Thursday, July 31, 2008

If Rectums Could Talk

It’s funny how everyone seems to be speculating on the events that might have taken place in that posh Damansara condominium. Overnight, every Ahmad, Ah Chong and Muthu have suddenly become experts in criminal forensics and rectal examination.

Inspired by South Park…

Greeting fellow Malaysians,

My name is Mohd Rektal bin Saiful. As the name suggests, I am the rectum of Mohd Saiful Bukhari. If you refer to the chart above, you will realise where I reside in Saiful-land.

Up till recently, I had led a humble and generally uneventful existence, except for the occasional episodes of colitis. I was thrust (no pun intended) into the limelight recently when my wonderful daddy alleged that he was sodomised against his will by none other than the larger than life Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

It’s funny how everyone seems to be speculating on the events that might have taken place in that posh Damansara condominium. Overnight, every Ahmad, Ah Chong and Muthu have suddenly become experts in criminal forensics and rectal examination. The undue pressure and unwanted attention has become too tremendous for one rectum to bear.

You see, we rectums are not to be confused with the anus more commonly and crudely referred to as the asshole. We don’t create crap and we certainly don’t contribute to it.

As you are all well-informed by now, I was recently examined by the unfortunate soul Dr. Mohammed Osman in the now notorious Hospital Pusrawi. The good doctor was probably bored and tired. He took a relatively brief medical history from daddy. He proceeded to document the relevant findings in typical medical jargon and in classical doctors’ scribble. Obviously, he was then unaware of the consequences that were headed his way. If he had the slightest clue that daddy was implicating Anwar Ibrahim, I am sure that Dr. Osman would have made a more detailed documentation and performed a more thorough examination on me.

That fateful and memorable day in Hospital Purawi, Dr. Mohammed Osman performed nothing more than a per rectal examination on me. A proctoscope and a detailed examination under anesthesia (EUA) should have been the rightful course if there was sufficient suspicion that me Mohd Rektal was indeed violated.
Both were not done. Dr. Osman couldn’t possibly have of course because he was just a general practitioner working in the casualty department earning an honest living to place food on the family table.

Anyway for some reason, my medical notes ended up on the internet which have probably by now reached the White House and some say the mansion of Robert Mugabe too.

I am so embarrassed but who cares about my feelings and dignity and right to confidentiality?

As it has turned out, most lay folks have been misled and further confused by the leaked medical notes, mostly because they swallow and digest everything they read on the internet without a pinch of salt.

Shrug…this is what happens when doctors write in bombastic jargon and secret symbols and obsolete hieroglyph instead of simple and clear human language with no possibility of any ambiguity.

The esteemed Dr. Muhammad Raffick Khan remarked that no clinician uses the ‘null’ symbol before a symptom or sign. This is greatly erroneous. Dr. POTS uses the ‘null’ symbol all the time previously as in ofever, obleeding to denote ‘no fever’ and ‘no bleeding’ respectively. Some smart ass however, thought that the null symbol meant ‘zero’ and thus Dr. Osman’s notes were interpreted as ‘zero bleeding’ and ‘zero ulcers’.

Dr. Osman however, made the right inference and a reasonable conclusion. He decided ‘to rule out (TRO) assault/sodomy’. It is far from a confident and outward rejection of a sodomy event. He merely remarked that as far as his physical examination was concerned, there was not notable evidence of an anorectal insult. Anwar Ibrahim and his political friends therefore, cannot employ the medical notes as concrete evidence to vindicate him of the sodomy charges. Dr. Osman’s notes however, do lend credence to the possibility of an on-going political conspiracy against Anwar.

Regardless, Dr. Osman rightfully sent daddy and me off to a government hospital for a more detailed rectal examination. The second physical I went through was even more horrowing than the first. I am still traumatized by the double assault in a short period of time. Daddy did not complain though.

Dear friends,

All you folks out there are under the impression that we rectums have an easy life. You have no idea what we go through every day. You eat one way and pass out the other with no concern for the labor we go through. We rectums and our neighbour the anus get injured in more ways than one you know.

Sodomy is common in the country and most decent homosexual men I know will employ some form of lubricant before making sweet love to their partners. It isn’t a fool-proof protection of course. Sensibly speaking however, if the elderly Anwar Ibrahim did forcibly sodomise my youthful and physically strong daddy, I doubt he had time to employ any lubricant to mask the evidence of forced sex.

I would have been greatly injured and sored by the repetitive insult, wouldn’t I? We rectums are nowhere as durable as tendons and ligaments you know.

Anyway, it’s not always about me.

It is startling and the wonder of wonders that that Anwar Ibrahim has no signs of any physical brawl upon his body to suggest resistance and struggle prior to the supposed sexual assault. I am sure my loving ayah Saiful would have protected me at any cost in the event of any impending harm upon my virgin soul.

