Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Presentation Slides of April Talk on TEMD

These are cropped slides used for the April talk on The Early Malay Doctors (TEMD) at IAMM on 28 April 2018. They may load slowly as they are big files (approx 600 KB each). I have uploaded all 230 slides.




In 1930, the medical diploma had the British Coat of Arms at the top.


Add (21 May 2018): Pahang 1958 Dr Hussain bin Abdul Ghany
Pahang therefore had 3 doctors instead of 2.

Correction (21 May 2018): Malaya 49 doctors - Pahang (3).
Total: 53 doctors (43 documented; 10 missing).


This book contains short biographies of the doctors.

This book contains detailed biographies of the doctors.

1. Dr Abdul Latiff bin Abdul Razak

2. Dr Samsuddin bin Cassim

He is documented in 2 books by another author.

3. Dr Pandak Ahmad bin Alang Sidin (Dr Haji Ahmad)

He was popularly known as Dr Ahmad.

4. Dr Hafeezudin Sirajudin Moonshi bin Hakim Abdul Hamid (Dr HS Moonshi)

He was popularly known as Dr Moonshi.

5. Dr Mohamed Ibrahim bin Shaik Ismail (Dr SIM Ibrahim)

He was popularly known as Dr Ibrahim.

6. Dr Shaik Mohamad Baboo bin Ahmad Albakish (Dr SM Baboo)

He was popularly known as Dr Baboo.

7. Dr Kamil Mohamed Ariff bin Kadir Mastan (Dr KM Ariff/Sir KM Ariff)

He was popularly known as Dr Ariff.

8. Dr Ismail Mohamed Ghows (Dr Ismail Ghows/Dr Ghows)

He was popularly known as Dr Ismail.

9. Dr Mohd Ali bin Ahmad bin Othman Sah Merican (Dr Ali Othman Merican/ Dr Ali Merican/ Dr AO Merican/ Ossy)

He was popularly known as Dr Ali, and Ossy in family circles.

Dr Kamil Ariff and Dr Ali Othman Merican were doctors, who were also in the Penang Malay Association (PMA) or Persatuan Melayu Pulau Pinang (PEMENANG). Tuan CM Hashim was the father-in-law of Dato Mushir Ariff bin Dr Kamil Ariff. Tuan Mohd Nor bin Mohammad is the elder brother of Dr Abdul Ghani bin Mohammad (Bayan Lepas).

The Dispensary was established in 1927 by Dr Ali Othman Merican. It was the first Muslim clinic in Kota Bharu. Kelantan.

The Pondok K'seena (wooden house) was relocated from Tumpat to Telipot, Kelantan.

10. Dr Hamzah bin Md Taib (Dr Hamzah Taib)

11. Dr Mustapha bin Osman (Dr Mustapha bin Awang Osman / Dr Mustapha Awang Osman / Dr Mustapha AO)

12. Dr Abdul Wahab Khan bin Mohd Lal Khan ( Dr Abdul Wahab Khan/ Dr Wahab Khan)

The British Coat of Arms appears on his LMP diploma of 1924.

13. Dr Che Lah bin Mohamed Joonos (Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos / Dr MJ Che Lah / Dr Che Lah)

This was probably the medical students' hostel at Katong, Singapore in 1924.

The British Coat of Arms appears on his LMP diploma of 1930.

Glugor Klinik is extant in 2018.

14. Dr Abdul Ghani bin Mohammad (Dr Abdul Ghani / Dr MA Ghani)

His name was misprinted as Dr Abdullah Ghani in a Penang publication, and for which I could not decide whether it was really his name or otherwise, and could not search him under that name. For this, full research on him was only possible after my 2 books were published, after his surviving daughter contacted me from Melbourne. With her help and that of her younger brother, their father's biography is now complete.

15. Dr Megat Khas bin Megat Omar (Dr MO Megat Khas / Dr Megat Khas)

 I do not have details of his FRCP(Edinburgh), UK.

16. Dr Mohamed Said bin Mohamed (Dr Mohamed Said)

(i) Nurfarahin bt Ismail (Moin) informed me that Kelinik Sulaiman was defunct. She is a final-year student at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) at Bachok Campus in 2017/18. Her family lives in Tampin. (ii) Puan Rahmah Edwin, wife of Dr Hamdan Sulaiman, informed me on 28 April 2018 after my talk, that Dr Hamdan Sulaiman had passed away on the 1st of Ramadan in 2010. Inna lillahi wainna ilaihi rojiunn.

17. Dr Awang bin Hassan (Tun Dr Awang Hassan / Tun Dr Awang / Dr Awang Hassan / Dr Awang)

I met Tan Sri Dato Dr Yahya Awang at his place of work. I did not interview him much about his father as he had a patient waiting. He prepared his father's biography. I added the photos from Arkib Negara Malaysia. I met Dr Lokman Mazlan at my talk. He was a graduate of our USM Medical School.

I have not determined on Google Map how long this road is.

18. Dr Mohamed Din bin Ahmad (Dr Din Ahmad / Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Din bin Ahmad)

He was popularly known as Dr Din. I lost contact with his eldest son. 

19. Dr Sulaiman bin Mohamed Attas (Dr MA Sulaiman / Dr Sulaiman Attas / Dr Sulaiman)

20. Dr Abdullah bin Ahmad (Dr Abdullah)

21. Dr Abbas bin Haji Alias (Dr Abbas Alias / Dr Abbas / Abang Abbas)

He was addressed as Abang Abbas by Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail. They went for Hajj together with 2 others.

Many people have queried whether this is Kelab Sultan Sulaiman or the Royal Selangor Club. This photo comes from Jefri Merican Associates, who renovated Kelab Sultan Sulaiman. The insert is from Perpustakaan Neagara Malaysia (PNM) and was provided by (Dr) En Mohd Fadli Ghani.


By 1940, there were 20 Malayan dentists. However, only 5 were Malay dentists.

I do not have family contacts for dentists, Dr Hassan and Dr Ibrahim above.

22. Dr Abdul Karim bin Nawab Din (Dr ND Abdul Karim / Dr Abdul Karim / Dr Karim)

23. Dr Mohamed bin Taib (Dr Mohamed Taib / Dato' Dr Haji Mohamed bin Taib)

24. Dr Nuruddin bin Mohamed Salleh

I would like to obtain this photo of Dr Nuruddin Salleh working in Melbourne.

25. Dr Latifah Bee bt Dr Ismail Mohamed Ghows (Dr Latifah Bee Ghows / Dr Latifah Ghows / Dr Latifa Ghows / Dr Latifa)

26. Dr Amir Burhanuddin bin Ungku Muhammad Nor (Dr Burhanuddin al-Helmy)

I do not have any contact with Dr Burhanudin's family.

27. Dr Ismail bin Abdul Rahman (Tun Dr Ismail bin Abdul Rahman)

28. Dr Salma bte Ismail (Tan Sri Dr Salma bte Ismail)

29. Dr Abdul Aziz bin Omar (Dato' Dr Haji Abdul Aziz bin Omar)

His clinic, Aziz Dispensary, occupied 2 shophouses in front of the bus station in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

There are 3 entries in Who's Who in Malaysia for Dr Abdul Aziz bin Omar. The first entry in 1963 did not contain his portrait.


Radiology pioneers in Malaya were stationed at the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur

Dr Omar left the Malaysian Govt Service in 1972 and was succeeded by Dr Hussain bin Abdul Ghany. I had contacted Dr Hussain's son before I published my 2 books, but I did not include him then as his biography was incompletely researched. I managed to contact his eldest daughter and (younger) son Dr Amir Fuad. I am waiting for the family's input. Dr Hussain's father was a Hospital Assistant, which is an interesting point for pursuing both Dr Hussain and his father.

30. Dr Omar bin Din (Dato' Dr Haji Omar bin Haji Din)

Dr Omar's initial biography which was published in my 2 books were provided by the Maxwell School alumni members who knew him. I obtained his family contact after my books were published. His sons have provided his CV and photographs. His biography is more complete now.

I do not know the name of his private clinic or its whereabout.

31. Dr Abdul Wahab bin Mohamed Ariff (Dr Wahab Ariff)

Dr Che Lah was already retired when he returned to Penang. He retired in 1958.

32. Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail (Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail / Dr Abdul Majid / Koko)

His approx. 2-hour interview was recorded on micro tape. I don't know how to convert it to MP3.

33. Dr Syed Mohamed bin Syed Alwi Alhady (Dr SMA Alhady / Mr SMA Alhady / Dr Alhady / Mr Alhady / Dato' Dr Syed Mohamad bin Syed Alwi al-Hady / Dato' Dr Syed Mohamad bin Alwi al-Hady)

His biography was written based on published material. I have managed to get in touch with his daughter.

34. Dr Abu Bakar bin Ibrahim

His biography is quite brief in my book. I would love to obtain more details of him.

35.  Dr Syed Mahmood Jamalullail (Dr Syed Mahmood / Dato’ Seri Diraja Dr Syed Mahmood Jamalullail ibni al-Marhum Syed Hussain Jamalullail)

I have been to Kai Tak Airport and Kowloon in August 1976. I have not visited the University of Hong Kong (UHK) to photograph it and to make notes of where Dr Syed Mahmood studied.

36. Dr Carleel Merican (Dato' Dr Carleel Merican)

I met his daughter at my talk.

37. Dr Ariffin bin Ngah Marzuki (Dato' Dr Ariffin bin Ngah Marzuki)

38. Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad (Dr Mahathir / Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad / Tun M)

I have not met him in person.

Ex-Sultanah Asma School student, Dini was my Kedah guide when I visited Alor Star to see Dr Mahathir's 2 clinics. Kampung Cina/Kampung Melayu is one road, with one row of Chinese shophouses on one side and one row of Malay shophouses on the opposite site.

39. Dr Mohamed Noor bin Marahakim (Dato' Dr Mohamed Noor bin Marahakim)

40. Dr Siti Hasmah bt Mohd Ali (Tun Dr Siti Hasmah bt Mohd Ali)

41. Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin bin Raja Shahbuddin (Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin bin Raja Shahbuddin / Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin / Tan Sri RAN, Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin)

Mr Ismail bin Abu Sittee was a London-trained Health Inspector and Educator. He is the father of USM VC, Dato' Prof Dr Asma Ismail.

He was an innovator and inventor.

The Siamese Bowl was used in Thailand by the US personnel there, and served as a model for modern water closets (WC or jamban) in Malaysia.

Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin was the inventor of the Jitra Bowl (jamban Jitra), based on the Siamese Bowl. He was the first Malay and Malaysian to invent a toilet bowl for Malaysian toilets in 1962. This form of toilet then replaced the outdoor bucket latrines. Toilets were then build inside Malaysian homes from then on (after 1963). By 1972/73, even ancient Malay homes built in 1897 had modern toilets. Dr Siti Hasmah celebrated the Jitra Bowl in one of her speeches.

Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin advocated Food and Nutrition for Malaysians. Efforts of Malaysian farmers provide food for the public. Nutritious food feed Malaysians. Nutritious food must be served at Malaysian schools and hospitals.

His interview was not recorded. It was approx. 1 hour and arranged at his request.

42. Dr Ahmad Ezanee Merican (Dato' Dr Haji Ahmad Ezanee Merican bin Dr Ali Merican / Dr Ezanee Merican)

I interviewed his widow for about 1 hour. She showed me around his home in Telipot, Kelantan. She also showed me photos, which I included in his biography.

This photo was one which I saw hanging on the wall outside the lifts at Hospital Pulau Pinang, when I visited to see the hospital director. I studied the photo and noticed Dr Ezanee Merican. I do not know the rest in this photo.

The K'seena House was relocated from Telipot, Kelantan to Kuang, Selangor. It is quite near to Masjid al-Islahiah, Kuang. Dr Ezanee is interred not far from his K'seena House. I met his brother Dato Dr Mahmood Merican, Datin Ragayah, son, and Dr Ezanee's children at my talk.

43. Dr Ungku Omar bin Ungku Ahmad (Prof Dr Ungku Omar bin Ungku Ahmad / Dr Ungku Omar)

44. Dr Mohd Noor bin Nordin (Dr Haji Mohd Noor bin Haji Nordin)

His youngest daughter in Scotland supplied his biography which was published in 2012. Dr Hj Md Noor was working in Malacca when my family lived in Malacca in 1972-73. His eldest daughter was my classmate, and supplied his photos for this talk. 

