Generasi Muda dan Perubahan

There are times when I could not help myself from bemoaning the state of our youths.

 

I wish my dear friend, Balqis is here so that she could organize another talk that she had given us two years ago.  She used to give a presentation entitled “Generasi Pemuda dan Perubahan” inspired from the book written by Fathi Yakan.

 

Our Youths have too much energy.  Far too much. And they use this energy to ‘merempit ‘ or go clubbing or getting themselves embroiled in gangsterism. They could have used those energy to do something meaningful in their lives.

 

But they did not.

 

Probably because when they try to bring about some change, there will be the older generation chastising them. The older generation will probably say something like these:

 

 

“Shut up. You don’t know anything! Just do as I say.”

“Selama ni tak pernah siapa cakap yang kita buat salah. Kita dah buat benda ni lama! Awat bila hang mai, macam-macam tak kena. It’s all in your head.”

“Iys, tak padan dengan HO!  Baru saja jadi houseman, dah kompelin itu ini. Kena ajar sikit budak ni!”

“Hang nak cakap apa pun, hang tunggu hang jadi MO dulu. Banyak pula masa hang nak tulis blog!”

“Kita baca Yassin malam Jumaat ni dah lama sejak zaman nenek moyang kita lagi. Tahlil pun dah lama jadi adat dalam budaya kita. Tiba-tiba hang pi cakap bidaah pulak! Hang belajar mana ni??”

 

 

It’s a classic Kaum Muda versus Kaum Tua yang kita belajar dalam subjek Sejarah dulu.

 

It’s just like the song Father and Son by Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Setvens) too.

 

Most of the time Kaum Tua did not bother to answer the issues raised. They just randomly say something that does not address the points made. They would say exactly like the examples I have given above.

 

At last Kaum Muda becomes too exhausted and tired of fighting this pent-up energy that they have repressed to please Kaum Tua.  Kaum Muda then grows older and becomes just like Kaum Tua. And the cycle repeats itself.

 

Over and over again.

***

Agama Islam memandang  tinggi Kaum Pemuda.

 

Waktu kamu muda lah kamu mampu untuk buat apa saja! Waktu kamu mudalah kamu mempunyai potensi yang sangat tinggi!

 

Waktu kamu muda, kamu boleh lawan bos kalau kamu rasa kamu di pihak yang benar. Kalau kena pecat pun, pecatlah! Sebab kamu tak kahwin lagi, kamu tak ada anak. Kamu tak ada komitmen. Gaji kamu hanya untuk diri kamu. Kalau kena pecat, pecatlah! Kamu cuma menanggung diri kamu sendiri. Kamu tidak perlu risau anak isteri tak makan, tak perlu risau perbelanjaan persekolahan. Kalau kena pecat,  pecatlah!  You know you can find something else to do. I don’t need a boss like this, you will say with conviction.

 

Waktu kamu muda, kamu mampu buat banyak perkara tanpa berasa letih. Kamu mampu tidur 2-3 jam sahaja sehari untuk belajar, untuk siapkan presentation, untuk melakukan aktiviti  luar, untuk berusrah.

 

Waktu kamu muda lah kamu mempunyai masa yang paling senggang. You have more time to contribute to the society because you don’t yet have family. Your time is not divided by so many organizations /individuals that are dependent on you.

 

Waktu kamu muda juga lah kamu mempunyai duit yang banyak. Your money is yours alone without having to allocate some of it to your wife/ children/ loans/ investments/savings. Waktu kamu muda, kamu boleh hidup 2-3 orang dalam satu bilik tanpa berasa rimas pun! Kamu boleh jimat on accommodation. The money can be used to travel and see the world, and perhaps to preach the religion of Islam.

 

Orang muda mempunyai potensi yang sangat tinggi untuk menyumbang dalam masyarakat.  Orang mudalah golongan yang  paling bertenaga, gagah, berani, bersemangat, tidak mudah menyerah. Kalau kamu seorang yang berani  MEMPERTARUH NYAWA merempit di jalan raya, maka kamu juga lah orang yang sama yang tidak akan takut mempertaruh nyawa untuk sebab yang lebih utama…menegakkan kebenaran.

 

It explains why so many of our warriors in the past are YOUTHS!  (takkan kita nak harap pakcik-pakcik tua pergi berperang menegakkan kebenaran?? At the same time, takkan kita nak mengharap kanak-kanak tidak cukup umur untuk bercakap lantang. The duty falls on US, the YOUTHS!)

 

Sultan Muhammad Al Fatih conquered Constantinople when he was 23 years old! (At 23 years old, I was only a 3rd year med student whose worries and concerns are very trivial, indeed.)

 

How old was Tariq Bin Ziyad when he conquered Spain? He was only 20 years old when he was sent by Musa Ibn Nusayr in the year 711 AD as a chief commander to conquer Al Andalus. 20 years old, folks! When we were 20, we were probably more concerned about the latest Korean dramas more than anything else!

 

Orang Muda mempunyai potensi yang tinggi. Orang Tua yang bijak akan menyokong. Orang Tua yang bijak juga boleh menyanggah tapi jangan sehingga  mematah semangat mereka untuk membawa perubahan yang kamu tidak berjaya membuatnya suatu masa dahulu.

 

***

One anonymous specialist commented on one of my posting saying: WOW! As a HO you sure have lots of time in your hands to rant so much bla bla bla.

 

I don’t get it! Would you rather I don’t even have the time to eat or sleep, and only then I will be considered as a good HO? How is that so?

 

It doesn’t take a lot of time at all for me to write. It’s not like I have to ponder what to say for hours before I write about it! If I can finish a 5-pages essay in one hour as a student in SPM, then I have NO TROUBLE whatsoever to finish one blog post without sacrificing that much time. Why do you have to begrudge what I write during my free time? Would you rather I talk about the latest Korean drama, or who is dating who in Hollywood, or what I eat and where I travel to? If I don’t write a blog, someone else will! So, what kind of posts do you like to read? Gossips?? Or the kind that sweep issues under the carpet, perhaps?

 

So that people can complain about HOs in newspapers, in media, among specialists and MOs…but HOs cannot say a single thing even though they feel betrayed by the bad rep that they got which, oh by the way, stem from your own government policy? We send students to Russia, then we say (unjustly) that Russian students are incompetent. We send students to overseas, and then we say the oversea students do not get enough hands on experience.  We build a lot of medical schools all over the country, and then we say there are FAR TOO MANY housemen and they will not have enough training! Your policy, and WE got the bad rep! And when people talk about us, we are supposed to be mute. I guess that’s what most people want…a mute HO. A mute Hamba Orang.

 

I was told that some MOs are of the opinion that as a HO, I really should not say anything much. Tunggu jadi MO dululah, baru hang buat apa hang nak buat. To that, I wrote in my FB status one of the things I wish I could have said to such statement.

 

“Kau nak buat apa pun, tunggu laa sampai kau jadi MO. Bila kita dah jadi MO, someone will come and said, kau tunggu sampai kau jadi specialist kalau kau nak buat apa pun. Bila dah jadi specialist, we then found out that we still have to answer to the HOD. And then bila dah jadi HOD, kita kena answer to Pengarah. Bila dah jadi pengarah, kena answer kat DG. Bila dah jadi DG, kena answer to Menteri. Bila dah jadi menteri, kena answer to PM. I bet you, when you finally become a PM, you will find out that your hands are still tied because there’ always someone higher than you that you have to answer to. And then you will end up not doing anything at all because you are used to just passively wait.

 

I say, just cut the hierarchy of authority short by saying, “I answer only to Allah. Period.”

 

Adakah bila kita dah jadi MO, kita masih akan peduli tentang HO? Betul ke?

 

I don’t think so. Bila kita jadi MO, kita ada isu kita sendiri. We have other MO issues that we would like to fight for, kan? When we become a specialist, we also have our own issues as specialists, of course!! Maybe by the time we become MOs or specialists, we will not understand AT ALL what our subordinates are so unhappy about, right? Just like what is going on at the moment! I might turn out to be like the specialist who would say “ Wow! Banyak masa kamu nak kompelin dalam blog ni! Zaman saya dulu….”

 

Kan?

 

So the right person to talk about HO issues is the HO. The right person to talk about MO issues is the MO!! The right person to talk about the specialists issues is the specialist!!!

 

So, what is it that you are so angry about? Because HOs are supposed to be mute?

 

We can agree….or we can disagree, COURTEOUSLY!! With reasons!  That’s all it takes to build an intellectual medical society who respect each other’s opinion regardless of their rank in the government service. We should ban public humiliation and shouting! We should stigmatize hostile behavior regardless of from whom the hostility comes from.

 

I cannot imagine what will happen if Islam forbids courteous freedom of speech! Will Islam have spread, do you think? Will we still have stories of how a woman challenged Khalifah Umar Al-Khattab regarding his ruling of the mahar? Will we have heart-warming stories of how our ulama fight against an unjust ruler?

 

What legacies would we have to pass on to our next generation?

 

Why should we speak up?

As I have mentioned in my previous post (H.E.R.E) , I had spoken against the examination system in my uni when they failed my friend TWICE. The examination system was very ‘kuku besi’.

 

Why did I do that?

1)      Because most of the time, the victim will be so paralyzed with grief that they would not be able to speak for themselves.

-you have to understand the plight of government-sponsored student. If we cannot finish our studies within 5 years time, we have to finance the remainder of it with our own money. Not all of us are filthy rich! Some of us had to return to Malaysia for having failed one too many.