Like I was saying, we rectums go through much more than sodomy in life.

Sometimes we face diarrhea thanks to the unhygienic Malaysian hawker food and end up all sore, flaccid and weak. Under such circumstances, my friend the anus gets very ugly, smelly and badly excoriated.

Sometimes it’s the other way around. When constipation strikes, I become all swollen and dilated in a very uncomfortable state of existence. When I finally get to release those dry and hard stools, my buddy Anas bin Saiful will end up getting anal fissures and sometimes hemorrhoids. In such situations, a per rectal examination like the one done by Dr. Osman will be extremely painful and possibly impossible. In all likelihood, it might in fact might easily be mistaken for a violated rectum.

What this humble rectum is trying to say is, the absence of any anorectal lesions does not redeem Anwar’s integrity. The presence of non-specific signs does not conclusively implicate him either.

Sigh…. I am getting really exhausted already. It’s late and I want to go to bed.

Dear people,

I am just one rectum in a sea of 23 million in Malaysia. I dread stealing the limelight from other pressing issues. It seems that little ol’ me have effectively taken the attention away from the crap-talking, bullshitting Lingam fella as well as the beautiful Altantuya whose rectum was allegedly similarly violated by the incumbent deputy prime minister.

My gosh, the pressure has really reached an intolerable state. The economy of Malaysia is hitting rock bottom while violent crime especially sexual assault upon young, innocent ladies is escalating beyond belief. I do not want to be held responsible if Malaysia collapses like Indonesia and the Philippines.

After all, I never wanted all this attention and probe and international notoriety.

By the way, do you know what I am really afraid of in life?

Rectal cancer. I heard the sufferers go through a tremendously tedious and high-risk surgery not to mention the possibility of chemotherapy thereafter.

Chronic illnesses including cancer are increasingly prevalent in Malaysia. I am not spared. The nation should concentrate public funds and effort in screening for chronic illness including rectal cancer instead of talking about one man’s rectum.

But then again, who would listen to me?

After all, I’m a passage for crap mistaken time and again for producing it.

Good night Malaysia.

Love you all lots (in a non-erotic manner),


Mohd Rektal bin Saiful Bukhari.
Read more!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Worthless Lives

UMNO and PAS can engage in all the pea-brainstorming orgies they desire on Malay unity, Islamic laws and a more Taliban-like Tanah Melayu. The fact remains, Malaysia is one of the easiest countries in which one can get an abortion done.

Worthless lives

How much is a live worth?

How much is YOUR life worth?

I’m not sure if it is possible to put a price tag on human lives or any lives for that matter. Increasingly however, the world does especially Forbes, MTV and E!

Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ net assets are estimated to hover around US$ 58 billion. Detractors and anti-capitalism believers can say what they want but Bill Gates is one man that has truly changed how the world operates on a daily basis. He may not have done it single handedly of course but for all the knowledge and pioneering technology, he is very well worth the multi-billion dollar price tag.

Trailing a far way behind is Tiger Woods. He is worth an estimated US 770 million for hitting golf balls regardless of whether he lands them in the hole at the end of the game. Sportsmen and sportswomen are often portrayed as role models for aspiring young minds. Their quotes are often cited to motivate and drive one to further heights. Their news, mementos, biographies and autobiographies sell as well as Microsoft Office applications, and these don’t even need to be authentic. Heck, they don’t necessarily need to perform up to the hype surrounding them. David Beckham makes more news form his fantasy love life with Victoria Spice than scoring goals yet he earns in one month more than a doctor can ever earn in a lifetime.

Then again of course, celebrities are always overrated and usually for no special talents or logical reason. When a health minister is caught in an extramarital affair on video, he resigns from the political scene and public at least for a while. When a dumb blonde and spoilt brat has her night-visioned sex videos leaked on the internet, the world hails her as a brave champion of feminism and western liberalism. In spite of all her lame movies, talent-less singing, distasteful dressing and a conspicuous absence of any beneficial contribution to humankind, Paris Hilton is worth at least US$ 30 million. Even her yelping Chihuahua with syndromic facies is worth 5,000 US dollars – that’s the cash price the billionaire heiress offered when Tinkerbell went missing only to be found later in Paris Hilton’s grandmother’s house.

These mind-boggling figures and nonsensical price tags overshadow many untold stories and unknown lives.

UMNO and PAS can engage in all the pea-brainstorming orgies they desire on Malay unity, Islamic laws and a more Taliban-like Tanah Melayu. The fact remains, Malaysia is one of the easiest countries in which one can get an abortion done. Next to transvestitism, illegal abortions are probably the second unifying trait among Malaysians of all religions, culture, ethnicity and ages and geographical origins. Legally speaking in fact, no abortion is illegal in Malaysia inv view that abortions are deemed justified and for medicinal intentions when the progress of pregnancy will eventually result in psychological upset to the unwilling mother.

