Friday, December 16, 2011

end-of-year reflections 2011

maybe i try to look for timelessness in the things that i write. the immediacy of the world around us can be a shock to the system - we're constantly taking pictures of what we eat and then posting it to facebook, for example, or twittering about what we are talking about on facebook (in what appears to be a digital infinite loop).

but truly, effective communication only takes place when one can stop the chaos that is taking place around us, and connect with another human being for more than the briefest few seconds necessary to acknowledge another being's existence. there's far too much going on in the cacophony around us, and far too little time spent in silent and elegant solitude.


another year has passed, this time spent merantau di negara asing. there were highs (i got married, passed my MRCP, re-connected with debating and NGO work, travelled a bit) and there were lows (grandma's passing, and others) - it was a routine year. i grew wiser AND smarter (they're not necessarily the same thing), and have a clearer idea of my strengths, weaknesses and desires.

where does The Road take me, i still don't know... what i do know is that i want to be re-connected with the people in my life, those i have not seen/heard from in years....

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wimbledon and World Cups

i'm rather enjoying myself this month - i'm on leave (although i'm still going to the hospital to work), and i'm preparing for an exam next thursday. watching selected world cup games (germany v england was amazing, and the final result over preening self-absorbed rich kids made me happy as hell) and waiting for the Wimbledon finals (although Federer did lose sigh).

they've got a poet now! check him out here, with what i think is his coolest poem so far:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers' Day

this is the second world cup that i'm not watching with my dad. actually, i can't remember watching the 2002 world cup with him either - just bits and pieces of the 1998 one. i suppose it was university at the time, and i watched most of my games in KL with friends.

this is the second world cup he's missed. it hasn't been great so far, and the only bright spot is provided by his favourite player, Diego Armando Maradona.

i remember asking him once who he thought was the best player in the world - there was only one answer from him!

and now i have my own Maradona for my generation, sort of replacing his - Messi, just as good, if not better.

the strangest thing is, i almost wish for the old one again.

Happy Father's Day, dad.

Friday, October 09, 2009

I'm Internet-enabled!

i'm flying off tomorrow, to take an exam in the UK. hopefully it'll be the last one for some time, and i can then study to upgrade myself for fun, rather than a structured examination. :-) wish me luck!


the last 69 hours or so, i've had my Streamyx connection shut down. i thought it was me, and i went out and replaced a modem, but it didn't work either.

so i called 100, to try to settle the problem. they kept saying that it'll take 48 hours. and 50 hours after i made the initial complaint, two technicians were despatched to my place.

within 10 minutes and with 2 phone calls, they diagnosed the problem.

it was a wrongly-issued work order on Tuesday, to terminate my account. to solve the problem, their hands are tied - they needed a new work order to re-connect my account. it's just a matter of a few jumper cables, no sweat.

so today morning, i went to TMpoint at 830am, and stayed there for 50 minutes, to settle this problem. initially the people there said that i'll be reconnected within 24 hours, but i said that it was not acceptable to me, and i wanted to be reconnected NOW.

and i didn't budge until i got a reassurance that i'll get it by 12pm.

my issues are as follows:

1. it was probably a clerical error that led to the termination of the service. i have no problems with mistakes that happen, and there shouldn't be a witch-hunt for the person who made this mistake. i forgive this.

2. why do you need 48 hours to settle this issue? it needs settling NOW. AT THIS INSTANT. i made a total of 12 calls to 100 over this period of 69 hours, just to settle this, because this is a matter of principle. i will not tolerate third world levels of service, not when they advertise themselves as some big international company.

the first 4 calls kept telling me that it's 48 hours to a solution. it's also not their fault - their hands are tied and the company is telling them to tell the customer that it's 48 hours to a solution.

so i waited patiently, and when Hour 48 came with no solution, i can use the company's policy against them. and i did - with a further 8 calls between Hour 48-52 trying to diagnose this problem.

i just refused to budge. i was not rude at all, i was very reasonable, said thank you and sorry, told them it's not their fault, tried to get them to agree that we need to get a solution for me, and finally at Hour 50, two technicians came, who made two calls and inside 10 minutes, got the diagnosis.

see how important it is to have men on the ground? not inside some air-conditioned call centre in KL.

