M203 Diary

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Democracy Lives in Malaysia: Election 2008

"Tan Sri Dr Koh has lost his Parliamentary seat!"

"BN concedes Penang to the opposition!"

"Samy Vellu has lost his parliamentary seat"

"The opposition forms government by simple majority in Selangor and Perak"

"BN denied 2/3 majority!"

Mention any of this statements just a day ago, most Malaysian's would have probably snickered, laughed and dismissed it as mere fantasy. Such was the state of affairs in my beloved country. A place where the media is dominated by weight-scales, with only negative publicity for rockets and "ex-sodomists". A place where cronyism is a way of life. A place where weight-scales big-wigs can get away with almost anything. A place where highways can be build 1 feet away from residential houses. A place where men in blue a feared more then theives. A place where our judicial system is like a royal London circus, A place where our EC can buy 4.2million worth of black ink to paint the sky black...the list goes on......

These issues are like second nature, we know it, we put up with it, we live with it, we say "apa kita boleh buat?"

But on 8th of March, Malaysians have stood up and said "ADA YANG KITA BOLEH BUAT!" and have inflicted the scale-weights worst ever defeat since 1969. Puppet friends were so utterly squashed some were even left with no leadership figurehead left in Parliament. Malaysian's have gave a grand roundhouse kick in the butt of our "beloved" scale-weights. In aussie, there is this a slogan "Enough is enough" for drink driving, drugs and smoking. The same can be said for our election showing this time around. Malaysians have rallied and said enough is enough to all the fracas which happens in our daily life. Enough of empty promises and broken dreams. We want change!

My honest and humble opinion is, the change we are looking for is probably going to be a uphill task. We are talking about an establishement which has 50 years of experience. I'm sure they will not give up without a fight. How they "not give up" is the one is question. Will they fight for the change we are all yearning for? Or will they use "other" means? This is what we all Malaysians will be looking forward to with great interest. How would scale weights react to all this? Will they admit they failed and rise up to the challenges of the opposition party? Or would they resort to "tried and tested politics"? Whatever it may be, they would have to realize they no longer enjoy the mandate they have been enjoying for 4 decades. The brand of politics which serve to instil racial tensions, fear for change and bullying is no longer accepted.

A strong opposition is essential in any one country to keep the rulling party in check. I'm very sure our opposition parties are no where near being able to rule a country by themselves, but boy did they make themselves heard. I have to say they played their cards perfectly this time around. With next to zit media exposure, they manage to get their message across in a very significant way. Part of why there is such a big tilt has to do with sentiments of the nation. You know when a certain blogger who has contributed next to nothing to the community beats a seasoned campaigner - sentiments have a lot to do with it. But facing an enemy with endless ammunition at their disposal, you have to applaud them for reaching out to voters through their own means. Scale weights have been complaining about opposition playing up sentiments of the people. Dey, if you started on equal grounds then maybe you have a valid argument. All is fair in love and war, and to a certain extend politics as long as no dirty play is involved. Stirring up emotions is not illegal, plus I always felt the politics in Malaysia is such that its not for the opposition to win, but for weight scales to stuff up and lose. I'm proud to say, the elections have shown that most Malaysians are an intelligent bunch. We don't blindly support one party for life, shouting Hidup this and Hidup that. We judge for ourselves the performance of a government and decide if they deserve to continue to have a major mandate. If they don't, we will say so in the polls. Thus this election is a testimony of the government's performance for the past 4 years, and its clear for all to see how they have done.

The biggest winner however is democracy in our nation. Long been ridiculed by observers overseas and locals alike, about weight scales winning big being a forgone conclusion, about voters being brain-washed, about phantom voters, about a super efficent EC.... I almost given up hope after all the news about on-going "activities" leading up to the elections. But this elections have restored our faith in the democratic system, to a guarded extend, in our nation. Our nations sentiments and yearn for change is rightly portrayed in the results of this years polls and I can't help but feel proud to be a Malaysian. I look forward with great interest in the future of our politics and may all elected representatives serve our nation well. (psst, ambik tu sedikit cukup lah, 'pas tu buatlah kerja molek-molek, kami tak kisah...janganlah korek tak henti-henti tu, kerja tak nak buat pulak, 'pas tu nangis kena pecat, tu lah panggil PADAN MUKA dey!)


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lefty in a right world

As I was about to examine a patient today, I got chastised by my consultant.

