Howzit 26


It gives me great pleasure once again to pen a few words in our magazine. Its been 2 years since I took over the helm from IPP Dr Nirmal Singh at the highly successful 1st Global Manipal Alumni meet in August 2014. Wow! Has time really flown by. We have had some great presidents and I have been lucky to serve under a few of them like Dr Koshy followed by Dr Jeyalan and finally under Dr Nirmal, and it was no easy task to step into those awesome shoes. Nonetheless the fun and sacrifice has been worthwhile.

More than me as an individual the entire committee as a whole has been great. Kudos to the old committee as well as the newly elected committee which came into office in April this year. One of the main objectives we had in both these committees was see how best we could induct the younger crowd of Manipalites into Manipal Alumni Association Malaysia, as they are the future of MAAM. The response has been super. We have started having monthly futsal get together as well as Sportivo, once in 2 months where we also have pool and a few other games plus a simple social gathering. The response from the younger crowd has been great and we would also like the older crowd to come participate in one-way or the other.

On a separate note we also had our first Manipal games on 9th April at University Malaya grounds, which basically involved MAAM, Manipal Hospital Klang, Manipal International University and Melaka Manipal Medical School in football and netball and the responds was tremendous.

We once again had a visit from Dr Unnikrishnan, KMC batch 82, who decided to cycle from Singapore to KL and was partly accompanied along the way by Manipalites.

Finally it gives me great pleasure to inform all of you that this year is the 30th year of MAAM. It was started by a few batch mates in 1986 and has come along way today. We technically have 9000 alumni in Malaysia out of 44000 registered doctors, which is a really proud statistic to have. Our dream is to get as many Manipalites to become members of MAAM. In conjunction with landmark year we are having our celebrations on the 1st and 2nd of October this year. We are having multiple games to be played at UM followed by a gala dinner on 2nd night in the Grand Ballroom of Eastin Hotel. The theme of the night is Havana Night. As we mark 30 years of being an alumni, I sincerely hope all of you will make an effort to participate in the games as well as attend the dinner. The highlights of the games are going to be the North South football rivalry for both seniors and juniors.

With that I say Adios and lets give it like!

Dr. V Surendranathan FRCS
1964 (PPC)

I remember how Manipal Alumni Association Malaysia was formed. It all started in 1978 at my government quarters in Jalan Pekeliling, where the current National Library is.

About 33 alumni turned up and we decided to form MAAM. A collection was taken, where each person paid RM10.00 (Dato Dr R L Anandan of Melaka paid RM20.00.) We collected a total of RM330.00. A pro-tem committee was formed and the treasurer was given charge of the money. Then disaster struck. The treasurer did not join the association, and we lost the money.

This I thought was a bad omen, and the Association would not see the light of day, and would probably last as long as the enthusiasm of the rest of the committee members. However, I was wrong and the enthusiasm is still there today, and I am proud to say we are here 30 years on. I am also proud of all those 31 members who turned up and supported me till we registered the association in 1986 so started MAAM.

In those days, I was a visiting plastic surgeon to Taiping, Alor Setar and Kangar. During my trips I made it a point to recruit as many members as possible. We had our first formal inaugural dinner and dance at the Equatorial Hotel now under re-construction, (in Jalan Sultan Ismail). It was a grand party, the ladies in resplendent dresses and saris, and the gentlemen in suits. We received envious looks from other Indian Medical Graduates. Dr Dayanadan, a Radiologist, who had graduated from Thanjavur Medical College suggested we form SOMGRIM (Society for Medical graduates from India), and this was done. His registration member in SOMGRIM is 1 and mine 2.

The MAAM has grown from strength to strength, and today we have a vibrant association with 1900 members. No mean feat. Now a days when I attend MAAM dinners I find our vintage members are in a minority. A young Alumnus asked me recently “Uncle, why are you at this dinner? Is your child in Manipal?” At the Alumni meeting in Bangalore last December, the organizers noted that the rate of attrition, 50 years after our meeting in Manipal for the first time, is now 28 percent!. Time is running out , and we have to keep in touch and refresh those old bonds. We have now formed a “70+ living to serve” group for informal get to-gethers. We had the inaugural meeting in Port Dickson 2 weeks ago. Maybe we can plan for an old folk’s home next.

I have attended other KMC Alumni meetings in Atlanta, London, Bangalore etc, and am proud to say MAAM is “First amongst equals”. Before I finish, I must say thank you to all the early members for their support and enthusiasm. They are numerous; I do not feel confident to name them all, lest I forget any. So, thank you all.

