Monday, 28 June 2010

The root of the tragedy at the Std Cht Marathon

If you ran in the just concluded KL Standard Chartered Marathon or if you are a vivid facebook addict, you would have most probably read about a young man named Lim who passed away a couple of km before completing his 10km run.

What happened was Lim collapsed, he was then assisted by the writer of the facebook-note together with some other medically trained runners. While trying to preserve Lim’s life, they screamed for medical help but the Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) was no where to be found.

And of course, in typical Malaysian style… and I quote the writer…

“… 3 DBKL officers (with big motorcycles) just stood by the road side and just stare…”

The EMS arrived after 15-20 minutes, when Lim barely had any pulse left. And again, in typical Malaysian style, the EMS ambulance had practically nothing in it. Maybe if you need some nasi-lemak or char-kuey-teow, you may find some. But if you want life-saving equipment in a supposedly life-saving ambulance… takde… mei you… don’t have.

You may wish to read full real life account of the incident here.

Comments flowed in to concur with the writer saying the organiser must take responsibilities, there needs to be more awareness, next year people should make health declaration before running, etc.

To me, all these pleas will only remove the symptoms, but will never cure the disease. The KL Stand Chart Marathon was also marred with some aspects of fiasco, and this year, someone died. But how come, the same Stand Chart Marathon that takes place in Singapore every year do not have such problems? After all, same organiser and same sponsors…

DBKL officers not giving a shit… slow EMS arrival… ambulance that cannot function as an ambulance… these are manifestation of a failed system, the result of mediocrity which has since been conveniently accepted by most Malaysians. And if you have been reading news, this is not the first time someone died because of poor ambulance service.

You may say that I am trying to condemn Malaysia again and praising Singapore because I am now residing here. But when I was running the KL SC Marathon and Singapore SC Marathon, I was still residing in Malaysia… same sponsor, same organiser… a whole world of a difference. Why?

Deep down, if we are honest with ourselves, we know the problem is not just poor organising. It’s much deeper than that. If you fail to see that, then you are really intoxicated with nasi-lemak, char-kuey-teow and bak-kut-teh.

Lim – may you rest in peace.

2 years ago… The ‘jip san leong’ act

3 years ago… What’s your answer?When the ‘if’ turns real

Sunday, 27 June 2010

What does Malaysia and England have in common?

Before Thomas Cup, Malaysia talked as though they won it.

Before World Cup, England talked as though they have won it.

England shite...

Friday, 25 June 2010

Friday Physio Frolic

I managed to walk much better now so I decided to venture out for lunch today. My colleagues took me to his hawker centre about 10 minutes walk from my office. I have to admit, I was quite surprised to see such set-up amidst the Singapore Central Business District.

It’s does feels weird having to celebrate my birthday with crutches. After dinner, I had to pick up my additional legs and the guy at the restaurant looked at me in a funny way…

Oh yeah… another year older wiser for me… spent in the little red dot…

Friday is here… let me share something that I came up with…

What is physiotherapy?

“It’s nurses in uniform making you go… ohh, ohhh, ahh, uhhhhhhh, ahhh, ahhh, hmmmmm…. Ahhh ahhhh…..hmmmmm…argghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”Zewt

Have a brilliant weekend

1 year ago…
Some Malaysians are brainless morons

2 years ago…
30 things we learned when we turned 30

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The maiden Singapore lunch time experience

I managed to walk much better now so I decided to venture out for lunch today. My colleagues took me to his hawker centre about 10 minutes walk from my office. I have to admit, I was quite surprised to see such set-up amidst the Singapore Central Business District.

I would say this hawker centre is akin to the mamak area in Damansara Uptown. It’s indoor, the stalls are all systematically arranged. Of course, I experienced first hand the famous Singapore tissue-for-the-seat policy.

For the uninformed – here in Singapore, you can ‘reserve’ a seat at the food court (in this case, the hawker centre) by placing your tissue on the seat. Once it is there, no one will take your seat.

Some may ridicule it and some say it makes no sense to allow people to reserve seat in such a manner. Well, I suppose this is just another glimpse on Singapore’s structured way of doing things. I am not complaining, I get walk around scouting for food knowing my seat is well reserved by a pack of tissue paper.

