The Manipal Alumni had a very successful 2019, we had many events that had great support from the members and non-members. All of this was only possible due to the hard work and dedication of the committee members. I would like to take this opportunity to give a special thanks to each and every one of my committee members and all the co-opted members.

Here is a quick summary of the events held throughout 2019.

  1. 2nd MAAM Abdominal Ultrasound Workshop – 10th March, 2019 – 50 participants
  2. MAAM Golf Tour in Ipoh – 20th April, 2019 – 30 Golfers
  3. Howzit 29 – May 2019 – 28 articles
  4. Housemanship Kit Seminar in MMMC – 18th May, 2019
  5. Ophthalmology CPD in Nilai – 15th June,2019 – 50 participants
  6. 34th MAAM Convention in Ipoh – 19th & 20th July, 2019 – 200 participants
  7. Sports Medicine Seminar in KL – 24th August,2019 – 50 participants
  8. 3rd USG Workshop in KL – 29th September, 2019 – 50 participants
  9. Manipal Playoffs in KL – 22nd – 24th November, 2019 – 400 participants
  10. Amazingly Auesome CSR Project, 30th November, 2019 – We raised Rm 10,170 for NASOM, Teluk Pulai.
  11. Mash Journal, Volume 4 – 2nd December, 2019 – 10 articles

The committee and I were working very hard to make 2020 event more successful. We had kick started the year with a few events already, but then the Covid 19 pandemic hit the world and all our planned events had to be put on hold.

  1. Membership Drive at a discounted price from 1st Jan to 31st March, 2020.
  2. Collaboration with Docquity – A continual learning platform.
  3. Symposia Series on Primary Care Medicine – 11&12 January, 2020.
  4. Dental CPD & Workshop, 1st March, 2020, at Hotel Armada, PJ.
  5. MAAM Golf & Cricket Tour Penang, 4th April, 2020, at Penang Golf Club & Penang Sports Club, followed by a fellowship dinner at Indian Palace – This event has been postponed to 2021, we will keep you informed on the exact date.

The Alumni is also in the midst of taking our website to the next level, we are registering https:/ making our website a secure site. (HTTP is the protocol through which data is passed between a web browser, like Chrome or Firefox, and a website. The S in HTTPS stands for “Secure” as in this website has a secure connection.)

We have also started our own Membership payment portal and a CPD payment portal.Receipts are now auto generated and we are working on enabling e certificates for CPD’s.

The Manipal Alumni Science & Health Journal page on our website will also see an upgrade very soon. Our new editor Dr Mohammad Nazmul with his committee will be in charge of the MASH Journal.

The Alumni is also working on improving the Membership benefits. Our latest benefit is with Melaka Manipal Medical College, Prof Jaspal has extended a discount to children of Alumni members who enrol to MMMC. This discount is only available to members with a membership of 5 years and above.

The Manipal Alumni is also working very closely with Doctor Shield Medical Indemnity insurance underwritten by Chubb. We have good discounts for all our members and are continuously working with Doctor Shield to get better cover for our doctors.

The Premium for the category of Government Doctors/Specialist with Locum Exposure is a steal, just choose the right cover amount for your respective fields and you will be covered irrespective of your field. Please take advantage of this.

If more of our members take up the Doctor Shield Medical Indemnity Insurance the stronger will by our power to negotiate with the brokers for better rates and benefits for the 2021 renewal. So come on Manipalites, let’s be a force to reckon with.

The Alumni has also tied up with Docquity and a few of our doctors have started giving talks via Webinars, this is currently the only way to obtain CPD points to renew your APC for 2021.

Please register yourself on Docquity using the MAAM platform and you will be ready to attend the webinars. Instead of raising money for Covid 19, the Alumni did something different and sponsored food to the Melaka Manipal Students who were stranded in the hostel due to the Covid 19 lockdown. It was lovely to see all those happy faces when the food arrived. Thank you Dr Krishilla and Dr Siva for making this possible.

The Alumni had planned for the 35th Manipal Alumni Conference & AGM on the 15th August 2020, at Four Points Sheraton, Puchong. We have now decided to put the Conference on hold but will go ahead with AGM at the same Venue on the 22nd August 2020. The members should have received the AGM notice by email.

We are also proud to be launching Howzit 30 at the AGM. This will be the 30th Volume of Howzit. Stay safe in 2020, Manipalites.

Your President,

Dr. Roshan

Dear Alumni members,

We have now reached the 30th edition of HOWZIT. This association of ours have progressed much throughout the years. Known for its fabulous fellowship events that kept our members in a tightly knit community of likeminded professionals, the association has since earned a name for itself by being involved in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) activities for both the medical and dental professionals. All these is being made possible through our own Society of Scientific Studies.

A fervent wish of this association is that there will be meaningful participation from both the pharmaceutical and engineering graduates as this is the Manipal Alumni Association Malaysia which is meant for those who have graduated from the various institutions under the umbrella of what is known as Manipal.

“lay back, relax and enjoy”

Of note is the fact that our membership is becoming younger throughout the years and this can be seen by the gradual entry of younger members taking up positions in the executive committee. This bodes well for the association as the younger minds are what will make the association stay relevant to its members. The seniors will then be able to do what have always been on their mind, and that is to “lay back, relax and enjoy” after having put in so much of time and effort in this association of ours.



Asian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) MMMC is a member of AMSA Malaysia. It was pioneered in 2016 by Dr Kisor Rao from Batch 31, who was also the Student Council President for 2016/17 and Prof. Dr Somsubhra De. In AMSA MMMC, we aim to build bridges and share dreams with other medical students’ associations around Malaysia. Our work focuses on enhancing educational opportunity and creating health-conscious medical students via public health awareness programs, academic and motivational seminars and research studies. We are also involved in numerous charitable or public health activities including AMSA Health Day, AMSA Community Service, AMSA Diabetes Day, World Immunodeficiency Week, World Health Day and many more.

On the 23rd of November 2019, AMSA MMMC organized a charity function named SPLASH ’19. The event was a colour festival similar to the Holi festival celebrated widely in India. The event took place in MMMC Greens of Malacca campus, from 9 am to 12 pm on a Saturday. We set up various booths for games and food stalls, alongside a stage for the deejay to play music throughout the event. We had an overwhelming response of about 80 students who took part in the event.

The event began with an inauguration by our very own AMSA MMMC advisor, Prof. Dr Somsubhra De. Following that, we had a zumba session that was about 20 minutes, led by 3 of our members. It was a fun warm up session with catchy Hindi songs. Once the zumba session was over, members of AMSA MMMC began spraying the participants with water as they played with the colour powders. Both members and participants had fun spraying water and chasing one other with colour powders.

We invited children from Salvation Army as our special guests for SPLASH ’19. Salvation Army is a network of social services for the underprivileged and differently abled community in Malacca. Around 20 children, along with their parents and teachers from the Salvation Army attended our event. They even gave us 3 performances throughout the event. The crowd cheered and supported as the differently abled children showed their talents confidently and gracefully on stage. It was definitely heart-warming to watch. The teachers from Salvation Army also set up a booth to sell handmade items, that were made and designed by the special children, such as floor mats, small wallets, envelopes and string bags. Many participants bought the items to support and encourage the children.

Throughout the event, we had a fantastic deejay, our very own student from Batch 37, Mr. Uvindu, who played us catchy songs that kept the hype high till the end of the event. We also had 3 game booths for the participants to play games and keep themselves entertained. Members of Student Council and AMSA MMMC set up food and drink stalls that were running very well throughout the event. To make the event more interesting, we had lucky draws for the participants. We had 5 lucky draws with interesting prizes that were given to 5 lucky participants by Prof. Dr Somsubhra.

The event was AMSA MMMC’s first big event of the year and it was indeed a successful one. SPLASH ’19 was a success, thanks to shared hardwork, dedication and teamwork by all members of AMSA MMMC. As it was our first big event of the year, there certainly were small glitches throughout the way. However, we look forward to organizing bigger and better projects in the future.



Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day’

Stop scrolling and take 5 minutes to read this article, it will change your life!

Recently I was going through a period of ‘meh-ness’ to say the least, and my friend shared this video titled ‘Three Keys To Success by Jim Rohn’ with me. What Jim Rohn said in the video really got me putting on my thinking cap and I had an ‘aha’ moment where I was certain that I needed to change how I look at life and I need to change, now.

I hope this summary of the video that I have made will change your life. The 3 keys are:-

  1. Personal Development
  2. Setting Goals
  3. Financial Independence



‘Work harder on yourself than you work on your job’ We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. The question is, could we become 3 times as valuable as we are currently to the marketplace? How about 10 times more valuable?

Another question is, ‘Why would the marketplace pay someone only RM5/hour and not RM50/hour?’ The harsh reality is that, that person is not very valuable to the marketplace.

We must highlight the word, marketplace. This person may be a valuable brother, a valuable father, a valuable citizen of the country, valuable in the sight of God? No doubt we are all equal in the sight of God. But if you’re not valuable to the marketplace, you don’t get much money, that’s just the harsh reality of it.

The key is that, you don’t have to stay here! The key to climbing the ladder is to ‘Work harder on yourself than you do on your job’ If we work on ourselves, work on our skills, work on our language, and become more competent each day, then we would become attractive to the marketplace.


“If you will change, everything will change for you”



‘It’s not what you get, that is valuable, it’s what you become’

There are 2 things to consider in terms of attitude


Best advice on that is to treat it as a school, let it teach you. Don’t use the past as a club to beat yourself up. If you feel good about the past, draw from that and build on it.


There are 2 ways to face the future, which is with apprehension or anticipation. Most people face the future with apprehension. You can face the future with anticipation if your future is clear and well designed. Decide on what you want, where do you want to go and what do you want to do. Keep a list of goals

Keep the old lists of goals and you will smile when you read back upon your old lists. Things that were so important back then, have completely changed in the present.

Another important point in setting goals, is what they make of you. My mentor once told me, why don’t you set a goal of becoming a millionaire? Not for the money, but for what it will make of you, to achieve it. Set goals that will make something of yourself.



Financial independence is the ability to live from the income of your own personal resources. To do this, we need to develop the right philosophy. We can adopt the philosophy of the rich who invest their money first and spend what’s left.

Spend 70%, save/invest 20% and give 10% to charity(help people who can’t help themselves). Nothing teaches us character better than generosity. Wages will make you a living, profits will make you a fortune. Find a way to make profits, while having wages (side hustle)

Before we wrap things up, I’d like to ask 4 questions

  1. WHY?

Why should we work this hard? Why take this many classes? Why all the sacrifices? The best answer to that is, the next question.


  1. WHY NOT?

Why not see how valuable you can become to the marketplace, to your friends, to your family. Why not see what you can make of yourself. Why not see how far you can go.



If I can do it, you can do it. You’ve got your life ahead of you! If anyone could do it, you could!



What a good time, to set your goals. What a good time, to get it together, to work on yourself, on your personal development.

by Dr Shawn Paul

Manipal College of Dental Sciences

It is estimated that each Malaysian individual produces at least 1kg of waste daily, with an effort to recycle products at a shocking 1% per total consumption. Currently, Malaysia has over 150 landfill spaces, of which 50% are unregulated and many more undocumented of its legal status. Malaysia is also reported to be the largest importer of used plastic, receiving a staggering 626 thousand tonnes of used plastic in 2018 alone. The ongoing burden of improper waste disposal adds to environmental damage, potentially affecting the health and well-being of communities and subsequently, Malaysia’s economy.

The consumerism culture has been a widespread trend both nationally and internationally. Although this rising trend boosts the economy and gross domestic growth, it will inevitably hurt the planet, and ultimately reduce natural resources. The call for sustainable technology development and efficient waste management lies in “The Green Vision of 5R” – an acronym for refuse, reduce, repair, recover and recycle materials. This calls for millennial youths to take charge of efforts to save our dying planet, by reducing consumption, reusing waste, repairing old equipment, recover reusable items and finally recycle materials.

The top three notorious offenders of waste pollution are fossil fuel energy expenditure, fast fashion industry as well as livestock and crop produce. High in carbon content, burning fossil fuels such as petrol, coal or gas provide 80% of our energy needs, and this unsettling dependence on an unsustainable energy source is worrying. Alternative energy sources such as solar or wind turbines are increasingly being used to replace this dependency. The hyperloop transportation system is currently being developed for its potential to significantly cut cost, time and waste pollution to the environment, compared to conventional motor engines. Plastic use from petroleum are slowly being replaced with more biodegradable sources such as marine scales, gelatine or natural wax.

Intensive feed-crop production leads to severe land degradation, water pollution and biodiversity losses due to expanding arable land into natural ecosystems. Meat production from livestock animals in particular, require massive amounts of resources that is causing immense animal distress. This agricultural sector primarily emits greenhouse gases that traps heat and is difficult to dissipate. The greenhouse effect has been one of the major causes of global warming, and conservationist are calling for lesser meat consumption through veganism and cultured (lab-grown) meat to replace real meat.

Textiles used in clothing are most often mass-grown using fertilizers that run off into freshwater habitats or groundwater to cause oxygen-free dead zones in water bodies. This phenomenon effects aquatic lifeforms that are a part of the food chain. Aromatase compounds found in fertilizers have also been shown to be strongly linked to cancer diseases and hyper allergic reactions. Startup clothing brands such as MycoTex and Agraloop have come up with various textile products that are more environmentally sustainable, by reusing waste products that are easily biodegradable, whilst lasting significantly longer. There are also companies that look into making clothes that require less washing, stronger tensile strength and manufactured with lesser by-products.

Reputable companies producing quality items that are easily repairable are getting rarer and rarer, with fast paced capitalism churning out cheap, disposable knockoffs instead. This business model hinges on rapid growth in consumerism, disregarding the consequences and resources of the planet. To restore this balance, consider products that last for a lifetime, even if it may appear costlier at first, as the cost per use may prove more beneficial. Single-use plastic should be refused, and, as and when possible, opt for products that come with zero or minimal packaging to reduce waste.

To enhance inclusive and sustainable industrial production and consumerism, an integrated and sustainable urbanization planning and management is needed to ensure material-energy-efficient outsourcing, otherwise known as green technology. These sustainable green technology-based production chain will substantially reduce waste generation, whilst ensuring producers and consumers alike, to develop lifestyles more in harmony with nature. Education, holistic empowerment and knowledge transfer on the importance of sustainable management, responsible consumption and environmentally-friendly products to communities, organisations and individuals become key goals for the youth of today.

by Dr. Maziah Mat Rosly

Environmental Physiologist, SDG Youth Leader 2020,
RCE Central Semenanjung, University of Malaya.