If one browses through the records of shady abortion clinics, it is evident that Malaysia has lost millions of unborn lives over the years and across all ethnicities. If one spends a day observing the characters that requests abortions, there is little doubt that one will see human behavior in a different light altogether. Obese, middle- aged Muslim ladies in waist-length tudung, educated Chinese ladies in working attire, slim Kadazandusuns in spaghetti stripes and her Indian male companion – everyone wants to be an accomplice in the daily massacre of unborn babies.

A four-week old fetus goes for RM 300, an older eight-weeker for up to RM 700. They come out in tiny bits and torn pieces and get flushed down the sewage system.

That’s how much unborn babies are worth in Muslim Malaysia.

So much for Islam Hadhari and more veiled-up Malaysia.

Read more!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wishlist 2008

Things I Have:
1. An ageing Proton Saga
2. Nokia 3310
3. One heck of a stupid racist government
4. Holes in my pockets
5. A big, big mouth and a restless soul
6. Cockroaches in my kitchen
7. A DNR (Do not resuscitate) card signed and laminated
8. Fleeting thoughts and recurrent dreams
9. Repetitive stress injury and irritable bowel syndrome, I think
10. Much undeserved blessing in life

Things I Wish I Have:
1. A speedboat named Butter
2. High-end skateboards and a matching ramp
3. Loaded shotgun with unlimited ammunition
4. A winning lottery ticket
5. Crude oil reserve under my home
6. A time-travelling contraption
7. More hours in a day
8. Training weights and a proper gym set
9. Photographic memory but for the right stuff
10. Freedom of speech and freedom after speech

Things I Truly Need:
1. A feline companion with patience infinite
2. A plane ticket back home
3. Nasonex intranasal spray
4. Urgent haircut by a barber with no cataracts
5. Job offer from GlaxoSmithKline or any sympathetic drug company
6. Guy friends as back in university
7. Life insurance for RM 1 million
8. Immense willpower
9. A chance to make things right with Mother
10. Conversations with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost Read more!

Monday, July 21, 2008

"To Do" List

Things I Am Doing:
1. Hurting my loved ones
2. Fattening my animal friends
3. Laboring for money
4. Dreaming in oblivion
5. Reading with no gains
6. Wasting my youth
7. Waiting for lighting
8. Procrastinating the inevitable
9. Living in denial
10. Writing for no cause

Things I Fancy Doing:
1. Riding the waves
2. Fishing in deep sea
3. Skateboarding in X games
4. Diving in the Amazon river
5. Establish a nocturnal township
6. Go on a spending spree
7. Start myself on a course of Ritalin
8. Save the leatherback
9. Kick some asses, so many of them
10. Retire at 30

Things I Should Be Doing:
1. Pray thankfully
2. Write and call Brother
3. Buy a new car for Father
4. Study intensively
5. Exercise like I used to
6. Practise writing legibly
7. The laundry, the trash and the bills too
8. Learn Photoshop, Hokkien and the art of hypocrisy
9. Stop blogging
10. Go home Read more!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

University of Malaya Medical Student Intake (Extended Data)

Please refer to previous article for further discussion. Click on images for a larger view. Read more!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

University of Malaya Medical Student Intake 2000 vs 2008 (With Discussion)

This article intends to inform and reveal statistics as they really are.

I have divided the intake of students into the MBBS program by ethnicity and route of entry.

A Background Introduction

Entering the Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur is still the prized aspiration of many doctor-wannabes. The medical degree conferred by UM is the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) which is the title awarded by universities in the United Kingdom and Australia. Other local public universities like University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) confer medical degrees in the acronym of MD which stands for doctor of medicine (Latin: Medicinæ Doctor).

Contrary to the common but erroneous perception among pre-university students, there is no difference between the MBBS and MD medical degrees.

Up till 2001, University Malaya along with other local universities practised an intake of medical students based on a quota system. Under the quota system, the ratio of medical students was in the order of 6:3:1 that is, 60% of places for bumiputeras, 30% for Chinese Malaysians and 10% for Indian Malaysian students. Bumiputera students comprised both Malays and the non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak.

From 2002 onwards, the UMNO government introduced a system of ‘meritocracy’ whereby the intake of students into local universities was based solely on academic achievement without regards to co-curricular activities and ethnic background. Conventionally, bumiputera students took matriculation as the pre-university examinations while the non-bumiputeras took the STPM/Sixth Form examinations. There are occasional exceptions though these are rare. Some Malay students do take the STPM route and vice versa.

As of 2004, the non-bumiputera Chinese and Indians students were allocated 10% of the total matriculation seats. This was the beginning of a new era in the local universities especially for the most competitive courses. Beginning 2004, the majority of non-bumiputera students entering courses like medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and engineering courses were from matriculation background.

