How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cheng Boon Ong: Mygration Story: Postcolonial musings from Asia to Europe

United Nations University (UNU-MERIT):

"Our ‘Mygration Story’ series tracks the family histories of staff and fellows at UNU. The aim is to show that many of us owe our lives and careers to the courage of migrant ancestors. People who left their homes to build safer or better lives — for themselves and for their children. With this monthly series we want to show that migration is not an historical aberration, but a surprisingly common element in family histories worldwide."

"It’s difficult to be wholeheartedly critical of colonialism when one’s family history is so closely intertwined with it. My great-grandparents joined the historical wave of Chinese labour emigration of the late 19th and early 20thcentury to what was then British Malaya. My home city of Batu Gajah was a boom town for tin mining, and for decades a colonial district capital with a courthouse, hospital and horse racing track. Both my parents were born before the country’s independence, schooled in the English language, and ultimately met while studying in England in the early 1970s. (And even today, Malaysians make up one of the largest international student communities in the UK.)"

Cheng Boon Ong
"About the Author
Cheng is an affiliated researcher at UNU-MERIT, and holds a PhD in Public Policy and Policy Analysis from Maastricht University. Currently, she is a humanitarian assessment officer for Yemen at REACH, a joint initiative of two international NGOs (ACTED and IMPACT) and the United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT)."

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

End of the road for some cancer patients seeking treatment in government hospitals?

My last visit to SOPD was devastating when I was referred to Palliative Care Unit. All along, I had the impression PCU is like death row, with patients waiting to die, but given medication to alleviate suffering. Sure enough, I was told I could be given morphine (only available in GH) if the pain becomes unbearable. In the process of registration, the question on my religion adds to the morbidity of reference to the eventuality. When I said I was expecting cure, it seemed out of place in PCU, with other patients and even doctors looking at me, as if with disbelief!

Slowly, but surely, the reality of GH's limitations and constraints sets in. The reason why my previous visit to oncologist in HKL did not result in prescriptions became clear when I learned that budget cuts had resulted in quotas which were quickly filled. Now even government pensioners have to pay for drugs, which I presume, relate to those expensive cancer ones, for starters.

In other words, for those who cannot afford exorbitant charges of private medical centres, it is practically end of the road, unless there are options in alternate cures. There are so many in the market that it can be confusing. Each supplier will swear by his or her products. Each of us has only one life, so the question of testing any one product could be fatal, if proven ineffective, without timely medical attention.

Meanwhile, I will have to remain positive (B+ happens to be my blood type) while I wait to see oncologist with my latest PET Scan report.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

There are many ways to fight a battle

Lately, we have witnessed the sabre-rattling stance between North Korea and USA. The threat of nuclear war is alarming and cannot be discounted.

China has been spreading its economic power in Africa and elsewhere where there is an urgent need, which effectively gain itself friendship as well as immense influence in the process. Its special interest in South China Sea has seen the building of military bases within, with total disregard of international verdict at The Hague. Besides, it is investing heavily in Malaysia which many believe it can gain undue political influence from Malaysian leaders.

But how many of us have ever thought of using education as a weapon of destruction?

A University professor wrote an expressive message to his students at the doctorate, masters and bachelors levels and placed it at the entrance in a university in South Africa. 

And this is the message:

*"Collapsing any nation does not require use of atomic bombs or the use of long range missiles. It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating in the examinations by the students".*

The patient dies in the hands of such doctors

And the buildings collapse in the hands of such engineers

And the money is lost in the hands of such accountants

And humanity dies in the hands of such religious scholars

And justice is lost in the hands of such judges...

*"The collapse of education is the collapse of the nation"*

Malaysia has all along shy away from meritocracy in education, unlike Singapore. The latter gained from the brain drain of Malaysians unappreciated locally, and prospered to become one of the most advanced and richest nation in the world.

Through its own lack of foresight or nationalistic reasons, the level of education dropped drastically since it gained independence in 1957. Will we see the collapse of Malaysia in the long term because of this? Collapse seems too strong a term, but in comparison, the glaring success of Singapore which has nothing but human resources, and that also depended partially on foreign input, would put Malaysia which has natural resources to shame.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

In my search for cancer cure

A fellow cancer survivor chanced upon Dr Alex Tang's Multidisciplinary Oncology Symposium, after having been referred by a specialist in Ipoh.

In my own case, Ipoh GH has its limitations in terms of facilities and staff. Had a major colon surgery and confirmed as Stage 4, I had been through 12 cycles of chemo drug taken orally. I could sense the specialists are under severe constraints as follows, especially in view of the recent budget cuts:

1. Only general surgeries are available in Ipoh and specialist surgeries have to be referred to Selayang, KL or Penang, for instance. Even those hospitals have stopped accepting referrals. So patients of urgent cases have to consider private medical treatments, which as we all know, are very expensive.

2. Late 2016, I had to go private with CEA blood tests. Certain blood tests supposedly in hospital system could not be found. Were those not done? While pointing out some inconveniences, I must admit the general efficiency of the system and staff despite the sheer number of patients, for which I am truly grateful.

3. As I was expecting IV chemotherapy, the fact that it was not offered makes me wonder if it had anything to do with budget cuts. But personally, I felt relieved because of the bad publicity relating to the adverse side effects of chemotherapy.

4. In seeking possible private treatment, I attended a symposium in Ipoh conducted by St Stamford Modern Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou. The presentation was in Mandarin by a Professor while any English translation by a local graduate in Food Science and Nutrition. Looking at my details, she suggested 3 likely treatments in the presence of the professor:

1. Interventional;
2. Cryotherapy; and or
3. Immunology.

While considering the Multidisciplinary Oncology Symposium (MOS) treatments, there is no clear or easy way of choosing one which specifically suits me. Asked surgeon and she replied she is not an oncologist. Asked an overseas oncologist and she replied she is a radiotherapy specialist, not a chemotherapy specialist, and she is non-committal on the treatments mentioned in the MOS, but suggested immunology/targeted chemotherapy, provided there was test on gene mutation. How would I know if such tests were being done in our government hospitals or who or where should I start to ask that question?

Meanwhile, I am seeking alternative options and hope to be able to provide myself as proof if the chosen treatment is successful.

Link to Multidisciplinary Oncology Symposium: