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by Joslyn Chua Hao Min (DT119)

Run, run, run and you will be free,

Away from yourself, you should be.

It’s then you never have to see

The monster that is after thee.

 

But you just could not resist

To not see the things, you miss;

You always turn to your list

Thinking that it is pure bliss.

 

Oh dear, why not be at ease?

Why, put yourself through all these,

when you can do as you please?

 

Oh my, how dare you?

When the only thing you do,

Is use the bloody loo.

 

Fine then, you do you.

Just don’t call for rescue,

When you are no longer your value

by Chia Peang Hui (NT119)

In its abstract form, calmly it goes. 

It is something I would like to feel,  

to hold and to have. 

As it gives calamity to me, 

saying everything is fine. 

 

Longed to be in my real self,  

when I can laugh and cry without anyone telling me when to, 

please don’t force me with something,  

somehow it gave me uneasiness. 

Let millions and billions of them fly at their own pace should be better.  

 

Eager to retrieve the right of helping people in need. 

Only if it is not camouflaged by something else beneath it. 

Shouldn’t it be misused as an advantage, 

in this relationship of trust. 

I claim it as my right to help. 

 

Hoping to be an honored child of the great motherland. 

The land greatly matured richness of everywhere and our successful home. 

I know my home. 

It might not be the best, 

yet it is the land I freely trust and love. 

Standing on this land, I am a child with the right to hope. 

And I am free on the land. 

 

My dream for this happily ever after, 

The name is freedom. 

The idea to live on with my sparkle and will, what makes it so difficult? 

by Chua Teck Kwang (FIS119)

If a doctor is interviewed for his perceptions towards the word ‘freedom’, the doctor probably would define freedom as the entitlement to receive medical treatment in the time of needs. A chemist would define freedom as the permission for random interactions between humans just like the reaction between an acid and a base that would form the elixir of life, the water! A physicist would describe freedom as the axis of a graph that gives meaning to a graph and thus, freedom is the very fundamental component that grants meanings to our life. A biologist may depict freedom using the motion of our skeletal muscles. It contracts and relaxes which bans the human from doing something and allows human doing certain things. An activist lawyer may see freedom as the acts of fulfilling one’s whim without crossing the boarders of law. A politician may flowerily describe freedom as the ultimate enjoyment of the electorates who have experienced a better standard of living under his or her political coalition. As a result, people from all walks of life mirror a myriad of definitions towards freedom.

Freedom comes in varies forms and definitions which sometimes, they can be tangible yet intangible. The actions of penning my thoughts into words and, you, the reader who perhaps, are sitting on a chair and reading my words now, are enjoying certain forms of freedoms. Freedom to think, freedom to read, freedom to express and so much more freedoms, we are enjoying them at this present moment. Freedom can go from complexities to simplicities, but, this utmost privilege that we are enjoying now, seems to ensue the footstep of its father, humanity. After freedom experienced the grief of losing its father, it is diagnosed with life-threatening cancer, developed from inmorality, the one lump that once thought to be a benign tumor. The proverbial saying, to err is human, to forgive is divine, is no longer relevant to our society. Humans make mistake but they do not realize. So, freedom becomes the one who bears the repercussions. More often than not, the repercussions are carcinogenic and devastating until freedom is now seriously sick and has to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Freedom is the love crystal between humanity and morality. Humanity and morality have so much common grounds and thus, freedom has inherited that from its parents as well. A breach in humanity and morality damages freedom and humans have been persistently, unfailingly and determinedly to provoke a breach in humanity and morality. Humans now are becoming more and more self-centered, placing mankind itself in depth of chaos. Humanity and morality have yield to the evil and the daily fresh local newspapers have substantiated this. Hardly a day passes without the headlines on the unprecedented crime rates. Heinous and cruel crimes are prevailing nowadays, territorializing the headlines of the local dailies. Freedom is deeply gnawed and worried, but it cannot do anything. It grants the people the rights to do things as they are entitled to, if the rule of law is abided by. In this time of adversities, people do not atone for their mistakes yet, they shift the blame squarely on the rules and regulations.

Humans forget that rules and regulations are the best friends of freedom. The true foe of freedom is Draconian rules, the rules that are deemed unacceptable and have no rooms in the modern-day society. However, humans’ irresponsible crime-doings have welcomed the Draconian rules to descend upon the society. Humans excel in logical thinking, however, failed to think logically on the ways to preserve freedom. In this case, let us spilt humans into the good doers and the bad doers. When the number of perpetrators of crimes increases, the more inmates the society have in the prisons. Prisons are merely an infringement of rights towards physical freedom while the true effect is, when the infringement of physical freedom no longer serves as a platform to deter the perpetrators, the lawmakers would not

hesitate to promulgate a new set of harsh law to deter the would-be criminals. So, both the good people and the bad people are affected. No one is the victor, but humans are the losers.

God creates humans to naturally embrace diversities, challenges and eventually to love peace, but in the sea of unconsciousness of human hearts, there are also the presence of innumerable desires. Having desires are not wrong, however, humans have become more and more self-righteous as well as selfish. Thus, the internal peace could not be attained by humans, resulting the erosion of freedom of minds. Humans may be seemed physically freed, but they are held captive in their mentality instead. Consequently, to fulfill that bloated desires, human have stopped yearning for principles and virtues. Instead, humans yearn for false imagery and only see things as they see fit. The strength of immorality has grown as humans departed from reality of their own volition, craving for more desires to be fulfilled. Speaking of the strengthening of immorality, cancer in freedom has reached the last stage or commonly known as the fourth stage, where the demise of freedom is almost an inevitability.

Freedom can no longer sustain its form if it does not receive treatments properly and will soon face its demise. The only magic pill that can rejuvenate freedom is doing a post-mortem on freedom. During the post-mortem, perhaps humans will find mankind itself has been deluded by desires and climbing staircase of sins that are responsible for the death of freedom. A post-mortem may be conducted but not necessarily be conducted because there are throngs of people who do not realize the demise of freedom and have forgotten to attend the funeral wake of freedom.

by Shazna Ahamed (PS118)

In the end
I won’t make sense
To anyone.

I’m just there
Floating between people
Not belonging
To anyone
Anything
Floating like the clouds
Over spaces
Places
The folds and creases
Of clothes
Hung on lines
I’ll lie free in empty palaces
In its paint-peeling glory
And the last remnants
Of its flag
Flying
Dilapidated but strong
Majestic
Free.

I’ll be a black man
Amongst a sea
Of white-skinned speakers
A concrete well standing
In the centre of
Well-groomed flowers
The flowers die
The speakers’ words die
Leaving the black man behind
And the concrete well
Resilient
Amidst thunderstorms
And heatwaves
And rains
And snow
Uncracked
Life-holding
Standing like the black man
No flower could break it
No word could destroy him.

I’ll be a woman
I’ll be a refugee
I’ll be anything
You want me to be
But
I’ll always come back
I’ll break the chains
Throttling my neck
Piercing hard
Into my heart
Shards of glass
Trying to strip away
My dignity
But I’ll come back
Standing strong
Standing free
Fearless
Against the words you speak
The guns you hold
The stereotypes
That speak for you

I’ll come back
Again and again
I’ll be free
And not an inch of you
Will ever be able
To cage me.

I’m not the caged bird.

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Written by: Sachi Jhingran (ME119)

To take the term, “International Friendship Day” literally as an international student at IMU, it means that my friends are indeed overseas.

It was only after moving abroad to Malaysia to study that I realise the value of friendship as a manifestation of your personal values, morals and ethics. The metaphysical bond between you and your friend isn’t tangible, yet it remains an embodiment of your similarities and mutual care.

When you’re physically separated from your true friends whom you trust, whom you confide in and who mean something to you, you learn the gravity of those 6 letters. It is easy to belligerently throw the term “friend” around in regards to people we may not have any emotional bond with. This is a result of Zuckerberg’s idea of Facebook friends – revolutionising the implication of the term “friend” in itself. It’s mistaken for knowing someone, rather than caring for someone.

After frequenting visits to Australia, I essentially prioritised which friends I would have the time to see and which friends didn’t make the cut. Some might consider this approach emotionless or primitive, others pragmatic, but it filtered through what I call the “Zuckerberg zone” and distilled my social circles to those people who enhanced the experience of life. They were constant but never in the forefront and it wasn’t obvious who those people were until now.

It was through this I learned that the mutual trust and solidarity that exist between real friends are unbreakable nexuses of connections beyond our conscious reasoning, and often we must allow time or physical barriers to reveal what connections withstand compromise. After all, one can only test the strength of something by making it susceptible to breakage.

Ultimately, friendship is manifested through intrinsic bonds of camaraderie; they’re not apparent but they are powerful. Without bonds, salt wouldn’t be able to form a crystal lattice and season your spaghetti. Imagine a world without seasoned spaghetti. Horrific. Coming from a girl who’s physically separated from her lifelong friends, let’s remind ourselves that we have the privilege of making friends that add flavour to the dish of our lives, enhancing the experience.

That’s the food of friendship.

P.S. I apologise for reducing my friends to salt in an analogy, love y’all! 

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Written by: Jaithra R. (BM117)

Bloodied rings entangled through,

Promises meant to be kept between me and you,

As far as you and I can see,

A tougher future awaits for we.

.

Bloodied fingers working hard,

Our efforts meant to keep us taut,

A family as we envision to,

Not so easy, but we’ll come through.

.

Bloodied years have gone by,

Love has found us a dream to live by,

Efforts to no waste, we watch in ease,

Our family blooming beyond our dreams.

.

Bloodied soil as we rest,

A happy ending for both our beds,

Hand in hand we’ll stay just inches,

‘Til we meet in heaven’s blissfulness.

Written by Kiranjeet Kaur, Khin Kyay Mone Win | Edited by Chang Chi Yin, Zantal Siah

International Medical University’s (IMU’s) Psychology Club organised a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Talk and Trauma Exhibition on the 31st of May 2019. The talk was attended by around 50 participants, whereas the exhibition welcomed numerous visitors throughout the time frame of the event.

The talk was conducted by two clinical psychologists, Ms Puvessha Jegathisan and Ms Cheryl Tham, who are also psychology lecturers in IMU. Both of them have had vast experiences in treating PTSD clients and many more psychological disorders. Additionally, they have worked together in treating refugees and asylum-seekers who had undergone traumatic events within their lifetime. 

The objective of both the talk and the exhibition was to shed light on the actual severity of the word ‘trauma’ and what it means to have gone through a traumatic event in a person’s lifetime as well as the psychological effects that arise from it. The perceived stigmas that emerge in regard to seeking mental help after enduring a traumatic situation was also a planned topic of discussion. Furthermore, this event aimed to cultivate the use of art and narratives as a way of raising awareness on a particular issue.

Ms Puvessha began the talk by introducing the term ‘PTSD’ and discussed on who might be more prone to developing this disorder. “A person may develop PTSD after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. However, what may be traumatic to you may not be traumatic to me and vice versa. Hence, it is very subjective when it comes to who may actually develop PTSD,” she said. She added that “it also depends highly on a person’s resilience as well as their choice of coping mechanism after having gone through a traumatic event”.

Ms Cheryl then introduced several symptoms of PTSD based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5), such as avoidance, hypervigilance, nightmares and flashbacks. “An individual with an avoidance symptom will most likely avoid exposing themselves to any external trigger that may remind them of the traumatic incident,” she stated. Ms Puvessha and Ms Cheryl also explained that having symptoms like nightmares and flashbacks will often leave clients feeling as if they have no peace within their mind as they are constantly being haunted by images of the traumatic event from day till night.

Some of the severe causes of PTSD – which include military combat, sexual assault, mugging or robbery, being held hostage, enduring an automobile accident, torture, and many more – were covered during the talk. Both speakers then delved into some of the more horrifying experiences that their clients had gone through, especially in war-torn countries where they were primarily exposed to seeing dead bodies everywhere daily, while also witnessing their family members being detonated right in front of them. In terms of treatment, a combination of medications as well as psychotherapy is often used to treat PTSD. The more common approaches used in psychotherapy include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Therapy combined with relaxation exercises. “The medication is there to relieve symptoms, whereas therapy would come in to promote healing,” Ms Cheryl explained.

