Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Talking out of their #$%

As i suspected the recent 'concern' over the whole issue over doctors 'napping' while on duty was totally unfounded and discredited as 'inaccurate'.

Sure, when i first read about it in the newspaper i did entertain the possibility of such behaviour(you got to give people the benefit of the doubt) especially since doctors too are 'human' and as such, like any other job... there perhaps will be a few 'slackers'.

But, i knew that this was a typical case of a person without ANY knowledge of what was really going on or how the system works, making a grievous assumption perhaps even motivated by an over-inflated, hardly justified and terribly misplaced idea of self-importance. I dare say maybe even self-serving and attention-seeking more than anything else.

As a doctor myself i was (and perhaps still am) personally enraged.
Thank God for the sense of some people to conduct a proper investigation into the matter and clarify things in the open.

The person who made the public complaint (more like accusation) should in fact in similar fashion make a public apology for his rash, ignorant and immature response to the given situation.

People will always complain once there is an opportunity and avenue to.
Some are founded and motivated by a sincerity to effect some positive change.
Some are simply for the sake of complaining and venting out their frustration for venting out sake.

And yes, the public has every right to complain... cos' we as civil servants serve the public, community and nation at large.
Nevermind that people don't have a full understanding of the conditions, challenges and limitations we operate under.
Nevermind that people hardly are thankful when despite such circumstances we 'save' lives.
Cos' we don't function based on or motivated by all that.
If we did... well, there perhaps won't be any government doctors anymore (maybe that's one of the explanations for so many being lost to the private sector).

i just feel if there's going to be a place to complain... well then... let's make it 'fair'.
i want to complain about patients too.

People think that doctors are rude and insensitive and uncaring.. and like i said, perhaps it's true in certain instances and amongst certain individuals. We're all human.

But as i said, we're ALL human.
Patients can be rude, insensitive and unreasonable too... sometimes even more so.

So tell me, where do i complain?!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Likes and dislikes

Why is it that i find it so much easier to point out what i dislike as compared to what i do like?

When anybody asks me something pertaining to this in whatever category of things i find it almost automatic and immediate that i list the things which i hate/dislike first then only, after some pondering i might add, the things that i love/like.

In fact, sometimes it has come to the point where i relate to people the things i like by telling them what i don't like and as such the ones left out from the list of dislikes... are my 'likes'.

Sure, with regards to the 'bigger' things in life it's 'easy' to tell what i love and like... but i'm talking about the details that make me up... food... movies... music... etc. You know, the little things that are part and parcel of someone's personality.. a microscopic window into their overall make up.

Perhaps... this tendency or ease with pointing out what's not to like and what's 'wrong' is part of the 'Asian' upbringing that we are all known for to varying degrees.
The concept of negative reinforcement.
Don't do this.
Don't do that.
You're doing this wrong.
You made a mistake here.
This doesn't look good on you.

Perhaps it's the expected repercussions of years of being told what's wrong and what's bad and what needs to be improved with a lack or even absence of emphasis on the good and praiseworthy.

i'm not saying that children should be brought up denying their faults and mistakes. Pointing out where one has gone wrong is essential to improvement and allows the person to grow and develop in handling 'failure' (something which is an unavoidable reality in life one way or another). i guess what i am saying is that we need to perhaps pay as much if not more attention to the 'good' in our children... or even people in general for that matter.

We all know that people are not perfect (and yes, it shouldn't be an excuse) but sometimes we demand 'perfection' while totally disregarding other very positive attributes.

It's not just a matter of simply building self-esteem but in my humble opinion it contributes heavily to a person's idea of himself and the world around them... about life in general... and therefore can have some very serious and life-defining consequences.

Someone who's never been told she's pretty... could very likely end up in an unhealthy relationship with a guy who's abusive and manipulative... perhaps because she fails to see how she could 'deserve' any better.

Someone who's only been told where he lacks in skills and talent... could very likely live a life way below his actual potential without realising some of the talents he does have and worse still not daring to venture to explore them.

Now, this is probably oversimplifying things... but i guess you get what i mean.
We need to make a conscious effort to try and see things 'positively'.
Even in the areas where we lack, we need to approach and treat these 'inadequacies' in a positive light.

God Himself is exemplary of being 'positive' while not disregarding the 'negative'.

Take the case of Moses...

