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THE MESIAN-MESSAGE 155 - OCTOBER 2014
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Papaya Leaf For Use As Alternate Treatment For Denggue Fever

SUNGAI PETANI, Oct 6 (Bernama) - The use of papaya leaves as an alternate treatment to increase blood platelets has shown positive sign that it could be used to treat denggue fever.

Prior to this, several medical institutions have conducted research on papaya leaves to determine its effectiveness to treat a variety of diseases including diabetes.

However, it was discovered the leaves were more suitable to treat denggue fever.

"We began the research in 2008. We wanted to determine how the papaya leaf worked to increase (blood) platelet on mice. Based on our finding in the pre-clinical test, within four hours, the platelet count on each mouse rose three times higher. Papaya leaf has lots of enzymes which help increase blood platelet. This research was actually published in The Middle European Journal of Medicine in 2009, and it was actually a foundation for people to work on," AIMST University researcher Dr V. S. Kathiresan told Bernama when met at the university near here.

He said, although the research was conducted earlier and announced via the media, not many people were bold enough to use the papaya leaf as it was not clinically proven to be effective.

"Our earlier research did not involve the public but now, it's clinically proven. There was no continuation (after the early research) because pre-clinical tests dealt with mice and there was no problem. However, when tested on humans, there are certain regulations which need to be dealt with," he added.

Dr Kathiresan said using the papaya leaf to treat denggue fever was easy as the leaves were readily available and no complicated process was involved.



SOME NAMES IN BENTONG STILL RING WITH TING DONG

While lying in bed one evening, I had a reverie back to the old days when I was still very young. I remembered those days there were three famous names in Bentong: 1. Mang Kai So, 2. Yin See Hoong and 3. Kam Kee.

Mang Kai So (in local lingo) sounded like 'pulling the chicken's beard,' Yin See Hoong meant Opium Smoker Hoong, and Kam Kee was famous for his huge scrotum. What were these famous names doing?

Mang Kai Soo was a sort of trader of all sort of things. People who caught a bird, or an alligator, or a tortoise would sell these to Mang Kai So. He was famous for dealing with the workers in the rubber estates, people working in the jungle especially the aborigines. These people were the ones who caught wild lives either for adventures, hobbies and some even earned their living doing the poaching. Yes, there were laws against poaching those days but there were little enforcement. Even the forest rangers poached those days. I just could not figure out how Pulling Chicken Beard got his moniker. What was his real name?

Now come to Yin See Hoong. That was not his real name. It was his sobriquet. His profession was making coffins. He stayed in the old Chamang village hacking on huge logs of wood and made the famed huge Chinese coffins we hardly find nowadays. Not caskets like we see in our time. Of course, he had his regular smoke of opium in those hidden opium dens around town. He seemed to be always topless showing his lean torso when he moved around.

Kam Kee was famous for his oversized balls. Stories had it that he ate overnight boiled eggs. So in Bentong those days, youngsters always warned their friends not to consume overnight cooked eggs. Kam Kee was a dealer of miscellaneous jungle animals and produces like Mang Kai So.




SOME CHARACTERS IN UPPER ECHELON OF BENTONG BYGONE SOCIETY

As night fell, almost without fail we would notice a gentleman dressed in all whites with a protruding belly walking out from the Sulaiman School vicinity. With a 555 brand cigarette tin in hand, he would stride towards the only bar in Bentong in the middle of Ah Peng Street. There, sitting alone on a high stool he would have his usual peg. After he had his regular booze and having puffed to his heart's content, he would walk back. If he should show his students a good example, he was no example. However, those days it was the heyday of 'do as what I say' but 'don't do as what I do'. He enjoyed what he liked: so cool. He was the headmaster of the Bentong elite Sulaiman School.