We are now coming to the 3rd phase of Movement Control Order which will take us to the 28th of April, 2020. These are challenging times. Each time you go on social media or switch on the TV, there is another update or announcement on the COVID-19 situation. On top of that, your daily routine has been turned upside down with the fear of contracting the disease and with the Movement Control Order. By isolating ourselves and social distancing there can be a toll on our mental health. The uncertainty will also put pressure on our emotions and resilience.

A recent survey of Medical Students and Doctors showed 70% felt the pandemic and MCO caused significant impact on their lives. 40% reported moderate to intense anxiety about the pandemic and the risk of contracting the disease. It is normal to feel afraid and worried in the face of this but there are also things we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing during these times. This is especially a good time to focus on our own mental health and to build skills that will be essential and helpful even in our normal day to day life. Some steps we can take include;

Focus on what is under your control

Worrying will not help solve the situation. Instead, spend the time and energy on the things that matter to you, such as your family, your schedule as well as observing proper hygiene to keep everyone safe. Eat a balanced diet, with adequate portions of fruit and vegetables. Drink plenty of water and ensure you get adequate sleep. Recommended number of hours are 6 to 9 hours a night. Get your information about the pandemic from reliable sources and limit the number of times you consume this in a day. You need to also build a balance in the amount of video and online games or movies and serials you engage in.

Exercise is essential in this period. It is a stress reliever and helps to stimulate your endorphins – the feel good neurochemicals. There are many excellent home workout videos and apps available online. Yoga can also decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone, which in turn can improve your overall health plus improve flexibility, strength, and posture. Some apps you can consider below to help;

Build Resilience and Positive Mental Health

It is ok to take time for yourself when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed to do things that will help manage your stress. You must take care of yourself first so that you can continue to take care of your loved ones and your daily responsibilities. But we don’t need to wait for stress and that overwhelming feeling to incorporate a lifestyle that builds our mental health resilience. Just as we look after our dental hygiene daily, we can invest and incorporate mental health skills or hygiene into our daily life. This helps us to cope with stress on an overall aspect. Some of the useful techniques include;

  1. Relaxation Techniques

You may already know what helps you relax, like having a bath, listening to music or talking to a friend. But it will also be good to learn skills that have been clinically evidenced to help manage stress and cope better. There is deep breathing exercise, mindfulness, meditation or even talking to a professional. Some useful sites that help in this process especially during this period of the pandemic include,


  1. Befrienders phone counselling service at 03-79568144/45 (24 hours Kuala Lumpur)
  2. Psychosocial support services provided by MOH with collaboration of Mercy Malaysia at: 03-2935 9935 or 011-6399 6482
  3. Women, family & Social Welfare Ministry helpline (24 hours): 019-2615999


App and Fb pages below are sources for relaxation and psychosocial support;


  1. Help others

Evidence shows that helping others benefits our mental wellbeing. This does not need to be in the form of donations only but can be a charitable activity where we give our time and effort. We can offer to pick up some provisions or medicines for our neighbours or the elderly in our neighbourhood (of course, make sure this is done safely). We can contact those who we know might be isolated, as they may be feeling lonely and would appreciate a call to see how they are doing.

We can be thankful to the incredible people working through COVID 19. Acknowledge the amazing health care workers, first responders, support workers, enforcement officers and others who are keeping us safe. We can utilise social media to express our gratitude and support.


  1. Connect with others

Good relationships are important for our mental wellbeing. They provide emotional support and allow us to support others. They also give us an opportunity to share positive experiences and help build a sense of belonging. Staying connected is even more important now and we should try to regularly stay in touch with others on social media, e-mail or the phone.

But it is important that we assess our social media activity. Evidence shows that overuse of social media use can be associated with rumination and feelings of depression especially in people who are vulnerable. If we find that spending too much time on social media is causing us to worry, then we need to take some time off and find a balance.


  1. Gratitude

Gratitude is the emotion of expressing appreciation for what one has or has achieved. Research shows that, over time, feeling grateful boosts happiness and fosters both physical and psychological health. In the face of uncertainty, especially now, concentrating on things you can be grateful for can help cope with anxiety and negativity your mind may experience.

Some ways to foster gratitude include, keeping a gratitude journal where you can write down three things that have gone well for you in the day and identify the cause. You can also think about people who have inspired you and what about them was most significant. Do an audit of the past 3 years and identify all the positive events that you should be grateful for. And finally engage in “mental subtraction”, which is where you imagine what your life would be like if some positive event had not occurred. The app below can help in this process;


  1. Keep a stress diary

There are a lot of favourable and unfavourable events that can happen in a day. Some minor things could make you feel stressed. By having a diary to record your daily activities, you are able to identify the causes of short term or frequent stress in your life. As you write down the events, think about why this situation stresses you out. Next, list these stressors in order of their impact and which affect your health, well-being and productivity most? Then, consider using some of the approaches to manage your stress.


  1. Stress relief

Finding a proper way for stress relief is not easy and it varies from people to people. Sometimes you feel lost or lack self-confidence to continue with your daily activities. Hold on and take some time to have a proper rest and temporarily remove yourself from the current situation. You can talk to your family and friends, or engage yourself in some recreational activities. Make sure that you rest your mind and muscles completely before resuming to your task. It is important to monitor your stress and psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression, and to find a suitable way to improve your mental and physical health.


  1. Staying flexible

As you encounter stressful circumstances and events in your life, it is helpful to maintain flexibility and balance in life so that you have a resilient mindset. You may allow yourself to experience some strong emotions, and realise when to put them aside and continue with your daily function. You may also step forward to deal with your problems and to step back appropriately to have a rest and to reenergise yourself. You may also spend time with your loved ones who offer support and encouragement to nurture yourself.


  1. Skill acquisition

Acquiring a new skill can play an important part in building a person’s mental resilience. It helps to develop a sense of mastery and competency. These can be used during challenging times and to increase self-esteem and problem solving abilities. Skills to be learned will depend on the individual.

Some examples include learning new hobbies and improve your acquired skills to help with everyday functioning. Free courses online such as what is offered on may be worth exploring. It benefits more on your mental health if you learn a new skill in a group with your closed ones especially during this period of Movement Control Order.


  1. Joy

It is important to seek joy especially during this period of pandemic. Do not panic and overwhelm yourself with the news online. Watch something funny on the television, enjoy some good music, take your time to do your work and enjoy this precious moment of staying at home with your family.


  1. ‘Worry container skill’

This helps to effectively manage your worries. It is an activity where you need to imagine in detail a container or a box with a lid that closes. Find the thing in your mind that worries you the most.

Imagine moving this thought from your mind and placing it into the container. Close the container firmly with the lid and move this container to another place. You can leave the container there and have more space for you to focus on other things.

by Prof Dr. Philip George

(Dept of Psychiatry, IMU) &
Leong Hui Yen (Semester 8, MBBS, IMU)

Manipal Alumni Association Malaysia in collaboration with Manipal Hospital, Klang had successfully organised its 1st charity movie screening on 30th November 2019 at Golden Screen Cinema, Klang Parade. This screening aims to raise funds for the creation of NASOM Teluk Pulai’s Multisensory (Snoozelene) Room and we gathered 1/3rd the amount needed to build one.

