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


Thursday, 18 December 2008

The Milky Way

When I was a child, I was taught that Islam is no laughing matter and that anyone making fun of it will be plagued with blasphemy and hanged before they have the chance to experience marriage and ergo, legalized sex. Well,I was naive back then. Turned out, like most system, there are loopholes and I found amusement in religion from time to time. I thought the most amusing ones are the fatwa on tapai and of course, recently the Yoga thingymajigey, until I read this brilliant book by Syed Akbar Ali titled "Things In Common".

This book pointed out the practices that are common amongst religion, and as compared to the practices of the Muslims that are claimed to be stated in the Quran but are NOT. Again, I think Syed Akbar did a good job, although I do not have any commission in the sales of this book, I strongly recommend you pick it up because it is simply brilliant.

On page 18, he wrote,

" The other issue that made me jump was the fatwa in May 2007 by the famous Egyptian cleric Ezzat Attiya who is the Head of Department at Egypt's world famous Al Azhar University in Cairo. Al Azhar is considered the summa cum laude (of high academic distinction) or premier institution of Sunni religious scholarship in the world. Attiya had proclaimed that to avoid suspicion of an illicit relationship between a man and a woman who have to work together i the same office or room, (what we Malaysians would label khalwat) the man should breastfeed from the woman, to create 'blood relationship' between the tow, thus allowing the two to be together without any more fuss. This fatwa is not based on anything that is written in the Quran. We will also visit this issue in detail later in this book."

My nurse ran in to see what was that noise that came out from my room. What they've heard was the sound an unfamiliar gush of laughter through my long acclimated trachea. It's been a while since I have had a good laugh. In cyber jargon simply known as ROFLOL (Roll onto floor, laughing out loud).

This coming from the cleric, Head Department of Sunni's most prestigious Higher learning center makes one wonder in all honesty...WHY? and the even bigger question, HOW? (In cyber jargon simply known as WTF?!, or what the fish?!)

But this article is not about what may have been going on in the clerics deduction system, tucked away in the mysterious deep gray matter. The same kind of sea depth that took the Titanic. It may have been the heavy turban impinging onto his middle meningeal arteries, (one each side temple, partly responsible in supplying blood to the brain), for all I care. No, this article is to venture the possible consequences of that fatwa, should it be bestowed upon the Muslims in Egypt, or even in Malaysia , since we Al Azhar's biggest copy cats.

Here are some issues;

#1 : Unless the cleric had confused a woman to a cow, he should be aware that a woman doesn't have milk in her breasts at all times. For her to be able to milk her colleague, she has to have milk in her breasts, otherwise it will not be called breastfeeding,rather, a foreplay. How do we solve this problem?

#2. Even with the help of modern science, (which most clerics are not fond of, e.g. contraceptives) of which a general practitioner may have a few out of textbook tricks up his sleeve to induce milk production from a virgin's breasts, what if a lady needs to work with a different men alone in the room on separate occasions? Does she need to breastfeed all of them? It's difficult enough to augment lactation enough for one man, a few, may require an overdose of milk producing drugs, hence the side effects of that drug. A male doctor will come up happy from all this. Actually, all male will come out happy from all this. Gay men would not be too thrilled, but would be the only people benefiting from all this. Free milk for breakfast, like that school milk programme we use to have back in primary school.

#3. What if the two colleagues working together,have marriage in mind. In Malaysia, it is a common scenario that two people met their "jodoh" (spouse destined) at work. This fatwa may contribute further to the statistics of singleton.

#4. What if the woman is menopaused, there are women who experience early menarche (first menses) who would menopause before retirement age? Even modern science hitherto, cannot help her produce milk. Then what about this woman's daughter? She will have problems looking for men who are technically NOT HER BREASTFED-BROTHER to marry because, by the time the mother work till she is in her menopausal age, (imagine the number of men the mom had breastfed to get to where she is in her career) exactly how many men left available to marry? (and I have not included gays in this equation by the way)

#5 What if this same menopaused woman had lost track of who she had breastfed during her carrier climbing the corporate ladder, has a daughter who marries one of her breastfed-brother without realizing it,than later remembered, would that be considered as incest?

#6. What if a woman decided to wait and marry the right guy. By the time she finally found her true love, she would have been at the age where she had breastfed the entire men in her town (well, there are people who changes jobs like they change their sanitary pad ). What if she realized that she had fallen in love with a man she breastfed 6 years ago,( well, people may realize they love someone after some time...Remember "When Harry met Sally) and that it was that particular breastfeeding session that had instigated that unforgettable love in the first place. Again, would she be able to pursue her true love without committing incest?