The District Officer was the head of the town and its periphery that encompassed several thousand square miles around. More popularly known by his initial D.O., he was the chief administrative officer of Bentong. In those pre--ndependence days the D.O. was almost always a British a white man. One famous D.O. who had stuck to the mind of locals was Mr. Morgan. He used to go down to the new villages to meet village headmen and some well-known locals. He did also granted favours to some people. That D.O. did not really mix neither eat nor drink with the locals. He kept his status as a British government official. It was protocol, see.

The only white man who really mixed and frolicked with the locals was Ted Miles, the principal of the Methodist English School. People saw him ate in the hawker stalls and drank in the coffee shops with his friends and even with his students. He could be seen in football fields leading his team of student cheer leaders. He was found picnicking at the Chamang Waterfalls. He could be found visiting the sick in the local hospital or at the police station helping some people in trouble.




ENOUGH OF THOSE NOSTALGIC STORIESOF BYGONE DAYS -
LET'S ZOOM BACK TO THE TALES HAPPENING NOWADAYS

On checking my phone, my fourth daughter Min had texted me saying they have left Fraser's Hill at 2.30 pm heading towards Bentong. As soon as I looked outside, they have already arrived. Who were they? Min, Chooi Yee and Lulu the three adventure seeking friends. They have visited Fraser's Hill for a holiday. Not only just to visit there, plus they had trekked on the hill's many jungle treks. On arrival, they took a short rest.

Then on the last leg of their visit to West Pahang, they decided to call on our mentor Dato' Ted Miles. Chooi Yee and Lulu had heard so much about the grand old man of Bentong Dato' Ted Miles. They knew he lived in a dilapidated huge bungalow and had a houseful of antiques worth everyone to treat their eyes and appreciate.
 Yew Min, Lulu, Chooi Yee
Yes, we arrived at his bungalow greeted by a pack of canines which yaffed incessantly at us as their way of welcoming us there. Dato' and his care-giver Lai Mei came out to welcome us in. After a round of greeting formalities, Min led Chooi Yee and Lulu round the house to have a good look see. Then they ascended the staircase to browse through his collections of antiques like old rattan furniture set, cast iron bedsteads, old chests, huge bullock cart wheel, etc. They really enjoyed seeing those yesteryears' artefacts.

Dato' commented that nowadays there were many mosquitoes around his house. "That could be due to the dark environment around. The inside of the house is dark, the furniture coloured dark and there are dark corners and dark spaces under the sofas where the blood suckers like and hide." I remarked.

Yes the house is dark indeed. That has a good advantage too. It had been borrowed by eerie thriller film makers to film ghost stories.

"Oh yes, tonight they are showing the film made in my house at the Pavillion in Kuala Lumpur. The name of the movie is SEVENTH." Jested our mentor.

The crew, the cast - actors and actresses director and helpers, stage hands etc, spent 20 days in the house doing their filming. They brought in all the essential filming equipment. In fact during the making of the film I went to visit him. They have even brought in their mobile electricity generator - a huge truck load of generating machinery.

Back to the blood suckers - the six-legged winged critters of the wild. They bred in the several jars and pails he kept to collect rain water for watering his plants. The care-giver said they have put fish in the containers holding water. I read in the Internet that some people put in a few copper coins in the containers. The copper coins would inhibit the mosquito eggs from hatching. This had been researched and proven effective in controlling mosquito breeding by Japanese scientists.

Why had not the authorities gone on a popular campaign to rid the pest? Maybe they will have the vested interests to look after. The manufacturers of insect sprays like Fumikilla, Ridsect, Shelltox, Abate etc would be up in arms against the authorities if mosquitoes were totally annihilated in the country.

Talking of total eradication of the mosquitoes, in fact it had been done in part of Bentong. Some years ago, the authorities actually had released GM (genetically modified) male mosquitoes into the wild in Bentong. They would mate with the wild female mosquitoes. The offspring of the mating would die before they could mate. So the mosquito population would be reduced and finally eradicated. I wondered what the follow-up of the programme was! Of course there might be other people in the community who would say eradicating the mosquitoes has adverse consequences in our vicinity.