When God commanded Moses to go back to Egypt to deliver His people the almost immediate response Moses gave was that he was incapable and inept at doing so... one of the reasons being his speech impediment (it's interesting to look back at Moses life and realise that he left Egypt and went into exile after being overwhelmed by the 'negativity' of failing to set his people free by his own strength). To which God, while not disregarding the fact that Moses did have a speech impediment, persisted in His intention to send Moses while ensuring His ever present support and help.

So ya.... i think maybe i've still got a lot of learning when it comes to looking at myself and others 'positively'.
Perhaps the next time someone asks me questions regarding my 'taste' and preferences.. i'll start with what i do like ;)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Challenging times...

i just finished reading a book of collected letters by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj entitled "Challenging Times".

While i personally feel that he lacks the flair and acumen of putting his thoughts together and conveying his ideas on paper.... he definitely is a man to be admired simply for his endeavours to win Malaysia her independence.

i guess nothing lets you in on a person's character and 'worldview' as his own writing...

It was also rather interesting to note that a lot of his letters, which were written in the 1970s and 1980s, were addressing issues and predicaments that we seem to be facing today in this time and age.

Can't help but wonder if that's because history is repeating itself .... or we just haven't progressed in those areas since then.

Overall, it did give a perhaps more personal insight into the intricacies that made up our nation's history and into the mind of the man at the very forefront of it all.

Friday, April 24, 2009


In Article 160(2) of the Constitution of Malaysia it clearly states under its definitions that:

"Malay" means a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay custom and -
■ (a) was before Merdeka Day born in the Federation or in Singapore or born of parents one of whom was born in the Federation or in Singapore, or is on that day domiciled in the Federation or in Singapore; or
■ (b) is the issue of such a person;

So strictly speaking a person who is of any other ethnicity (e.g. Chinese, Indian, etc.) who fulfills the aforementioned criteria (as in the case when such a person of the said ethnicity converts into Islam) is thus deemed a "Malay" in the eyes of the constitution and as such is privy to whatever special rights attributed to them.

So therefore... should it be called the special rights of the Malays or rather the special rights of the Muslims?

To attribute special rights based on ethnicity may be justifiable in the light of the fact that history clearly shows that the other 'races' were brought to this country by the foreign powers in control of the land at the time... and as such were not 'natives' of this land and were given citizenship in exchange for respect for the preservation of certain matters including that of the special rights of the Malays.


when the constitution as it is written seems to attribute these special rights with a leaning towards religion than ethnicity... then what exactly remains the basis of such allocations? And are they therefore necessarily valid and justified?
Cos' technically speaking i could therefore be a 'foreigner' to this land but yet be privy to the special rights made available to the 'natives' of this land simply because i am or became a Muslim.

i'm hardly an authority on the matter and don't claim to be so but as a layperson who's in love and sincerely interested in the matters in and pertaining my country,
i can't help but wonder...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dual to single....

Priorities and beliefs are always tested.

And soon enough in the ensuing weeks my wife's and mine will be taking its share...

Thank God for the fact that we don't have that many financial obligations (although it would be really nice to have none what so ever).

For now the main ones are that of my wife's study loan and our car loan.

So now with the baby on the way (and really soon i might add) and the fact that we both stand by our principles of putting family first...we'll soon be converting from a dual income family to that of a single income.

Ling will be on 2 years unpaid leave (of which i am fully supportive of)... and that therefore means that i will play the role of being the 'sole bread winner' of the family.

So i was crunching some numbers and i realise... it's going to be quite the challenge.
So on top of our belief in building the family strong... our belief and faith in giving as well as God and His providence is also tried.

And to add icing to the cake... i'm not too sure what exactly my financial status will be like in the light of the possible changes my career may be taking (which i'm actually hoping for) in the near future.

It's going to be an 'exciting' road ahead.
Then again, since when it ever stopped being 'exciting'.

God, You be glorified.

Sweeping statements?

Girls who giggle a little too much... are just trying too hard.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

i see now...

ok ok ... i get it now.

yes, 'LOST' has finally, in this third installment in the series, proven to me that it is well capable of raising more questions than producing answers.

there were quite a few of the original 'mysteries' that were yet to be explained while introducing a rather numerous amount of new intrigues.


having said that i found it hardly exasperating... in fact it only served to raise my curiosity even more and deepen my motivation to get to the bottom of what in the world is up with that island! And perhaps even more so... its inhabitants!

My only hope is that at the 'end' of this entire series it doesn't turn out to be some lame anticlimactic end.

