Written on 28th of May 2010, 2359hrs.

Today is his birthday. Please allow me to give a little tribute for him.

I know I seldom meet him. Maybe two or three times a year. But I cherish those days anyway. I’d make a point to see him everytime I’m in Penang. Or actually I plan my visit when he’s around.

He diagnosed me with asthma. That’s how it all started.

Such a charming doctor. Along with other inspirations, I wanted to be like him.

He’d take us for teaching from the morning until afternoon.

He shared jokes even with us medical students when we follow him to the scope room.

He taught me to simplify everything I learnt. Yet I still have so much to learn.

He’s the person I see for my projects and assignments. He’d try to help as much as he can.

He’s the person I see before my exams. He’d say, “Don’t be too stressed. Go enjoy yourself. Go for dinner or a movie after your study group sessions.”

And he said, “Of course all of you will pass. I’d treat all of you like my children. Would I fail my children?”

He’s the one I’d go to after my exams. “Hey, you look happy! Anything good?” “Yeah, the Medicine paper was not so bad.” He even checked my answers.

We checked our results from his office in the hospital. We almost broke his computer table out of excitement.

He was the last person I met before I left Penang after graduation. The card I gave is still on his notice board up to now.

One day during housemanship, I went on leave and visited him in Penang. After roti canai in Rawther he said, “Have you found someone in your life?” At that time I did find someone. But I was so taken aback I did not say anything. “Well, if you’ve found someone, go ahead and get married. Don’t wait too long. There’s no such thing as waiting til you’re stable. You’ll never be stable. Look at me.” I laughed. Anyway, how did he KNOW?? Or maybe it’s just random advice.

I did not see him after two and a half years.

I came back alone. He asked me what happened. I told him.
He was so concerned, he said he’s sorry, many many times. Then we started talking, about independence, about parents (and in-laws), about life, about my futures plans. He said a few things that showed he’s on my side.

We went for lunch. His MOs talked to him and listened to him like he’s their father.

I came again a few months after that. He was busy so we couldn’t talk for long. He bought some pizzas and let me take home some.

He’s a father and a great one too. He’s a father and he sure is a proud one.
He’d talk about his children with pride and passion.
He smiles and he laughs so easily.
He’s a doctor and he’s a great one.

Thank you, Dato’, for all the time you spent for me.
Thank you for all your advices.
Thank you, Dato’, for being on my side when the worst happened.
Thank you for being a father to me. I’m so lucky to have you as my inspiration. I hope to make my patients happy the way you made me happy all those years ago.

Happy birthday. I wish for a lifetime of happiness for you.