2)      Because the victim usually does not have the credibility to complain against the system that has failed her. They would only say, ‘Sebab kau fail lah, maka kau kompelin. “ She needed someone who would complain against the system even though that person had passed!

3)      At that time, I had three more years to go as a medical student.  What would happen if I fail later? If I had the attitude of “ni bukan masalah aku. Aku tak fail.” , what would happen if I fail later? If I waited until I failed before lodging a complaint, I would be as helpless as my friend. They would say the EXACT same thing…you complain because you failed. Why didn’t I see you complaining against the system when you passed last year?

 

Imagine what kind of spineless coward I will sound if I say, “Well last year, it wasn’t my problem. That’s why I didn’t say anything even though the system was cruel.”

 

Alhamdulillah, I am able to obtain my degree within 5 years. I would have no idea how to finance my own way through med school if I had failed!

 

But I spoke up as an insurance! Just in case. So that if I fail, I can say “I have talked about this even before I failed.” So you cannot use the same argument you used against my friend towards me!

 

You see, if you don’t speak up against injustice when it happens to others, it will back fire on you later! When it happens to you, you will be just as paralyzed as anyone else…you wouldn’t know what to do because you really can’t do anything at that time. Well, not CREDIBLY.

 

If we sanction bullying when it does not happen to us, what can we say when it happens to us later?

 

How WEAK and SELFISH we will sound when we say, “When it happened to others, it was not my problem. I was happy with the system, then. Now, it happens to me, so….well, I am not fine with the system anymore.”

 

What a great attitude to have, then?

 

Katakanlah suatu hari seorang kawan kamu dituduh melakukan sesuatu yang dia tak buat. And you know. Will you stand up for her?

 

Or will you say, “Aku nak perabih housemanship aku dulu. Aku tak nak masuk campur. Aku nak buat apa pun, aku nak tunggu aku jadi DG dulu. Bila aku dah berkuasa, baru aku boleh buat apa-apa. Sekarang ni, aku sokong dia dari belakang saja.”

 

Huh, sia-sia saja Fathi Yakan menulis Generasi Pemuda dan Perubahan.

Sia-sia.

 

At the end of the post I would like readers to have a few take-home messages:

1)      The YOUTHS have such incredible potential and they have a lot to offer. But they CAN’T if all you want to do is repress their enthusiasm and curb their potential with unhelpful snide remarks.

2)Kaum Muda and Kaum Tua do not reflect age alone. Whether or not you belong in the group of Kaum Muda or Kaum Tua is a matter of philosophy. I have seen a 40 years old specialist who has a Kaum Muda attitude…and I have seen many-many younger generation with Kaum Tua attitude.

2)      The right person to talk about HO issues is the HO. The right person to talk about MO issues is the MO. And the right person to talk about specialists issues is the specialist. Don’t take away that rights.

3)      When you don’t speak up against injustice done towards others, it will backfire on you sooner or later. When that happens, you will wish to go back in time and do the right thing. But you can’t and it will kill you inside.

 

“Sesiapa yang melihat sesuatu kemungkaran, maka hendaklah mencegahkannya dengan tangan, sekiranya tidak mampu maka dengan lidahnya. Sekiranya tidak mampu, dengan hatinya. Yang sedemikian itu adalah selemah-lemah iman, “ (riwayat Muslim)

 

The Gentle(wo)men Of Our Time!

I have two declarations to make on this blessed day.

Here comes my first declaration.

I hereby, declare myself to be quite the happiest person alive today.

You see, I am on an eight days straight holiday, Alhamdulillah. Eight straight days will pass in a rush, but while it last, I will enjoy the free time to the max.

A lot of people were surprised when I told them that I still have eight days of my end of posting leave.

“Afiza, hang tak pernah ambil cuti ka sepanjang empat bulan ni?”

I nodded, proudly.

PROUDLY.

But wait a minute. What have I got to be proud of? My not taking any leave has nothing to do with me.

When you think about it, my not taking any leave in medical is actually a testimonial to how good medical posting has been treating me. Medical Department should be proud.

I didn’t have to take any leave with medical; I like their shifts. I am more than content with my post night off as well as the free time that I have during my pre-night shift.

I didn’t have to take any leave in medical; I like the MOs and the specialists.

I didn’t have to take any leave in medical; my colleagues were awesome to work with. No one has yet to go EL on me. Thank God.

I’m gonna miss medical. I am gonna miss their lady-like and gentlemanly ways. It will be hard (if not impossible) for other postings to compete with the beautiful manners of the MOs and specialists in medical. Medical posting proves to me that we can learn just as much (if not more) without being screamed at or humiliated upon. Thank you, medical,for proving me right all along.

That brings me to my second declaration of the day.

I hereby, declare that the medical department is coolness personified.

**** 

I feel like I was treated as adult in medical. Our point of views are listened and heard.