#7 What if the men can produce milk,as some may suffer a medical condition? Some of the better known conditions leading to galactorrhea (producing milk from breasts) in men are prolactin-producing tumours (growth/cancer) and liver cirrhoses (condition where the liver shrank), a condition in which the normal degradation of male estrogens is impaired. So who has to breastfeed who then?

#8. Of course a couple can abuse this fatwa, by working too closely together in a Clinton-Lewinsky mannerism, and when they are caught, just shrug their shoulders and claim that they are blood relatives, (or should it be called milk relative?). It'll be more difficult to prove beyond any reasonable doubt if there were any milk involved in the breast suckling bond between the two. It's not that anyone can prove a breast have be suckled by so and so, like how a hymen can be determined intact or contrary, via vaginal examinations in rape cases. There's no "certificate of breastfeeding" like the marriage certificate is there?

Syed Akbar wrote in his book,"It is not surprising that (according to the media) the Al Azhar University dragged this religious scholar onto the rug and disciplined him for making such a fatwa. Bus Izzat Atiyya is not alone in promoting this idea. This idea is also written down in the bok Al Muwatta which I have mentioned earlier....."

Well, so the cleric's fatwa stirred Egypt and action was taken against him. But I can't help but wonder, how a man of his position could come up with such a fatwa. It's simply mind boggling. Even more mind boggling is knowing that there are more like him, out there, sitting in their offices, thinking. What these people think can be detrimental to the Muslims if their thoughts are put into action. Imagine if this breastfeeding fatwa became a reality. What will we call it then? The Milky Way?

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

WMD uncovered...

Alas !!! After about 8 years of searching, and just so before he left the oval office, Bush found his weapon of mass destruction...WMD, uncovered (from the feet of an Iraqi reporter..) . Unfortunately, he missed...and too bad humans only have two feet.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Chicken and Egg puzzle...or a vicious cycle?

I think the people responsible for producing intellects in this country, if such responsibility is deemed a priority, are stuck in a "chicken and egg" puzzle. Which one came first? The lack of intelligent people to create an intelligent education system in order to come up with the next generation of intellects, OR, lack of intellects produced as a result of a not so intelligent education system that gets absorbed into the system and come up with a less intellectual education system. Don't worry if you're confused, so was I at the time when I wrote that. After all, I'm a product of Malaysian Education System.

We do have intellects in Malaysia, of course, but not many I guess. I mean, the fact that Barisan National still hold a majority vote says it all. Take our DPM's comment on response to the Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy, for instance.

We do not want this (landslide incident) to happen all over again because there is a lot of public anger."

Now tell me that is an intelligent way to answer the press, or to even to think for that matter. This coming from the future Prime Minister by the way. In case you may think that I just made that one up, take a peep here . Never mind the four deaths this tragedy took away, and the property damage, after all, it's only 4, and not 40 or 400. This tragedy was only mentioned on the weather forecast in CNN, not even on the Breaking News. No foreign pressure.

And now the MPs in the Parliament are talking about the lack of intellectuals in our local Universities. They must be referring to the intellects that made it into the Parliament after they graduated from the universities perhaps...because I bump into intellects everyday, especially while blogging and on the net.

Here, fix yourself a cup of beverage and sip it slow while you read this in here;

Backbencher: Local students are intellectually weak

' ''They are lazy to do research and also can’t be bothered to read anything in English,'' he said when debating the Universities and University Colleges Bill yesterday.'

But wasn't it the government who stresses on Bahasa Malaysia so much, mainly because it is the most patriotic thing to do? Who would want to waste time studying English then. (Oh yes, I forgot...the ones with foresights) . English is not our mother tongue. That is why we need to vernaculate our education system. Even the topic in Bahasa Malaysia like "Ilmu Hisab" sounds more interesting than merely "mathematics", a boring English word. So why bother with English at varsity level ?

Why don't we provide text and reference books in Bahasa Malaysia in our universities? We have our dramas translated from even Latino languages, and some of the voices never changed since before I acquired my menarche, why not translate the entire library into Bahasa Kebanggaan, I mean Kebangsaan kita, since we want to be arrogant about our National language. Why suddenly stress the need to read anything in English at higher education level? Let's continue to pooh pooh English, after all, we produce our local graduates for purpose of them working in Malaysia. That word "globalization" is merely something that sounds good on televisyion when speeches are given by politicians.

Lazy? Why are the government grumbling about the varsity students being lazy? Your policy led them in there. With all the quotas for Bumiputras and all. I'm sure they are not referring to the non Malays when they say "lazy" because cream de la creme students can't possibly be lazy because they have to kill each other to get into that small portion of quotas into the university. Of course they were referring to the Malays. Well, not all Malays. There are hard working Malays but they still have to learn how to kiss asses if they want to make it into the real world.