Approximately 100 people, adults and children alike were in to enjoy Disney’s “Frozen 2” newly released movie that evening. There were goodies bags for the children and also light snacks for everyone. The snacks were catered by Tender Hearts Café , a unique establishment that is manned by special needs individuals to provide job training , an income as well as giving them a safe place to work alongside others with similar condition.

Most of the children were from NASOM Teluk Pulai Centre themselves, along with their parents. We received humbling and tearful feedback from the caregivers whose children never had the experience of going to the cinema for they may cause unease to fellow movie-goers. This was the first time ever they felt welcomed in the theater and had a sense of being included socially.

The organizing chairperson of this event is Dr Khairina Adliah Kamal Ariffin and the team realizing this event include the alumni president himself, Dr Sivaroshan Puvaneswaran, Dr Farah Ainn Mohtar, Dr Kewaljit Singh, Dr Sivasuthan Letchumanan and Dr Venothini Rajamuniandy.

This screening would not have been possible without the generous donations from Manipal Hospital Klang, Hyrax Oil Malaysia , Dr Koshy K M, RCSRT Mediarch Corporation , RBR Healthy Life Sdn Bhd and our various individual donors. A great thank you goes to all of the esteemed donors!

by Dr Khairina Adliah Kamal Ariffin

27 and newly pregnant, Ayesha Said had barely enough time to get a proper meal, what more a solid 6 hours of sleep. Plagued by fear of being daunted and humiliated in front of patients and fellow colleagues by her consultants, she would invest even her free time in the hospital, clerking cases repeatedly and making frequent trips to the hospital laboratory and radiology room to finish her pending work. This was literally her routine every single day and night in an over-crowded government hospital.

6 years ago, after much struggle and backlash from her family, she started her journey to become a doctor in a well-renowned medical school with fiery passion and deep aspiration to excel as a medical practitioner. But as deeply as her hopes were rooted, destiny had other plans for her. Alas, 6 years of blood, sweat and tears were fruitful when she was awarded with the MBBS degree. After completing medical school, marriage talks were already on the table. Growing up in a traditional family, she had no choice but to comply to an arranged marriage, one that she was rushed into, some even claiming that she could have been married off earlier if not for her “over-ambitiousness” to learn medicine, an ambition she fought so hard to pursue despite the stringent rules and societal barriers that stood as obstacles in her path.

Now serving as an intern in a government hospital, she was piled with work, thrown with tasks that were not even within her job scope and was degraded on a daily basis. But her troubles didn’t end even then as there was pressure for her to start a family, given the fact that her age was catching up and it was not acceptable for the women in her society to bear a child at a very late age. She was blackmailed to comply to have a child or was threatened to leave her job entirely. She tried to juggle all those responsibilities to her best ability, to be competent as a doctor, to be faithful as a daughter and wife, to be accepted as a loved member of the society but most importantly to prepare herself to embrace motherhood at the most unexpected of times. Her only time of solace and peace was the few hours she spent in the psychiatric clinic with her doctor, her only confidante. She was fighting depression, an immortal enemy that was eating her from within. She fought a long and hard battle, a silent battle that no one knew she was even fighting, a battle she knew that she was already losing. The diagnosis that would have stigmatized her if anyone knew about it. “A doctor having a psychiatric illness, is she even qualified to work? “Can she even treat a patient if she herself is sick?” She couldn’t live with the nightmares that would ensue if she opened up about her diagnosis to any of her friends or family members.

3 months later, Ayesha Said was gone. There was no name or legacy that she left behind, no one to remember the despairs she went through. Only a few crying faces, a small picture of her on the obituary page of the local newspaper and a solemn prayer that lasted for a few hours. Her dreams to become one of the greatest doctors shattered to pieces and the memory of her very existence faded like smoke in the evening sky. The chapter on Ayesha Said was closed, done and dusted and life went on the very next day. Ayesha Said, 27 year old, female doctor, 3 and a half months pregnant (approximately 15 weeks), pronounced dead on 5th December 2015 at 2.45 am, cause of death was suicide due to self-poisoning. Both mother and her unborn child was pronounced dead. Case closed.

Based on a research paper titled “Suicide in doctors: A psychological autopsy study” by Keith Hawton , Aslög Malmberg and Sue Simkin extracted from the “Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Volume 57, Issue 1, July 2004, Pages 1-4”, it is stated that doctors are at higher risk of suicide than many other occupational groups. A psychological autopsy study of 38 working doctors who died by suicide in England and Wales between January 1991 and December 1993 was conducted. It was confirmed that psychiatric illnesses were present in 25 of the doctors. Depressive illness and drug or alcohol abuse were the most common diagnoses. Twenty-five doctors had significant problems related to work, 14 had relationship problems and 10 had financial problems. Multiple and interrelated problems were often present. The most common method of suicide was self-poisoning, often with drugs taken from work which brings us back to the unfortunate life story of Ayesha Said that fits most of the descriptions above, a clear motive of suicide. Although this research was dated almost 29 years back, the results obtained at the end still holds true to the current situation which is progressively worsening. Psychiatric illnesses have not only destroyed lives of the ill but it has turned the sane to insane as well. Diseases like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and phobias have not spared even the strongest of hearts, attacking them at their weakest moments. It is no surprise to see the people whom are entrusted to treat these illnesses themselves, the medical practitioners, are at the top of the list of being the ones that are most prone to be diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses.

Ladies and gentleman, it is high time to address this crucial matter at hand. Psychiatric illnesses that are rampantly increasing among physicians is becoming a public health crisis. In the United States alone, almost 300 to 400 physicians die each year by suicide. Out of that, female doctors have a higher ratio of death by suicide as compared to women in the general population at a ratio of 2.27: 1.00 while male doctors also have a higher rate of suicide as compared to the men in the general population at a ratio of 1.41: 1.00. To top it off, 1 in 3 physicians in training are clinically depressed and are on medications. The hours of discussion regarding the rehabilitation process of patients, the energy we invest in researching about various cures for cancer, the multiple times we fight death within the cold confines of the surgical room, the moments we hide out and wipe away our tears after the death of a patient, are all these relentless efforts worth it? For any lay person out there, all these encounters means absolutely nothing but for us doctors, these precious moments means the world to us. Our patients are our topmost priority but the questions here are simple, “Why aren’t we caring for ourselves as much as we care for our patients?” and “Why aren’t we treating each other kindly as medical professionals?” It is sad that professional hierarchy have destroyed the bond that should exist between a junior and a senior doctor, where an intern is often terrified of his/her specialists and consultants and mistreated by the medical officers just because they are young, naïve and new to the job. We are all professionals and thus, we all should learn to act like one. Everyone makes mistakes, including doctors, because at the end of the day, we all are mere humans. No one is born with perfection or any special, ethereal ability. We all learn through our mistakes and work through our imperfections to give our very best to our patients.

