't shoot in the right direction, my books won't sell. True, my books are not just about history but medical history, so how many universities and colleges teach this subject or have instilled this interest in their students? Nobody knows the size of this market and whether my books will need to go there. But what Dean Archer saw and put across to me this morning was great. He said we could aim for exchange of American and Asian medical practices. He elaborated that a few things we do here are not available "there" so Americans travel out of USA and come to Asia (China) to seek medical treatment. This is something I did not know about. I know of other means in medical treatment but not the USA-China route. He also mentioned Singapore as a potential spot. Singapore is a red dot on any world map but it also a great spot for people seeking alternative treatment. One Singapore hospital I saw has a department that specialises in this mode of treatment. Malaysia has followed suit. But my books are not about alternative medicine, just biographies of the Malay doctors who served in British Malaya and Singapore between 1900 and 1957 (Malayan Independence). I don't know if I can write on alternative medicine which is what will market well in the present book market. But I am not a practitioner of alternative medicine though I am aware of the practices and where they are available. 
  3. Whatever it is, the alternative treatment modes must be registered and properly documented and followed (as under ISO). The procedures must be constantly checked for deviations. I think what is needed is a world directory of alternative medicine, categorised by region, country, state, locality, and then the agency or establishment and contact details. Of course, all establishments must be accredited and somehow be denoted by a 5-star rating scale. All that can come in as a periodical ebook, online HTML web pages or printed book. That is another research altogether. 
  4. I have made a similar one for Islamic Medicine in another blog - just the rudimentary pages. I have to read the Quran several times to extract the necessary information on health, medicine and related, and then write the posts.  I haven't converted it into a searchable database yet because I will need other skilled people and Islamic scholars to verify the extracted information before I make the database. It is a lot of research and work. Will this benefit anyone? I don't know. I'm still thinking.

To answer Dean Archer's question, "Will I take his BookWhirl.com marketing services?" My answer is I still don't have any answers yet because I need to think through and see what is good and what is sheer waste of money. So I'm still thinking and thinking because I still have other projects to do, think about and write up.