"Daniel, ALWAYS, ALWAYS examine a patient on the right side!"

Given the fact there was a damn trolley at the right side of the patient, I thought being on the left side would be alright but NOOOOOoooooo.........

Which brings me to my topic for discussion, being a lefty in a right world.

Unfortunately i'm not one of the most prominent lefties in our batch. I was probably brought up in a very staunch right handed family...the story goes that I was a budding lefty, picking up pencils, crayons and whatnots with my left hand...until my "evil righty" aunt started noticing this unbecoming trend...and started the brainwashing process...and forced me to use my right hand. Imagine a young kid, getting confused everytime he picks up a pencil, he gets smacked on his left hand and had the pencil switched to his right...such traumatic childhood. The world didn't help either, everything seem to favour my weak hand, from utensils to instruments to religion....As a result, I reluctantly became a pseudo-righty. But you can't mess with genes, as much as the world tried to convert me, my lefty instict persist...I'm a lefty through and through, albeit writing with my right hand, that's the only part that the right-ies manage to steal from me, i still use my left hand for almost everything else....

Most of the world are probably oblivious of this handed stigmata. World statistics has it that up to 15% of the world population are left handed, which means we are the minority. But as the world seem to be so accomodating other "minorities" in the world, being so sensitive and thoughtful to their plight, its about time left-handers get more consideration in terms "understanding".

Everything in the world seems to be tailored for right-handedness. Just take a look around, and think from the handed perspective, you will realize that most things require the use of your right hand to make things "easier". From flipping your books, to openning a can, to using a screwdriver, to playing the piano, to buttoning your shirt, the list goes on and on...all these require the right hand to play the dominant role. Even religions and cultures seem to be bias against lefties. In many cultures left signifies weakness, or clumssiness or awkwardness. Heck, even the word right means all which is good. I guess i'm lucky not to be born in the oldern days where left handed are socially discriminated and treated like inferior people. A lot of our fore-lefty fathers and mothers probably hid their lefty skills so that they are not being outcasted by society. Statistics says it all, There were only about 5% of left-ies in the 18th 19th century, but as society becomes more tolerant, more left-ies are appearing. More to the medical point of view, we always find it hard to cut sutures when we assist in surgery, thanks to the right-handed scissors. Needles will always get loaded the wrong way by nurses, equipments will have their dials and knobs on the right side...

Well nowadays lefthanded people are probably not as discriminated anymore. Unfortunately, the medical world seems to continue to propagate this discrimination. Which brings me to the Question of todays discussion.... why do we need to examine a patient on the right side when we are left-handers? Since medical school, one of the automatic fails you can get from an OSCE station was to stand on the left side of the patient. The arguement? You need the side of your index finger to feel as it is more sensitive. While that is true, what is the problem with using your left hand for left-handers? Why must we be forced to use our non-dominant hand to perform such an important task of examining a patient? The medical student has a lot to take in as it is, they don't need another extra burden of accustomizing to using their non-dominant hand to do a physical examination??!!

At this age and time in the era of evidence based medicine, I wonder if there is any evidence at all to show that using the right hand to examine a patient is statistically more beneficial as compared to the left? I can assure you there will be none, even is there was so, it would be handed based. Thus, examining using the right hand is purely tradition....and a sinister one to boot. We as left handed medical students have no choice, we are told to do so by doctors who said "THAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO EXAMINE A PATIENT", and slowly but surely, lefties will have to succumb to yet another righty systematic bullying scheme. Which i think is totally nonsensical borderlining discrimination. Why are we sticking to this ancient old tradition? Shouldn't left-handed people be allowed to use their left hand in examining a patient? It just make sense to allow the freedom of using the hand a person is comfortable with when performing any task. Some you might say..."ahhh...small thing nia ma". What you don't realize is you are asking a person to perform the bread and butter of his trade with his non-dominant hand. Would you ask a badminton player to play using his non dominant hand? Would you ask a builder to hammer using his non-dominant hand?Of course not! Sooo...do the LEFT thing, let left-ies use their left hand!


Saturday, March 01, 2008

UK Dilemma

Responses from DoH regarding the Tooke review. The review itself is too long to read but a particular response from DoH seem encouraging for those that graduated from UK uni.

"We recommend that overseas students graduating from UK medical schools should be eligible for postgraduate training as should refugee doctors with the right to remain in the UK. (Recommendation 11)"

Click here for the response by DoH (Need Adobe Reader)