Category Archives: Singapore from a Malaysian perspective

Bukit Batok Polyclinic *Cough Cough*

So I started my preceptorship at the Bukit Batok NHG Polyclinic.

Preceptor is defined as an identified experienced practitioner who provides transitional role support and learning experiences within a collegial relationship for a specific time, while continuing to perform some or all of the other responsibilities of their position.

I’ll be attach to the Pharmacy for 6 weeks, fulfilling the Republic’s requirements prior to obtaining a license to practice. Workload has been pretty hectic, working six days a week, with minimal allowance and non-existing welfare benefits.

I will load some pictures and blog about interesting events during my attachment.

I feel a bit annoyed that many people do not know the exact roles and responsibilities of a Pharmacist, what’s with the recent reply on YB Lim’s Blog. In addition, I have also been enlightening friends and acquaintances of mine on what we really do when I tell them about my attachment.

During one of the counselling sessions I sat in with the Pharmacist, the patient actually thanked us after the session by saying “Thank you ah, Doctor”

My mentor quickly replied the patient by saying “I’m not a Doctor, I’m a Pharmacist”

I feel that there is a need to ‘publicize’ the pharmacist among Pharmacy students  and registered Pharmacists alike. Many a times, I get questions like “So this degree will just allow you to give them the medications? How hard can that be?” or even “Doesn’t it bother you that you know you’ll never be on top in the healthcare scene, since Doctors are the most likely ones to be the final decision makers”

It’ll be quite hard for patients to see what we really do, since we work behind the counter most of the time. And since we’re the final personnel they see upon collecting their medication, they’ll probably channel all their perceptions and frustrations to us as ‘being the bad ones’. There was one patient, with sore throat, runny nose and fever (typical symptoms of the common cold aka flu by the way) insisted that there was a mistake on the Pharmacy side for not giving her antibiotics, although it was the doctor who decided not to prescribe her with them.

The other problem is of course we can’t go around putting big signs saying “Look at me! I’m a Pharmacist” as the law only allows us to put one mini sign showing our name and our title e.g. Aaron J Lam, RPh, BSc. (Hons?) Pharmacy.

FYI: Just because you have sore throat and everything doesn’t mean that you need to undergo antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics are only given if you’re diagnosed with an infection from bacterial origin. Viral infection will warrant antibiotics useless.


People Power

The malays and middle income groups want electoral reform, the indians what citizen equality.

Wonder what the chinese, ibans and kadazans want next? A state of its own? LOL

Another ass at a Makansutra

I’m still ranting on my frog porridge supper trip.

While Britney and I were blowing (the hot porridge), there was this family of four sitting next to us: a young couple, a grandmother-aged woman, and another younger-but-old-enough-to-be-a-mother woman. Anyhoo, while I was pretending to enjoying the porridge, I noticed that the husband was rather restless. The wife was trying to make conversation (albeit superficial ones) with the two older women.

After awhile, the husband stood up and walked to his car nearby. I thought he was going for a smoke or something, but instead he started the car engine! The wife then followed suit to the car. They entered the car, switched the air-con on and waited in the car for the two older women.


I was fucking pissed and disgruntled, but not so bitchy enough to show my feelings. The two older women haven’t even finish their lousy porridge and probably not-crispy-at-all chicken wings. But out of respect, you do not walk out on your older relatives on the same table! The Westerners can do it for all I care, but as Asians, we don’t!

‘Maybe he wants to warm up the engine’ said Britney.

FUCK LA, what engine do you need to heat up? They were at the eatery not longer than 30 minutes; a car engine does not freeze up in half an hour’s time!

More importantly, I just felt so sorry to the two older women, especially the grandmother for having such children. The least the young couple could do was stood outside the car and waited for them. Sitting in the car and enjoying the air-con is just disrespectful.

Ok, this is just from what I observed. There could be a different story behind it. Maybe the four are not related and are just neighbors wanting to have supper (which I doubt it), or maybe the four of them had a bad history, or maybe the husband just got fired. Or maybe it’s just me, as Britney didn’t seem disturbed by it.

Makansutra My Ass

Singapore food sucks big time.


Britney and I just came back from supper at Chinatown. We were at Orchard before that chilling with the crowd at Starbucks while the rest were busy doing their last minute shopping as the Great Singapore Sale comes to an end (it’s a Late Night Friday Shopping too) and that GST will increase to 7% effective 1st July.


So anyway, we wanted good and cheap food. Since Fong Seng does not fit both criteria, I suggested Bukit Timah, where there is a Prata shop that serves mamak food that taste ALMOST like Malaysian mamak food. However, the two of us had no idea where or how to get there from Orchard. So we decided to go to Chinatown instead.


Britney brought me to this place which serves porridge and frog porridge was their specialty. I was quite excited about it as I’ve never tried frog porridge, or frog meat for that matter. We ordered one bowl each, which cost us 16 freaking bucks in total.


*Wait a minute, RM32 for frog porridge. WTF*


Anyway, since the price was so expensive, we were expecting good food in big quantity. The porridge came in a big claypot alright. It smelt delicious and I was eager to try.


The porridge fucking sucked. Ok the first few blows (it was hot) and slurps weren’t that bad, I even complimented the dish. However, subsequent mouth got me bored. I added soya sauce and chili to make it a bit saltier and somewhat spicier.


All in all, I wasn’t satisfied with the 8 bucks I paid. Although I agree that the porridge were one of the better Singapore dishes I tried.


I feel that generally Singapore hawker food is ‘of below standard’ aka sucks. Malaysian hawker food is DEFINITELY much tastier (and unhealthy but health is not my topic of discussion right now). There are good food stalls around the island, but they do not satisfy my taste buds as much as the Bah Kut Teh restaurants in Klang or SS14 Subang Jaya do.


The worst part of all this is that island actually promotes the country as a ‘melting pot of dishes that will tantalize your taste buds’.


However, before any Singaporeans start blasting me by saying that I’m just generalizing over a few restaurants (believe me, I’ve been to a lot of hawker centers), I feel that Western/international cuisine here is much better and tastier. I would rather splash my money in a western restaurant as compared to in Malaysia. Maybe the restaurants here are expected to meet the taste buds of a large western community here, or that there are more choices of pork =p