The cases like Ayesha Said are just one in a million that are currently happening around the world. It would be definitely wrong to fully accuse the medical fraternity for her demise given her various family and relationship related stressors, but it would not be much to ask that instead of her looking at her profession as another problem, it should have been a safe zone for her. The hospital should be like a second home, a home that we want to live in, not to leave and run away from. Everyone, from the highest position to the lowest should be treated equally and fairly and most importantly, the hospital should be a sea of knowledge and a temple of sharing, where learning from mistakes make us better doctors and not otherwise. Ayesha Said’s death should not be in vain and it should serve as a reminder to all of us, a lesson that we should all learn from and definitely to not repeat it in the future. The “Hippocratic Oath” that we all take prior to starting our journey as a medical professional should be serving its purpose, the fundamentals of being a good doctor, “to serve oneself and to serve all”. “Live and let live”! Only if we stand together will we be able to fight against the real villains, the various illnesses that challenge our very existence. So, let’s hold hands, stand up tall and brace ourselves for the inevitable as it is time for all of us to be a “good doctor”.

by Dr. Kavithaanjally Kumar

MMMC Batch 35

NO, this isn’t another clinical update on the management of COVID-19 that are abundantly available on Google and shared in Whatsapp groups by many concerned uncles and aunties. Neither is this a science fiction story I cooked up while inhaling volatile anaesthetics at work. This is merely my story, true recollections of my daily activities whilst battling the invisible enemy as part of the last line of defence. Who am I ? I’m an Anaesthesiologist and critical care specialist from a designated FULL COVID-19 hospital in the Klang Valley. I’ve been working as a doctor for more than 10 years now, primarily in the Operation Theatre, the Intensive Care Unit and also providing remote anaesthesia in other areas of the hospital such as the Daycare, Endoscopy Unit, the Interventional radiology suites, epidural analgesia for parturients in labour and Pre-Operative Anaesthetic Evaluations in the clinics.

The Coronavirus disease, or COVID-19 as coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is caused by a virulent virus termed Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has certainly shaken the foundations of this world, with more than 4.64 million infected and 312,000 deaths reported from more than 184 countries. No country can optimally prepare for a pandemic of this magnitude and the sheer exponential speed of infected cases feels surreal, with very little time to adjust or adapt. In the short space of 3 months all our routines have changed ever so drastically, for better or worse.

Prior to this pandemic, back in ‘pre-historic’ days our work was pretty much routine with the occasional “random surprises” thrown in every other week like a Severe dengue or unstable traumatic injury. Anaesthesiologist in most countries divide their work in between the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Operation theatre (OT) serving two very different sets of patients. Most of our cases in OT are calmly planned out elective surgeries whilst emergency cases run separately in a more chaotic OT. We examine our patients to determine fitness for surgery, then enjoy our morning brew of coffee whilst ensuring a smooth delivery of anaesthetics so they do not feel pain or remember ‘going under the knife’. Post-operatively, we monitor them until they are safely discharged back to the ward. Often, not many patients recall having met their Anaesthesiologist as they regain full consciousness much later in the wards largely due to amnesic properties from certain anaesthetics. ‘

However, since the very onset of COVID-19, from being perennial “backbenchers” in the hierarchy of medicine, Intensivist and Anaesthetist have been thrust into the spotlight due to our Critical care skills set. For the first time in its history, the TIME magazine featured an Italian Anaesthetist, Francesco Manchise on it’s April front cover. Our own Director General of Health, Datuk Noor Hisham publicly acknowledged the excellent care by our ICU staff as the reason for the low rates of mortality of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia. Indeed, more often than not the last few seconds, days and sometimes months of their lives were spent with us in the ICU and we speak to our patients’ family members daily via phone calls, more often than we sometimes do to our own.


“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”


Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way trying to downplay the roles of any of the other front liners battling daily to face this disease. I’m sure every healthcare worker has their own fantastic story that deserves to be shared and recognised (checkout Rayuan Pengamal Perubatan on Facebook for more). However, I can only write on what I personally know and that is, as of today, my hospital has the nation’s lowest rate of mortality (0.55%).

Overall, 75% (n=84) of our national mortalities were elderly men with multiple co-morbid, and my hospital had 11 deaths out of 2011 admissions. Most of our ill cases came from the much maligned “Tablighi” cluster, and while many keyboard warriors were quick to attack and point fingers, those of us who actually treated many of them were humbled by their simple demeanour -rarely demanding, never complaining or ever being a nuisance in stark contrast to the overseas returning prima donnas. It was truly an eye opening experience meeting many of these God fearing simpletons, and sadly losing some of them as well.

‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’. Despite trying times, this country has come together in such magnificent ways regardless of race, religion or political alliance. In my humble opinion, the prime reason our numbers reduced drastically in May is due to our compliant Rakyat. The vast majority have been well behaved and stayed at home, rarely kicking up scenes seen in ‘first world countries’ in the West. This may account for our relative success, aside from having very minimal political interference in our healthcare management. But as we approach the fourth month of this tiring battle, with the ever increasing workload and demands placed on our healthcare system there is growing concern about “Burnout Syndrome”, especially its potential to negatively affect the workforce and patient care. We must stay positive to keep our energy levels high by constantly motivating each other.

Scientists from all over the globe are pushing forward on developing a vaccine but at best the outcome will likely be known only in 6-18 months. Our current best modalities are anti-viral drugs that have shown promise in treating previous coronaviruses like MERS-CoV and SARS. We are proud to be part of the “Solidarity” clinical trial evaluating these treatment modalities. Regardless, life has to move on. We tend to take the simplest things in life for granted, and I can’t wait to have that home cooked family dinner, driving out to a nearby beach to see the sunset or taking my puppy out for a walk in Desa Park City. I’ve been fortunate to have the support of a very independent woman who has been my pillar of strength and also have wonderful colleagues at work who constantly brave danger without fear or favour. Nevertheless, we must embrace the new norm and cherish life as it’s a gift. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

Author: Anonymous as he hasn’t declared his taxes
and doesn’t want to risk upsetting the Government.

Procrastination. We all know how it feels right? We’ve been there and done that. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most common New Year resolutions. Almost all college students tend to procrastinate because we tend to delay our work just to fulfill our own wants such as binge watching the whole season of The Game of Thrones, playing online games, and of course surfing the web endlessly.

Here’s the thing – procrastination isn’t really a big issue when we simply put something off until tomorrow but it becomes an issue when we put it off day after day. The main problems with our generation is that we easily get distracted and bored so we tend to fill in our free time by doing something we love.

Well, procrastination is not entirely that bad because some people tend to do better when they delay their work such as perfectionists and perhaps some do not. In fact, procrastination occurs anytime as if it is a natural thing, such as when we’re trying to read a book, study, do an assignment or play football. This feeling literally makes us feel lazy and unproductive. Eventually, we will come to a point where we have to get things done anyways because the repercussions would be severe which will potentially impact the outcome of the assigned task. A stated by Mason Cooley, “Procrastination makes easy things hard, and hard things harder”.  

By Adelene Shalini Michael

“There is no such thing as away, when we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”

What if we send all of our garbage into space? Will we get rid of our garbage on earth or will it have certain consequences to it?

In everyday life we all dump garbage from our homes, offices, industries and working spaces outside, where trucks and garbage recycling lorries will carry it away and that’s it, our homes smell fresh again. Certainly we all believe in a magical world of trash out of sight out of mind, but in reality we just hide it all in places like landfills, huge dump lands or oceans. The world produces 1.2 billion tons of garbage every year and by the year 2100 this will reach to 3.6 billion tons annually. So the questions we should be asking now is, how much more can we rely on landfills? What if we need more space? How much will it cost? What kind of infrastructure will we need? And what could go wrong?