I could almost hear the lazy students think. Why work hard when we have the NEP to back us up, even if we're substandard? Go on, feed us with fish, don't bother teaching us how to fish. It redefines "Pray not for an easy life, but the will and strength to go through it" to "Pray not for the courage to go through life, but for NEP to resume to make life easier". We'll only going to graduate and get absorbed into the governmental establishments and if we learn to kiss the right asses, we may even end up in parliament, just like you guys.

And then there's this statement;

"He said although they were not allowed to join political parties in universities, the Government was making the first progressive step by allowing students to be exposed to the activities of these organisations." Sounds very benign, but, in Malaysia, if you haven't developed the art of reading in between the lines yet, I suggest you master it. Can you see what I see? ( In a tone of the oracle in "Minority Report"), more like a prophecy rather than prediction.

Then he said;

" Khaled said students would be allowed to organize activities with politicians and political parties on issues related to education.".

Now, is that clearer of what? I don't know about you, but I don't think they have DAP, PAS , PKR etc in mind when they mention the word, "political parties". Surely you can predict the future now. Aaauuuuuuummmmmmmmm....

Makes me this crisis a chicken and egg puzzle, or a simple case of a vicious cycle...

Dr Jekyl and Dr Hyde...on a beautiful Sunday morning

I loathe Sunday duties. Even though its just from 9am till 11.30am, merely 2 and a half hours long, but convert that into Sunday timing,it feels like 2 and a half months. Still, despite what I call my occupational hazard, working on a time normally you roll around in bed enjoying the mornings that seem to last all afternoon, it's almost impossible not to feel resentment at all. But I try my best to sound up beat. Then again, I'm merely human.

A patient walked in after being called by the nurse.

Me : Good Morning !! Waited for patient to be seated then continued, "How may I help you today?"

Patient: "I have a very sore throat. It's been three days..."

Me : "Oh dear, any fever, running nose or coughing yet?"

Patient : "No..I just feel irritation in my throat"

Me : " What's that scar all about? ", I pointed to his neck.

Patient : "It's an old scar,it's nothing to do with the sore throat." It's not so much of what he said, it's how he said it. Like I'm wasting his time to diagnose his disease. Well, some people do have the art of describing an upper respiratory tract infection as though they are suffering from cancer of the throat. Some just need to be told that they are not okay, and have something more than what it seemed. This guy just wanted antibiotics I guess. It's as though anitbiotics is the answer to all medical prayers...ppaaahh!!

Hmm..just what I needed, a smarty pants on a bloody Sunday morning for my first patient. From that point onwards, the patient had single-handedly managed to switch the mild mannered Dr Jekyl in me, into the old version of Dr House, a.k.a. Dr Hyde...and well, he just had to put with the consequences of his rudeness.

Me already in Dr Hyde mode : "Oh, it could be related because some scars could lead to internal scars and insidiously habour susceptibility to debilitating diseases such as trauma induce cancers. " . Of course I can see that he did not really catch the bombastic words thrown in, but that is the fun part, watching a smarty pants get stripped off that pants.

I saw his pupils slowly dilating and thought to myself, hmmh....the trauma reaction to my bitchiness is too slow to call it fun, why don't I add some catalyst/ enhancer, then resumed,

" I had a patient who came in with symptoms of just coughing. For months he coughed and coughed and coughed, and he had seen a few specialists. One of them actually diagnosed him with asthma, which I thought was rather funny since he had no family history of asthma and he was not adopted either. Even specialists don't get it right all the time you know." I paused to check his reactions.

" A couple courses of potent antibiotics and a dozen of cough linctus later, he saw me and I palpated his tummy to see if there's anything in there. My hand felt a mass in his tummy of which turned out to be a malignant cancer in his stomach that had irritated his diagphram hence the persistent cough for past 4 months. It was stage four and he died hardly 3 months after that. Who would have thought eh? You cough and it turned out to be cancer, not in your lungs, but in your tummy."

Oh, finally it was working, because I could see the color had left his face. . And I felt avenged, smug and ready to switch back to Dr Hyde mode. Frankly, I don't like being Hyde, but he does come in handy when I need to shut some smart mouth up.

Patient : "Waa....can like that one ah?"

Me in transition mode back to Dr Jekyl : "That's why we doctors had to go through 5 grueling years in Medical School. So that we won't miss this little details"..paused and added, "Why you look pale.........."

Lesson of the day:

1. Try not to work on a Sunday
2. Really, don't work on Sundays
3. Don't try to be a smarty pants with a Smartier pants...they do what they do for a living. Even during a sleepwalk, they can do their jobs well. Talk about night terrrrrer.... that is why you have to go see them to ask for consultation. I don't even attempt to be smart when I deal with my lawyer....:->
4. Don't work on Sundays, period.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Muhibbah my ass......