Now, that would be a MAJOR put off.

so yup, i haven't lost 'faith' yet.
Season 4... coming up ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kursus Kenegaraan

So i just came back from Kem Bina Negara Kundasang, Sabah for the Kursus Kenegaraan or commonly known as BTN course.

first off i have to say that i think most people (at least those whom i've talked to) have misconceptions about the course as a whole. The common comment made is somewhere along the lines of it all simply being a 'brainwashing' session.

Well, i found it to be a rather inaccurate assessment.

To be honest, i thought that the course overall did well to develop and inculcate a sense of appreciation if not love for the country and the history of it's formation... it helped to cultivate a greater sense of camaraderie and cross-cultural understanding amongst the various ethnic groups simply by emphasising the need to put the 'bigger' picture in far greater priority than the little aspects of furthering one's own personal or ethnicity's agenda.

Sure, there perhaps were some views pertaining to certain aspects of the government and the political system in our country that were 'unbalanced' and perhaps even 'exaggerated'... but that should only stir us towards learning more and acquiring an even better understanding so as to get for ourselves a more 'balanced' and holistic point of view.

It should only drive us towards improving ourselves and maturing both as an individual and as a citizen of this beautiful country.

i think most people who call it brainwashing are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

This, like most things, demand of us our own ability to interpret and discern that which is true and necessary with that which may be exaggerations of the truth or that which is false entirely.
Perhaps the lack of basics and the lack of any foundation of understanding on our own part... the lack of our own personal knowledge... makes us therefore inept in our ability to respond to what may seem entirely 'foreign' to us especially in the manner in which it is presented. What with the 'passionate' talks and rather 'heated' discussion sessions and not to mention emotionally-tugging and thought-provoking imagery used every now and then.

So to those who are none-the-wiser... they respond by just shutting it off.

Which i think is immature... simply because there is amidst all that is said, in whatever manner it is said, elements of truth and fact that need to be accepted, weighed and maybe even investigated further... for our sakes and more so for the sake of serving and protecting this country that we call home.

To find fault when we know nothing is immature but to find fault when we refuse to do anything about our own ignorance is plain irresponsible.

So yes... to those who have yet to go... i say go for it! Enjoy it! And gather whatever knowledge and appreciation that you can from it.... but more so return from it with a greater motivation and fervour to find out more and improve and mature.

Our country needs us to do so.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Strike TWO

i got a reply from the Ministry of Health headquarters with regards to my application for transfer.

It was DENIED.


Strike two.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

not that much of a sweet tooth...but

The famous Bon-bon cafe Durian cake...

the mocha mud pie.. particularly the one in TGIF

and definitely Chocolate banana from secret recipe.


Was talking to a friend about some stuff related to food ... and suddenly had a craving for some cake... which made me think of the 'cakes' i miss and crave the most ;)


Monday, April 06, 2009


It's tough to deal with reality when it actually 'kicks in'.

Sure, we 'know'... but do we... really?

Sure, we want.... but do we... really?

Sure, we mean it... but do we... really?

The words of the bible and the principles they stand for are pretty simple to recall.

But 'simple' and 'easy' are two very very different things altogether.

It's 'simple' to say that we should trust God irregardless of what happens cos' His ways are not our ways.. etc. etc... but is it therefore 'easy' to do it?


In fact, we spend our entire lives learning some very 'basic' and 'rudimentary' things.

But then again, are they really all that 'rudimentary' seeing that to learn them requires a lifetime dedication?

Is trust, obedience, love really all that 'simple' after all.. or are they the 'higher' virtues and qualities that we aspire and mature into?

On paper per say it's easy to write and read and perhaps even 'comprehend' them.

'Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength..'

'Love thy neighbour as thyself...'

'God is love...'

'Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the Church...'

'Be holy, as I am holy...'

'Simple' words but hardly ever 'easy'.

Especially when those very words 'come to life' so to speak and are challenged and put to the test in the various circumstances of our day to day living.

Really like that 'test' and 'exam' that we're so accustomed to in school... where despite whatever or how much we think we 'know' the subject... it instead really shows from our actual test results doesn't it?

ok, perhaps that's a bit of an oversimplification but you see the similarities right?

*and here i digress...

i sometimes 'smile' to myself when i hear the 'encouraging' words of 'bystanders'... well meaning and good intentioned... who witnessing the 'plight' of the affected individual, repeat the 'simple' words as if the person himself did not know better.