So let’s consider what will happen if we send all of our junk to space? As we have a lot of junk in this planet so shooting it into outer space seems like an obvious solution. After all we have been going to space since the 1950’s sure now it’s easier than ever before. Let’s say yes! Shooting our garbage to space is possible but certainly it’s not easy. Astronomical operations has always been expensive and cost billions and billions of dollars. It will certainly require millions of rocket launchers every year which will be damaging to our atmosphere and polluting our environment. After all it might be hindering future space travel with space junk and all this are assumptions only if things go according to what was planned.

Since the start of space age 5038 rockets have been launched into space and we have sent probes to as far as Neptune and in 2018 NASA sent a probe to the outer atmosphere of the sun. So in theory the solar system is a solution to our disposal but how will it work? An Ariane 5 rocket carries a pay load of up to 7000kg to a stable point in earth’s orbit at a cost of around 200 million dollars, but since the world produces 1.2 billion tons of trash every year we need to launch about 168 million or Ariane 5 every year to keep the globe free of garbage and all of this will cost 33 quadrillion dollars every year. Since the worldwide GDP is 77 trillion dollars we are short on finance to make this happen. At the same time we are not only short on cash but also short on resources. 91 rockets were launched in 2017 which is not a lot as compared to the 168 million we have to accommodate so the bottom line is that if we want to send our garbage to the cosmos we need to build a lot more space ports, a lot more launch pads and we have to do it fast.

Let’s suppose we found a way to pay the bills and build the infrastructure, but there is something we can’t control. Russian’s sought space launch system is the most successful of all time the success rate is 97 percent of every 1000 launches. Now let’s apply that percentage to a 168 million launches where each rocket is carrying more the 7000 kg of garbage that 3 percent failure rate isn’t so reassuring anymore just a few accidents per year could have a devastating impact on our atmosphere, our oceans and our soil not to mention the fatalities and the damages that will occur when burning plastics and heavy metal are raining from the sky and what if a failed rocket was carrying nuclear waste into space? What if this actions and space launches made our world uninhabitable would we be beyond saving our planet? In 1978 NASA scientist Donald J. theorised that the accumulation of space debris over time could become so dense that we could no longer use satellites or for the matter leave earth’s orbit. We would be trapped in a toxic world surrounded by our own garbage that will decay and we will decay as well. We don’t like to think about where our garage goes but we are just glad to see it disappear, but of course we can’t really make it disappear and we can’t just shoot it into space and hope it floats away because what if it comes back what will that look like? So in order to find a solution to dispose our waste we should consider reduction in our waste production.

By: Nisha Fareena Khan

  • Two steel birds will fall from the sky on the Metropolis
  • The sky will burn at forty-five degrees latitude
  • Fire approaches the great new city Immediately a huge, scattered flame leaps up
  • Within months, rivers will flow with blood
  • The undead will roam the earth for little time.

Does this imagery sound similar to any incident? “Two steel birds” being two aeroplanes and the “Metropolis” being New York City. It may seem true that this verse imitates the incident of 9/11. So does many verses from “Centuries” (1955), a collection of one thousand quatrains by French physician, astrologer and Prophet Michel de Nostredame.

Nostradamus has been proved to have accurately predicted the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945; the Apollo Shuttle Challenger accident in 1986; the French Revolution in 1789; the death of Princess Diana in 1997; as well as both the World Wars. The sheer accuracy of Nostradamus’ prophecies for the last ten decades has been a sensational debate around the world. “Centuries” was originally titled “The Prophecies of Nostradamus”, each quatrain of which is written predominantly in French with some Latin, Greek and Italian. They are full of impenetrable metaphor and anagrams; they include few dates or specific geographical references and are not arranged in chronological order.

According to the work’s preface, a letter from Nostradamus to his son Cesar, the verses were intended to be mystifying. One of the most widely known is Nostradamus’ supposed prediction of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime-

  • Beasts ferocious with hunger will cross the rivers,
  • The greater part of the battlefield will be against Hister.
  • Into a cage of iron will the great one be drawn,
  • When the child of Germany observes nothing

Although many believe it to be accurately super positioning with actual events, sceptics ascribe the apparent accuracy of these quatrains to two major factors: problems with translation and simple coincidence. Generally, many of Nostradamus’ prophecies include 16th-century French term, indecipherable to most modern interpreters. Particular words could be interpreted in any number of ways, and they can be twisted easily to fit an actual event. It is also important to notice that Nostradamus referred “Hister” to a region near the Danube River where Hitler was said to have born.

Random fortuitous and creative interpretations may have been the main reasons for Nostradamus’ number of hit predictions. Among the thousands of vaguely described quatrains, it is certainly possible for some events to have occurred simply by coincidence. But the world still awaits for the most sceptic prophecy of World War III in the near future: this too may line up in Nostradamus’ accurate predictions.

By: Soumik Bhattacharjee

As Manipalites and future healthcare practitioners we have a sense of duty towards our fellow men. It is with this sentiment that the students of Melaka-Manipal Medical College organize various community outreach programs as well as social responsibility projects. Each year the students of MMMC organize numerous programs such as blood donations, visits to orphanages and various elder care homes, health screening programs and public education programs. In addition to the programs organized by the students themselves, we also participate in many other programs organized by various interested parties for the benefit of the general public. The following are a few examples of such activities where students of MMMC have shown their skills and compassio



Each year the student council of Melaka-Manipal Medical College organizes two blood donation programs. Each program is held in both Melaka campus as well as Muar campus. The Melaka Campus blood donation is held in collaboration with the Pusat Jabatan Transfusi (Tabung Darah), Hospital Melaka whereas in Muar campus it is in collaboration with the blood transfusion service of Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital, Muar.

The aim of this event is to create awareness and motivate people for blood donation. Not only that, it is to promote and support the establishment of effective national blood donor programmes. The blood donation drives are always a great success with many students and staff donations as well as a few outsiders.



On the 31st of October 2019, we organised a breast cancer awareness event, ‘Pink Zumba’ in conjunction with Pink October. Pink Zumba aimed to raise awareness through the promotion of physical health and by creating a bond between the students of Melaka-Manipal Medical College and cancer survivors in the community. This event was attended by faculty, staff and students of MMMC as well as members and volunteers from National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM). The keynote speaker was Mrs. Vijayalakshimy K Silvathorai, Head of Peer and Volunteers Support Group of NCSM. Her contribution to the community of survivors has been an inspiration to many. She was recently awarded the Global Hero of Hope by American Cancer Society. Mrs. Vijaya spoke about her journey with breast cancer in the past 12 years. She also shared a variety of information on medical etiquettes and our role as medical students towards patients in the hospital. Mrs Vijaya also shared with the participants the initiatives by NCSM in promoting awareness and support to the community.

The event included a quiz session on breast cancer and other related issues. The highlight of the event was the fun and energetic Strong by Zumba session conducted by an instructor from Woodbox Fitness, Melaka. The 40 min calorie-burning group fitness was enjoyed by all. All participants were dressed in pink. It was rather moving to witness survivors amongst members of our college participating in an awareness event in our own campus.


The event was able to pave a pathway for students who are interested to work with NCSM as volunteers.



