Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting sick in the UK

I once told my friend that even if you have money, you can die of hunger in the UK, this is because the shops here close as early as 3.30pm during the weekends and during X'mas, there would even be no shops opened for two entire days. So if you forgot to stock up food, you won't be able to find any and will just have to starve to death. It's just as barren as Africa during these times.

Now, I've found out that even if you have a clinic right in front of your house, you could still die of minor ailment in the UK.

Yes, I've been sick for the past 3 days - fever and sore throat. It is only after three days that I've decided to see doctor. In Malaysia, most people would have already called me nuts. In fact, if I'm working, I can't afford to just rest my way to health again like this. But it's different here. Clinics don't admit patients with 'minor ailments' (so sombong!?).

I went to the clinic today, saying that I have this symptoms for days. The receptionist replied, "Ok, the next appointment is Tuesday". "But today is Wednesday," I said. "Oh? I meant next week Tuesday, you can come to see the doctor then.'s urgent." WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fine. I try to push my luck.

"But my throat hurts really bad, even when I swallow and when I touch my neck I think I can feel the inflammation. So is it urgent?"

"For minor ailments please see the pharmacist" WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so I went to see the pharmacist. He thinks I've got throat infection but he cannot give me antibiotics unless prescribed by a doctor. (So you are asking me to see a doctor?) I feel like I'm being push around, for something as simple as mild fever and sorethroat. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I said, "Just to be sure, how do I know if this isn't swine flu?". "Well, if your temperature is not constantly above 38 degrees, is likely that it isn't swine flu." "Ok, give me a thermometer then," I said. "But we've run out of stock for thermometer and the queue for the stock is very long. I think it is very difficult to find any thermometer because they are all probably sold out."

So I'm screwed!

I have sorethroat but no access to antibiotics and have no way to check if I have a swine flu or if my condition is critical until I see the doctor which is, oh btw, one week from now! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are the profession of a medical doctor here in UK a protected species? C'mon, you should work like the GPs do in Malaysia! So for those of you who think that grass is always greener on the other side - think again. Malaysia ain't that bad. We may not have the best equipments, but we dedicated medical staff.

On a separate note, it's a good way how in the UK they distribute the workload between a GP and a pharmacist. My friend Tey Xin Yi would be proud. She is a pharmacist and she once told me that there's a constant 'struggle' between the GPs and pharmacist - in Malaysia GPs do everything from diagnosing to prescription of medicine. Pharmacist is only a sales girl/man at the counter selling drugs. Xin Yi always said that she felt pharmacist should be given a bigger role. Well, come to UK then.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A tribute to Yasmin Ahmad...R.I.P.

I can't believe this!! Just a few hours ago, Yasmin Ahmad has passed away.

I grew up watching her ads. And they have touched me, taught me and entertained me countless of times. I've used her ads for my one of my post here. The ads always convey a simple philosophical point, but yet these philosophies are so simple that they often slips our mind amidst our busy modern life pursuing money and fame. Her ads, especially during CNY and Hari Raya, have never failed to get us in the mood and give us a good laugh.

And her movies - Sepet and Gubra have no doubt brought many different races in Malaysia together.

She has done more to the unity of Malaysia than our UMNO govt. and it is a great loss to Malaysia that she has passed away. Let's pay tribute to a great Malaysian.

Below here are some of the ads directed by her.

Funeral - Ironically, I think this is the best ad she has made, which is also hyperlinked above. Must see!

Merdeka Sunat - Who can forget this Sunat ad? For those who doesn't know what 'sunat' means, it means circumcision!! I love the last part, "Ada kasi balik a?" "Eh boleh tengok a?" "Aku sepak a..."

How do you spell dinosaur? - "Race? What is race? race car ah?". Kids know no race. Well said!

CNY Old folk's home - This has to be one of the best CNY ads I've ever seen. For those of you who are busy out there pursuing your dreams, don't forget your parents back at home!

CNY ad - The last scene reminds me of the good old days when my dad would brought 'tonnes' of durians back from Terengganu and we will open it one by one in our living hall. We will try to locate the position to split open these thorny fruits. Not only does it taste good, it was fun too. These days, durians are sold in packages - where's the fun in it?

Iklan Raya - it reminded me. when i was still young, watching a movie, i would always ask my parents 100000 times why this character this and why that character that and is he still alive and why did he died, etc. Now that i've grown up, I sometimes lose that patience when my parents ask me the EXACT same question.

R.I.P. Yasmin Ahmad.

My new room...

I wrote about how I "adore" my previous room - it's small, next to the dirty kitchen, dirty bathrooms, etc...

I've since moved into my new room. Having lived in hell, anything is better. But this new room, is waaaaay better. It's like I'm living in a single bedroom hotel, with en-suite bathroom.

The bathroom is nice.

I've got a nice view.

Plenty of space to walk around. Plenty of cabinet space.

Large study table (this is super duper important for PhD students okay?!)

Clean and hi-tech-looking kitchen.

And own fridge and cabinet in the kitchen!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Things we cannot agree to disagree...

There are no 'if's in history. But there's no point of studying history if we do not put 'if's into the events that transpired in our history.