45. Dr Ruby bt Abdul Majid (Dato Paduka Ruby Abdul Majeed)

Her daughter plans to write her biography.


General Medical Council (GMC)

Registration in the Colonial List of the Medical Register 1916

The Malay doctors were registered in the Colonial List of the Medical Register in 1916, and their names were published in the Straits Settlements Government Gazette in 1922.

Queen's Scholarship

Postgraduate studies

The Malay doctors mainly pursued postgraduate studies in England, Scotland and Ireland. Some went to the USA.

Diplomas, memberships, and fellowships

Challenges faced by the early Malay doctors

There were many challenges faced by the early Malay doctors, among them were:

1. Discrimination. Even though none of the doctors I interviewed mentioned about discrimination, I came across this topic from reading Ho Tak Ming's book on Dr Samsuddin Cassim and Datin Ragayah's book on Dr Ali Othman Merican. The issues were half-pay for native doctors with LMS diploma, and natives being second class citizen compared to white British officers, who could not fill a vacant post previously held by a British officer.

2. Involvement in politics. After the Japanese occupation in Malaya, when the British returned to reoccupy Malaya and wanted to install the Malayan Union, there was a lot of resistance from the populace. Many doctors came to assist but had to relinquish their jobs in the Government Service and open private clinics instead. They had no choice as political views and struggle were not allowed in British Malaya. It was a great time to fight for the Malayan independence and the Malay doctors headed organised groups and led the way.

3. A lot of diseases. Malaya and Singapore were infested with a lot of diseases. 

Phthisis refers to a progressively wasting condition eg pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB).
Bright's Disease refers to glomerulonephritis, a kidney disease, either acute or chronic nephritis.
Dropsy refers to oedema or edema, due to congestive heart failure.
Inanition refers to exhaustion from lack of nourishment (lack of food and water) or starvation.

This is my mother's immunisation booklet of 1967. This page says International Certificate of Vaccination or Revaccination Against Smallpox. It was stamped on 8 April 1967 by "Hasmah", Medical Officer of Health, North Kedah. This could be Dr Siti Hasmah.

This page says International Certificate of Vaccination or Revaccination Against Cholera. It was stamped on 8 April 1967 by "Hasmah", Medical Officer of Health, North Kedah. This could be Dr Siti Hasmah.

Contributions by the early Malay doctors

The European Hospital (also known as Bangsar Hospital or Crown Hospital) was for Europeans. It was demolished and the Public Health Institute (PHI) was built in its place. This photo and other photos of the European Hospital and description of the buildings in my books were provided by a Facebook friend, Arasu. He was in the Malaysian Airlines System (MAS). His father worked as a gardener and the family lived on the grounds of the hospital.

Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin served as the founder and first Director of the PHI. The mural on the PHI facade depicts Malaysian life. Tan Sri Raja Ahmad Noordin was passionate about this mural. Unfortunately, I could not print it in full colour in my book. He suggested that I visit the PHI, but I have not visited the PHI at all.

The old General Hospital established in 1890 became Tanglin Hospital. Today, it is a health centre and renamed Klinik Kesihatan Tanglin. There is a row of food stalls before this health centre that sells delicious nasi lemak, a famous Malaysian cuisine.

The District Hospital Kuala Lumpur was all long, low, wooden buildings on stilts (description by Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail). It was renamed the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur (Malay, Rumah Sakit Kuala Lumpur). Today, it is a mix of old and modern brick buildings and has been renamed Hospital Kuala Lumpur, or simply HKL.

There were 8 Hajj Doctors who served Malaya and Malaysia before Tabung Haji existed.
(More information on the Hajj Doctors later in another post.)

Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos served as a Hajj Doctor in the 1960s for 7 Hajj pilgrimages.

Many of the doctors assisted their communities with residential planning. In his post-retirement, Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos served as an Honorary Town Planner in Penang. He planned, reorganised the existing Malay houses and created Minden Heights in Glugor, a well-planned residential area, where he also lived. His last residence can be seen in this Google photo.

