This is an academic as well as a research website for my work and what I teach at the USM Medical School on History of Medicine. This website has information on history (prehistoric, historic and modern eras), updates on my two proposed books, and external links to related and relevant websites. There is information on links in Facebook, links to those who have rare photos in their albums. There are comments from readers embedded beneath some of the posts. There is a list of contributors (for one of the books). I will continue to add more information and links so readers and the larger Internet community have a good feel of what I teach and work on at the  university level. This work is also part of my love and hobby of writing and sharing information. Please also read the FAQ.

Information provided at this website is for educational purposes and research. A lot of effort is taken to provide the correct information and the relevant photos. All texts are written first hand as I understand each topic (story, biography, place, event, rite, etc). The texts and stories may be modified or combined in future when more evidence come to the fore.

Please check back frequently or provide feedback.

All photos belong to their rightful owners.

Thank you.



Prof Faridah Abdul Rashid
USM Kubang Kerian, Kelantan


Anonymous said...

Hello Prof Faridah

I came across a newspaper clipping from Apr 13 1948 featuring the "first" Malay woman to study medicine overseas. Perhaps you'd be interested in looking at it, since you have such a keen interest in the history of medicine.

Here is the link:

Not sure if this is the same doctor:

Faridah said...

TQ for your information and links. The lady is Datuk Paduka Dr Ruby Abdul Majeed.

Azlan Ismail @ Avon said...

Hi Prof Faridah, I'm a great admirer of your blog. It gives a good insight of Penang and people who have left a legacy on the island. I was particularly interested in the pictures of Dr Che Lah's former house at No 219 Solok Pemancar. I was raised at No 217 Jln Pemancar, which is just across the road. I still go back to the house whenever I had the opportunity as my relatives are still there. By the way, Dr Che Lah's former house is now owned by Datuk Syed Mohammed S.M Aidid and his sister, Sharifah Intan. I heard they want to sell off the house back in 2011 but the last I heard they decided to keep it. It's now re-painted and looks elegant. Best regards.

Faridah said...

Salam Azlan Ismail,

TQ for your interest & info. Are you Prof Asma's brother?

Azlan said...

Salam Prof,
No, I'm not the one. I don't remember any Prof Asma living along Jalan or Solok Pemancar. Maybe you can shed some light. During the 60s, I remember the late Dr Che Lah regularly walking along Solok Pemancar in his shorts. I also remembered his elegant American or British made car which I can't recall the model. After that, ex Penang Governor Raja Tun Uda occupied the house and I frequented the house since I know his grandchildren there. My late father together with his colleagues at Penang General Hospital (they were all Hospital Assistants at PGH) were the pioneers at the residential area along Solok Pemancar.They moved to the area around 1960 from the Hospital quarters in Dhoby Ghaut. I was raised there since then until I moved to KL in 1982. Around the early 70s, Raja Tun Uda sold the property to Datuk S M Aidid, who was a peer of my late father in Penang UMNO leadership of the 60s and 70s. Datuk S M Aidid's brother is Tan Sri Syed Hassan Aidid, who served as Penang UMNO chief from 1962-72. By the way, were you living in the house before?

Faridah said...

Salam Azlan Ismail,
When my grandfather retired from Pahang in 1958, he occupied this house at 219 Solok Pemancar. When my family lived in Alor Star, we often visited this house on weekends as my mother was Dr Che Lah's eldest daughter. She was Tulip Che Lah. I remember the house had very pretty mosaic and the walls were pink and green then. There's a pic of my mother & the kids at this house in this blog.

Prof Asma (VC USIM), Assoc Prof Umi Kalthom Ngah (USM Nibong Tebal) and myself were born in 1958 and we were classmates since Form 4-5-6 at TKC, Seremban and at Methodist Boys' School, Penang for Form 6.

Prof Asma's father is the late Ismail bin Abu Sittee, a London trained health officer who worked under Dr Che Lah in Penang. Abu Sittee previously worked under Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin (3rd DG) in Jitra before moving to Penang. The wife, Aminah Mohd Yusof worked as amah at a rural health clinic in Sg Dua in 1982 when I started working as a lecturer at USM Penang. Aminah is also the grandniece of Dr Abdul Latiff Razak, the first Malay doctor.

Syed Aidid's house is in Ayer Itam. My dad and I visited when he died. His daughter Dr Sharifah Mariam was with me at USM. The other sister Sh Hasnah was with me at the USM Medical School till we shifted to Kelantan in May 1990.

Dr Che Lah liked photography & cars. He had a Vauxhall in the 1960s. My mother had a red MGB(?) when she married in 1955. There was also a Hillman and an Austin. He once had a white Rolls Royce said the late Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin when I interviewed him in 2007.

My father's relative (Aziz Ibrahim & wife) and Dr Che Lah's relative (Dr SM Baboo) were involved in politics of 1960s-1970s. They all lost in the election.