Imagine, if today in North America there exist the Federation States of the Red Indian (much like the Federeation States of Malay) instead of United States of America. If the real 'king of the soil' (bumiputera) of the North America is given a choice between establishing their own federation states and the united states of 'foreigners', what would they choose?

Would the Red Indians, the real natives of the North American soil, choose U.S.A.? After all, the 'foreigners' had brought technology and wealth to the land and it has proven to be one of the most successful countries in recent history. Or would the natives rather remain backward and poor than to have a forward, developed country that is not their own?

It is pretty clear that culturally, economically and politically U.S. of A. is an extension of Europe. There's little Red Indian identity left in the land of U.S.A. And therefore, I would bet that if given a choice, the Red Indians would have chosen the latter.

This, is exactly the same question that is facing the bumiputeras in Malaysia. They would rather Malaysia develop slower than to have a fast-developing Malaysia which has lost all the identities of a Malay land. However, it is extremely arguable if the non-Malays in Malaysia are at the same level of threat to the Malays like the European explorers were to the Red Indians.

Regardless, the Malays would of course want to retain the Malay identity on this land; while the non-Malays would want equality. The Malays would fear that by granting complete equality, the Malay identify may all be lost. This is also what Tun Dr. M was trying to say on his blog (here, which I replied here). I believe there are things where we can all agree to disagree. This is one of them, as it is only natural for one to fight for his/her own ethnicity, just as I would for mine. But there are things which we cannot and should never disagree on. Corruption is one. Murder is another.

Although I cannot agree with Ketuanan Melayu, I can understand why some would advocate it. But I will never agree and never forgive people who agrees to violence, murder, corruption and other evil means to achieve this end.

For the Malaysians out there. I beg you. You can differ with me, you can differ with the stance of PKR and DAP on NEP, on the allocation of funds to Chinese schools, on the teaching medium in government schools, on the application of syariah laws. But please, please, do not differ with me in saying no to corruption, murder and abuse of power. And for that, it is rather obvious that UMNO is manipulating the media, MACC, the police and the jurisdiction. It is obvious that the most severe corruption is happening in UMNO everyday. Take part in the elections and observe the UMNO election engines during this period, and I'm sure you'll know what I mean. Ask your friends who are working in the (non-UMNO controlled) media if they receive 'instructions' on what to report and what not to. Take the implementation of ISA as another example. Advocates of this draconian law always argue that such law is useful in extreme situations, such as in the capturing of terrorist. They would then say that after 911, U.S.A's Patriot Act is not any different from our ISA. But how many times have ISA been invoked to capture REAL terrorist? So some would then argue that the law itself is 'useful', but it is the abuse of the law that is causing the trouble. Since nothing is perfect and everything is subjected to abuse, ISA is OK, so they claimed. I've written something about this here, and I reiterate that if a law is susceptible to abuse then it should be amended or abolished. Since by definition, ISA will lack transparency, accountability and methods for check-and-balance, it is by definition impossible to be amended. Therefore the only way is to abolish it. The refusal for UMNO to abolish this law and their constant use of this law for their own political benefit is the most glaring proof of corruption within the organisation.

There are of course excellent individuals in UMNO, which I know them and respect them personally. But the core of the organisation is rotten and corrupted. UMNO, in trying to fight for the Malay's cause, which in itself is noble, but sadly has resorted to abuse of power and corruption. Former happened because they fear that if they lose power, they will no longer be able to continue their fight. The latter is simply due to greed. While we can all disagree on issues such as whether Malaysia truly belongs to all Malaysians or should the Malay be the Master of the land (Ketuanan Melayu), we should all say no to corruption, murder and abuse of power. They should NOT and NEVER be used to achieve such ends, no matter how noble the ends could be.

And so, in view of the recent death of Teoh Boon Hock, I urge UMNO to stop politicizing it. For once, do the right thing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

put yourself in that shoe

I read about Tun Dr. M's latest blog post way before any press reported about it. The post began with someone asking him how he would feel if he were non-Malay living under the 'discriminative' policies of Malaysia. Tun, however, answered how the Malay would have feel if there were no such policies. Clever spin.

He indicated clearly that Malay is the Tuan of the country and that NEP should be supported. I do not disagree too much with him on this matter...however...this is the comment I left on his blog (I thought I was the first to comment)


You are avoiding the question. The question was, how would you feel if you were put into the non-Malay's shoes. But you answered, how WE SHOULD FEEL if we were put into Malay's shoes.

I agree that social engineering is required. but...

1. We, the non-Malays, hope that the Malays (or more precisely the UMNO govt.) can show some compassion and understanding that those non-Malays like me have to endure sufferings too. Especially since we are born way way after independence, we were born into this world knowing only one thing - we are Malaysians but told that we are not-so-Malaysians along the way as we grow. But the govt. has never show such understanding, only threats and constant reminders of Mei 13.