In addition, from 2001-2003, University of Malaya accepted additional students from the Royal College of Medicine Perak (RCMP) in a supposed and controversial twinning program between the two institutions. The number of RCMP students taken in between 2001-2003 numbered 13, 60 and 90 respectively. These comprised mostly bumiputera Malay students. Upon graduation, these students were conferred a medical degree indistinguishable from the degree awarded to ‘genuine’ University of Malaya medical students.

The Motive

This article intends to inform and reveal statistics as they really are. The numbers quoted do not include students accepted into the faculty from the Royal College of Medicine Perak.

I have divided the intake of students into the MBBS program by ethnicity and route of entry.

Schools of Thought
You are at liberty to draw your own conclusions by studying the charts and tables.

In order to facilitate thinking however, I have arbitrarily chosen three different points of view.

From a Racist Angle

The pre-‘meritocracy’ era ensure a minimum number of students from each major ethnic group. The bumiputeras made up 60% of the total intake, from which usually about 15 were composed of non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah/Sarawak. As seen from the charts, their numbers have dwindled from a pathetic 9% to a miserable 1% under the current so-called meritocracy system.

Indian Malaysians used to form 10% of the student population under the quota system, numbering around 15-18 depending on the total annual intake. In 2003, Indian Malaysian students were left in a quandary when they had but one solitary representative in the medical faculty of University Malaya. Since then however, their numbers have somehow reached a figure comparable to that under the quota system. Their absolute number may not have slid much, but the percentage has decreased remarkably. HINDRAF apologists should take note of this.

The supposedly marginalized Chinese Malaysians have the least to be dissatisfied over. From a mere 30% representation under the quota system, they have increased in both absolute numbers as well as percentage, forming about 40-50% of the annual student intake. This came at a costly price though, as most of these Chinese students were from matriculation background. The Chinese students from STPM background can never compete with the matriculation students despite attaining excellent results.

If ethnicity is the sole issue here, the non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak are the biggest losers among the races in meritocracy Malaysian style. Chinese Malaysians should zip up and continue throwing their support behind the beggar political party named MCA so that the MCA can continue their boot-licking heritage to beg and plead for the crumbs falling from UMNO’s golden platter.

It should not be forgotten that from 2001-2003, the Ministry of Education admitted additional Malay bumiputera students into the MBBS course via a backdoor named the Royal College of Medicine Perak. The official reported figures therefore do not reflect the actual student composition seated in the lecture halls of University Malaya Medical Faculty. When these RCMP students are added to the total student intake, the non-Malays student population in both absolute number and percentage falls to a very low figure indeed.

Do the maths yourself.

From an Academic Perspective

The essence of meritocracy is remarkably similar to Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’.

The pre-2002 quota system was a very flawed one.

Ethnicity was a very crucial criterion for acceptance into university, medical school included. Merit took second place and thus compromised the selection of students into every discipline. Universities had little or no autonomy as the selection of students was decided by the Unit Pusat Universiti (UPU), an institution under the Ministry of Education.

Academic achievements in national exams accounted for 90% of the points for entry into university while co-curricular achievements the remaining 10%. Many a time, students are tied in terms of academic achievements. The final deciding factor therefore was one’s co-curricular achievements. However, students are not required to submit their certified documents in order to support their claims of any grandiose extra-curricular activities.

The current system of meritocracy is no better and in fact worse. Since its introduction in 2002, the evaluation methodology has undergone such frequent changes that no one knows for sure what measures are employed to gauge students’ qualification into local universities.

Converting one’s STPM grades into a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) as practised for matriculation students is like trying to smell the color 9. It is not possible, not intelligent and is basically an effort of make-believe only. The two pre-university examinations are different in syllabus, level of difficulty, and criteria for final assessment.

The odds are heavily stacked against STPM candidates and therefore directly non-bumiputera students. Comparing STPM with matriculation results has resulted in the drastic drop in STPM students in competitive courses over the last five years. When the playing ground is unequal, true meritocracy and fair competition is practically impossible.

On another note, that the Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya has noticeably increased its annual intake of medical students by almost 30% over the last eight years. This is alarming in view of the limited resources in our local institutions. Like other public universities, University Malaya has lost a great number of experienced academicians over the years. Its teaching staff now comprises mostly junior lecturers who are still climbing their career ladder or themselves undergoing training under the Skim Latihan Akademik Bumiputera (SLAB) program. A great number of these SLAB lecturers have barely one year of clinical experience before joining the academic ranks. Can they be relied upon to provide quality teaching and sound guidance?

Infrastructures and facilities are also not unlimited. Laboratories that were designed to host 15 students are now cramming 25 students. The quality of teaching and learning is therefore significantly compromised. Small group teaching is almost non-existent.

