Smoking – Why Quit?

Now that we are at the halfway point of 2018, how are we keeping up with the 2018 new year resolutions? I’m sure many who were smoking would have made a resolution to quit smoking at the dawn of 2018.

Quit smoking apps are definitely a big motivation. In Australia, My Quit Buddy is a free app for i-phone or androids. The latest version even ‘checks in ‘ with user very evening of the first 3weeks, to ensure user is sticking to goals.
A bragging right I’ll happily indulge in when people flash it around. A badge of honour indeed.

Quit smoking online support services are available too – Quitline.

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Most people decide to quit when diagnosed with some health complications or involving a near & dear. Nothing like a wake up call. Sad that some had to wait for something to happen, but better late than never.

If one stops today…there are immediate benefits to self & people around us. For starters, you save money! We can talk till the cows come home, but it is pointless to someone who is dead set on not to ever consider quit smoking.

Seeding the thought doesn’t go to waste though…

GPs are encouraged to speak to smokers about quitting at every consult. Well well, in an ideal world when GPs have unlimited consult time, that may be posibble. But I’m sure many of us do with our high risk patients, and opportunistically with those accompanying a pregnant or asthmatic family member.

No…it isn’t stylish at all. If anything I’m sure many non smokers will concur that it is a disgusting habit! Hats off to models & actors who have stopped smoking on screen as part of Anti Smoking policy.

A summary on health benefits of quit smoking:

Some excerpts from this article (click link to access)                                                             How Australia is stubbing out smoking :

“Tobacco in Australia
The government has committed to reduce the number of adults smoking on a daily basis to 10% by 2018
Plain-packaging rules insist that 75% of the front of a cigarette pack is covered by a health warning, and 90% of the back
Tobacco taxes rose 25% in 2010, and are now rising 12.5% every year
The Tasmanian parliament has discussed a bill that would ban smoking for those born after 2000
Australia has not gone as far as Bhutan, and reportedly also Turkmenistan, which have banned the sale of tobacco products
Read: The battle for control of the cigarette packet

These days, smoking is often taken up by people who are on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder, she points out, “and that adds a burden of shame to people who might already be marginalised”.
If it’s the poor who are now the most likely to smoke, it’s hard to see how they will ever afford the AUD$40 pack of cigarettes.”

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In many countries, the struggle is still very real in enforcing existing laws on non smoking. As laypeople, we might not be able to enforce, but can do our part in boycotting.
Few years ago when I was back home on holidays, urged my family to walk out of a mamak restaurant. Felt bad for family as it was a rainy night, but the owner ignored my request to get rid of a couple of smokers in the non smoking area (which was vacant other than those jokers). Hey, why have a non smoking area then? They lost 8 customers, but don’t think they cared much about it.

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If you or a family member who is smoking is thinking about quitting & would like help, please approach your friendly doctor to discuss on further options. Options aplenty 😊
All the best!

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Posted in Down Under, Public Service Message | Leave a comment

On Antibiotics & Viral Infections

Too good to ignore. I might need to print these out & pin them up in my consultation room 😉

A cartoon by Infectious Disease man from University Hospital in Malaysia, Dr Helmi Sulaiman. Let me viralkan your talent a bit, boss 😉

viral antibiotic

 

As seen on facebook post by ‘A Science Enthusiast’:

Posted in All in a Day's Work, Myth - Busted! | Leave a comment

Happy 1 Month-Anniversary, Global Malaysian Network!!!

This entry is a tribute to GMN.

May 13th is never the same for (overseas) Malaysians! No, I’m not speaking of the infamous 13th May 1969 racial riot that’s permanently etched in history. That was 49 years ago! On 13th May 2018, facebook saw a new group coming to live. Global Malaysian Network, better knows as GMN, was created by some of the heroes from GE14 Postal Voting Group.
*I still owe my own GE14 voting story, will get around to that some other time.

I digress, back to GMN – Happy 1st month anniversary!!!