3. it turned out to be such a simple problem - issue a new work order, re-connect me the next working day, and voila! no problems for all concerned.

but why couldn't the technical assistance folks in KL handle this from their computers? what kind of archaic 1960s system that Telekom Malaysia runs? can't you check this from any PC?? that technician even got the number of the work order, all through a telephone call! an analogue call in a digital world - that solved the issue.

4. in TMpoint today, they said that i needed to wait 24 hours to be reconnected. this wasn't acceptable to me, and i told them in very certain (but very polite) terms.

what sort of company terminates immediately on receiving a work order, but needs 24 hours to reconnect, even after receiving a new work order? it's just a damned jumper cable - detach, and attach.

5. all this boils down to one thing - Telekom Malaysia has a virtual monopoly on telecoms services in malaysia. a lack of competition has made them bloated and too comfortable, and therefore ignorant of an individual customer.

we don't have first world infrastructure at all, so don't lie to ourselves. we cannot even ensure 1Mbps, and South Korea is already at guaranteed 10Mbps speeds.

and we definitely don't have a first world mentality either - and the way i was given a runaround is testament to that.

there are a lot of structural flaws inside the system. and it needs to change.

the technicians are the best - Mr Sufian and Mr Suid - both very professional and very competent. i'm impressed by them, and wish there were more like-minded people in Telekom Malaysia.


okay, i've finished ranting. now to have lunch, and then leave for Penang to see the LOML, and then to fly off soon.

i'm ready for it. i'm ready for this. i have an exam to finish! yeah!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

there's no time!!

there's no time for anything these days, but i long for a day when i can make a trip like this:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

oooh i'm lazy!

to blog, i mean. but i still read newspapers, and i surfed on to one of my favourite blogs today:

and found this:


Saturday, August 22, 2009

~ from The Madman, by Kahlil Gibran

How I Became A Madman

You ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen -- the seven masks I have fashioned and worn in seven lives -- I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, "Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves."

Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fear of me.

And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top cried, "He is a madman." I looked up to behold him; the sun kissed my own naked face for the first time. For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, "Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks."

Thus I became a madman.

And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.

But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

and another one about H1N1

we've seen daily statements by the Minister of Health, the DG of Health, the DPM, the PM, and various Ministers (one discouraged public events, at an event in which he officiated - what hypocrisy).

why aren't there any announcements by our Infectious Diseases Physicians from Sungai Buloh, our Epidemiologists from university hospitals, and Public Health Physicians from the ministry? i think that THEY are the ones more qualified to make announcements, and not politicians, who should keep quiet in times of crises and leave it to the well-trained.


how about a play in three acts? check this out:

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Flu

tuberculosis. cancers. motor vehicle accidents. heart attacks. surgeries. pneumonias. HIV/AIDS. diarrhoeas. malaria. neonatal infections. strokes. tobacco. alcohol. heroin. cocaine.

these are some of the diseases that kill more people than H1N1. as of today, there has been 1446 deaths among the 199,146 confirmed cases worldwide. that's 0.7%. and most of them have got co-morbidities anyway, making any infection more dangerous in them. any infection at all, including the common cold.

why are we being hypocrites and wearing masks? shouldn't we also stop smoking, stop drinking, stop driving recklessly? shouldn't we also be alarmed by the epidemic of obesity and of tobacco?

H1N1 is a dangerous disease admittedly, but only in those at extremes of age, pregnant, and with other co-morbidities like heart disease, obesity, asthma, diabetes or low immunity. don't overkill ourselves please.

please, let's all keep calm and don't panic. please.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

a surreal night

i was oncall on monday night. it was a busy call and i only managed to come home to have dinner (mom cooked) around 2am. it was the night where the racial riots took place in kamunting, and A+E was crazy mad with injured people.

i was a little woozy from fatigue, i was hungry and thirsty as hell, and as i sat down to dinner i figured i should watch some telly.

so that night, i had dinner at 2am, while watching The Simpsons, while being on call, while racial riots were erupting not far away from me. whoa. i think it was the most surreal night of my life.