I was in medical during the time when we were suffering from a severe shortage of housemen. There were no new first-posters coming in and at the same time, the old housemen who were due to change postings had already done medical previously.  There was one time when we were left with only 25 housemen. And remember too, that medical is quite the busiest department simply because most patients in the hospital will be medical patients.

Because of the severe lack of housemen, there was one time when we need to go back to being on-call (but with a more humane change compared to the previous on-call style. We could go back at 8 am the next day). Meetings were organized to talk about how to manage our housemanship resources and allocations. Our views and opinions as to how we wanted to work were being heard. We got to vote on the suggestions too! And I couldn’t help but thought that this was charmingly democratic.

Yes, we felt like we were treated as adults.

I didn’t feel like I have to shut my mouth from giving opinions. I didn’t feel like they were going to keep on bringing up whatever mistakes I had done weeeeeeeeeeeeks ago and keep harping on it.

They were no personal attack.

Whatever little scolding I receiveed were JUST and WARRANTED.

And they were no swear words. I mean, I didn’t hear the F word being freely uttered shamelessly whenever they talked.

For example, I didn’t hear “Where the F*** is the patient’s f**king drug chart? Where the F*** is everything when I F**king need it?”

I HATE the F word. No one should be allowed to use it in public and feel proud while saying it. No one should get away from being able to say it without having incurred the license to be looked upon like dirt. No one should feel like they can say that word and still deserve respect. Not even surgeons.  Not even consultants. Not even specialists.  Let alone MOs and HOs.

Not even ANYONE, period.

I have this rule in life that says, “What you won’t say in the presence of your parents, your daughter, your wives or in respected companies, you shouldn’t say those to anyone at all.”

Just imagine your parents listening to you using such coarse words in every sentence after every other word!  I imagine my parents would pinch my ear and then scrub my mouth with povidone and 70% alcohol solution…and that is if they could not find sterilizing equipments, FIRST. Not only it constitutes bad behavior, indeed, but it also speaks volumes of the (SEVERELY!!) limited nature of your vocabulary.

Really!

Is your English THAT mediocre? Do you not have any other adjectives in your brain? The word F*** is the best you can come up with?  Really??

Will you allow me to donate you a dictionary? No, I won’t even ask you to thank me. It will be MY pleasure.

I abhorred hearing the F word in my presence. I hate the lack-of-respect that person has shown towards me. I hate even more the fact that the person does not respect himself/herself. If you respect yourself you will NOT deign to blemish your soul with dirty words.

The medical world consists of people who are supposed to be altruistic and brilliant. Frequent swearing should not be included as acceptable conduct in this refined cycle.

 ****

When I was in Australia, the Australians do swear.  A LOT!

But when I was around and heard those words, the guys actually turned towards me, blushed and apologized.

“Sorry, Afiza. Slip of the tongue. Shouldn’t have said those words when a lady is around,” They would say and wink.

Ah…palpitations and fast AF.

Such gentlemen! And they treated us Malaysians like ladies. They didn’t swear in our presence. They took one look at our hijab, and they thought we were all that was angelic and good. Hahhah.

When they apologized to me, I thought it was most weird. At that time, I did not even mind, you see.  It was THEM who were more sensitive than I. I didn’t know why I didn’t mind. Probably because I’d already accepted that as part of their culture. Probably because I expected that sort of behaviour from them. What I didn’t expect was for them apologize to me afterwards. It positively warmed my heart, my dear readers.

But when I am back in Malaysia, I hear the Malaysian guys (and some girls) swearing like the Oxford dictionary has no other adjectives, comprising of only 10 pages thin…..and NO APOLOGY? I was aghast!! I was so used to hearing people apologize after swearing, that I was appalled and astounded that I didn’t receive any in Malaysia. And then, I was ashamed. I didn’t expect this in my own culture, you see.

How could it be that the western gentlemen  AUTOMATICALLY feel ashamed and apologize to Muslim ladies when they accidentally speak coarsely in our presence…YET the Malaysian ?gentleman (the question mark is there for a purpose) did not even bat an eyelash when they swear so eloquently, they can make even PROSTITUTES blush!

WE! Who are supposed to have ‘ciri-ciri ketimuran’, did not even bat an eyelash and passively accept obnoxious behavior in our presence!

Shame on us!

“Bukanlah Nabi s.a.w itu seorang pemaki orang, tidak juga seorang pengucap kekejian dan bukan seorang pelaknat orang lain“. (hadis al-Imam al-Bukhari daripada Anas bin Malik r.a)

So, let’s be like our hero, the Prophet S.A.W and stop swearing. Challenge yourself to speak beautifully, wittily, intelligently…. or just decently.

I guess what I meant to say is, at least, speak like the people that make up the medical department. That alone, is a source of immense gratification, at its maximum.

Ah, have I mentioned I am going to miss medical?