Soup Kitchen

Friday, July 29, 2016
29 July 2016 - It was such a peaceful Friday night in the busy city center of Kuala Lumpur, and an amazing experience as a volunteer with Pertiwi Soup Kitchen!

For those of you who do not know what Soup Kitchen is, it is basically an NGO (non-governmental organization) formed to distribute free food to the homeless and unfortunate people on the street. Pertiwi Soup Kitchen has been operating in the city center for the past 5 years. Previously, they were operating with some sponsored food and vehicles along Jalan Chow Kit, but has been relocated to Jalan Medan Tuanku by the government and they were granted a place for establishment of a base for food and basic necessities.


I joined as a volunteer along with some of my friends (Sin Hui, Izzul, Sophia, Anis) in order to understand the operations of this organization, and to what extend does their action helps.


Even before the food distribution, hundreds of people (around 300-400 in numbers) already gathered along the street, waiting to get their portion of the food. Since there are sufficient numbers of medical personnel for the night, I was assigned to help out in the food session.





So what do we do there?

The allocated time was 9 pm - 12 midnight and Soup Kitchen is operating 4 days per week. There were several stations operating at the same time, namely the food station, the free haircut station, and the medical check up station.




The food provided by Pertiwi Soup Kitchen are simple, which includes a packet of plain white rice with a small piece of chicken with gravy, a banana, and a drink (coffee or syrup drink). However, there are also some extra food sponsored by certain individuals, corporate or other organization, such as doughnuts and Gardenia bread.



The commonly asked question is:

How do you know if a person deserve the food provided?

Well, the answer is simple, we do not know. In fact, we are not trained to identify those person. The criteria is whoever who comes to us for help, they will get the help needed.  


Giving free coffee and syrup drinks


Distributing Fish Oil & Vitamin C 


Providing free hair cut

For the haircut station, there were 4 barbers for the night. Whoever who thinks they need a clean and fresh look are warmly welcomed.


For the medical check up station, there were 2 doctors posted there, along with helpers and some medical students like us. We are allowed to prescribe medications (with advice from the doctors) and also referring some severe cases to the nearest hospital.


We went to 2 different places: Medan Tuanku & Kota Raya. The response from the general public is good, maybe it is due to the fact that they have already knew that there will be food aid for tonight. All the food and drinks prepared were fully distributed until none was left, and all are right~ #punning #flightofideas #psychiatrypsychopathology


It has always been my aim to join Soup Kitchen and experience what is it like to be a volunteer myself. Well, the feeling is good. The food portion for each person is priced at RM 2+ in my opinion, but some people just could not afford that, and had to depend on these aid all these while.


Some of them are so hungry that they ate the food right away after getting them. I have never seen this side of our city center before. The joy in their eyes and grateful gesture they made is sufficient enough to make my trip worthwhile.


To be honest, driving to and fro Melaka-KL to 'do good deeds' is ridiculous for me. I feel that there are many other things which can be done in Melaka itself, instead of travelling all the way to help out. However, it is the valuable experience that I have gained and treasured, in order to serve better and perhaps, to do something similar & great in the near future~ =)


My Birthday Month

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
26 July 2016 - The month of July is coming to an end in few days time, and I just had another birthday celebration yesterday although my birthday falls on the 8th of this auspicious month.

Let's start off with my 5 days of Hari Raya holiday which coincides with my birthday. I am fortunate for being able to be back to my hometown Ipoh this year for my birthday. Since it is a public holiday, most of my friends who are already working locally or abroad are back to Ipoh.


On Thursday night, I had yumcha session with my friends in Starbucks, Ipoh Parade. It was Pui San's idea because we have never met for such a long time. I think the last time we met was 3 years back during Chinese New Year. We had a tradition of visiting Esther's house for 拜年 every year for BBQ but after entering adulthood, frequency to meet are getting lesser. I was surprised that Vizent came too, but he was late (as usual) and that time was around 20 minutes before 12 midnight.