'Trust God Vinod'

'Just be patient Vinod'

'God knows best Vinod'

And my favourite still is when they give you an 'insight' which to them seems all so profound when in actual fact it only peels at the very superficial veneer of all that you have already been dealing with and going through...

'God is testing you...'

'God is moulding you...'

'Maybe there's a lesson for you to learn here...'

'Believe in Him Vinod... look at it as God's will for your life'

or worse still when they claim to 'empathise' and 'understand' when it's obvious that they can't possibly.

And it's not like i haven't had my fair share of 'tests'.

It's not like i'm this naive and inexperienced child that cries at every instance of difficulty.

It serves as a reminder to me too as i go through some of these 'tests' of how and how not to respond to the 'plight' of others.

How to be careful not to assume or presume...and yet be sincere with my feelings and honest in my experience...and loyal to the Truth.

While it may be 'simple' it sure isn't 'easy'...

*ok coming back...

So yes.
i look at some of the stuff i've been through and am still going through and it's a realisation that i have to remind myself about... that this is when truth becomes TRUTH.
This is when knowledge becomes KNOWLEDGE.
This is when we really KNOW what we know.
This is when we become men of our word and not just men of the word.
This is when the rubber hits the road.
This is when reality kicks in.
This is when 'life' happens.

And so i grit my teeth and brace myself for the 'ride' as i remember that the lessons of life are hardly ever learnt from the pages of a 'book' per say or in the safety, seclusion and sterility of the 'classroom'.

It's learnt 'out there'.
It's learnt in the being and the doing.
It's learnt in the visceral experiences and applications of the complexities of life.

Life is about getting our hands dirty and dealing with the bumps and bruises along the way.

i need to decompress

i feel like my head is gonna explode!
Not to mention my heart and body with it!


i am desperate for God to throw me a rope... can feel myself submerging in the quicksand of my own anger, frustration and angst.

i need to 'breathe'.

i'm 'waiting to exhale'... and the more i desperately want to, the more i feel the urge welling up inside of me... the more i feel restrained and constrained from doing so.

like i'm being 'suffocated'... forced to hold my breath.
Like my head is being drowned underwater and i'm struggling for breath but to no avail.

God... c'mon.... where is the light at the end of this tunnel...
Where is the hand that's reaching out to grab me just before i go under...

And yet my souls whispers to me...

... yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death i will fear no evil...
For You are with me... Your rod and Your staff they comfort me... You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies... You anoint my head with oil my cup runneth over...

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and i will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


*vinod closes his eyes and suddenly here's the song 'Yet wil i praise Thee' playing...he wants to weep but somehow the tears don't surface... perhaps the water has run dry.*

Thursday, April 02, 2009

ok i think i'm 'hooked'

yes, yes... my wife got me the second season DVD box set for my birthday and i've been watching it ever since.
Finished it yesterday in fact ;)
Yup. i'm 'hooked'.
i'm anxious not so much with knowing what's going to happen next but more so with what the overall picture is... what the whole 'mystery' is (and all the little ones intertwined in it).
The second season was in my opinion filled with far more unexpected twists and turns but at times felt a bit wearisome what with the sometimes too often necessary (at least i felt) recaps from the previous season.
Also, i think that this season had a lot more 'weight' to it.
The incidences and issues that the characters seem to be dealing with could very well be interpreted to pay reference and act as a metaphor for the bigger issues that we face day to day.
Like the whole 'pushing the button' thing...
i mean, to me, it stands for the almost perpetual tussle we face with regards to the fine line between faith and fact... and whether the things that we do out of 'faith' is really of any consequence or are we simply misplacing a sense of meaning and purpose to an otherwise insignificant and otherwise 'illogical' act.
And i think while the 'direct' references to the specifics may be subtle... the themes in this season weren't.
Faith. Religion. Science.
These were some of the more prevalent overarching concepts that seem to hold the storyline together and i couldn't help but wonder if the creators were either 'poking' fun at some of these ideas as they apply to real life or sincerely addressing the very real questions that people face with respect to them.
Season 3 here i come....


Why is it that in a place like Labuan where resources are limited and the population is small that i get the 'rare' cases?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


i would have scanned in a couple of my favourite strips from the books i have with me now... if only i had a scanner.

Trust me you really should get your hands on a piece of Bill Watterson's briliance.

You won't look at life the same way anymore.
Or even kids for that matter ;)