Indeed, the oft repeated quantity versus quality axiom never goes stale.

More important than a student’s entry qualification is one’s performance throughout the duration of study and the quality of product upon graduation.

The entry of non-bumiputra students into matriculation and therefore university has vastly changed the university’s landscape. Non-bumiputra matriculation students now outnumber their STPM counterparts in ratio of 10:1. In the last five years, the performance of non-bumiputra students in most local universities has deteriorated remarkable, a phenomenon not previously seen commonly. Failure and dropout rates across the races have skyrocketed to alarming levels. In 2004, the first year when non-bumiputra matriculation students first entered university, the failure rates for medical students were as high as 15%. Over the years the failure rates have decreased somewhat but still significantly higher than yesteryears. One hypothesis is the lack of competition among students. Previously, weaker students were forced to measure up to the more competent ones. In a scenario where most are equally inept, there is no drive and motivation to rise beyond mediocrity.

We have yet to witness the graduating products of these students with predominant matriculation graduates. From their performance thus far in university, one cannot be labeled pessimistic for being less than hopeful.

From a Sensible Viewpoint

Malaysia doesn’t need a committee of experts and academicians to produce an expensive and much-hyped blueprint in Malaysian higher education.

It’s not rocket science, advance trigonometry or quantum physics.

At the heart of most pressing issues is political will. Where there is no will, there is no way our local institutions can lift itself out of the doldrums.

UMNO controls everything and the narcissistic UMNO mindset seeps far and wide into the upper echelons of local universities.

Selection of students may be meritocracy in rhetoric but very much race-based in practice. The ratio among the races has changed little since the inception of Malaysian meritocracy. In the background are probably unseen political forces and manipulative hands that ensure a certain distribution of races into the faculties. In short, the current meritocratic system is a quota system in disguise.

The non-Malay bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak have not really been marginalized in terms of university intake. They have simply opted to apply to University Malaysia Sarawak and University Malaysia Sabah for reasons that are obvious.

The university authorities are not oblivious to the radical plunge in the quality of students entering competitive courses like medicine. The apparent arrest of high failure rates beginning 2004 was not because of proactive measures taken by the universities but because the goal post has been moved and widened to allow for easier passage.

Importantly to note, an STPM or matriculation background is no guarantee of one’s performance in and beyond university. STPM students flunk examinations even in the so-called glorious days in the distant past. Similarly, matriculation students have aced assessments without the need of crutches or leaked questions.

Regardless, academic achievement in university is no reflection of one’s competency at work later on. It is however, a partial and reliable testimony of one’s attitude towards responsibilities and job commitments.

The solution to our higher education woes is not difficult actually.

The answer becomes obvious and clear when we look towards our tiny neighbour called Singapore.

Singapore stands tall among the shoulders of giants.
Read more!

Senseless in Sabah (1)

Please click on the above image and scrutinize it.

Does it make any sense to you?

A child born to Filipino parents receives an official birth certificate and by default Malaysian citizenship as documented above.

It's not a fake or Photoshopped document.

It's been ongoing ever since Sabah fell into the treacherous hands of UMNO.

Millions of Filipino kids have received bumiputera citizenship.

It's stupid, dumb but politically beneficial.

It's even more mind boggling when you are alerted to the fact that so many professionals with priceless skills and talents are denied permanent residency in Malaysia despite years of invaluable service to the Malaysian community. One consultant general surgeon educated and trained in USA has been applying for permanent residency for sixteen years. He has been rejected each time.

Lastly, it's totally blood-boiling that an estimated 15,000 Malaysian Indians born and bred in Tanah Melayu are currently without valid ICs and classified as 'stateless'.

And that is why I am not impressed or alarmed by Lim Kit Siang's article on how the Sultan of Sulu/North Borneo/Sabah is currently issuing birth certificates to Filipino babies.

Who gives a rat's ass about the Sultan of Sulu when we have the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara doing the same thing for free for these Filipino/Indonesian/Pakistani kids? Read more!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Quiet Thoughts From A Restless Soul

Here is the beginning of my post.

Quiet Thoughts From A Restless Soul

I used to think that one’s career and activities would make the person. That was many years ago of course.

I joined the Christian church at age eight and thought that I would immediately become a better person by default. That didn’t happen of course and I remained detestable and utterly repulsive until I was truly convicted of my transgressions ten years later on a lonely, quiet night in the solitude of that place called home. In the meantime, I was searching for something to form my desired identity in the walk of life.

I joined the boy scouts in secondary school and stood in attention as I recited the scouts’ honor every Saturday morning, foolishly believing that a weekly pledge would better my character and personality. I had the Ten Scouting Laws at the tip of my fingers, reminding myself to live out those ideals and lofty values in daily life. Little did I know that boy scouts are among the most sneaky and cunning characters around. The adventures and activities were enjoyable and educational. The camaraderie was refreshing and priceless. It came at a price though – my studies tumbled and I learnt many new and colorful terms that come in especially useful in times of conflicts and arguments. I attained King Scout-ship eventually but my character was far from the ideal boy scout that Lord Baden Powell wrote about. So much for Scout Laws and Pledges.