Screenshot_2018-06-13-16-26-39-1.png
In their own words:
“Global Malaysians Network. Inspired by the GE14 Postal Voters Amazing Race, this group was created on 13 May 2018 to connect Malaysians all over the world to continue the momentum and keep everyone updated on what’s going on in our beloved country, discuss how we can potentially help in the effort to rebuild our beloved motherland, exchange any information or even get advise/support from fellow Malaysians on any other matters. Salam Malaysia Baharu ! 🇲🇾️ (Truly redefining May 13) “

I only came across this group 2 days after it was formed! Hundred of posts daily on GE14 postal voters page drowned that announcement I guess. Little did I know that kind of ‘madness’ in GE14 postal voter’s group for a purpose, can continue weeklong in another group!!
But, I am not complaining. It was a lucky find indeed. I have never come across so much of discussions among Malaysians, about anything & everything under the sun, all under one roof! To date, there are 24,336 members, and still counting….
Though that pales in comparison to the 1.9million Malaysians reported to be living overseas. Though to be fair, you have to exclude the underages & those without facebook. So, this number is truly a feat!

I am not exaggerating at all when I say >90% of the posts consist of food!!! Malaysian food mostly. Thank God I live in a country where I can get them freely, pity those members living in faraway places without Malaysian food, and unable to get all the ingredients to make it themselves.


My immune system has been playing tricks on me for the past 1 month, till I was sick of being sick. Occupational hazard…sigh. Made up for lack of talking (except at work where I was coughing away & even chased away from badminton last week) due to limited socializing, by letting my fingers do all the ‘talking’ online. Spent a lot of time in bed, and was ‘wasting’ a lot of time scrolling through posts there & kaypohing. Man!! Have I ever laughed so much, ever!!
This was the first time when I wasn’t feeling homesick when I was sick :p. Thanks to all those awesome members of GMN. Found a lot of hometown kakis too.

1 month on, GMN still shows no sign of slowing down. There was a weekend, about 1 to 2 weeks into the birth of the group, all I saw was nothing but GMN posts on my facebook timeline. Some were jokingly wondering in GMN if their facebook was broken!?? My own facebook page posting reduced! Hahaha…was too busy beramah-mesra (socializing) in GMN.
I finally see less of GMN posts on my FB timeline, 1 week after turning off notifications!!

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As long as every member adhered to house rules (which are mostly common sense – though that has become a rare commodity in the modern world), all civil discussions & just-for-fun stuffs trending were encouraged. Most members call out each other & self-police too. There were some controversial posts & comments too, but the GMN admins are an awesome bunch of people who do what is needed, when it is needed – macam pengawas sekolah LOL. I wasn’t affiliated with them, until 1 week ago – so these credits solely goes to the awesome bunch of admins & moderators! *claps

On 4th June, when I finally turned off my FB notifications from GMN, I was thinking of the last 4 days, and thinking to myself “Actually, this group is way tooo awesome”. Soooo awesome that it was addictive to keep reading the millions of questions posted & comments that ensued. So much so, even friends ended up talking about how addictive GMN is, while on whatsapp and on phone! Speaking of kicking off addiction, slowly weaning off. Going cold turkey will create more withdrawal symptoms 😉

This post of mine in GMN ‘landed me in hot soup’ – 4th June:

“Reflections of a small ikan bilis in this ever expanding sea of currently 23,069 fishes, who are mostly swimming overseas:

June has brought up so many interesting topics here, besides all the food porn 😋yang nampak sungguh enak & droolworthy. 
Last Friday #ceritahantu – the hottest thread to date with 1000+ comments.👻
Saturday #carijodoh criterias yang amat kelakar – haven’t laughed so much in ages.🤣😂
Sunday & Today, all the romantic, rom-com & outright funny #kisahcinta😍 & heartwarming #supportgroup🤗 threads.
Amidst all these, we had the serious threads on #nationbuilding too.

😎Seriously, what not to love about GMN ler…
Pretty hard to stop kaypohing in here! Enjoying being able to use Bahasa Malaysia & Manglish 😜😝

All thanx to GE14 postal voters group, the founder and awesome admin & moderator team of GMN, and the miracle that ensued due to tsunami rakyat on 09.05.2018. This platform has definitely brought more Malaysians together & able to have more matured and open discussion.

P.S: Hope no rules against overusing emojis & hashtags, ye”


Last Sunday, there were 3 posts (that I saw) on nasi lemak!! Seriously, that is the worst evil temptation for any Malaysians! We used to get them at the end of every street, nook and crannies back home, especially come weekend. And to be flooded by the images online… 😦 Fortunately I was well & was already planning to get my nasi lemak bungkus fix that very day 😀 Else, I might have died of craving, after the month-long torture of looking at all those familiar & beloved food posts :p

It was my turn to be ‘evil’ and torture others with food posts. I wasn’t going to…but the dark force was stronger 😦 There were queries on where to get the nasi lemak bungkus that I shared about. So, made use of the last #promoMonday to promote the nasi lemak bungkus made by my friend’s friend & sold in a local grocery shop here on weekends.
250+ comments!! Crazeee…I don’t know about other countries, but for Malaysia – it only takes our food to bond the nationality! 😉


GMN has also become a place for strangers to share, and seek help/advice/opinion. There were even some jejak kasih posts recently – looking for long lost friends, who moved overseas. Very heartwarming…

We have some retired celebrities among us too.
An Olympian.
A model who was born in my hometown, which was pretty much a kampung (village) – kampung girls rock! 😉 

We have been recalling Malay proverbs/sayings in a post. They were members sharing their passion for reading via sharing book covers triggering discussion on books and reading habits & beautiful photography posts too. Open and matured religious discussions impressed me.
Personally, I have unknowingly started using lah again. 😮  Had to consciously stop myself at work, and speak proper English, instead of Manglish (as my brain setting seemed to have rewired that way in merely few weeks). My English vocabulary is expanding too, with words like showboating and chinwagging. 

Heck! I was even inspired to write a poem after ages! Haha…a funny one, and my first pantun Melayu. Was feeling thankful for the beautiful winter Sunday♡
Here you go:
“Senja yang menjelma amat cantik sekali,
Di hari yang indah menjelang musim sejuk ini,
Lelampu solar berwarna warni,
Wahai sang matahari – marilah hari-hari! 🌞
– 10.06.18 @ 2020H (AEST)

Whoever thinks facebook is a waste of time, think again of all the potential benefits


Whilst Malaysia has installed a brand new government to run it, patriotism runs high. Malaysian overseas are relishing in virtual bonding .Some get-togethers took place, many more pending. Some members have enjoyed their blind dates with virtual friends, and happy to say, everyone is safe so far…there have been talks of family dates too 😀

A few projects are on the way & subgroups are being formed. While the ice-breaking & camaraderie continues in this ever growing Global Malaysian Network, hoping to see more nation building projects/activities to come out of this global virtual networking, besides being the largest online mamak shop (where we talk and eat all day everyday 24/7)!
Now now, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Lets wait and see…

GMN is turning out to be a virtual home-away-from-home for many (did I mention >24,333) overseas Malaysians! At least I am blessed here – to have so many kawan-kawan from all walks of life who are originally from Malaysia. Some are more of a family to me. Can’t imagine people who don’t have any other Malaysians where you live. Even found someone who lives in my neighbouring estate, who said I am the second Malaysian she has come across in Melbourne! :0
As much as we could assimilate with the society in our adopted homes, a taste of home (both food :p & people) is food for soul! As someone mentioned in a GMN post comment, this feels like finding long lost cousins, that you never knew you had 😉
Barney (the purple dinasour) theme song song comes to mind…

Once again, “Happy 1 Monthanniversary/Birthday, dear Global Malaysian Network”!