“Find out how they’re doing and how they’re feeling now and ask them how you can help. Do not ask them about their trauma or what happened; that is only to satisfy your own curiosity and it does not help them at all,” Ms Puvessha emphasised. Ms Cheryl also advised that “you should look out for red flags, one of them being suicidal ideation. When that talk comes about, do not just sit on it. Channel that individual to receive professional mental help”. At the end of the day, both speakers stressed about being a supportive friend or family member towards an individual with PTSD throughout their recovery process as it can be a long and painful journey for them.

The one-and-a half-hour talk ended with the participants thanking the speakers for having shared their expertise and knowledge on this rising matter. The participants then proceeded to visit the trauma exhibition, which was filled with paintings on masks, realistic-fictional narratives, as well as information-filled banners and different scenario-based decorations on four different causes of PTSD, namely military combat, violence, an automobile accident, and witnessing a murder. 

All in all, IMU’s PTSD Talk and Trauma Exhibition 2019 was a successful event filled with knowledge-enhancing information and creative content in regard to shedding light on PTSD, which was made possible by the collective effort of the psychology staff and students of IMU.

Written by: Sachi Jhingran, Harshitha Canchi, Johnathan Yong, Alya Jasmine Ngu Ee-Lyn | Edited by: Chang Chi Yin, Zantal Siah

Psychology Week 2019, organised by the Psychology Club, was held on the 6th to 8th of May with the objective of increasing awareness regarding the true meaning of psychology among the students and staff of IMU. Themed ‘Beyond the Norm’, the event aimed to debunk the urban and contemporary myths associated with psychology through a plethora of activities.

Five booths, each exhibiting a different branch of psychology, were spread throughout the Atrium. The branches were media psychology, positive psychology, sports psychology, marketing psychology and forensic psychology. 

The aim of the media psychology booth was to raise awareness on the influence of media on psychology. Many social problems have arisen as a result of the media becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world. The psychology students who managed the booth arranged an activity with common jingles and logos to assess whether these advertising techniques impacted people’s minds.

The positive psychology booth hoped to spread positivity by letting people paint and decorate with bright colours and fairy lights. The booth facilitator explained that within the university, “it can be difficult to bounce back from adversity. Accepting a situation and being grateful for all outcomes is something we need to be reminded of”. Anonymous positive notes could be written and exchanged as well, which lightened up many faces. There was also an Instagram challenge, where participants had to post three things they were grateful for.

As for the sports psychology booth, the students in charge introduced this field as a new concept. Many athletes are becoming more aware of its importance. In fact, it is one of the highest earning jobs in the US. However, people often misunderstand that it is only correlated with motivation. On the contrary, sports psychology also deals with the attention and focus required during physical activities, thus helping people set realistic goals. A competitive planking challenge was set up so that the participants could experience and understand this concept.

The marketing psychology booth explored people’s senses through sight, touch and smell. Several activities were conducted which tested whether people’s preferences altered between sight and touch. Another experiment was carried out at the smell station to determine if there was a link between gender-specific perfumes and personal preferences and how this information could be utilised in marketing to target specific demographics. These tests were performed to allow people to be more conscious about the significance of marketing psychology. 

Lastly, there was the forensic psychology booth, which highlighted the interactions between the practice or study of psychology and the law. The students and staff could partake in a lie detector test, where they had to answer a set of questions while their blood pressure was being measured. The purpose of this was to ascertain whether such factors would influence people when they were being interrogated. It was a perfect example of the application of forensic psychology since the test is widely practised across the world. 

Besides the interactive booths, a board was erected at the centre of the Atrium where assumptions and stigmas made surrounding psychology were addressed. They were explained in the hope that people would understand the subject better.