I entered medical school with more aims than just being a doctor five years later. I reckoned that the heavy demands and high expectations of the community upon a doctor might somehow force me to adopt a more honorable lifestyle and commendable worldview. I was mistaken and blatantly naïve for the umpteenth time of course. My first two months in medical school were all about kowtowing to ‘super seniors’ with an overinflated self-ego and a deplorable character to match. The medical fraternity it seems are stocked with variable personalities – drunkards, sex addicts, arrogant morons and self-centered prodigies. Not uncommonly, these traits co-exist within the same person simultaneously.

I wonder where I am getting with this article. I suppose my point is this – one’s career and position in life does not make one’s character.

One can be a doctor and a bull-shitting jerk at the same time. At least one consultant surgeon I know personifies this. One can be a evangelistic priest and a compulsive paedophile and do so while maintaining a clear conscience. One can be a committed father and a regular patron of paid sex with no apologies in between. One can be a religious teacher in waist-length tudung and still appear at a shady clinic seeking an abortion for a child conceived in an illicit affair with a fellow religious figure with goatie and skull cap. And of course, one can be a corrupted deputy prime minister and a masked murderer with no regrets or remorse.

More important than formal education and choosing the right companions are one’s experiences and events from the cradle to the grave.

I am what I am today because of what I have been through, which isn’t much compared to the Karen refugees of Burma and the Sudanese children under siege from the Arab janjaweeds.

I doubt I will be emphatic to the devastated mother of a special child if I did not grow up with Brother with Down Syndrome.

I doubt I can understand the daily struggles of a lady paralysed from the neck down had I not watched my own mother battling a crippling disease for ten years.

I doubt I can accept the stress and frustration of the family caring for a stroke patient if Grandfather is still around and up and walking.

It seems callous and cold and heartless, but I am grateful to God for the bitter experiences and hurtful events in my life.

Read more!

Random Thoughts, Deliberate Gaffes

I’m rushing to work and back and back to work again. I’m rushing to sort out one patient, only to have another waiting for me. I settle the mounting bills for the months, only to receive more in the mail box the next week or so. I read one chapter of paediatrics, and end up forgetting it all the very next day. It sounds like fatique and burnout but ironically, I remain energetic and sleepless and alert.

In times like these, it’s easy to whine and gripe about life.

Random Thoughts, Deliberate Gaffes

I have so busy lately, rushing mindlessly through the days and still achieving nothing notable.

It has been tremendously difficult trying to sit still and think and ponder and write.

The world is evolving at such a dizzying pace but I’m seemingly still stuck in the same old mould.

Some things don’t seem to change very much though.

Our politicians are still mudslinging like children in a mud pool, hurling accusations against each other at the expense of our intellectual and economic time. It is for this reason why politics and democracy in the United States of America remains the benchmark for the rest of the world. There are rarely if at all, any silly allegations and counter allegations. Their debates are arguments are never about sodomy and clogged drains and uncollected trash. Republican or Democrat, Obama or McCain, white, Hispanic or black, they reunite as a nation after a presidential elections and move on with the core businesses of running a nation.

We simply do not witness such maturity among our politicians – both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat alike. The UMNO government led by the incompetent Abdullah Badawi is still obsessed with discrediting the Pakatan politicians instead of brainstorming for measures to resuscitate the ailing Malaysian economy. Meanwhile on the other side of the divide, the Pakatan politicians had a field day and quite literally in fact, at the Kelana Jaya Stadium on July 6th making a lot of noise but no waves of positive change. The sufferings of the people are real and imminent I agree, but I do not see how a rock concert and many fiery speeches can bring about any alleviation and reprieve.

In the silver state of Perak Darul Ridzuan, two UMNO politicians have successfully lived up to their tradition of racism and narcissism. One Hamidah compared Indians to serpents and implied in a less than subtle manner that Indians are more venomous than a slithering reptile with forked tongue. Pasir Salak’s member of parliament, one Tajuddin Abdul Rahman further reminded all non-Malay Malaysians that they will always be regarded as nothing more than immigrants in Tanah Melayu while debating on the 9th Malaysian plan recently.

Talking about immigrants and illegal immigration, the Filipino government provided what they deemed was a splendid and brilliant idea on tackling in the increasing Filipino population residing illegally in Sabah. Their smart alec proposal to the state UMNO government was to legalize all aliens and grant them permanent resident status. There, problem solved - no more illegals in Sabah! The Filipino government’s proposal is utterly stupid, to put it bluntly. It explains why the Catholic-predominant nation has remained for decades in such a perverted mess and unsalvageable wreckage. It also reflects badly on the Sabah state government. When a foreign government has the audacity to make such a brainless suggestion at one’s face, it speaks volumes about the respect it has for the sovereignty of the Sabah state government, or the lack of it.