In a way it was good that the in-house clinic at the bank was closed for renovation. I found myself stationed in another branch and as this particular branch is often not busy, they actually provide us with newspapers to read. True enough, I was forced to read the local papers (as I've been avoiding this for quite some time, given the morning sickness like symptoms they give me when I read them). Besides, I brought my notebook to work, but totally forgot to bring along the adapter, to which I've cursed myself with a series of interesting expletives like bone head and butter brain etc. So, it's either I read the papers to kill the boredom, or just kill myself to kill the boredom because people no longer feel when they're dead. But "because I'm worth it" in a L'Oreal manner, I decided, oh heck, why not. Papers don't kill. The invisible ink in between the lines does...all I've got to do to stay alive is to just read the printed lines.

Instantly, I was rudely reminded in a form of a sharp epigastric pain, of why I had stopped reading them in the first place. Browsing through the headlines of each pages, as I do when I browse through all the toilet cubicles to pick the cleanest one to do my dirty job,(it's a habit), my eyes caught sight of a headline on page 6 of "theSun" (it's free, yes this is a cheap skate clinic we're talking about, remember, not many patients means not much revenue, hence the free newspapers). Printed in red was "Divorcee mastermind" followed by black ink "held, drugs and arms seized." Well, actually, this one is more of a "WTF?!!" reaction rather than a response to high stomach acid secretions . In case you are the naive kind who do not know what "WTF" means, it's hype abbreviation for cyberspacers in expressing bewilderment, "What the Fuck?!!"

Honestly, to me, the word "Divorcee" is totally irrelevant. What is the writer trying to achieve by adding the fact that the mastermind was a divorcee. Why, he won't be a mastermind if he's not? Or is it that because he is a divorcee, he is prone to masterminding illegal activities, since he has more time at hand having no family to take care of? People...remember the mafias? They have families , like other people too. What point was the writer trying to convey really. Oh, by the way, the source of story was from Bernama.

Then all mathematical probability pertaining to the illegal activities being manned by divorcees, came to a sudden halt when my eyes were feasted upon a killer headline (like killing me softly with his pen kind of "killer"). This time all, including the prime minister in waiting, was printed in black except the word "preserve", "Najib: Govt will preserve vernacular schools". (Perhaps the writer is trying to emphasis the magnitude of importance of "preserving" as compared to the importance of a DPM himself.) Besides trying to handle the then already an acid reflux, I had to accommodate the sudden influx of questions running through my mind, all to summarise comes down to, again, "WTF?!!!" (but in a more angry tone, that is why it's in red, bold and Italic print)

Wait a minute. What was the excuse for using Bahasa Melayu as National Language again? Wasn't it, "It's to promote unity amongst the multiracial setting of Malaysia, to have this one language every race can communicate in." as I recall what was being taught in history at schools. (unless they pulled a 13May tale on this one too). But you don't have any problems separating the children altogether from even before they hit puberty. Exactly how does that work again? Did I just dropped a couple of IQ points and became an imbecile. Why can I not dig this?

Exactly how on earth are the kids in Tamil school and Chinese school going to communicate amongst each other? Bahasa Malaysia? Damn!! Even I, being a Malay , am not THAT religious when it comes to my own mother tongue application at school. Yes. I remember how, especially the Malay boys use to laugh at me, tease and mimic me when I speak in English. But hey, these are the same people, if even they reach universities, who would be crying blood in front of rack of reference books in English, at the library. Oh boo-hiphen-hoo...look who's having the last laugh you bozos !! One word, "fore sights"?

Then I am forced to think of the unthinkable ( not Malaysia, one gets suspicious at any government announcement first, then try to work out on how that may not be the case..). Perhaps they do not want the children to inter grate amongst racial. Why should they? It's a potential threat to the government's very existence. Kids will grow up to become the next generation. If they get along well in younger age, chances are they get along well as voters. This is definitely not good for race base parties. The next generation will maintain suspicion amongst races and hang on to the race based political front. See, don't need a rocket scientist or a harlot mathematical genius for this equation. Guess nothing much changed since the British occupation. We are still divided and ruled.

So remember, every time the government scream "Muhibbah", tell them to take a bow, go all the way and lick their own balls..if ever they have any, then scream back "Hypocrites!!!" . A word of caution though. If you are allergic to eggs, or hate eating or smelling them, better keep it down because that is what they serve in the ISA. Don't listen to me, if you can't afford to. I don't mind being detained. At least that is the only way I get to go off work. And if I'm being detained long enough, well, they won't get my portion of the tax revenue for as long as I'm out of the clinic. Besides, I love eggs.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Cheer them when they're underdogs and mock em when they're not - the Obama story

Here's something I bumped into while browsing through cyberspace. Keep yourselves occupied until my next posting....have a good weekend !!