Words of Wisdom ...or so it seems...


Monday, 26 November 2007

Reality Bites....

I gave my old Uni a tour during the weekend. I cannot explain the emotions that gushes through me but, reminiscening my student life gave me a stir from deep down. I realised that, I missed being in such an overwhelmingly fun ambience. It was no fun when your face use to break out with endless zits because you're all stressed out about not just passing, but scoring the examinations. It was a euphoric experience as a whole. wonder I hardly have any boys asking me out on a date back then. To be honest with you, I would have been oblivious to a boy's advances towards me, because I was so preoccupied with studies and my sports activities. Life was so simple back then. Your only worry was to score in your exams, and try not to twist any part of your body while doing all the stunts in sports, so that you'd be fit to attend lectures and examinations. Carefree would almost always be true to describe my life back in the student days.

Everyone should have the chance to further their studies if you ask me. We must see knowlege as something to embrace simply because it is knowlege and to me, any knowlege is sacred. It should not be regarded as only a portal towards material gains. That is why the concept of Open University appeals to me. Even in the West, an old granny can come back to college and complete her degree, should she chose to do so.

And by everyone, I mean EVERYONE who wants to, regardless of any discrimating criterion, even by age, at any point of their lives. Our present system unfortunately, is less sympathetic towards failure. Every human being have their own journey in life, that is called drama. Not everyone is lucky enough to be born without problems at the tender age. Sadly, the system has less empathy than it should and it is not very forgiving to those who have missed the boat, so to speak.

A society who are uneducated, poor and left out, have basically, have nothing to loose. This makes them dangerous and in most cases, they will come back to haunt the rest of the society. The learned bears upon them the responsibility to not allow any individuals to become this threat. Take NEP for example. The idea is brilliant , yet, what lies at fault is the implementation. The government took care of majority the poor malays. What went wrong was the allowance of manupulation and abuse of NEP that lead the rich, using Bumiputra status gain favours meant for poor people and become richer. But we must not forget the poor Indians in the estates that suffered negligence. There are poor chineses too. It is simply not right. There is no religion that will allow any form of discrimation, especially not by race. We must all get back to the roots of all religion to realise, that they are there for one purpose, and that is to unite human beings as one. It sounds idealistic and unpractical, because we have let the system make it that way.

You can say to me, "'s easy for you to say, you've benefited from the biasiswa, and have an improved life". True. I benefited from just being a Malay in this country, and I consider myself lucky, and I thank the political pioneers who came up with this brilliant idea of decreasing if not abolishing the gap between the rich and the poor. But gaining knowlege and being educated, comes with a price and it is called responsibility. I am now responsible to the society and by society, it is regardless of race, religion, gender etc. It leaves me no choice however, but to point out that NEP is a brilliant idea. But what we really need is the sincerity of it's implementation. The word poor should be defined as it is, and not be smeared by other criterion. Let "poor" define it's criterion as is.

What happened at the Hindu demonstration in KL yesterday was long overdued. It would not have occured had NEP was successfully executed. If you were to ask me, I think that the Indians should send a thank you card to the British Government, for saving them and their generations from the poverty they most likely will be in, had the British did not transported them into Malaya. If there's any government that needed suing, it's the Malaysian government for the failure and abuse of implementation of NEP.

Racism exist because not only we allow it to exist, but we quietly encourage it on pretext of sustaining our culture. We build Tamil, Sekolah Kebangsaan, Sekolah China , Sekolah dan lain lain or whatever not, in the name of preserving our culture. What it means, I cannot decipher. We can preserve our culture and our mother tongue simply by being born into it and learning at home. What we need, is an intergrated school with English language as a medium. We can no longer be arrogant about Bahasa Malaysia as medium to our schools because clearly, it had it's chance and it failed miserably. Besides, half of BM is derived from Persian and English language anyway. Let's not make hypocracy our culture too. It's bad enough trying to combat bribery, another resilient culture to shake off, but that is another story. I sometimes cannot hide a smirky smile when I see people wearing badges with theme like, "saya anti rasuah". That is because, being a Malaysian, I have mastered the art of reading between the lines and I could have sworn I could still catch the glimpse of the letter "N" preceding the word "anti rasuah"...