 

Posted in Malaysia Tanahairku, Tribute Posts | Leave a comment

The costliest jewellery

The arms of a child around your neck might be the most precious ‘jewellery’, but this quote wins hands down. Forget about diamond, gold, and all other precious stones!

Stethoscope is the most expensive jewellery. For it costs you your youth -Mishal

Shared from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/489273947001256501/

As I enter my 12th working year today, learnt that working smart & seeing the bigger picture keeps us marching forward…as much as hard work is important.

Image result for stethoscope precious jewel quotes

Shared from https://www.pinterest.com.au/ssanaaxo

Cheers to all lifelong learners.

To quote Albert Einstein, “Once you stop learning, you start dying”.

Posted in Finding Me, Journey towards Fellowship, Quotes | Leave a comment

How many more years of Studying?

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A 1 month old ‘history was created’ day

I don’t know if I will live to see another momentous day in Malaysia as 9th May 2018!  Often cited as the ‘true Merdeka’ for Malaysia. Kind of agree, it was Tanah Melayu that attained independence from the British!

The past month+ has been very surreal!
This time last month, I was heaving a sigh of relief that after a manic Monday & agonizing few days prior to that…my ballot (and another 2 ex-schoolmates’) was resting after a long & rushed return journey home. They safely spent the night at my home sweet home (hometown). The next morning, family hand-delivered our ballots into the boxes at our Returning Office (RO). Did my part – yeayy!! But it would’t have been possible without the GE14 Amazing Race – a fond reminiscence now.

This time last month, 5 of my friends’ ballots were flying back to Malaysia via runners.
This very moment, many more strangers’ votes from overseas were en-route to their final destination in Malaysia, via many other strangers. We, total strangers, were trying to link as many fellow countrymen to others who could help them out. Speak of semangat kewarganegaraan! All thanks to technology & globalization.

What would we have done without all our kind hearted runners?? Fallen in the statistics of ‘postal votes not returned in time’, of course.

<9th June 2018>> Fun fact – I literally had (election) fever on that day!
Although 10th May is hailed as Malaysia Baru Day (thanks to massive delay in official announcement), it is 9th May that was truly the miraculous day! Some Malaysians are still basking in the euphoria of it all, and who can blame them 🙂
The whole day & early evening saw millions of voters queeing up for hours in some places, under the hot sun. Photos of inked finger were flooding my whatsapp & facebook timeline.
Some patients took at own risk (AOR) discharge from hospitals just to vote. One of my friends from school who delivered just a couple of day before GE14 (general election 14), many parents with little ones in tow, many elderly, and many more voters with disability turned out to vote. Nothing could stop them. Sadly, some who were still queeing up were turned away as the clock struck 1700H.

Despite the fact that it was a midweek election, #rabukeramat (Miracle Wednesday) it turned out to be! Malaysian general election saw the highest % of voters turn out on May 9th 2018. Malaysians!! We created History.

Meanwhile, the online arena of the now archived group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/GE14PostalVote/ saw many unimaginable feats of getting overseas votes home were still happening at this very hour (1 month ago). During that 1 week prior to that – Crazeee! (in a good way) was what that then evergrowing (3,438 members) Facebook page’s activities were!!!
Many more heartwarming, and heartwrenching stories unfolded there in the days to come too.

The rest, as they say, is history.

malaysia reborn

Fast forward 1 month later>>
Is it truly Malaysia Baru? Have things truly changed.
Not everything. But, many changes have arrived.
Most importantly, Malaysians are prouder than ever to be Malaysians! More than ever, eager to connect with each other, and share – looking for avenues to contribute to Malaysia tercinta (beloved).

Online, I see more people exercising freedom of speech & daring to voice out & have healthy debates over issues that would have been a political taboo, not too long ago. When I met fellow Malaysians post GE14, of course the favourite topic was GE14 & Malaysian politics.