Still on the prevention from mosquito bites, I noticed the three girls have round blue stickers on their arms. Later they told me that those stickers were mosquito repellents. They gave out a strong smell of chemicals that drove mosquitoes away. There! Another vested interest against total mosquito extinction.

The three adventurous visitors said they were "terrified" by the squadrons of 6-legged kamikazes zooming in like hungry enemies. With their razor-sharp proboscis! So they were well-prepared.

I hope the doctors and manufacturers of drugs are not in this category of inhumane humans who wanted the mosquitoes to thrive to get their dengue and malaria patients! Ha, ha, ha it's a jest and a wild guess!!

After having had their eyeful of curios and scenarios, they left for the capital city. Maybe they would view the scary corners of the house again on the silver screen to see the great work done by director Namewee. Just in time to celebrate Halloween, see! Again remember, SEVENTH is the story!



DIARY WRITING AND THE INFORMATION AGE

Last month my diary came to more than 180 typewritten pages on the computer. Wow! What an achievement. In thirty days, writing 180 pages of diary. I have never written this long before. How did I do it? Yes, as I proceeded along, I tried get materials from the internet.

For example, if I purchase a vegetable like amaranth (yin choy) I would search in the internet to copy all the stuffs written about this vegetable. If I bought a pumpkin, or a bitter gourd, or okra or even something there is no name in English, the Malay or Chinese or Indian name is good enough to search in the internet. There are so much material written on each thing in the Internet.

Those days, we relied on the encyclopaedias or other reference books. Sometimes, we did not get much from these books. We just could not get any material written about smaller things and less important events.

However, the internet is full of information and pictures. I copied them to illustrate my diary writing. We could even get the hawker stall at the little corner of a street. There will be little pieces of writing about food plus colourful pictures. Hurrah! This is really the information age heyday.
 155 - Chan See Phong
One day I missed a few calls from Johor. On checking, I found that Chan See Phong had called. As they were long distance calls, I sensed something urgent. So I returned the call. By then See Phong was already in Kuala Lumpur. He was at the wake of his brother's Chan Shu Fan ceremonial rites last night. He flew in with his wife and his son the previous night.

We made arrangement to meet one another in Subang Jaya where he was lodging. We met at the lobby of Summit Hotel. We went to have a drink and a bite at a coffee house. There we caught up events and news that we old folks liked to talk about. See Phong had no need spend money with the hairdresser now. Once he had written a poem that went like this: "a man went into a barber shop, 'why you come here for?' asked the barber. There is nothing for me to crop." That is exactly his condition now. A total desert top.

Despite his age, See Phong walked with an erect upright pose unlike some of his age who carried themselves bent-double. Some are even 3-legged individuals!

We talked of all and sundry, of ourselves and our families. We exchanged views and news about health and ill-health remedies. We yakked for more than an hour before we parted company. It was a very memorable meeting of old buddies.






HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN OCTOBER

Birthday Cake Green

No.
NAME
BIRTHDAY
1
ABDUL HALIM HJ. OTHMAN
OCT 1
2
BARBARA REID LAPSLEY
OCT 1
3
BUKHARI HJ. MAAROF
OCT 1
4
OW WAI KING
OCT 4
5
LIM PAK HENG
OCT 8
6
CHEW TEE KAN
OCT 9
7
LIM SWEE CHOO
OCT 9
8
TAN SOON SENG
OCT 9
9
LEONG KAH WAH
OCT 10
10
CHAN SEE YUEN
OCT 12
11
WONG YENG KEE
OCT 15
12
CHAN KAM SWEE
OCT 16
13
RICHARD LOW QOOI TEE
OCT 17
14
ABU SAMAK LABAK
OCT 24
15
HILDA PONNU (MRS. CHOONG)
OCT 25
16
SONNY LAM PHAT CHEE
OCT 26
17
S. SATHASIVAM
OCT 31




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Written and edited by Chan Suy Sang
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