Each year the students organize several health screening camps for the general public. So far this year we have conducted two such camps. One in collaboration with PESRON family day and another in conjunction with Hands to Heart Mass CPR training program.

On 21st July, students of MMMC organised a free medical camp in conjunction to family day of Persatuan Sukan dan Rekreasi OKU or better known as PESRON. PESRON is an organization founded to provide opportunity to the people with disabilities to excel in sports.

Our agenda of medical camp included general health screening, eye examination and E.N.T examination. In addition, counselling services as well as specialist consultations were provided by our professors for the participants.



Multiple visits to charitable institutions such as orphanages, elder care homes and salvation army are organized by the students every year. One such event was our visit to Pusat Jagaan Kanak-Kanak in view of Diwali 2019. We spent our time celebrating this festival of lights with the children from this home on the 24th October 2019. Our students bring them presents, play games, sing songs and spend quality time in the midst of the inmates.

The purpose of these events is to give the resident inmates a sense of enjoyment and allow them to make their own memories on these special occasions.

We donate general groceries as well as other supplies requested by the organization according to their specific needs at the time. Another similar event is scheduled to be conducted in conjunction with the Christmas and New Year celebration during the last week of December.


Secretary, Student Council 2019/20, Melaka-Manipal Medical College.

Budak dan “nampak hantu”

Pernah dapat budak masuk ward untuk MRI brain. Baca baca buku nota follow up dia, cerita asal dia lebih kurang macam ni:

pada umur 3+ , budak ni mula cakap mengarut. sebelum ni cakap jelas.

Mak juga complaint, yang anak mula nampak hantu.

Yang bagus pasal mak ni, dia bawak jumpa doktor dulu. Doktor kecemasan kata x ada masalah, dia bawak ke doktor mata swasta, ada detect masalah.

Rujuk semula pada doktor kanak2, kemudian rujuk pada doktor saraf dan otak kanak2. Siasat siasat, ada masalah dalam otak.

Nama penyakit: ADEM (Acute Disseminated Encephalo Myelitis).

Mata pun ada masalah: bengkak saraf mata.

Dengan follow up yang bagus, masalah selesai dalam 6 bulan.

2 tahun lebih tak ada masalah, sekarang ada nampak kelibat lagi.

Jadi perlu MRI sekali lagi, takut masalah otak datang semula.

Respek pada mak ayah, sebab usaha untuk follow up dan carik punca masalah.

Kalau ikutkan saya, lama dah saya discharge dari Wad Paediatrik, rujuk Darul Syifa’! budak nampak hantu, saya nak buat apa lagi.

Azhar Firdaus

House Officer HKL

The closing day of the Manipal Playoffs 2019 saw Manipal Alumni Association Malaysia (MAAM) winning the overall champion of the annual sports meet for the 4th time in a row.

Manipal Playoffs 2019 held from 22nd November to 24th November was the 4th edition since it was first organized in 2016. The event took place at 3 different venues which were Sunway Mega Lanes, Universiti Tenaga Nasional Kajang, and Samba de Futsal Petaling Jaya. 12 different sports were contested this time which gathered almost 450 participants throughout the 3 days event. A new event that was introduced this time was chess. MAAM was crowned overall champion again with a total of 5 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze medal won.

The organizing team would like to thank everyone involved and who made the event a successful one. MAAM would also like thank to Impak Prima Enterprise, MNE Solutions Sdn Bhd and Klinik Famili Leiya for sponsoring our event.

We hope that everyone had a good time playing against each other and created an unforgettable moment. Now, we are looking forward to Manipal Playoffs 2020, where the 5th edition of this annual event will take place.

by Dr Eriq Nazriq (BDS 6)

Who is afraid of the big bad wolf? Not Manipal Hospitals Klang (MHK).

MHK has recently participated in the largest book sales in the world, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sales 2019 at the Mines Convention Centre. The 2-week event saw almost 100,000 strong of book lovers from all ages looking for good deals on books and various stationaries.

Being the only hospital participating in BBW’s 10th year book sales, MHK has stepped out of Klang to meet those from different parts of Klang Valley while offering free health checks, discounts on health packages and exclusive dietician consultation. In a meet-and–greet of sorts, MHK brought attractions that drew families to the booth such as superhero cosplayer appearances, free manicure and face painting, which delighted the children and parents alike. Being a part of one of the biggest events in Malaysia, MHK has definitely made its mark in the Klang Valley.

MHK Specialists On Air!

Manipal Hospitals Klang (MHK) has specialists that are superstars on the airwave. Dr Puneet Nandrajog, Consultant Neuro & Spine Surgeon and Dr Jagjeet Singh, Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon were both featured on BFM 89.9 Health and Living segment.

Dr Puneet gave an insight on the topic of extreme facial pain, which is a case of trigeminal neuralgia, one of the more serious conditions affecting the facial nerves. Also an alumni of Manipal Medical College, Dr Puneet is an integral part of the Spine Centre in MHK.

Dr Jagjeet Singh gave listeners an understanding on how to manage severe burn which leaves scars that could cause psychological distress to the person, even long after the injury has healed. Dr Jagjeet Singh is currently the only plastic surgeon in Klang and is a resident at MHK.

What I learned most from the course is not about direct restoration (though I learned a lot too) but the way they present themselves as dentists. Hungry for knowledge, don’t hold back when sharing their knowledge, admitting to their mistakes, accommodating to their patients’ needs and uplifting people to do their best. They are influencers for a reason; they show how dentistry should be. They show the #realdentistry.

All dentists want to offer the best treatment options, which usually bear a high cost to the patient. But only a few can shut this greed and plan a treatment based on their capability and the patients’ affordability. Dentistry is a lucrative industry but don’t let it shadow your judgement. You could charge how much you want but don’t cheat on your patients.

Some dentists are eager to do complicated treatments but eventually fail, even worse, they put the blame on their patients. However, only a few would actually improve their basic skills to an extent that its prognosis surpass gold standard treatments. Dentistry is always evolving. It has always been that way, from amalgam to GIC to composite to God knows what’s next. It is wrong for me to charge my patients for a crown which I know won’t stay long while I know if I do a direct composite the proper way it could serve better and longer.

In each generation, there will be disruptors. People who are brave enough to bring forward new set of principles against those who hold on to dogmas backed by their ego and certificates. The first thing we learn in Introduction to Dentistry is that it is an evidence-based field. But you’ll be surprised how many people, from students to lecturers, general practitioners to specialists, who are reluctant to accept contradicting facts that they learn from school even when presented with cold hard evidence. My Dean always said when you’re in Dentistry, learning is a lifelong process. I have definitely learned something new.

Thank you @thedentalacademymalaysia for another great course.

Dr Edmond Fernandez (“Eddie” as he was fond0-00 called) was more than just a doctor to the many who knew him. A wonderful human being, his distinctive character, wittiness and affable personality invariably left a lasting impression to the many he came in contact with. His sudden passing in the early morning of 19th of December 2019 at his home in Sandakan came as a shock to all who knew him.

Born in Kuala Pilah, he had his education at St Paul’s Institution , Seremban and completed his Malaysian Cambridge Examination in 1971. He did his Pre University Course at St Joseph’s College in Tamil Nadu and was subsequently admitted into the Kasturba Medical College Manipal in 1975.