Thank you all.

Dato Dr. Subramani Venugopal Past President MAAM

Way back in 1990, I was elected President of MAAM, quite by chance. I attended the AGM, when founding President Dr Surey said he wanted to step down and handover. With no takers, I was told I had to do it. It was an honour but frankly, I was nervous too.

To make things worse, I was transferred to Alor Star a few months later.

I am grateful to Dr A Chandramogan (Vice President) and the rest of the committee for doing most of the Association’s work and conducting its activities.

In 1991, we had a hugely successful gala dinner in Penang, with Dato Dr Arunasalam as Organising Chairman.

After 1 term, I gladly handed over the reigns of the Association. At least, I believe, I had ‘done no harm’.

Wishing MAAM the very best in its future.

Dear Manipalites

Heartiest congratulations to one and all on the thirtieth anniversary of the Manipal Alumni Association of Malaysia.

Since the time we were students, the Manipal campus has grown bigger and more cosmopolitan. The first Malaysian student to enrol in the Manipal institution was in 1956. Since then a large number of Malaysians have entered the institutions of higher learning of Manipal and become professionals and leaders in many fields. Malaysian students have for long time been a major group in Manipal and have been very active participants in all campus activities.

These Malaysian students on returning home were keen to form an alumni association. They first met informally in 1979 and registered the alumni association formally on 1 July 1986. In the initial years there was great enthusiasm and annual meetings and dinner/ dance programmes were regularly organised. After the first few years the activities became infrequent and there was a lull.

My participation with the Alumuni association started in 1990 when I returned from England after Post graduate training. Initially I joined the committee as the secretary of the association and then took over as president in 1992 and continued as president till 1995. Following this I served as one of the trustees of the association.

The duration I served in the Alumni Association was a sort of consolidation phase with a steady surge of membership. We were over the years able to coax former students into becoming members of the association. Our committee also moved some of the annual events to other states and coorganised these events with members in various states thus increasing participation. Since then the annual dinners have been a regular feature.

The MAAM and its activities have really grown huge over the years and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the committees for their dedication and members for the participation.

Wishing everyone an enjoyable and memorable thirtieth anniversary.

N.Arumugam Past President MAAM (1992-1995)

The Fire Burns Bright in MAAM
We used to lament the lack of enthusiasm among our junior alumni. It was an uphill task to get them interested in our activities. But thanks to the young blood in our committee this year, MAAM has suddenly become a hive of activity. This can be seen in the articles contained in this issue of HOWZIT


The secret to getting both the young and old blood together is simple. Just create a war zone for them in sports activities. From futsal, pool billiards to darts in various venues, the bonding of our alumni members was evident from such activities.


So much so that for our 30th Anniversary celebrations this year, sports activities are given a prominent role to create a fellowship with the junior alumni members.


Our 30th anniversary celebration culminates in the all happening HAVANA Night Reunion, an evening that promises a fun filled session of meeting our glorious alumni members from all over the country.


May the fire continue to burn bright!


Dr. Koh Kar Chai

Some Interesting Facts about Selenium
by Roshan

Selenium is a trace element and a natural anti-oxidant that is naturally present in many foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Selenium, which is nutritionally essential for humans, is a constituent of more than two dozen selenoproteins that play critical roles in Reproduction, Thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protection from Oxidative damage and Infection.

Selenium exists in two forms: inorganic (selenate and selenite) and organic (selenomethionine and selenocysteine).Both forms can be good dietary sources of selenium.

Soils contain inorganic selenites and selenates that plants accumulate and convert to organic forms, mostly selenocysteine and selenomethionine and their methylated derivatives. Most selenium is in the form of selenomethionine in animal and human tissues, where it can be incorporated nonspecifically with the amino acid methionine in body proteins. Skeletal muscle is the major site of selenium storage, accounting for approximately 28% to 46% of the total selenium pool.

The most commonly used measures of selenium status are plasma and serum selenium concentrations.

Concentrations in blood and urine reflect recent selenium intake.

Analyses of hair or nail selenium content can be used to monitor longer-term intakes over months or years.

Plasma or serum selenium concentrations of 8 micrograms (mcg)/ dL or higher in healthy people typically meet needs for selenoprotein synthesis.

Seafood and organ meats are the richest food sources of selenium.

Other sources include muscle meats, cereals and other grains and dairy products.

The amount of selenium in drinking water is not nutritionally significant in most geographic regions. The major food sources of selenium in the American diet are breads, grains, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.

