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Sakmongkol ak 47

ariff.sabri@gmail.com

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Deja Vu

It was déjà vu when Dr Bakri Musa penned a short essay.

Sakmongkol was reading a piece written by our California domiciled surgeon, Mr. Bakri Musa. Why is it surgeons are sometimes titled Mister and a GP, Doctor? Just asking. Told by a doctor relative, the title mister denotes specialist status.

Anyway, Bakri Musa mentioned a book that Sakmongkol has almost forgotten. And now he is frantically searching for the title in his library. The missus is making a din, because Sakmongkol is rummaging through his books again in the wee hours of the morn. She wants her beauty sleep and Sakmongkol is seized by his Sherlock Holmesian intense ‘The game is afoot!’ unshakeable hold.

The book dear readers, is a Malay folklore called Hikayat Malim Deman- loosely translated as the Chronicles of Malim Deman.

Bakri Musa, has alluded to the role that each one of us play in our lives. In Pak Lah’s case could it be, the deaf, lame and blind being assisted by the limp? One infirm assisted by another equally incapacitate? Pak Lah has big ears he says. But he appears to deafen himself from the voices of the people. Najib on the other is the limp because of his many skeletons in the cupboard.

It made Sakmongkol refresh his memory as to how these apparitions of a leader are visited upon us.

YANG CAPIK DATANG BERTONGKAT

YANG BUTA DATANG BERPIMPIN

YANG PEKAK DATANG BERTANYA

YANG KURAP MENGEKOR ANGIN

YANG LUMPUH DATANG MENGESOT

Which Sakmongkol has liberally translated thus:-

THE LIMP COMES WITH CRUTCHES

THE BLIND COMES AIDED/ESCORTED

THE DEAF COMES (BY) ASKING

THE ONE WITH SCABIES(SIC) FOLLOWS THE WIND.

THE LAME COMES CRAWLING

And then Sakmongkol mischievously tried to rationalise:-

The limp( Najib) has always benefited from subsidies. Became MP by default. Became deputy minister because of Uncle Hussin Onn, became Youth Leader because of Brother Anwar, became VP because of Anwar, became DPM because of Tun. And then further incapacitated by numerous dubious record.

But the PM, he is the many in one. He can be the deaf, the lame and the blind.

But each one has his assignment in the natural pecking order. Which makes it important to sometimes acknowledge that the job may be too big for you. Have it divided or delegated. Hence:-

YANG CAPEK MENYAMBUT TAMU

YANG BUTA MENUMBUK LESUNG

YANG PEKAK MEMASANG MERIAM

YANG LUMPUH MENGHALAU AYAM

THE LIMP WORKS AS USHER

THE BLIND POUNDS THE PESTLE

THE DEAF FIRES THE CANON

THE LAME SHOOS THE CHICKENS.

So readers, employ your imagination please. Sakmongkol fears he is wanting in this creative department.

4 comments:

Anonymous,  20 September 2008 at 18:46  

Good day AK

Surgeons = Mister.

It's a bit of reverse snobbery. In the good old days surgeons also practised as barbers (or is it the other way round?) and they were called...erm barber-surgeons - hence the barber's pole outside surgeries/clinics in Australia and several Commonwealth countries. Properly trained doctors out of proper medical schools avoided doing anything more than pricking a boil mainly because of the lack of anaesthetics then. The ordeal would have been too much for the doc. Surgery was left to barber-surgeons. In time the surgeons (who've had lots of practice one supposes) got better at cutting and were accepted as "real" members of the doctoring profession. Some of the surgery done now is truly heroic.

In the UK (and our govt hospitals) but not the US the surgeons decided to retain Mister as their title for the reason stated above though our surgeons are becoming less inclined to be called Mister. They're fed up of being mistaken for medical/hospital assistants. Thus no Misters in private practice over here.

Excellent blog, apologies for the digression :-)

A. Tabib

sakmongkol AK47 aka Mat Tomoi 21 September 2008 at 08:43  

thank you doctor for the enlightening info. there was a time, when surgeons still use the title mister with the barbers poles outside their rooms indeed. these can be seen at Assunta hospital PJ. not sure they are still there.
a friend also called and said what you just wrote (in such a clinical manner)- that 'mister' is used by UK trained surgeons.
thank you and best regards

mekyam,  21 September 2008 at 09:49  

A. Tabib said... Properly trained doctors out of proper medical schools avoided doing anything more than pricking a boil mainly because of the lack of anaesthetics then. The ordeal would have been too much for the doc.

this may sound sadistic, but i'm right now laughing myself demented and going...

oh em gee! oh em gee! if the lack of anaesthetics back then was too much for properly trained doctors, it doesn't bear thinking what it must have been like for the patients. poor devils!

btw, commend you on a very apt nick, en a. tabib!

in france, docs are sometime called m. le toubib. i suppose a colonial throwback, in reverse.

sakmongkol, love this entry. it's obvious from the hikayats that malays were once rather practical people, with a very wicked sense of humour!

p.s. exposure to hegel was nothing more than for one of those class reading assignments. i'm not a lawyer or a lecturer either, unless one counts hectoring the hub. ;D

a tabib,  27 September 2008 at 03:36  

Greetings Mekyam,

Now that you've tempted me out of my hole and into the bright sunlight, I'm glad you enjoyed the joke. Goodness knows we need all the laughs we can get in these interesting times.

...it doesn't bear thinking what it must have been like for the patients. poor devils!

If you're interested in movies there are two scenes in Master and Commander that come close to the descriptions of surgery that I've read. In one scene the boy passes out from the pain; in the other, the patient (about to have a bit of his skull cut open) is plied with so much alcohol and opium that he doesn't care.

But enough about surgery. This blog is so refreshing isn't it?. It's witty and clever. I only got here recently through Rocky's Bru. I'm so glad I did. Cheers.

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