Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A trip to Tenom

The 8th Sabah State Clinical Conference ended well last Friday. Initially my duty was just to collect PowerPoint presentations. Somehow I ended up as the IT guy. Well it was quite tiring having to take care of those things... running about and skipping some lectures. Didn't had time to take pictures, left the job for the cameramen. Had good hotel food for 2 days. Glad to see the participants enjoying the whole event. I think we organised it quite OK.

The closing ceremony was done over a dinner on Friday night. I left early, was really tired already.

On Saturday morning, the conference organisers arranged for a golf tournament and a trip to Tenom, as recreational activities for the participants. I certainly don't qualify for the golf tournament, so I went to Tenom for some photo-shooting.

Quite a pity only 7 participants joined us for the trip. Nevertheless, we had lots of fun. Our first stop was the Tenom Agricultural Park, the star attraction of interior Sabah. The park has beautiful landscaping (good place for wedding photos), lots of fruit trees and other plants, a mini zoo, and a wonderful collection of gorgeous orchids.

We were in luck that day. The park was having an open day of some sort, probably to coincide with the school holidays. There were many groups of visitors, and there were organised events in the park. We had a gre
at treat at the Fruit Tasting session, trying out exotic fruits. There was this 'miracle fruit': a red little fruit the size of your thumbnail... after chewing on it, take a limau kasturi and bite... and it will taste sweet! We had a nice park-guide Mary showing us around and explaining the orchids. There were two Rafflesias too, but both were dead ones, black already.

At noon we left to visit the Yit Foh Coffee Factory. There're two things you must do when visiting Tenom: go to the Agricultural Park and drop by a coffee factory. Alex, the factory boss welcomed us. He gave us a briefing about coffee and the history of the factory. Then, we had free flow of coffee... kopi susu, kopi O, kopi expresso. I myself gulped 5 cups, or was it 6. Loved the ice kopi susu and the expresso with vanila ice-cream. We were shown a couple of coffee jugs and expresso devices.

After that we had a quick lunch at Perkasa Hotel Tenom. Hmmm so so food only la. Then the participants left for Keningau and back to KK, I went to my loupo's place.

Click HERE to see more photos.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

State Clinical Conference

The 8th Sabah State Clinical Conference will begin this Thursday. Tomorrow the team will be going over and set up the stuffs... computers, screens, tables, backdrops... I thought my task will be pretty simple, just to collect the presentations and compile into one computer. Then today, the chairman asked me to do a couple more PowerPoint presentations lagi. Luckily, they're all done in an afternoon. A big thanks to AUNTIE LIZ for your PowerPoint lessons, if you are reading this. The venue will be pretty crammed... 200 people in a small hall. So, those from Keningau might have to sit on the floor if the seats are full. On Saturday, we have organized a trip to Tenom Agricultural Park, and a Golf Tournament. Aiya sayang I haven't learned golfing yet, even though the greens is just 5 minutes away from the Hospital. My loupo said: GOLF = Game Orang Lupa Family. You agree?

Bought tickets to go to KL for 27th Sep to 2nd Oct. AirAsia la of course, even poor doctors can fly ma. Want to go to SPA in Putrajaya to sort out my Pengesahan Jawatan stuffs, if it's still not done by then. Need it for Masters programme application. My ex-uni classmates went there last Oct, got everything done in a day, and are now in 1st year Masters already. Mine ah, all documents sent early January, now still DALAM PROSES. Gosh, aren't you dissapointed about the government agencies? My friend Jastin is also going on a one-week 'retreat and refreshing' trip to School of Acts in KL; I might drop by there and visit him. We happen to be on the same night flight to KL.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Chills in Keningau

It has been raining a lot in Keningau. Weather is nice and cool all day, and in the night in gets really chilly. Walking in the streets is like walking in air-con everywhere. At times it gets horribly COLD. Guess I shouldn't be envying people who live part of their lives in winter each year. Then again... would love to have a try at making snowman and throwing snowballs.

Two colleagues are attending an O&G course in a hotel in town. I drop by at the right timing for the nice meals. Department is a bit short of manpower. Pretty tiring work.

Next week my hospital will be hosting the 8th Sabah State Clinical Conference. This year's theme is about Cancers and Management. We'll be having doctors and paramedics from all over Sabah gathering in Hotel Perkasa Keningau listening to authoritative speakers lecturing on Cancers and Management. I am in the Scientific Committee, so got some work to do la, cannot just shake leg and watch all the fun.

Got a piece of good news coming... but I'll keep the suspense for now. Hahaha...

Monday, August 07, 2006


I went for a short course at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu over the last weekend. It was held in Zen Garden Resort, Kundasang, Ranau. A very nice and secluded resort with a grand view of Mount Kinabalu.

PERASA stands for Pembimbing Rakan Sekerja. Basically the course aimed to brainwash the participants to become nicer and more caring persons la. Something like Pendidikan Moral, but more relevant to the working world. There were 32 participants from all over Sabah... specialists, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and counsellors. The facilitator was an experienced counsellor imported from West Malaysia. The course lasted 4 days 3 nights.

It was a very intensive course. Sessions started from morning and ended past midnight. In between lectures there were group games, group karaoke (patriotic songs and Indon oldies), funny activities, video clips, assignments etc. Truly macam-macam ada. Besides learning good ethical values, we had to fix a 1000 pieces puzzle, make hampers, make group flag, collect token stickers, write little appreciation notes, do performances, wear a self-made silly hat all day long, keep a raw egg... the list was endless. Really tiring la! Other than that, food was great, weather cool and chilly, and participants were sporting.

We had a memorable evening at the Don Bosco Children Home in Kampung Bundu Tuhan on Friday. We went to entertain the kids, basically. The groups sang and danced with them and did plays. Some groups taught the kids to draw, others had singing sesions and group dynamics, interviews, planted trees in the garden, cleaned the compound... I chatted with a Sister Lioni to find out more about the Children Home. There are about 80 plus orphan kids staying there, from little children to form six students. In the day, they attend normal schools nearby, then come back to the Home, which offer them food and accomodation, friends and 'family'. It was started by a Catholic mission, and is now fully funded by public donations.

I was totally worn out after the course. Stayed a night in KK and had dinner with Uncle Sualim and family. Did a bit of shopping with my loupo on Sunday. PC Fair and Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival was in town. Later we drove back to interior Sabah.

Doa untuk Malaysia - 7.8.06

Today's prayer item for the 40 days Fasting and Prayer is on the topic of National Unity(Perpaduan Negara). Came across this on the bottom of the prayer list:

DOA: Komitmen orang Kristian untuk terlibat dengan lebih
giat dalam pembangunan negara dan mencari peluang untuk melibatkan diri dalam proses penggubalan polisi.

Hmmm, how to have more Christians into policy-making? I take it to mean, to have more exemplary Christian leaders in high positions... be they in the civil service, NGOs, corporate world, and ... umm politics.

Christians in politics. Some say, Christians shouldn't be into politics... it's too dirty and corrupting. Others say, if Christians don't care about politics, who is to blame if more and more unfavourable policies appear. What do you think?

Anyway, from Sabah there are two Christian ministers (i think) in Prime Minister's Department: Dr Maximus Ongkili and Tan Sri Bernard Dompok. Hope that they exude their Christian influence well while they are in high office. Don't let the you-know-who 'racist' guy call all the shots.