The amount of selenium in a given type of plant-based food depends on the amount of selenium in the soil and several other factors, such as soil pH, amount of organic matter in the soil, and whether the selenium is in a form that is amenable to plant uptake.

As a result, selenium concentrations in plant-based foods vary widely by geographic location.

For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Composition Database, Brazil nuts have 544 mcg selenium/ ounce or 68–91 mcg per nut and could cause selenium toxicity if consumed regularly.

Selenium is available in multivitamin/multimineral supplements and as a stand-alone supplement, often in the forms of selenomethionine or of selenium-enriched yeast (grown in a high-selenium medium) or as sodium selenite or sodium selenate.

The human body absorbs more than 90% of selenomethionine but only about 50% of selenium from selenite.

Selenium deficiency produces biochemical changes that might predispose people who experience additional stresses to develop certain illnesses.

For example, selenium deficiency in combination with a second stress (possibly a viral infection) leads to Keshan disease, a cardiomyopathy that occurred in parts of China prior to a government-sponsored selenium supplementation program that began in the 1970s.

Before the Chinese government supplementation program, adults in the Keshan disease areas had average selenium intakes of no more than 11 mcg/day; intakes of at least 20 mcg/day protect adults from Keshan disease.

Selenium deficiency is also associated with male infertility and might play a role in Kashin-Beck disease, a type of osteoarthritis that occurs in certain low-selenium areas of China, Tibet, and Siberia.

Selenium deficiency could exacerbate iodine deficiency, potentially increasing the risk of cretinism in infants.

The following groups are among those most likely to have inadequate intakes of selenium.
– People living in selenium-deficient regions
– People undergoing kidney dialysis
– People living with HIV

Selenium intakes in North America, even in low-selenium regions, are well above the RDA.

However, people in some other countries whose diet consists primarily of vegetables grown in low-selenium areas are at risk of deficiency.

The lowest selenium intakes in the world are in certain parts of China, where large proportions of the population have a primarily vegetarian diet and soil selenium levels are very low. Average selenium intakes are also low in some European countries, especially among populations consuming vegan diets.

Although intakes in New Zealand were low in the past, they rose after the country increased its importation of high-selenium wheat.

Selenium in HIV
Selenium levels are often low in people living with HIV, possibly because of inadequate intakes (especially in developing countries), excessive losses due to diarrhoea, and malabsorption.

Observational studies have found an association between lower selenium concentrations in people with HIV and an increased risk of cardiomyopathy, death, and, in pregnant women, HIV transmission to offspring and early death of offspring.

Some randomized clinical trials of selenium supplementation in adults with HIV have found that selenium supplementation can reduce the risk of hospitalization and prevent increases of HIV-1 viral load; preventing HIV-1 viral load progression can lead to increases in numbers of CD4 cells, a type of white blood cell that fights infection.

Selenium in Cancer

Because of its effects on DNA repair, apoptosis, and the endocrine and immune systems as well as other mechanisms, including its antioxidant properties, selenium might play a role in the prevention of cancer.

Epidemiological studies have suggested an inverse association between selenium status and the risk of colorectal, prostate, lung, bladder, skin, oesophageal, and gastric cancers.

In a Cochrane review of selenium and cancer prevention studies, compared with the lowest category of selenium intake, the highest intake category had a 31% lower cancer risk and 45% lower cancer mortality risk as well as a 33% lower risk of bladder cancer and, in men, 22% lower risk of prostate cancer.

Selenium acts as a co-factor for several key antioxidant enzymes called selenoproteins that recycle cellular antioxidants such as glutathione. This process reduces oxidative stress, a cause of premature aging and chronic disease.

Selenium in Heart
Selenoproteins help prevent the oxidative modification of lipids, reducing inflammation and preventing platelets from aggregating. It also reduces LDL and raises HDL. For these reasons, experts have suggested that selenium supplements could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or deaths associated with cardiovascular disease.

Selenium in Brain
Serum selenium concentrations decline with age. Marginal or deficient selenium concentrations might be associated with age- related declines in brain function, possibly due to decreases in selenium’s antioxidant activity.

The trace mineral selenium has a huge impact on brain function. Nerve cells must have selenium to produce glutathione, one of the brain’s most important antioxidants. The brains of animals, for example, fed a low selenium diet make less glutathione. Such selenium-deprived brains also show disturbances in the activity of prominent neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline, signifying potential brain damage and dysfunction, according to recent research. Further blood levels of selenium drop as you age—by 7 percent after age sixty and 24 percent after age seventy-five, according to one study.