2. There has to be a limit to this social engineering. There should be a time where help is given to those who need it regardless of race. if it is malay who sought help, so be it. But please render help to the poor chinese too. IT IS NOT TRUE that Chinese lives in big bungalow houses whereas Malay lives in setinggan. I'll admit, that the chinese middle-class may still be 'richer', but the Malay elites who own big enterprises, big houses and big cars in this new decade definitely outnumbers the non-Malays.

3. It is also not true that Bahasa Cina dan Bahasa Tamil 'dibenarkan' sebagai bahasa pengantar di sekolah bantuan kerajaan. Kerajaan has always wanted to shut them up, if not for the constant 'fight' that we put up over the past decades against the education ministry. Lin Lian Yu, a chinese educationist, has his citizenship revoked for this. Why has it been revoked jika ia dibenarkan?

4. Fair and same is different. But I would like hear how you differentiate it. In Malaysia's situation, it's definitely not 'same', but your article here implied that it is 'fair'. Why so? Because it helps the 'original' tuan?

Finally, saya tidak akan cap Tun racist because I have a lot of respect for you. Your intelligence and charisma is second to none in the world, let there be no doubt on that. Just like how you cleverly spun this question from 'how you feel if you are a non-Malay' to 'how we should feel if we are Malay’.

Please answer the question.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In remembrance ...

This movie clip was taken from my friend, Serdang's MP, Teo Nie Ching's website. I was also reading Earn Yee's blog at the same time. Coincidentally, with the 'amazing grace' music as background, the feel was right - and I highly recommend playing both together. (not withstanding with a flurry of my own personal frustrations in recent days, this has added to my own sorrowness).

I respect that Teoh Boon Hock was not a christian. Neither am I. But Amazing Grace has nothing to with religion. To me, this is in remembrance of the utter injustice we Malaysians suffered. Let us not forget.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

dead men tell no tales

It's a classic.

First, a Mongolian girl (she-who-must-not-be-named) was found dead. The conspiracy theory goes that she was killed by a 'high' ranking politician in Malaysia. In case if you are wondering how high? It's very high, way way way high up, like at the tip of the pyramid.

Then, a video clip shows that a 'prominent' lawyer was 'choosing' our Chief Judge. Correct, correct, correct!! You did not hear me wrong, a lawyer is choosing the Chief Judge. Although the video clip may not be sufficient evidence to convict him of criminal judges, but in the eyes of the plain people, it has tell us enough.

Later, Kugan was found dead under the police custody, which the investigations, btw, takes like 4ever to complete. Maybe Kugan was a crook (I dunno), but even a crook do not deserve to be tortured. Furthermore, until one is proven guilty in the court, no one should claim that he is a crook.

Now, Teoh Boon Hock is dead. He was found lying next to the building where the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was 'interrogating' him.

Peculiar indeed. More so if you consider that this poor chap is about to get married the next day. Would he have jumped? Not a chance.

There's only 2 possibility, murder or accident. For a person like him to 'accidentally' fall to his death (not from a balcony but) from a window in the office building is very unlikely. If he tripped over and fell, it would have because he was too tired from the interrogations which lasted for at least 9 hours until 3 a.m. in the morning, which in this case MACC has to be accountable.

The other possibility would be murder, in which case, it is rather obvious who had done the 'job'. MACC would have to be accountable too!

We could try to estimate, from the extent of the bone fracture, the impact of the fall and hence deduce how high he fell from. Project this directly upwards from the place he died, this could indicate to us which window he fell from. If he was murdered, it is very likely that this window will belong to one of the interrogating rooms.

Now, this would make an excellent blockbuster Hollywood movie. Like an excellent storyline for the upcoming blockbuster Sherlock Holmes by Robert Downey Junior. If, that is if, this is only just a 'movie'.

The problem is, THIS ISN'T A MOVIE. This makes it utterly tragic.

The kicker is, that if you follow through the 4 incidents I listed above, you suddenly find that there's no place in Malaysia that we can go to for justice that we can all believe in. The police, the anti-graft body, the judiciary system, and the ( know who) are all tainted.

Granted, that maybe some of these allegations may not be true. But given a series of incidents like that, in that order, it is very difficult for me not to believe that at least one of the 4 incidents are true.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Moving into new room...

Ever since I moved into this room of mine in Cambridge, I've not stop complaining. It has been miserable.

Small room with hefty rent is one thing. Ant infestation is one thing. Dirty kitchen is one thing. There's just too many things that isn't right in this room.

The fengshui here must be horrendous.

Since this is my last day here, let me show you why...

the wall of next to my bed... a brick jutting out - looks like prison cell to me. At the other end, there's a nail jutting out, but the maintenance guy plaster it over with some tapes.

Kitchen floor. And if you see clearly, there's actually swarm of ants moving around picking up the bread crumbs left over by my house mate.


Wah so clean! I see already also feel like cooking in the kitchen lorrr...

And do let me remind you that these are all the work of ONE person (not me!). And it was much worse few weeks ago when this Chinese (from China), who loves to cook but never cleans, was still around. FYI, I always clean my dishes here.

Good news is: I'm moving to my new room tomorrow (6 July). It's at the new building and it's the place where everyone in my college craves to go to, albeit with a even more expensive rent. But I can't help it, this room is a torture room -- I gotta move out.