Although there are plenty of teething problem with the current Malaysian government & the bad political habits that’s penetrated Malaysia for decades needs to be eradicatied…I, remain optimistic.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.

This year, I am definitely celebrating Hari Merdeka on 31st August, after years of having stopped acknowledging it. How could I, when democracy was previously robbed of Malaysians?!!

miracle

Posted in Malaysia Tanahairku | Leave a comment

Confession of a GE14 Malaysian overseas voter

1 week since Malaysians created history – Confession time!
I almost didn’t vote in GE14.  Knowing it was next to impossible to get my vote home in time with the short campaign period.


But, everything changed!
How?
Thanx to this powerful ‘Memory on this day’ from my own timeline!
Here goes that eye-opening message, from 5 years ago – 1st May 2013 :

 

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That brought tears to my eyes. Since then, everything changed! That was how I became a small part of the Amazing Race GE14 (that is a story for another time).


It was a tight slap to my current self from my younger self from 5 years ago! Older isn’t always wiser, mate.

To the friends who reached out to say my FB posts inspired them to ‘Balik Mengundi’, it is my younger self we should all thank.


I was one of those ‘adult-kid’ who was excited to register to vote, upon turning 21 year old!
Few years later, came GE 12!

2008.

GE12 : I was excited to exercise my rights as a maiden voter.
As an intern, who was yet to own a car those days, I took the first available bus home after the Saturday morning ward rounds. Returned to hometown to vote. A cup of tea later (at home sweet home), hopped onto the next bus back to my housemen-quarters. I was working the next day, a Sunday.
The 80km (x 2) journey felt totally worth it, knowing I exercised my constitutional rights. I slept well that night.

Not long after the fateful day where the opposition parties in Malaysia won a total of 5 states, the democratic voice of rakyat Perak were stolen. 😦 We became a laughing stock of the nation thanks to ‘jumping-frogs’! Money politics. Politics is shitty bussiness. Not just in movies, but in real life too. How could they undermine people’s say. I was beyond angry!
I lost faith in democracy in Malaysia.
Self declared to NEVER vote again! That was 2008…


2013.

Pre-GE13 : The post above from 5 years ago were my exact thoughts. Before leaving the country, decided to exercise my constitutional rights once again. This time I was working interstate, so took the weekend off. Eyes peeled to the television, watching the results.

Gerrymandering. Blackouts. Fraud happened at many levels!
Felt cheated to the core. Hope – dashed!

Then, there was Himpunan Blackout 505. A peaceful demonstration of rakyat Malaysia who were grieving the death of democracy in Malaysia. RIP Democracy became a common tagline.

I was a locum doctor at that time. So, wasn’t bothered about heeding the calls to public servants (commonly mislabeled as ‘government servants’) to stay away from the illegal rally.

It was a peaceful gathering. I had friends in the crowd, but there was no way we could find each other. At the end of it, as I was a dot in the seas of black-donning total strangers. Sharing umbrellas in the rain singing our hearts out – NEGARAKU, our national anthem. That, was the most patriotic I’ve ever felt, to that date.

Deep down I knew, someday, change will come to Malaysia! But not as long as there people lead the nation. Perhaps, not as long as I am alive 😦

That fateful day, I PROMISED myself to vote every single time henceforth.
Just because, I love Malaysia!!! ❤

Hopefully in person, due to the lack of trust in postal voting system. If that wasn’t possible, as a postal voter. I didn’t leave the country because I loved her any less, but (one of the main reasons) because I had given up on the politicians that were running the nation.


As Himpunan Merdeka Rakyat is ongoing in Malaysia now, to celebrate the Victory of Democracy, people power & the release of (with a full royal pardon) Anwar brahim who led the Reformasi movement.
The live feed is running in the background now – I have no words to describe the feeling 🙂 And there it goes again, NEGARAaaaaaKuuuu!! standing up

P.S: It feels sooooo good to speak in past tense about the government that used to run my country.

Posted in Finding Me, Malaysia Tanahairku | Leave a comment