SGD3 for chicken and roast pork rice. Not exactly the best but it’s certainly edible. If it’s just chicken rice, it will be SGD2.50… such price for a place right smack in the middle of the Central Business District.

I just think that lunch is so affordable.

Don’t convert, because generally, the pay in Singapore is dollar-to-dollar on par with Malaysia. That is to say, someone who is earning MYR5,000 in Malaysia will earn SGD5,000 in Singapore. So when you pay MYR5 (or MYR8.90 in a nice food court) with Malaysian salary versus paying SGD3 with Singapore salary… which one is more expensive?

But don’t worry, the great 10th Malaysian Plan is going to go ahead and it’s going to transform Malaysia into a high-income economy. With that grand plan, I am sure Malaysia will be propelled to greatness, just like how the 9 great Malaysian Plans before it.

I enjoyed my lunch today…

1 year ago…
Between pride and necessity

2 years ago…
A page before 30

3 years ago…
A glimpse from the other side

Sunday, 20 June 2010

One week after leaving Malaysia

Having been to Singapore for only a week, the Malaysian connection is obviously still pretty much alive in me. I still log on to TheStar to read about Malaysian sports and keeping a close eye on MalaysiaToday and MalaysianInsider.

As always, I get to read about depressing news such as the
father or the alleged jet engine thief claiming abuseUnited Nations condemning Malaysia… MYR40m being spent on some electric train which has now been derailed, etc. All these on top information I read about Malaysia made available to me due to the industry I am in, which can also be quite depressing…

Ya’ know… stuff that makes you go… “Malaysia is just so damn fucked-up!”…

On the other hand; since arriving here, I have been greeted with
pleasant experiences with cabbies… cars deliberately stopping for me to cross the street… impressive service being rendered when I went for physio in Singapore General Hospital (a govt hospital)… wife went to the wet market and came back with nothing but praises on friendliness and cleanliness…

All these gave me a glimpse of why most Malaysians who have left Malaysia, will end up not giving a damn on what is happening back “home”.

For now, I think I will still be very much connected with Malaysia. And I told myself to stay connected and not lose sight. But then again, it has only been a week.

What will happen 6 months down the road?... only time will tell…

1 year ago…
He asked 5 times

2 years ago…
Pelbagai lawak menuntut rebat

3 years ago…
Those typo experiencesA Zimbabwean tale

Friday, 18 June 2010

Singapore cabbies

They are just so nice! Perhaps it’s a norm, perhaps it’s because I am walking on crutches, but they have been patiently helpful. 7 is the amount of times I have taken a cab since I arrived in Singapore and the ratio of good cabbies is 100%.

As you can imagine – me being on crutches and not being able to bend my knee that much, getting in and out of cabs will take some time. All of them told me to take my time to get in and get out. Not a single cab driver rushed me.

2 of them were kind enough to adjust the passenger seat themselves so that I can get more leg room. That’s not all…

It was raining and 1 of them got down from his cab and held the umbrella while I position myself to get out from the cab. He even told me to be happy always so that recovery process will be faster. Unbelievable…

But the cab who took me back to my apartment yesterday certain took the cherry. After paying him, he asked me if I can get off on the right side. Since the surgery is on my left knee, getting off on the right is not preferred.

I told him “no” and he then asked me to stay in the vehicle. He got off from his cab, walked to the left side of the vehicle, stopped the traffic (there were quite a lot of cars passing the left side of the cab) and opened the door for me to get off. He then made sure that I got onto the pavement before getting back to his cab.

I cannot imagine how it would be if I have to take cabs in KL.

Right now, some of you might be thinking that Zewt has travelled to Singapore and will begin to criticise Malaysia more and will fail to appreciate Malaysia as his homeland.

It’s not about criticising. I think the curse that is currently upon Malaysian is that, mediocrity has become so common, it is acceptable.

Staying within the same notion, it should not be the case where I am surprise at the service level I getting by Singapore cabbies. This is how things should be. On the contrary, Malaysians should be astonished at the atrocious service and treatment by Malaysian cabbies. But no, it has become a norm, it has become a lifestyle.

Of course, there is the all time favourite “there is nothing we can do” phrase. While that carries some truth, change it is not entirely beyond Malaysians’ grasp. I am sure you know what I am talking about.