Selenium in Thyroid Disease
Selenium concentration is higher in the thyroid gland than in any other organ in the body, and, like iodine, selenium has important functions in thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism.

Women with thyroid peroxidase antibodies tend to develop hypothyroxinaemia while they are pregnant and thyroid dysfunction and hypothyroidism after giving birth. The authors of a Cochrane review of hypothyroidism interventions during pregnancy concluded, based on a trial that administered supplements containing 200 mcg selenium as selenomethionine daily to 151 pregnant women with thyroid peroxidase antibodies, that selenomethionine supplementation in this population is a promising strategy, especially for reducing postpartum thyroiditis. However, the authors called for large randomized clinical trials to provide high-quality evidence of this effect.

Additionally, selenium is also essential for the conversion of T4 to T3, as deiodinase enzymes (those enzymes that remove iodine atoms from T4 during conversion) are selenium-dependent. As T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone, and low T3 can cause hypothyroid symptoms. A double-blind intervention study found that selenium supplementation in selenium deficient subject’s modulated T4 levels, theoretically by improving peripheral conversion to T3. In cases of severe selenium deficiency, conversion of T4 to T3 may be impaired, leading to hypothyroid symptoms. As T3 conversion is not performed by the thyroid, the dependence on selenoproteins for this conversion demonstrates how significant selenium deficiency could lead to hypothyroid symptoms.

Can you overdose on Selenium?
Chronically high intakes of the organic and inorganic forms of selenium have similar effects. Early indicators of excess intake are a garlic odour in the breath and a metallic taste in the mouth. The most common clinical signs of chronically high selenium intakes, or selenosis, are hair and nail loss or brittleness. Other symptoms include lesions of the skin and nervous system, nausea, diarrhoea, skin rashes, mottled teeth, fatigue, irritability, and nervous system abnormalities.

The Science of Simplicity
by Dinesh Kumaran

Every morning, we unknowingly spend some time to decide on the attire to wear on that specific day. This would have probably resulted in skipping breakfast or even running late for classes. If we were to observe at some great figures in the world like Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs, they seemed to wear the same outfit most of the time. Does that mean that they have a bad taste in fashion?

However, that is not the case. They have just decided to simplify things. It is all related to the concept of decision fatigue. It can be described as a psychological condition in which a person’s productivity suffers as a result of becoming mentally exhausted from making so many irrelevant decisions. In a simple manner, by stressing over things like what to eat or wear every day, people become less efficient at work.

This is why the late Steve Jobs wore his signature black turtleneck with jeans and sneakers every single day. Besides him, Mark Zuckerberg often wears a grey t-shirt with a black hoody and jeans when seen in public.

On the other hand, the world would then be a boring place if all of us wore the same attire every day. Well then, we can consider to simplify other things like by reducing the amount of time spend on thinking about pointless aspects of our day. This may indirectly help us to be less stressed, more fulfilled and productive.

As the great American author Henry David Thoreau once stated: Our life is frittered away by detail.

… Simply, simplify.

“Do you remember the bread Masala from Iceland or the Falooda from Diana’s?”

by Jaskirreth Kaur

Well, I certainly can. It’s the little things that spark those nostalgic feelings taking a person back to their “yesteryears”. Well, not being a student of Manipal I managed to have a taste of its experience by being lucky enough to have a dad who regularly attended the yearly conventions organized by the Manipal Alumini Association Malaysia (MAAM).

Attending MAAM functions from the young and tender ages of 7 and 8, my brother and I have always had a ball of a time. There were always ample activities planned out for the children. Even our separate kids’ dinners were themed to “Harry Potter” “Frozen” etc, with best dress competitions. This required planning in such meticulous detail but as expected the alumni pulled it off successfully. We even had the chance to participate in a talent time competition that gave us a platform to build our confidence as kiddos. The North – South football match was always the highlight of the conventions.

Masala from Iceland

Players from different batches and from all parts of the country jog onto the field in the hope of reliving and showcasing their skills from yesteryears. The presence of the passionate netball players, wives and kids who come to cheer for their favorite football players adds excitement to the games. A spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship is evident during the game.

Winning or losing did not matter. Playing the game and meeting old friends was the most important thing.

Over the years, we have made numerous amounts of friends from different countries and all walks of life. This brings a sense of security that no matter where I go I will always have friends who I can connect with because of the Manipal bond. The alumni functions have definitely become a very much awaited family affair of the year.

As I have grown older, I’ve attended make-up workshops and belly dancing classes organized for the ladies. Furthermore, the dinners are extremely exciting with such wonderfully themed decoration and performances every year. The atmosphere becomes vibrant with live bands playing retro music, and everyone in costumes just partying it out. And one thing’s for sure, Manipal doctors really know how to party! Rain and drizzles definitely do not stop these doctors from dancing the night away.