I was surprised that they bought me a slice of cake because the next day would be my birthday. I have never thought that they would have remembered it! We spent most of the time catching up with each other.


The next day itself I had dinner with my family in a Chinese restaurant in Excelsior Hotel. The cake that Uncle Michael made for me was a face of Detective Conan, my childhood favourite anime (the one and only anime I watched).


I particularly like Conan because I was always amazed by the thought process that he have and the way he organized and solved mysterious and difficult cases. It somehow inspired me since young because these are the things that can be real, unlike some other animes with super powers and fictional unrealistic superheroes.


Just as I thought my birthday celebration is over, the next day itself, my secondary school friends have another surprise for me in Wingzone, Greentown. For this night, Eon, Teik Sum and Haw Tung were there too. These are the faces I usually see during CNY but this time around they are back too! I really enjoyed the moment, along with the good ambience, reminiscing the good old times we had together.



I was continuous becoming the main character for 3 consecutive days, which made me feel so humble and blessed to be showered with abundance of love. Since I came back from India, I felt that I have grown up and mentally more mature. I somehow feel uneasy when the birthday song is being sang and I do not prefer to be the center of attention that much anymore. I have even deactivated my facebook birthday, unlike previously which I will count and check the people who have wished me on facebook. I have learnt that happiness comes from within, not by external stimuli~ =)


10 days after my birthday, on a Sunday, I was back to Melaka and I went to Tzu Chi free clinic as volunteer to help out. After the morning clinic, Elyn and Chee Sian were asking me for lunch. My stomach is already 80% full that time because lunch were provided in the clinic but I just followed anyway, without suspecting anything, but I was wrong, so wrong that this is the first time I fall into a birthday surprise trap myself.



The moment we reach Palazo restaurant, I saw Siong Keat and Wei Jie's cars but I did not suspect anything because I thought they would have went for lunch without telling me as I was involved in the clinic work. However, the moment I entered, I saw the whole group of my friends including Phuah Sheng, Ru Ting, Jonathan, etc and immediately I have that 'ouch' feeling inside me. How can I not see it coming?!? Nevertheless, I still felt grateful for the group of friends who have planned my birthday surprise.


Yesterday itself was suppose to be my end of posting party (EPP), an unofficial dinner with my groupmates to celebrate the end of my paediatrics posting. However, they bought a cake too to celebrate my belated birthday, 2 weeks after my birthday! LOL


This is the first time I have so many celebrations in a month, and I am truly blessed and felt so lucky to be loved by my family and friends (and also my girlfriend =P). I was overwhelm by the unconditional love from them and I knew I am truly one lucky guy on earth. Words can't describe how grateful I am to each and everyone of you~

#lessthan3 

Psychodrama

Monday, July 25, 2016
24 July 2016 - The clock has just struck past 12 midnight and here I am, whom will be starting my new Psychiatry posting tomorrow, but is too excited to post the experiences I had for the psychodrama course today.

It was a one day course organized by NCSM (National Cancer Society Malaysia) and was held in Oriental Melaka Straits Medical Center. Being a medical student for 4 years, this is the first time I encounter the term 'psychodrama' or 'psychotherapy'. The guest speaker for the day is Mr Wang Er Dong from Suzhou, China. We were told not to reveal the structures or the activities being carried out for the session, so I am just going to share my feelings and views in this post.


Psychodrama is mainly a therapy used to calm one self, to overcome one's fear and also to make one realise that there are energies around us. I personally felt overwhelm by the new things I have learnt today, and also discovered my 'professional' acting talent~ ;) 


There are fears in each and everyone of us, which we need to overcome by ourselves. Psychodrama helps to re-enact the fears and also allow us to face it and solve it by ourselves. I realised that there are various things in life which we labelled as impossible to do, or it's too difficult to achieve. However, if you believe you have the courage and strength to do it, then you will overcome it by yourself!