Many of the early Malay doctors were philanthropists. Dr Sulaiman donated his land for building this school. Sekolah Kebangsaan Dr Sulaiman, Tampin in Negeri Sembilan. The school has an enrolment of more than 400 students. Information about the land and school was provided by Nurfarahin bt Ismail (Moin), a final-year student at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) at Bachok Campus in 2017/18. Her family lives in Tampin.


Challenges faced by the author

4. Faces change as each doctor aged, from being young children, students to being doctors and after retirement and when elderly. Without family assistance in identifying the doctors in various photos, it was difficult for me to pick out photos which had the early Malay doctors in them. 
5. Dating photos. Undated photos are difficult to deal with because they have a place but the exact place to pin them is unknown as they have no exact dates or circa. When photos are undated, then I have to look at other photos and events to try and see where the photos should come in and try to date them or at least put a circa. Then they can be properly inserted into a biography.
6. Some place nowhere undated. This is most worrying. There is a photo of a nice place, but the event is unknown, date is unknown and nobody knows anything of the photo. To use a photo for any biography, at least something must be known about the photo. I can only guess the season by the apparel worn and the surrounding. I cannot tell the event - whether it was just visiting, a working holiday, attending short course or receiving an award.
7. Documents in languages other than English. German or Swiss certificates are difficult to decipher. I can try and use Google Translate or find a German or Swiss friend or expert. But I will need a good scan to see the text clearly before I can try translating.
8. Documents in 2 languages. It is helpful to have at least English as one of the languages. The main language can be the vernacular language of the territory, state, region or country.

Further research

10. Dr Hussain bin Abdul Ghany (Pahang?)           
11. Dr Mohamed Salleh bin Abdul Hamid (Johor)
12. Dr Mahmood Merican (Kelantan/KL)              


The last reference gives a list of all the graduates of the medical school since 1910.

Books and Facebook accounts

There are so far only 2 books on The Early Malay Doctors, which I have published. Each book has a Facebook account.

Research book.
Back cover: Portrait with name and by year of graduation. First Malay doctor at top left.

Facebook for the research book.

Biography book.
Contains 43 biographies of the early Malay doctors.

Facebook for the biography book.

Blog on Blogger

I have created a research blog on Blogger on The Early Malay Doctors in 2010. It portrays the research that I do on this topic, related activities and announcements. This blog is more than 8 years old now (going on 9). There were 601,299 hits on 21 May 2018 (more than half a million hits).

Anyone can become an author on this blog. I will need your email address to register you as an author. I will also need your smartphone # to text you messages.

Blog on this research, The Early Malay Doctors.


Klasika Media has offered to sell my books. Klasika Media has 2 outlets, one in Kajang and another in Bangi. These books are also available at the international book fair at PWTC in KL, under Khafilah Books.

Bookshops and retail

Many readers have told me that they also see my books at Kinokuniya and elsewhere. That is fine. My books are often sold out at Kinokuniya.

Readers can also purchase my books online. Just type the title of each book and a string of online shops will be listed. So far, the Book Depository is the cheapest and delivery is free (https://www.bookdepository.com/).

You can also help me to sell my books. If you wish to buy and then re-sell, you can buy in bulk cheaply from my publisher, Xlibris Corp. Go to their website (https://www.xlibris.com/) and search there. Let them know that you wish to buy and then sell my books. They should entertain you and give you discounts and free copies etc. Student groups, historical societies, associations, companies, etc can do this too. That way the book prices are much cheaper.

Undecided which book to buy?

The little brown book contains information on how I carried out this research.
The big yellow book contains detailed biographies of 43 doctors up till 2011.
Both books used British English spellings.
Proofreading was done by Xlibris Corp, by an English speaker.
Both books were published in 2012 by Xlibris Corp., USA with branches and offices worldwide.
Printing is done in by Lightning Source UK Ltd, Milton Keynes, UK. 
No printing of the 2 books is done in Malaysia.
The 2 books are imported into Malaysia and have to undergo Customs clearance at the airport. This is done by the courier company.

Closing slides