The exploding population of illegal immigrants was the main point of contention for the Sabah Progressive Party’s much publicized no-confidence motion on PM Abdullah Badawi. As was suspected, it was all typical BN sandiwara and Sabahan cowardice. The SAPP’s parliamentarian for Tawau, one Chua Soon Bui has clarified that the no-confidence motion will be postponed indefinitely in view that the UMNO government has appointed Najib Razak to spearhead efforts of eradicating illegal immigrants from Sabah. Lest one forgets, the deputy premier Najib Razak has his hands full just trying to clear his own name from allegations of murder, corruption and the latest, sodomy. Illegal immigration falls very very low indeed on his of immediate priorities, if at all.

A mother of seven is dying very soon. She was a bubbly, jovial and remarkably pleasant lady just over two weeks ago. She underwent a major operation to a very important organ in her body and I am not talking about her great big toe, although that’s important too. The bulbous nose of her surgeon was fully exposed for a great part of the surgery with bits of hideous hair hanging out of the overly large nostrils. Perhaps that is why she developed a severe infection after the surgery? Her doctors are still at a lost over the source of her infection. I suggest they nab this self-righteous, tough-talking surgeon, swab his nostrils and see if the bacterial culture yields anything. It’s just a suggestion, my two-cents worth for whatever it’s worth. Is it illegal and contemptuous to make academic suggestions these days, or will I end up in Kamunting because I question?

So yes, I’ve been busy, overly busy and unnecessarily busy, truth be told.

I’m rushing to work and back and back to work again. I’m rushing to sort out one patient, only to have another waiting for me. I settle the mounting bills for the months, only to receive more in the mail box the next week or so. I read one chapter of paediatrics, and end up forgetting it all the very next day. It sounds like fatique and burnout but ironically, I remain energetic and sleepless and alert.

In times like these, it’s easy to whine and gripe about life.

Sometimes I forget the blessings and privileges that I do have because I am so affixed on those I don’t.

Sometimes I lose sight of what’s really important and precious while fussing over what the trivial and small.

Sometimes I neglect the beauty and wonder of life when faced with so much ugliness and horror.

Sometimes I inadvertently block out the innocence and simplicity of days past in the process of building a future from wishful thinking.

Gosh, I miss the days I can fish for tilapia and haruan till dusk, return home with a bucket of fish and a body of mosquito sting. I miss the moments of lying idly with a feline bolster just stroking her underbelly and listening to her spellbinding purrs of pleasure. I miss the years of cycling for errands, ignoring red lights and traffic laws and patrolling cops. I miss those times Brother was still talkative and dreamy and mischievous.

I miss a lot of the past although the past was never that sweet and glorious when it was the present.

Life and age call us to action and service when we’re least prepared for it.

Life is such, POTS, face it.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Angel In White

Her silk-like hair with a matching shine hung loosely at waist level and was left untied, rocking eccentrically with every labored step uphill. It was ruffled and perhaps in disarray, which only added to her appeal in the eyes of the beholder. Her crown was as lively as the person herself.

The Angel in White
She jogged around University Malaya every evening. It was rumored that her beauty was nothing less than captivating and enchanting. Any passer-by be it a fellow jogger, a nonchalant motorist driving by and students returning from their late afternoon classes will pause in their steps to steal a glance of this wonderful creation of God.

The five of us then medical students were traveling up the hill towards the Clinical Students’ Hostel one Wednesday evening.

An unfamiliar-looking lass jogging uphill came into our view - her back facing us as she devotedly went on her daily route. She stood at probably close to six feet, her perfects curves magnified so extravagantly by her above average height. Her silk-like hair with a matching shine hung loosely at waist level and was left untied, rocking eccentrically with every labored step uphill. It was ruffled and perhaps in disarray, which only added to her appeal in the eyes of the beholder. Her crown was as lively as the person herself.

She was clad in a sleeveless white tee that was perfectly bleached and without blemish. Her back was soaked thoroughly with sweat, an earnest testimony to the grueling regimen that she was putting herself through each day just to stay in stunning shape. Her sweat-drenched top revealed an underlying black sports bra.

Her long slender legs with fair-colored skin tirelessly made their way up the arduous 6th College hill. She donned grey short pants with a faded tinge that were nothing less than sensual - skin-tight and undoubtedly but comfortable and easy to the observer. They covered the essentials adequately but yet at the same time revealed enough to sustain one’s interest and curiosity. Between the ends of her top and shorts was a two-finger breadth area that exposed the bare skin of her waist.