As a person who is in the healthcare profession, I firmly believe in science and the existence of it. In spite of that, I know that there are many other things which cannot be explained by science, today I have found proof and experienced it myself~ =)


This entire session is 10 hours and we were exhausted after that. Thankfully, we got a nice treat for our stomachs in Saigon Joy Cafe, a vietnamese restaurant recommended by Jasmine, a new friend we have met today, whom attended the course with us too. Jasmine with her ever-cheerful and friendly personality was an active participants in events organized by NCSM too. 

What a fruitful weekend indeed! 

Neurobytes 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016
23 July 2016 - It was the annual Neurobytes again!! Nah, this is my first time attending it~ =)

The reason I attended is because I wanted to learn more about the hi.... just joking, it was because my friend Sin Hui is participating. Our college has sent out 2 teams which consisted of 4 top students in my college and Sin Hui is one of them.


Neurobytes is actually an International Medical Quiz and we managed to get teams from Indonesia, Ireland, India, Sri Lanka and also various medical colleges from Malaysia to participate this year. There were a total of 23 teams and 4 teams were selected to enter the grand finale. Among the 4 teams, 2 teams were from MMMC. Some of the questions asked were easy but in some knockout rounds, it requires speed as those who can answer fast enough than the opponent teams were given points.


Although some questions were quite easy and within our syllabus, I realised that the knowledge that I have is so fragile and I could not recall some of the answers, this made me nervous although I was just a spectator there.

I am really proud of all the participants there, as I believe that the sweat, hardwork and sleepless nights throughout their medical student years were just the submerged portion of the iceberg, what we were seeing is just the tip of it. To be able to study, to recall and to perform is something which I should salute them of.


The champions were from Pondicheri Institute of Medical Sciences, Chennai and the speed and knowledge they have is stunning and impressive! Nevertheless, our MMMC teams too, managed to get 1st and 2nd runner ups for this competition, which is the reason why I am proud of them~ =)


1st Runner Up:
Ng Sin Hui (Batch 29)
Shailesh Anand (Batch 30)

2nd Runner Up:
Lee Jingyi (Batch 29)
Choo Hui Xin (Batch 33)

Life lesson learnt: Stop giving excuses, read more, and read more to be the best out of yourself!

The Salvation Army

Friday, July 15, 2016
It has been 3 years since my last post, and now the flame is reignited~

15 July 2016 - I'm currently in my 4th year in Paediatrics posting and today my groupmates and I were lucky to be posted to the Salvation Army of Melaka. I drove there myself, fetching along my groupmates (Wei Hoong, Candice, Sharmilla & Izzul) while 2 other friends of mine (Amylia, Azim) drove there themselves.

The moment we reached there, I could see parents sending their child to this home, one by one. Most of them are diagnosed with Down's syndrome. However, there are some children with autism and also ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder). My knowledge of Down's syndrome is only limited to their clinical features and also the complications that they may develop later in life (because this is what usually being asked in the exam). But after today, my perception towards Down's have changed.


While each and every person in this world is unique, so does those who are Down's. Their mental abilities differ from person to person. Some of them are able to communicate with us, plays the piano or even took part in leading the children for morning exercises. This surprised and shocked me, to be frank, because I thought all of them would be having mental retardation and low IQ.


Mrs Gobi, the caretaker who have been working there for 27 years, told us that some of the gifted children can be trained and taught to obey commands and perform certain fine motor tasks if they are brought to this center earlier, they called it the EIP (early intervention programme). True enough, they are able to use the sewing machines to make various materials such as handbags, floor mats, or even tissue paper holders. Some of them are helping out in stitching the laundry bags of Hotel Estadia & Equatorial Hotel.


I have always loved to interact with people in a community, because I believe I have the ability to help them in some ways. I enjoyed being in Hombelaku (psychiatric rehabilitation center, Manipal) and Asare (mentally challenged home, Manipal) during my 3rd year in Manipal, and today itself I got back the same feeling, the equal satisfaction of being around with these people. 


I always believe that the world is as how you see it, or how you think it is. The way you think will affect you and your surroundings. Choose to be well, choose to be happy, choose to believe in a better tomorrow~

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