On the final day of the event, the closing ceremony commenced with a speech by the guest-lecturer of honour, Dr Sharifah Sulaiha binti Syed Aznal, Associate Professor currently of service at the School of Medicine. She emphasised on the importance of psychology and how it does not necessarily equate to mentality-related issues only, but also encompasses a variety of fields, such as sports, marketing and criminology. 

There was also a series of talented performances put together by different cohorts and programmes. The performances included contemporary dance, singing, a piano-violin duet, and, for the finale, a band performance that had the audience standing in ovation and cheering for an encore. 

Following the performances was an interview with Dr Shamala Ramasamy, an esteemed lecturer from the Department of Psychology. She stated Psychology Week – an annual initiative for the eleventh year running now – was designed as a platform to raise awareness and understanding of the programme among newer cohorts as well as other courses. ‘Beyond the Norm’ boldly captured the tireless effort put in by the psychology department and club to shatter the misconceptions that limit psychology only to the clinical aspects when in reality, the field was much broader and diverse in its real-life applications. She also believed that the major issues inflicting today’s society, mainly stereotyping and discrimination, will continue to be detrimental to the harmony of the society unless attitudes such as kindness and patience were adopted.

Through this event, the meaning and purpose of psychology with its ‘everyday’ applications were successfully conveyed. Do look forward to Psychology Week 2020!

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Written by: Syerah Yuan (ME218) | Edited by: Zantal Siah (CM217)

Raya Eid-ul Fitr isn’t a foreign festive season for those living here in Malaysia. We know that the celebration is coming up when radios start blasting ‘Yusuf Taiyoob’ ads, which are the infamous dates from the Middle East, and speakers begin blaring out Raya songs in shopping malls. It is the joyous occasion where families and friends from near and far get together to ask for forgiveness from each other and strengthen the bonds between one another. But why do people celebrate Hari Raya in the first place?

Each year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is celebrated on the 1st of Syawal, which is the 10th month in the Islamic calendar, right after the fasting month named Ramadan. It is a season to celebrate the struggles and victories of overcoming one month of abstinence from hunger or any form or wrongdoings. During Ramadan, Muslims are instructed to fast from sunrise until sunset. In Malaysia, this usually lasts for about 13.5 hours, but the duration varies for each country. For instance, those living in Russia must fast for 20 hours whereas those living in Argentina only have to fast for 11 hours. That’s a 9-hour difference! 

Before stepping into Hari Raya, each family will usually do a full-on spring cleaning of the house, cleaning the curtains and washing cutlery and glasses which will be used to serve guests coming to their houses during Raya. It is when the whole house gets into ‘hustle mode’, where every single family member is simply busy preparing for Raya. Typically, shopping malls will also be filled with people – especially when the end of Ramadan is near – looking for clothes and buying groceries to cook during open houses. Furthermore, massive sales around the country increase the busyness of shopping malls! With the convenient Internet and countless shopping sites, some also prefer to browse through and purchase their outfits online in the hope that their deliveries reach in time for the celebration. 

Hari Raya starts off in the morning with Raya prayers at mosques. Then, donning fresh, new and fashionable outfits called ‘baju raya’, families will gather together to have a ‘salam’ session, where everyone asks for forgiveness from one another before the elders proceed with giving kids their long awaited ‘green packets’! The green packets are usually given by those who are married or working to their younger relatives. However, do be aware that some are not comfortable with shaking hands with the opposite gender, so a simple smile will suffice. After that, everyone will enjoy a feast which traditionally consists of the ketupat, lontong, pulut, chicken curry and a couple of other mouth-watering side dishes. The first day of Raya is reserved for visiting one’s own families, both near and extended, and will just be a day to catch up with one another whilst indulging in yummy food prepared at each house. The upcoming Raya days will then be open for visiting other families and friends. 

During the night, families can watch numerous fireworks being lighted and colourful displays illuminating the night skies. There will be kids running around and playing with their ‘bunga api’ or mini fireworks. Some will still be visiting houses at this time; it can even last until midnight!  

When we think of Raya, the things that will pop up in our minds are ketupat and other delicious cuisines, baju melayu and baju kurung as well as green packets. However, to me, the best part about this joyous occasion is spending it with your loved ones, both family and friends, regardless of age, race or religion.  