All we need today, is less racism, if not obsolete, and more humanity and the sincerity to sustain it. I know it is idealistic, but almost everything, begins with an idea ( except for those who chose to be ignorant and find that their urine pregnancy test was positive after missing 6 months of period. Obviously, she had no idea....)

Monday, 19 November 2007

Hey!! Parents!!! Leave us kids aloooooneeee.......

I never thought that I'd live to see the day, that a child, in malaysia, would commit suicide because she did not obtained the anticipated 5As in her UPSR. The very thought of it gives me the goosebumps. Subashini, a 12year old girl from Nibong Tebal appeared in The Star todays issue (Monday 19th Nov 2007), for the wrong reasons.

In case you are wondering, how come a supposedly busy doctor like me have time to read the papers on a Monday morning, when the clinics are normally busy attending to people who are:

1. Genuinely sick( a rare thing) and not fit for work(i call them "pesakit"/ "the diseased")

2. Pretending to be sick and extort doctors for MC, as though it is their birth right (I call them "penyakit"/ "the disease" because they make ME sick)

3. Not really sick but don't really want to go to work. Just try their luck for MCs anyway. (smarty pants)

4. Sick yet even given anMC insist on going to work (workaholics and irresponsible to others' health, because they are the disease carriers)

4. or have planned weeks ahead, to get sick on Mondays, Fridays, Federal Territory day, Thaipusam and Hari Gawai.

5. or come end of the year, have used up their annual leave and have no choice but to extort doctors for MCs, to cover up for their holiday plans. (notice the word "extortion" that comes up twice? We doctors get a lot of it our occupational hazard. )

So how come I am free on a Monday morning? (bear with me for a moment of side track)
Well, our clinics cover mostly offices. If you can crawl out of bed, get dressed (and most women can still bother about appearances), get in the car, have the energy to drive on the Malaysian road, and come see us, I guess you are fit to go to work, which only requires sitting down on your asses and try not to fall asleep from the tiredness of the weekend's excitements. So, we do not really get that many patients on mondays because they tend to go to clinics nearby their houses and not risk getting medical attention from sadist doctor like me.

Back to the context of a girl who commited suicide just because she did not score 5As ( she got 4Bs and 1C , which, if you ask me, I'd pat her back for getting the good results), it is a wake up call for us Malaysians. It's been going on for years now. The parents would be the ones boasting about how their children had obtained straight A-s for any major exams in Malaysia, albeit sometimes they themselves never did get pass primary school during their time. It's the parents competing against each other, more because they probably felt that they had not done that well in life, for whatever reason and that their children end up paying for the continuation of that dream and of what they could not achieve when they were children themselves.

I am sure every parents should be proud of their children's achievements, but let's not try to go overboard. For god's sakes, it's just UPSR and 12year olds sit for them. They are merely children!!! Let them have their childhood , at the time they are still children. (remember what happened to Michael Jackson??)

I see parents sending their children for tuition at a very young age,for very long hours, so much so, the weekends are jam packed with studying instead of just busy being children, and spending quality time with families. It's a form of child abuse if you ask me, depriving children of their childhood!! Don't let me start on how heavy their school bags are. One day 4 generations from now, Malaysians would probably not have a national basket ball team, because everyone becomes a midget or perhaps self induce scoliosis, no thank you to that heavy school bags.

I can understand if you need to push those sitting for SRP and SPM, or whatever it is they call it hitherto. Life has been competitive lately, and children need constant encouragement, some pushing.(okay, some, more of shoving..) But UPSR................come on Malaysian!! We can do better than that!!

According to scientific research, children's creativity is 5fold more than that of the adults. (Some of my patients would comfirm this lack of imagination amongst adults when they come to me for problems concerning their "bed time stories". Sigh. Another one of my occupational hazard.) It is us adults who dampens and supress this gift. I'm no longer talking about bed time stories, just to keep you on track. One of the toy for kids to play are boxes. Yes, you heard me right. Boxes. To children, boxes can become spaceships, Barbie doll house, a transmorgafier (a machine that demolecularizes and remolecularizes in order to transport a person from point A to point B). What? Never heard of transmorgafiers? Well, that is because you are an adult and you've forgotten where human imagination can take you. Get my point?

A waste of time you say? Well, the geniuses and scientists of the past created their invention by first, imagining them. Have you ever wondered how come Malaysians do not come up with any geniuses or mavericks? You are correct. It's because malaysian kids have not time to sit and imagine because they are busy rushing for Kumon and tuition classes? There, I rest my case. Another reason, if I may point out, is probably because children below the age of 13 are prohibited to enter the adult section in our national libraries, or most libraries, I dare say. We tell them that they cannot comprehend adult literature.We insist that they should stick to kiddy books. We set the bar lower than what they themselves believe they can achieve. Who killed the potential geniuses again? Can't hear you..say it louder...yes, we did.

I remember a fellow student of our Medical faculty. She was caught just in the nick of time, when she sat at the edge of our hostel rooftop, crying, " I can fly........". She was Trengganu top student SPM during our year. Turned out, she never did want to enroll into Medical School but it was the parents who had forced her into it. Top student folks. She dropped out of medical school after obviously making her sentiments heard, and today, she is a very happy mother of two and a successful bussiness woman.

What should we parents do then? Our job is not to tell them what they should do, instead, nurture and guide them towards discovering their fullest potential as a human being. Oh sure the title "Dr" sounds impressive added ahead of one's name, but there are some people who carry these titles with a heart that repents. Ever heard of doctor's killing someone, or selling legal drug combos, then being murdered by the addicts? I guess these are examples of individuals who are unhappy with what they are.

My daughter doesn't really know what she wants to become, yet. But she told me that she may not be sure of her ambition, but she is pretty sure it is not to become a doctor!!! I respect that. I know I will support her decision once she comes up with it. In the meantime, I've got to work hard to equipt her with the wisdom of determining what she wants to make out of herself then support the whole process of getting there (and quietly pray that she would not want to become a criminal of sort, although a genius hacker may come in handy in view of wiping my credit card bills).

Amongst adults,we keep saying "keep your inner child alive". So let us not kill that "child" in our children. Let's not rob our children out of their childhood. Perhaps, they will grow gracefully into a wise adult. Wisdom is something we could use more in our lives. Stop putting unnecessary pressure on our kids. Be nice to them. After all, they are the ones who will probably determine which old folks home they would want to send us to, sometime in the near future.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Adoi mak sakit nya........

I got my heart broken a couple of weeks ago. Oh boo hiphen hoo say you. I know. It's such a cliche. It doesn't matter how I got it broken,.. again, if I may add ( hey, I'm a bloody aries and we rams are fond of getting our horns tangled up in nonsense, but oh, we get out of trouble faster then we get into them!!) . Like I said. It doesn't matter how I got it broken, it's ....broken. Funny though, how, despite breaking it too frequent for comfort, ( like having samy's impending toll ), I could never really get use to it. I ram my car, into lots of things lots of times, but I got use to it, so much so I could probably write a book titled, "Car accidents for dummies (in malaysia)". Well, obviously it was not me who wrote "Dating for Dummies", look where I ended up!!

Am I causing discomfort to you, just being emotional like this? Well, too bad. Live with it. My other writings have most of the time been up beat. This is better than going to the shrink. I tried talking to my Petunia plants. They all died last week. I miss dating before I reach the age where I grew common sense. Don't you? It's so, safe, and easy going without any expectations. Now, just as I've finally gotten my head together, my body seem to be falling apart and truthfully, trying to find a life partner at this age is terrifying experience and I blame it on my brains. I think too much. It's true what Oscar Wilde said, "Thinking kills romance". I think it is easier when you are naive. And dumb. And bisexual, if I may add.(jeez, one can never run out of dates with such orientations)... No wonder men find blondes fun. Hmmmh....

What? Get to the point? There is no point. Blabbering is good for broken hearts. I know I will be okay again. But in the meantime, bear with me..

Just a note for those of you who hit bottom rock. I got this from my favourite read this year, "How to kill your husband (and other useful household hints)" by Katty Lette, and I quote,
" When you hit bottom rock, there is no any other way to go except up".....

Oh what the heck!! I'll throw in my grandmother's fav quote, just for old times sakes, "Eleh...mati pun sorang jugok"...grandmother's...they make complete sense even when they don't. In other words, "Alone again, naturally..."