In college he was popular and was always helpful. He represented the college in football and in 1978 he captained the college football team, leading them to become the All India Inter Medical College football champions. As he grew in seniority in college, he became known for his oratory and organizational skills, and among others, was instrumental in having the college’s first convocation ceremony held on campus in Manipal.

On his return from India in 1981, he was posted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kota Kinabalu until 1984, after which he was promoted as the Area Health Officer for the district of Sandakan, Kinabatangan and Labuk Sugut. After 7 years of yeoman service to the Ministry of Health, he resigned in 1989 and ventured into private practice in Sandakan, setting up Klinik Elopura Sdn Bhd.; remaining the Chief Executive Director until his demise.

He tied the matrimonial knot with Sn Ng Mee Leai in 1990 and was blessed with a son, Shannon Marvin Fernandez now pursuing a degree in MultiMedia and a daughter, Sabrina Lily Fernandez currently in her pre-final year at IMU’s medical school.

After establishing a flourishing and successful GP practice, he diversified the scope of services by pursuing his Licentiate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2001 and the certificate in Aesthetic Medicine from the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine in 2005.

He was actively involved in a number of organisations and charities. He was on the Board of Visitors for Duchess of Kent Hospital, Sandakan, Member and frequent speaker on Occupational Health matters to the Incorporated Society of Planters, Member for Sandakan Water Watch Committee, Chairman for Working Group on Environment LA21 project, Chairman for Working Group on Socio-economic LA21 Project, Past Chairman and member of the Plantation Health committee of MMA.

He was a life member of Manipal Alumni Association Malaysia, MMA Society of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Academy of Occupational & Environmental Medicine Malaysia and the Malaysian Society of Allergy and Immunology.

He was a non-executive Director of NPC Resources Bhd. a public listed company, Past Chairman and member Sandakan Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Patron to the Sandakan Indian Association, Founding President and member Sandakan Toastmasters Club, A staunch supporter of our alma mater, he contributed actively in most MAAM functions and in his earlier days often participated in the North South games. He was the Master of Ceremonies in MAAM Annual Dinner Convention in Holiday Villa in 2011.

He was also an astute businessman, having interest in property development and in oil palm plantation. His vision was also to improve private healthcare facilities for the community in Sandakan, and he had just started to embark on the vision by working to establish a Private Medical Center with tertiary healthcare services, the Sandakan Medical Faculty project, a 15 storey RM 150 million center, which would have included a Cardiac Center and MRI services.

His achievements from his humble beginnings to his success in both his professional and personal life will unquestionably be an inspiration to all who knew him. In his own way, he was many things to many people. To his patients he was a caring and compassionate doctor. To his colleagues he was a kind and good hearted person with great organizational and leadership qualities. He was an affectionate, gentle and loving husband to his wife. As a father, he was their rock with broad shoulders to support and carry them on whenever required. He will always be remembered for the manner in which he touched all our lives and enhanced the reputation of Manipalites.


My association with the late Dato Dr Jagjit Singh started during my tenure as the President of MAAM. He was a very friendly, cheerful and committed member of our Association always willing to render a helping hand. The late Dr Jagjit inherited a curious mixture of Entrepreneurial abilities and Professional capabilities.

He operated a chain of Clinics across the Klang Valley employing many Manipal graduates. He continued to work as a dedicated doctor in spite of being actively involved in activities of various other organizations including NGOS.

He was bestowed the title Dato by His Excellency Governor of Melaka. I share the sentiments of many of our colleagues that Dr Jagjit was a true friend, a strong advocate of our Alma Mater and a staunch and dedicated supporter of our Alumni. We will miss him immensely.

Dr. Koshy Thomas

Most if not all hospitals and clinics ran into a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of our frontliners had to make do with self-made PPEs using common household items. Some had no option but to reuse PPEs, something we thought we would never see in this day and age. Some chose to continue with their work without donning PPEs simply because they wanted to continue serving selflessly, and the lack of PPEs weren’t going to stop them. Although we may applaud this act of selflessness, in truth, this scenario should never be the nor. Healthcare workers and other fronliners risk their livers fighting this pandemic so that the community at large may have the opportunity to lead theirs. Hence, frontliners should never be thrown into battle without appropriate gear and equipment. This same thought resonated among Dr Bhavani Kunabalasingam (a Manipal alumni).

At the time, she had already been involved with a group of like-minded individuals comprising Neeza Shafinaz, Sangeet Kaur Deo and Vikesh. They initiated an effort to provide government healthcare centres around the area with meals for their frontliners. That effort bore a name – SETIA. What began as a a simple deed lead to an increased effort on their part to foray into the PPE shortage issue. They initiated a call for help, sourcing for funds, carefully sorting out their expenditure to ensure no wastage, sought out sewing centres and built some sewing stations from scratch. They then gathered a team of sewing angels and set out on a task to ensure that healthcare providers would get the protection they deserve in their fight against Covid-19. They worked with family, friends, financial institutions, NGOs, medical associations and individual donors to ensure a continuum to resources. Truly exhibiting the qualities of silent heroes, this group of extraordinary people came together without much fanfare and produced more than 10,000 PPE sets ready and donated them to hospitals, clinics and screening centres across the nation. A small effort that started out as a simple gesture to provide meals to frontliners has turned out to be one of the most essential efforts by a group of volunteers to ensure frontliners are adequately prepared to fight a virus which has wrecked communitites at large.

Volunteers at these sewing stations start their routine of cutting, stitching and sorting the PPEs at dawn and end only in the late evenings. They take a short break for meals and get back to sewing, relentless in their role to protect our frontliners in their own way. It is also noteworthy that some of these volunteers are Muslims and work throughout their fasting hours. The volunteers spend considerable time and effort into each PPE they produce. Some of these volunteers are attempting the art of sewing for the first time and is given training and guidance under watchful supervisors who ensure each end product is impeccable. In addition, SETIA started supplying vulnerable families within the community with daily essentials to ensure they had a decent meal and household items to get by. This additional act of charity with the limited funds they have prove they exemplify the true meaning of selflessness and humanity.

Today through the comprehensive efforts of SETIA, PPE sets have been delivered to hospitals and clinics all over Malaysia. Healthcare workers from hospitals in the East (e.g. Hospital Queen Elizabeth, Kota Kinabalu) to the West (e.g. Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh) have been recipient of these sets. It would be simple to imagine the gratitude felt by these recipient centres towards SETIA’s efforts and and contributions.

Nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, rehabilitation personnel and support staff have taken their own initiative to sew PPEs in their free time. Today, through the efforts of groups like SETIA, some of these staff can rest easier and concentrate on their duties. Today many of these hospitals can save on expenditure towrads procuring PPE sets. Unscrupulous, greedy entities were charging exorbitant prices to provide something that was essential to our frontliners. Every penny saved by these centres is a penny that can be utilised in other aspects of patient care. And in a fight against an enemy so deadly, the healthcare system requires financial strength, so every penny counts. Today beneficiary families who have received essential items from SETIA are able to get by at least during this lockdown period.

Today this effort by Dr Bhavani and her team- SETIA has brought a group of people from all  walks of life and across racial and religious differences to unite in a voluntary effort to support frontliners in their toughest fight in recent history. This group embodies the true Malaysian spirit of unity for the common good.

Dr John Emmanuel