Let us not forget

This post appeared on Medicine Malaysia.


Like war memorials, eradicated diseases like small pox and poliomyelitis must be enshrined in museums so that the public will not forget what devastation these diseases brought to Mankind. Lest we forget and the silliness takes over, dragging us back into the dark ages before immunisation was discovered.

Anti vaccination movements are based on crooked facts, contorted to paint a picture of evil intent, even to the despicable action of dragging in racialism, religion and politics. There is no science or proof to their claims but the rhetoric and the art of instilling fear often courts potential converts to their egregious cause.

Fortunately, their numbers are small and the element of herd immunity continues to offer protection. However, we cannot be lackadaisical in our efforts to remind everyone that immunisation has had an excellent safety record and has had a track record of keeping deadly diseases at bay. We need to constantly remind everyone of the danger that lurks when this invisible armour is stripped and the human body lays at the mercy of a minute, unseen enemy.

Let us not forget!

Brace for Impact

Brace, brace, brace!

These are often the most feared words when on an airline. The impending doom is undeniable.

Is fighting against corruption a sin? Are the ruling politicians so blinded by power and wealth? Do we actually care about Malaysia?

One gets a sense that those who don the yellow T shirts this weekend are marching into danger, putting possibly their lives on the line. That’s love for your country. It neither mean they are less religious, nor does it make them bigots. It’s the final resort to save our country from apparent lawlessness. The inanity of words spewing from our politicians are just too hard to swallow for many. These words are clearly to cause division while claiming the strategic racial and religious high ground. Their fitness to lead a country that prides itself with diversity, is now suspect.

The surreal sense of doom this weekend may either be prophetic or just a false sense of alarm. One would pray that the authorities will show maximum restraint. Let history judge this weekend as the defining moment of triumph for Malaysia, and not plunge us into the dark world of anarchy.

Brace, Brace, Brace!

#bersih4 #saveMalaysia

Playground danger

Malaysia has lots of shopping malls. Within these malls, children’s playgrounds are also springing up. They can certainly be a place to keep your children occupied while you shop. However, within these playground areas lurk an unseen danger.

Microbes transmitting diseases often lurk in abundance, clinging to the paraphernalia associated with these places. The swings, the carousel, the slides, the ball pool and the list is endless. The chances of picking up a nasty infection from these places is rather high.

Playgrounds are not monitored by the authorities for cleanliness. Eateries and even kindergartens are often under scrutiny, but these public play areas has escaped strict surveillance. Many do not even have basic precautions, for example hand scrubs. No one even knows how often these places are disinfected and cleaned.

Many parents can attest to the fact that children often can fall ill after a visit to a public playground. However, establishing a relationship between the two is almost impossible, unless an epidemic arises in a particular area.

So my advice to parents are the following.

1. Ensure that proper sanitizing facilities, e.g. hand scrubs are available at the entrance with a strict rule that all must perform a hand scrub upon entry.
2. Cleaning maintenance schedules must be publicly displayed.
3. Compulsory checks on body temperature
4. Limiting the number of children at any one time

Without these four compulsory criteria, I feel that playgrounds are flouting rules in ensuring the safety of our children from infectious diseases.

Malaysia vs Singapore

Every year when our graduates don their gowns, the fanfare, akin to an annual football cup final involving two traditional “enemies”, begins. Attracting new graduates to be part of your organisation requires a good tactical team backed up by solid resolve from those in power. Singapore seems to have gotten their act together while in Malaysia, we seem to be in disarray. Or rather the more apt word is “disinterested” or “apathetic”.

Malaysia keeps lamenting on the problems of brain drain but we are doing little to really stem the tide. It is almost as if, they actually want these bright talents to leave. Their attitudes and approaches surmount to “Good Riddance”.

Our country lacks tactical master planners. There is no foresight in their thought processes and they are just happy to exist in mediocrity. Their priorities are often misplaced or misguided.

Hence many of our brightest actually take up more lucrative, constructive, well thought out offers from across the Causeway. Who wouldn’t? As I always say, Malaysia is building castles on shifting sand. The facade of modernity is flimsy and cannot withstand the force of globalisation where meritocracy, hard work, wittiness, productivity and pure common sense are essential survival tools.

Unfortunately, our education system promotes none of this. As of now, we are being whipped by Singapore. The longer we are in denial, the tougher it would be to pull ourselves out from this rut.