Friday, November 20, 2009


Right now I see four family relatives on their respective beds at home. They are the elderly, down with lingering illness and indicating slowness or more exacting a no quick solution to recovery. This is a case close at hand. Others in the peripherals must be more adding to the current unseen or unconcerned situations among us. I am sure each one of us would have elderly relatives or neighbors convalescing at home by virtue of their age group over all sorts of illness. The huge question is "who take care of them or more clinically who 'nurse' them? Your answer will be as good as mine. Excepting for the wives or the husbands, if they are still strong and able, the patients would be hard pressed to find comforting 'nurse' maids.

I am no younger too having reached the age group that is accorded the elderly sector. A casual glance at yesterday's STAR newspaper entitled "Demand for Senior Housing on the Rise" prompted this article. It is noted that there is a change in the demographic area of the world's population. From the 'historical high birth rates and high death rates' there is now a corresponding new trend according to the UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs: One out of 10 people is now above 60 years old or older. Continuing trends would mean that by 2050 1 out of 5 will be above 60 or older. By 2150 the figure would read 1 out of 3. The eldest old would mean a rapid expanding segment of the elderly population.

Many of us would be in that sector even now. The question is "how could we cope with the situation?' or " Are we able to face the possibilities of 'ageing in place' without the full amenities such as proper meals, hospital, nursing homes and on site care? Could the 'elderly' survived in their current homes devoid of their grown up sons and daughter plus in-laws too who are no more neighbor friendly now but staying 100 kilometers or more from their former homes? Works or choice of jobs placed them away from their kampong. Not surprisingly, many are working even overseas, therefore several flight hours away. Therefore the comforts of filial piety, as traditionally expected by the elders have become a dream rather than expected norms. Close to it maybe the annual 'balik kampong'.

Is our government ready or realizing the current development? Is our "Yang Berhormat" in keeping with these needs that has seen other developed countries marching forward to address the pertinent issues?

Look carefully around you. Observe the sick and the elderly at the hospitals and the treatment they are receiving. There are many private hospitals too but how many can afford a RM300.00 bed a day plus medical expanse that easily multiply to thousand ringgit quite hurriedly? The needy, the elderly in most cases would not be able to meet such demand. It is sad that that the situation has been allowed to exist without check. Without medical attention unless you can afford to pay, where could the elderly ills go? No other, than their own homes and lingering as I have seen with only the sympathy of neighbors, friends and relatives.

Malaysia being a multiracial country has to look at the problem with full concerned of the community, religious bodies plus all the relevant ministries. Going for housing specific to realizing the needs of the elders of Malays, Chinese, Tamils etc need concerted efforts from developers as well. Elderly age homes or community living with the comforts for the elders have to be planned in accordance to each community needs.

Hoping this awareness strikes home. May we look forward to special housing for the elders.So too greater medical care and services greatly desired from a 'prehatin' or caring government.Another pressing question would be "Which one now 'child care' or 'elder care'? realizing the trend in population development.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Saturday, 14 November 2009/26 Zulkaedah 1430. It was dinner at Restoran Sari Ratu, Subang Parade on Friday night for the family including the expecting mother Djasriza. We were all there except Abu Bakar Sidqi who was late in returning home. Over a wide spread choice of Minang dishes which included 'kentang teri, ayam gulai, sayur kalian, gado-gado, ayam special, asam pedas ratu, bergedel, sambal merah dan sambal hijau' plus the ordered drinks, all six adults and two children savored the serving with relish. Not surprisingly all serving plates were left empty except the sambal. The restaurant was one of several in the city serving Minang cooking minus the normal Minang serving of all dishes laid on the table and charging you for those taken only. I suppose it would be fine when you have a large table to take in all the plates of dishes. Not when it comes with 3' X 3' only or smaller table size.

There was still time to spare before the doors of Subang Parade shut for the evening, for the group to head to the lower ground floor at Parkson's. They bought fruits and especially oranges being deemed necessary for those having sore throats and fever. Extra vitamin C would help. My wife and I were in the state of wanting that extra lift having down with fever and flu. Fruits of course were delights for all as well.

