Sunday, October 28, 2007


this lady underwent surgery to remove a tumour from the spinal cord. everything went well until she was about to be wheeled out of the OT. without warning, the ECG went flat, ie. she didn't have a heart beat. resuscitation was immediately started but was unsuccessful. it was sudden & it's effect devastating for the family. as 1 of 3 doctors who took care of her, i was inwardly traumatised.

but it didn't just end there - there was still the issue of an unsettled bill running into thousands of ringgit. after the hospital had sent several letters of demand over a 2-year period, which all went unanswered, they unilaterally opted for legal redress.

i personally disagreed with that course of action. the credit control people should have put in more effort to personally seek out the family & have face-to-face negotiation (win-win, remember?). of course the family felt aggrieved - the patient walked into hospital but went out in a bag. who wouldn't be upset??

what was needed then was a little human touch....
some compassion...
& loads of common sense.....,
all of which are in short supply these days.

expectantly, the family proceeded with a countersuit - claiming damages from the hospital (& indirectly the doctors) for negligence, & they have on their side, a lawyer who harbours high political aspirations & more importantly, would take the case pro bono.

notwithstanding the recent high-profile Foo Fiona case & the subsequent Federal Court ruling, medical negligence is difficult to prove. to cut short a long story spanning over 5 years & several court hearing postponements, the family recently agreed to settle out-of-court, pledging to repay a fraction of the outstanding bill.

i think closure is crucial when there are unresolved issues; besides, i find loose ends unnerving. closure demonstrates maturity in accepting the outcome & its finality, & to be able to move on with life. this event is significant to me as it happened on the day my son celebrated his "full month" birthday on 2002. it's like a person had given up a life so that another could live.

wasn't there a precedent 2000 years ago??

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


i am still NOT tech-savvy.

last week, i couldn't change channels with the astro remote control. i thought the remote was spoilt even though it was bought a few months ago - an original, mind you! so we all had to change channels manually till we could get another from the shop. even a new one couldn't change channels, so i feared the worst - that the decoder, having served faithfully since 1999, had developed a sensor problem & will have to end up in the store room.

so i called up astro customer service to enquire about a new decoder when, by chance, the guy asked me why i thought the sensor had malfunctioned. i replied it was a logical explanation since the new remote also couldn't change channels. that's when he asked if i've done a reset for the remote. huh, what reset? (so much for being logical!!)

that's when i 1st found out about the need to reset new equipment. the remote is working like a charm now, even with the 8-year-old decoder.

i just got the faulty PDA phone exchanged 2 days ago, & i found out to my horror that the touch-screen does not respond to the stylus. hmm....did the guy give me another defective set? i called sbanboy for his expert advice & guess what he suggested? do a reset.
(is this uncanny or are the astro guy & sbanboy in telepathic communication?)

the touch-screen works beautifully now.

now, wouldn't you like to have a remote that can reset your life, like in the movie click?
for me, i wished i had paid more attention in chinese language classes during primary school. mean, reset, anyone??

Saturday, October 20, 2007

leap of faith

i'm not tech-savvy.

so, i surprised everyone when i got a PDA phone earlier this week. it may appear impulsive but actually i've been mulling about getting one for years - very much like the dSLR, LCD tv & that drive holiday in NZ.

i thought i got the PDA because it was the cheapest on that dream list, but actually, it was because of a chance conversation with sbanboy who sang praises about his recently-acquired Treo 680. with freebies like bluetooth earphone, extra battery, screen protector & car charger - it was going for a song at rm1688 (according to him).

so it was more a leap of faith for me. i met him the day i got a similar set & he downloaded some very good stuff for me.

unfortunately, 2 days later, the keypad failed. maybe this one slipped past quality control. in all fairness, the dealer agreed to give me a new set in exchange - no questions asked. how's that for after-sales service?

i anticipate a minor life-style change. now, i could blog & read the scriptures on-the-go. is that cool or what??

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


friends have mentioned that the boy is deprived compared to his older sister. being the 2nd sibling, there is some truth there - the girl had more toys, travelled more widely & certainly had a larger share of our undivided attention then.

so, he was understandably thrilled when he finally got on a full-fare flight last week. he exhorted that he was treated to juices, milk, snacks & even a blanket. he must have felt that his previous experiences with no-frill travel were spartan by comparison.

but he did something remarkable on board - NO, he didn't make a pass at the stewardess. as i didn't get on the same flight, he actually kept his packet of peanuts for me. all the more surprising as he is normally possessive & territorial at home. so when i caught up with him a few days later, he proudly showed me his little bounty. it felt like a million bucks to me.

what had prompted this unexpected act of selflessness? i don't know but perhaps somewhere along the way, we as parents must have done something right.

Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.
prov 22:6

Friday, October 12, 2007

plans & purpose

we were making plans for the long holiday weekend ahead & this was the tentative arrangement :

saturday - visit our muslim friends in celebration of the Raya & to savour the festive culinary spread, my personal favourite being the lemang/nasi hempit with beef rendang;

sunday - attend church, then go back home to my parents whom we last visited more than 2 months ago, and;

monday - the kids would certainly enjoy a day out at the mall, esp the girl who has a few girlie items on her shopping list.

then, like a bolt from the sky, we were shocked with the unexpected passing of a family member on the wife's side. as i couldn't take leave on such short notice, the wife took the kids on the next available flight back to penang while i will drive there tomorrow.

there are a lot of events happening around me that defies logic. like rugby (for me at least!). like nurin. like this sudden demise. but i do know the Wise Man had elaborated before :

there is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven,
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. eccles 3 :1,2,4,7

everything will occur at its own predestined moment - not earlier nor later, & according to The Grand Scheme of Things. what is obvious to me, is that had this occured last week, i would not have made it to the mission trip. however, what is NOT clear to me is, why the life of the youngest of siblings was taken away when there was still so much to live for? would it not be kinder had this taken place in later years or in a different manner?

i don't know the answers but my steadfast belief in divine intervention remains unshaken, despite this sudden turn of events. at the opportune moment, the secrets will be revealed & mysteries explained. for all i know now is this :

many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
prov 19:21


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

mission : malaysian style

folks, it's that time of the year again, for a group of people to take time-off from fri to sun & drive for hours to the fringe of forests & into oil palm estates. to do their bit for the orang aslis (OAs), like give them a medical check-up.......

....provide simple medication....

....deworm the kids &.....

......even extract dental caries!!

there were 11 of us - 4 medics, a med student, 4 helpers & 2 students (who are children of 2 of us). we set up "shop" wherever we could placed medicine & equipment.... an attap hut, which the OAs use for worship on sundays...

..or zinc-roofed hut....

....wood-&-brick community hall...

..or, just in open air.

because we didn't have a paediatrician, i volunteered to handle the kids, but it's obvious i'm not a very child-friendly person.... i was greeted by these fearful faces...

.....must remember to bring my son's mickey mouse cap next time!!

ah, the kids....they have a carefree life. not for them are the ipods or PS2s. they appeared just contented in their simple ways... being pre-occupied with balloons... was just plain shy, while the older ones....

.....would sing along ....or...

...just hung around. we were surprised one house even had this...

....seemed like ananda krishnan has made his presence felt here as well!!

we made it to 6 settlements in all. at each place, they were waiting for us ...... they had been informed earlier of our visit...

for dinner on friday, we had this...

...steamed fish(very fresh!) & wild boar meat amongst others.

for lunch on saturday, it's alfresco dining at cafe de oil palm....

..for home-cooked food....

& for dinner.....

..more fresh fish, herbal chicken & stewed pork.

i can safely say we all came back home very satisfied with our joint effort to try improve the health status of the OAs, even if it's just a one-off annual event. last year this time, the govt announced more funds would be set aside for the OAs to enhance their standard of living. notwithstanding the lone astro dish, we didn't notice any difference. in a few hours' time, our nation will accomplish a mission of another sort, but i wonder which will impact on the lives of our indigenous brethren. or even ours for that matter :

malaysia boleh!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


the other day, while in a hurry to get to work, i forgot to put on my glasses (bottom pair in the picture). in fact, i only discovered it while driving, not because i couldn't see clearly, but rather i thought my head felt a bit bare. & the reason i could drive without knocking into someone or something, was because i'm not that short-sighted. the power on each lens is only 300 degrees, with a bit of astigmatism correction, which i thought was quite good considering that i've been using glasses for over 35 years.

i had kept the previous pair as spare (middle pair in the picture, used from 1999 onwards) in the car, but i could have easily gone through the whole day without it & without much disability. if anything, i actually could see near better without glasses compared to using the old pair. it also showed that my long-sightedness has gotten worse since changing in 2005. i managed to retrieve an even older pair (top) - "huge" lenses with no astig correction.

comparing the 3, it seemed i may have conformed to fashion/style changes through the years, but i have to admit that looking at pictures of myself with the different glasses, i may have appeared (dare i say?) younger with each change. or, are my eyes deceiving me?

be that as it may, while i still can see, i ask the Lord this...

Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word. psalm 119:18, 37