Anyway – if you are to ask me how is Singapore so far. Well, let’s just say the first impression has been great.

1 year ago…
The 500th rhyme

3 years ago…
Of hip hop, diet and a search

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The surgery experience

After being admitted, I “checked-in” to my room and took a nap. A nurse came and took some blood, my temperature and checked my blood-pressure.

The anaesthetist then came to ask me how I want to be sedated, on which I decided on spinal anaesthesia. I found out on the day I checked out that he charged me MYR120 as consultation for that 2-3 minutes conversation and another MYR2,000 for that anaesthetic injection.

Lunch was then served. I was only given lunch because I didn’t opt for general anaesthetic. I was then asked to change into the operating gown. Felt exposed.

At about 2 p.m., 2 nurses came to take me. After climbing onto the bed, I was asked to confirm that it was my signature on a couple of documents. They then asked me what my name is where I must answer in full. They then fetched me to the operating theatre.

It was very cold. The nurse told me that the winter-like condition is to control bacteria population. Trust me, it was freezing. When I climbed onto the operating table, I felt as though I was lying on ice.

The surgeon, Dr Gan, came in and said hello to me. The next thing I knew, he was on his way already.

The procedure involved harvesting of a hamstring tendon from my right leg and another small fraction of tendon from my injured left thigh to replace the torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (“ACL”) of my left knee.

This involved drilling into my knee to implant the harvested tendon and securing them to the drilled holes via titanium screws. As the MRI showed damages to the meniscus and knee cap, Dr. Gan also performed some repair work.

I was awake the whole time and watched the entire surgery that lasted almost 2 hours.

Have to honest, I felt a bit dazed coming out from the operating theatre. After dinner, the anaesthetic started to wear off and the pain announced its arrival. I can't really take pain killers due to my kidney condition so it was hell for me.

I was literally screaming in pain and asked for 2 sleeping pills to knock me off in order to bring me some peace…

1 year ago…
Disparities, Insanities, InhumanitiesA different type of pageant

2 years ago… Walk the talk

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Greetings from Singapore

I have been so occupied with the surgery and physiotherapy, I didn’t really had the time to let it sink into me that I have actually left the country, possibly for good. The only time I thought about leaving was wondering whether I could make it up the plane with my legs full of plasters and me walking in crutches.

Anyway… yes… I made it, and I am now in Singapore. Normally, people are given about 1 month MC for this surgery but I will have to report to work tomorrow. Well, it’s a new job, I don’t quite have a choice. The only saving grace is that my new boss is willing to let me to physio during office hour.

In 2005, I left the Malaysian shore to work in China. At that time, I knew I would return. My plan was to go for only 2 years, though it turned out to be much shorter.

This time though, I left Malaysian shores and I am not quite sure whether I will return. Surely, I may get another transfer back to Malaysia. However, if things go according to plan, I don’t think I will be returning anytime in the near future.

I guess I will find out soon enough whether all those things people talk about Singaporeans are real or otherwise. And of course, I will have first hand experience of the dreaded Singapore working culture.

Surely, there will be plenty to blog about…

People from Singapore… hope to bump into you on the streets!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A quick post-op pic


Thanks for all your well wishes and prayers. And thanks doc for the choice of anaesthetic consultation. The surgery was successful and I am on the road to recovery. I have to testify, doing post-op physio is the most painful experience ever. A mother of 5 told me it was more painful than giving birth.

I am a bit tied up with a lot of things at the moment. I will certainly blog more about it. For the time being, allow me to share with you how it looks like when the surgeon drilled into my knee to implant the new ligament…

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Knee surgery tomorrow

This has happened much quickly than expected. The surgeon I saw last Wednesday said he would be able to operate tomorrow. He is the same surgeon who operated on the knee of national badminton player Julia Wong.

Well, I am very comfortable with his explanation and he gave me a lot of confidence. Hence, I am going under the knife tomorrow. I was mentally prepared to get this done in July and now that this has been brought forward, I have to admit I feel a little strange.

I have yet to decide on whether I should go on local anaesthetic or get knocked out on general anaesthetic. Would certainly need wisdom on this.

Though it is not a very life threatening surgery, I do appreciate prayers support and hopefully everything will turn out well.

Thanks for all your well wishes and catch you guys later…