Growing up with MAAM has been full of excitement and fun. Surrounded by Manipalites has without a doubt given me the exposure and guidance that I have needed. I have managed to have the privilege and opportunity of being a Manipalite at heart.

I encourage all of you who have young kids to let them enjoy the children activities and events that are organized by MAAM. They will thank you in years to come for the fun and memories.

‘Thank you Papa and all my Manipalite buddies.’

Manipal UNITY CUP…
bringing MMMC family members together around one commonality!

The cooperative efforts between the Sports committee of Melaka Manipal Medical College (MMMC) and the Student Council of MMMC initiated the Sports Extravaganza called ‘MANIPAL UNITY CUP’ for the last few years in response to the need for an increased emphasis on recreation and lifetime leisure skill development for the whole MMMC family. This Sports Extravaganza provides opportunities for students, Faculties & staff members to experience a variety of activities that encourage a more active lifestyle and lead to participation in life-long leisure, recreation, and competitive sports.

The highlight of the opening days of such a biannual ceremony is ‘TUG of WAR’, which brings tremendous joy and entertainment among staff members and students. For the last three years or so, the event has been kicking off with the creation of three groups named FIRE, WATER & EARTH; three of the four natural elements! Overwhelming enthusiasm can be seen clearly, as the staff members and students sweat it out in different games like football, futsal, bowling, chess, net ball, carom, basketball and badminton to bring points to their respective groups.

The event has displayed a great capacity to embrace change and continues to evolve each year. The three weeks long fierce competition ends up in a very jovial way when the victorious groups are given prizes for their achievements either during Lagenda or Annual Night events. The successful continuum of such a noble initiative owe a lot to the tremendous support of the Chief Executive, Deans, Student Council and Sports committee of MMMC; not to forget the entire MMMC family!

by Prof Soumendra Sahoo

Be the roots, build the the roots!

A personal message to all out there!

Sorry for being caught up with our own doings to do something Sorry for listening to people giving excuses to do nothing I hope You forgive Us, We just dint realize how special this Earth was! Until we realize it is gone… For example you only know the Amazon dessert but did u realize the Amazon was once a rainforest with thousands of tree in it… Oh wait you don’t know what are trees ? Or do you?

Well let me tell you …
Trees are amazing , we literally breathe the air that are created by these trees
It Cleans up our air, carbon and pollution free Stores And purifies
It is the Medicines to cure diseases Food that feeds us

Which is why… I’m so sorry !!!

That we burnt them down, and cut them with brutal machines at a rate of 40 Football fields per minute which was why 50% of all the trees in the world are Gone!!

And why???
Because of this

And that wouldn’t have made me so sad if it weren’t so many pictures of leaves on it

When we were young, i read how our ancestors had so much of consideration for the planet that they felt so Responsible and how they left the land for the next 7 Generations!

Which brings me great a sorrow because most of us today don’t even care about Tomorrow So I’m sorry for using nature as credit card

Most of all I’m sorry for our mindset because we had the nerves to cause this destruction

But u know what! 

Im not sorry! This future we do not accept it , because error does not a mistake until you refuse to correct it.

We can redirect this!! How?

We are the root , We are the foundation for this generation and it is up to us to take care this planet. It is our only Home!

To Betray nature is to betray Us, To Save nature is to save Us. Because if don’t equally save the nature, we all will equally Extinct

So let’s all held up our hands together and get involved to support in building our Home!

HIV Awareness Talk

Manipal Alumni Association Malaysia collaborated with Miss Malaysian Indian Global Care (MMICare) to organize a HIV awareness talk to Foundation in Science students of Melaka Manipal Medical College.This talk was held on 12th April 2016 at the Sports Complex Auditorium, Melaka Manipal Medical College from 230pm to 430pm.

This talk was organized as part of a charity project of Ms.Sajjini Michelle (1st runner-up Miss Malaysian Indian Global 2015) under the MMICare organization.This was the first part of her project which also included a fund raising for Rumah Ozanam HIV Shelter Home.

The Head of Department of the Foundation programme welcomed MAAM & MMICare to the event.Two alumni members Dr.K.Vijendran Nair & Dr.L.Sivasuthan were the speakers for the talk which covered about HIV, AIDS & other sexually transmitted diseases.After the talk there was a question & answer session between the students & the speakers.It was a very informative event which was attended by around 200 students.