It was near to ten thirty at night when we filed into the Honda Odyssey and headed home for USJ. I guessed everyone must have retired before midnight including Abu Bakar Sidqi who missed the diner serving but got back from College soon after we arrived home. Reeling from the discomfort of a fever and flu that has taken me twice to see the doctor with subsequence doses of antibiotic etc, I must have dozed off early too only hearing the daughter excusing the mother to go off early as usual early in the morning. This was the usual every morning farewell exercise. Only I was mistaken to find out later that it happened about 4.00 am in the morning. Djasriza and Idzfan took leave to proceed to the nearest hospital. The 'stalk' was on its way. I guess we were too 'tired' to realize the urgency and did not follow them. More ever their two young children were at home too and someone has to care for them.

Only after breakfast, did I realize where both of them have gone. Not hearing further from them by 11.00 am, my wife and son decided to go to the hospital as well. Bless them for on checking with Abu Bakar Sidqi later we were assured that a baby boy has been delivered; both mother and baby reportedly well.

Now at 1.55 pm at the point of typing this note, glancing out I see my wife entering the front gate and soon the story will pour out. For sure we have added into the family another grandchild making a total of sweet sixteen of the younger group and how grander a 'dato' can you be?

Either by coincidence or Providence, we are in town as we were when Djasriza gave birth the last time to Idzlaila. Following this of course, we will see the normal observations of religious and traditional customs. He has not been named yet. Still his elder brother, six year old Danish has proclaimed him 'Adam' and promising in his boyish manner 'Abang sentiasa di- sisimu' (I will be with you all time). How brotherly can you get! Incidentally both the sister and the new born were delivered at the same SunWay Hospital Petaling Jaya.

Signing off 2.00 pm

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


THE GOVERNMENT, with all the good thoughts and intentions behind it, declared that ALL motor cars past (15) fifteen years age on the road will be subject to road worthiness testing and approval come the New Year. Even before circulars or directions could be distributed or the agencies responsible had an opportunity to sit down to plan strategies or approaches or for that matter think about the whole issue, a decision came like lightning to retract the whole procedure. Because hues and cries or PROTEST by some people directly or indirectly to be affected by the regulation the government pulled out the planned intention. Of course, the fallacy was that they would be slapped with extra expenditures, questioning the inability to get insurance for their aged vehicles and probably the time and incapacity of 'puspakom' to test the vehicles bearing in mind their current performances.

Seriously we missed out on the SAFETY factor and economics too. Aged cars, properly cared for, engine as well as body-wise would be in better standing than otherwise. A vehicle that goes through the yearly inspection with flying colors could be sold off anytime and with a better price. More so it will guarantee peace of mind to the owner and other road users. Malaysia would not be the first country in the world to have adopted the approach. Many have done so. Examples are there for us to learn from. Yet we decided too soon to accede to public disfavor.

I remember owning a vintage Worsley Mark 3 of more than 20 years old while studying in Canberra. I had to get it inspected by the relevant agency every year and there was no qualm about it. The engine was in good running order, the breaks were excellant and there was no oil leakage. That we had to make doubly sure. Any sign of rust had to be taken care of. No big problem as that could be attended to. The procedure never lasted half a day. Prompt as at time allocated and quick off the mark, the inspection was a jiffy. We found the scheduled check as time for us to care for our vehicle and ensuring its road worthiness. The car bought for AUS 300 dollars, was sold three years later without a loss. It would have been a collector's item now.

Our second-hand or vintage cars would have been better off if the inspection procedures were implemented. Of course the worrying factor by the motor owners could have been explained and arrangements made to justify that the inspection and issuance of third party insurance etc would be attended to without troubling motor vehicle owners. Of course the subject has been buried deep now. Still I believe we miss out on insuring road safety for isn't that our prior concerned?

Now, we sincerely hope that the purchase of cameras for positioning at roads and highways in the country will not get the same fate. It is urgent that motorists learn to respect highway codes and precisely the country's speed limits. Hopefully the spying eyes will deter ALL motorists from pressing their throttles or accelerators beyond the stipulated speed. Or do we require other forces to check the speed demons within us? How we look forward to sanity on our roads and breathe reliefs at each festival celebration! We will be too happy not to read the fatal accidents reported daily due to human and vehicles failures. We count for greater road safety in 2010.