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all our Muslim friends!

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Written by Zantal Siah | Edited by Chang Chi Yin | Photos by Narayani Kalyan

April 25 heralded a change in student leadership in IMU as the hour-long Student Representative Council (SRC) Handover Ceremony was conducted at the Auditorium. The annual ceremony marks the passing of the torch from the SRC members of the previous term to their newly-elected counterparts. At 12.30pm, Shehzeen Lalani (new Public Relations Representative), the emcee for this year’s ceremony, began by welcoming Prof Dato Dr Maimunah Binti A. Hamid, who was representing the Dean of the School of Medicine, Mr Saravanan Muthiah and Ms May Kuan from the Student Services Hub (SSH), Prof Allan Pau Kah Heng, Dean of the School of Dentistry, and the students who attended the ceremony. 

Mr Saravanan was then invited to give a speech. He thanked the outgoing team for the effort they had put in for the past year and advised them to utilise everything they had learned to enhance themselves. He then addressed the new council members, calling them “key drivers” and informing them to work together with the IMU management as their “eyes and ears” to look for ways to improve the university. 

Up next was Mehra Ahsan, who dedicated her final speech as the President of the SRC 2018/2019 to the SSH and her SRC peers. She was grateful for the support, guidance and advice provided by Mr Saravanan and Ms May Kuan during her tenure. She also stated that every feat that the SRC 2018/2019 had achieved was a result of their teamwork and greatly appreciated the improvements and changes implemented by each of the council members. Besides that, she explained about the flagship events which the SRC had organised – including International Day and Earth Fest – and encouraged the new council to host relevant events that could “positively impact the community”. She added that it was an absolute pleasure to be President and hoped that they would collaborate again in the future. Before she officially relinquished her job, she shared with the future SRC members that there was an excellent support system in the form of their predecessors and SSH should they need any help in achieving their manifesto goals or other plans and wished the new team “the very best of luck”. Following her speech was the Handover Ceremony, which saw the SRC members of 2018/2019 passing nametags to the new council members of 2019/2020.  

After the handover, Abdul Rauf s/o Abdul Rashid, the newly-appointed SRC President of 2019/2020, took the podium and thanked those present for being there. He also appreciated the previous council members for their mentoring sessions as well as the SSH for making IMU a better place. “To the incoming council, my hopes and aspirations for all of us is to be motivated throughout and to work to our very best for the students, for the staff, for IMU, so please do work with me and work with one another to strive for the best,” he concluded.

When Abdul’s speech was over, Mr Saravanan presented each of the SRC members of 2018/2019 with certificates. The previous and current council members then gathered together for group photos, and even took group selfies with Mr Saravanan! The ceremony finally ended with the exchange of gifts between the ex-council and new council members. 

***

Student Representative Council Members of 2019/2020 

President 
Abdul Rauf s/o Abdul Rashid (ME117) 

Secretary 
Wong Yee Hua (BP117) 

Treasurer 
Danushka de Silva (ME118) 

VP of Medical Sciences 
Zainab Akbar (ME118) 

VP of Dentistry 
Lee Zi Xian (DT118) 

VP of Pharmacy 
Chan Yee Qian (BP118) 

VP of Health Sciences 
Nur Fadhlin Jazilah Johan (BM118) 

VP of Complementary and Alternative Medicine 
Gan Yee Hung (CM117) 

VP of Postgraduate Studies 
Yee Zong Yang (BM113) 

Public Relations Representative 
Shehzeen Alnoor Abdulmalik Lalani (ME218) 

IT Representative 
Muhammad Aniq bin Halim (ME218) 

International Students Representative 
Anuki Sakya de Silva (ME118) 

Social Concerns Representative 
Kabilaan Siriganesan (ME218) 

Cultural and Religious Representative 
Anagha Ajay Mandhare (ME217) 

Sports Representative 
Gary Wong Rui Ming (ME218) 

Vice Sports Representative 
Teoh Hui Si (BP117)