We watched intensely as we closed up on this young lady who had all the assets to make a great model. We crossed our fingers and wished that she would turn around to allow us a brief glimpse of her frontal appearance. It will be nothing less than mesmerizing.

She didn’t.

So we did, as we passed her by finally.

And it was with such unspeakable regret that we did.

Her forehead was high, much too high for a lady. Her cheek bones were prominent and very unusual for the fairer sex. Coupled with a protruding mandible and the acute angle at which it did so, the lady angel in white was raising suspicions beyond our belief. Her gargantuan Adam’s apple and noticeably broad shoulders from the front view erased any doubts of the concealed truth that has evaded us thus far.

Well, those were one of those doggone moments during my student days in University Malaya.

We came to learn later that the jogger transsexual was popularly called Betty around the UM campus. She remained omnipresent around the university grounds She can be seen running ever so rigorously or merely engaging in a hearty laugh in a deep, testosterone-stoned voice among her fellow effeminate male friends.

We recovered eventually over the initial shock and startling discovery. Over time of course, our interest in Betty’s showy attires and exaggerated body language waned and refocused on more pressing issues in our medical studies.

Ladylike Men and Manly Ladies
I am not sure about other local universities, but good ol’ University Malaya has a strong and united community of transsexuals and effeminate males and gay students. In spite of all their forceful efforts of Islamization in our centers of higher learning, there is little the UMNO-appointed university administrators can do when it comes to men who have sex with other men.

I had a gay roommate back in first year of medical school. Let’s just name him Ali. To be precise, I had gay roommates because my official roommate was inseparable from his partner and insisted on having some company in bed.

It was an initial culture shock because like other blue-eyed freshie in the premier medical school of the nation, a homosexual fellow student wasn’t exactly what I had anticipated or wished for.

I slept with the lights on and usually well after my homosexual roommate(s) was fast asleep after their shared sweet moments in the warm embrace of each other. It was better to be careful and safe than sorry and sore. Perhaps I was paranoid and homophobic, or maybe I simply loved the rectum that God gave me.

It was a period of enlightenment nonetheless. I observed with amusement as two gay men quarreled like any heterosexual couple in spite of my presence. My roommate Ali was the ‘lady’ and cried easily after yet another row with his manipulative companion from the dental faculty. I was locked countless of times out of my own room when Ali in yet another tantrum-throwing episode, denied his first love entry into their chamber of romance. They yelled at each other and screamed, then made up and whispered loving words only to end up yelling and screaming again in a vicious cycle of a troubled love affair.

Ali was eccentric and emotional and nice. He wore his towel up to his armpits but was courteous and clean. He spoke and laughed like Paris Hilton but with none of the profanities of a stereotype Hollywood star. His English was perfect and punctuated with flawless grammar and vivid expressions. He was emotional and fragile and that was very much expected. Ali was not proud of his choices and sexuality. He was at a stage of soul searching I supposed. He berated himself for appearing pious every evening in the college surau and thereafter engage in an illicit liason with a fellow Muslim who too, had just returned from the prayer room.

Their roller coaster relationship affected my studies somewhat. Three’s a crowd and especially more so in the undersized hostel rooms of University Malaya. They lasted three months before Ali decided to move out in a vain attempt to avoid his prince charming with an Osama-like goatee.

I doubt his strategy worked, for before long they were reconciled again in a union of no foreseeable ever after. He lost himself even more later on in medical school, failing exams repeatedly despite being a relatively fast learner. The gay and effeminate community in university grew larger over the years. They moved as a united happy-go-lucky group with the flamboyant Betty as their de facto village head. Ali became a regular face among this daily gay parade and presumably, he felt most accepted among others like himself.

I lost contact with Ali after he failed his final examinations. It is hard to study to be a doctor when one aspires to be a woman. Ali does not in any manner typify gay men. Heck, one does not need to giggle with hands over the mouth in order to be gay. Similarly, one who does so isn’t necessarily lustfully eyeing that muscular college swimmer.

Anwar, Saiful and an Endless Rectal Examination
The whole nation is abuzz and reawakened politically after the first revolution of March 8th. The coffee shop talk and blog discussions are inescapably over the latest developments in Anwar’s alleged act of sodomy upon one Saiful Bhukari.

Photo evidence has emerged to suggest that the accuser has been an UMNO spy all along.

In the midst of all the accusations and counter accusations, we seem to have forgotten that the alleged victim was sent for a physical examination which inexorably included a close examination of the rectum. This is one all-important rectal examination which will alter the political landscape of Malaysia. It is also perhaps one of the longest and secretive one.

Are our wise and esteemed medical examiners brainstorming over their findings in Saiful Bhukari’s rectum? Perhaps they are writing a thesis in preparation for the next world Gay Pride celebrations.

Suspicious isn’t it?

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