I only know Raja Tun Uda from reading and when I interviewed Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid bin Ismail (Coco) in 2007. I don't know the family of Raja Tun Uda.

Azlan said...

Salam Prof,

In just gathered from my elder sister who is living at Jln Pemancar that Ismail Abu Sittee's house is about 700km down the road from our house. My elder sister knows the neighbourhood better than me. I do not know Prof Asma personally although I'm also a product of 1958. The late Ismail's house is next to Umi Sheikha's house, the famed Penang food caterer. Maybe you know Umi Sheikha because her daughter and son in law (Dr Wan Azizah's brother) is lecturing at USM. And yes, the late Tan Sri Syed Hassan's house is in Air Itam. He is a regular to our house at Jalan Pemancar in the 60s and 70s as my late father was his deputy in the state UMNO leadership. My elder sister, Mariam (b. 1946)remembered fondly your late uncle, Philip and his wife, Laili. Do you remember the two Alsatians barking within your grandfather's house regularly?:)

Faridah said...

Salam Azlan Ismail,

Kirim salam to your sister Mariam too.

I have heard of Umi Sheikha as I ate her good food at one of the USM meetings in Penang, and they told me about Umi Sheikha. But I don't know the daughter and son-in-law. Which faculty?

I attended Prof Asma's wedding to Prof Ahmad Zakaria some time in 1982/3 at the family home. I don't know the address now.

Your family home is quite near to my grandfather's 2nd home (demolished). I don't have a good photo of that house (nobody has anyway).

Yes, everybody loves and remembers Philip @ Md Noor. I don't have a good portrait of him except him as a little boy with my mother. My mother loved him dearly. I didn't know the wife's name. I thought it was Harisah? Penang GH still remembers Philip. TQ if Mariam still remembers him. I don't know when Uncle Philip was born. I haven't been to see his grave (unsure where it is exactly).

Yes, I remember the fierce Alsatians barking madly at anything that moved, including myself. One almost bit me! I could have died then, in the garden, by the roses, in the plant shed, while playing ting-ting.

It is good to know you are 54/55 this year. Send me your photo and I can upload here in this blog. Write about your family. I still don't have your parent's fullnames. You must write so I can tell my husband to drive me to Jalan Pemancar and see if we can pay your family a visit. Do you have any of my books yet?

Azlan said...

Yes, I'll send some of my photos and also our family in Penang (those nostalgic black and white ones)when I can. I love to see your collection of black and white photos including the pic taken with your siblings and mummy in front of the bungalow. Our house is actually next to Dr Che Lah's bungalow at 219 Solok Pemancar and not near the demolished house. The demolished house is further down the road, probably 1.5km away. I know that demolished house because I used to drive through that road regularly those days. According to Mariam, Dr Che Lah's first house in the neighbourhood is a single storey bungalow at Hala Pemancar, which is not far from the bungalow at 219 Solok Pemancar. The house still exists today and visible from the main road (Jln Sultan Azlan Shah). The bungalow at 219 Solok Pemancar is his second residence and the one demolished is his third before he moved to Minden Heights. Mariam also knew Kamaruddin and Kamariah, Dr Che Lah's other children. It's good that you drop by our house if you're in Penang as Mariam may be able to share some good old stories about Dr Che Lah's family life in Gelugor. I will normally be there during the Raya holidays or when the time I can take leave from my hectic schedule. By the way, my late father's biography is posted in the wikipedia bahasa melayu under Datuk Ismail Idris. You can gather some info on our family from the bio. I have not got your books yet. Let me know where I can purchase them?

Faridah said...

I read your father's bio at Wikipedia. I am not into politics and I have no interest in politics. I don't understand it very much either. I read about the 1969 election outcomes and the May incidences that ensued. That time I was living in Sabah, and came to know of Mahathir Lokman, now Datuk. He knew my late mother who was his late sister's teacher.

Your sister knows more about my grandfather than I do. I must meet her some day. Would she know where Dr Che Lah was born? Which village? Nobody seems to know. I have not seen his birth certificate.

I don't you at all. What is your occupation and where are you located today?

I heard about Dr Che Lah's Hala Pemancar house from an aunt but I don't know the house. Her father (Tok Daud) helped Dr Che Lah (Tok Wan) to obtain the house at Hala Pemancar and the one at 219 Solok Pemancar.

Din is from the Chinese matron. Kama was adopted. I see them off & on. I heard both are unwell.

Colin said...

For info on Dr Syed Mahmood Al Kudcy, you can contact his youngest son, Syed Zain Al Kudcy of Sycal Ventures

Faridah said...

Thank you, Colin.
I will continue to search for Dr Syed Mahmood Al Kudcy and contact his youngest son, Syed Zain Al Kudcy of Sycal Ventures.