Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor in Gaza


HE may have flown among the stars but Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha's heart is still very much in the operating theatre.

Malaysia's first astronaut joined the Malaysian Mosques Youth Assembly on their mercy mission to Gaza, hoping to contribute his expertise as an orthopaedic surgeon.

Although he only managed to spend one day in the Al-Shifa hospital operating theatre -- the two other days being taken up getting clearance to treat patients -- Dr Sheikh Muszaphar still considered his journey worthwhile.

"I came here as an orthopaedic surgeon, not an astronaut. The time I spent in space made me realise how small the world is. I can't just sit and watch things like this happen. I have to do my bit."


Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and two other surgeons spent almost six hours in the operating theatre working on a 26 year-old woman who sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder 20 days ago.
"She had been sent to Cairo for five days and they sent her back, saying that nothing could be done.

"Our job was to try and save the limb. We hope she will make a full recovery."

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar said what he saw in Gaza was nothing like he had ever seen before. "All the operating rooms are full and the doctors are exhausted. There's only enough equipment and medicine for 20 per cent of the victims."

Worse, he said, was that many had been rushed to Egypt but were turned away at the border. When they returned, they were in worse shape.


"This is unacceptable. The problem here is that the Arab leaders are not united. If this problem is to stop, it's the Arab leaders who have to do it."

From NST Online

Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor di Gaza



Pengalaman di Gaza



Selepas melihat kesengsaraan dan kematian yang berlaku di bumi Palestin akibat serangan tentera Israel , saya mengambil keputusan untuk mengambil tindakan secara drastik . Saya tidak boleh duduk berdiam diri sahaja melihat kekejaman tentera Israel melalui kaca televisyen . Alhamdullillah pada 19hb Januari 2009 , saya menyahut "panggilan" untuk berlepas ke Gaza melalui Bandar Kaherah bersama kumpulan NGO Pemuda Masjid untuk menghulurkan apa jua bantuan yang terdaya . Saya pergi ke Gaza sebagai seorang doktor Ortopedik dan bukan sebagai angkasawan .



Tiba di Bandar Kaherah , kami bermalam seharian sementara menanti dokumen yang diperlukan termasuk meminta bantuan dari Kedutaan Malaysia di Mesir. Kami bertolak ke Rafah pada sebelah petang dengan menaiki van yang mengambil masa selama 6 jam setelah melalui 11 pintu checkpoint kesemuanya tetapi malangnya pintu masuk ke bumi Palestin telahpun ditutup dan kami terpaksa bermalam di Bandar Arish hanya 30km dari sempadan.



Pada keesokan hari jam 0800 pagi kami sudahpun berada di sempadan Rafah dan berkesempatan untuk berjumpa dengan ramai ahli NGO dari negara negara lain termasuk MerC Indonesia dan Turkey yang masih menunggu sejak dari awal pagi lagi. Setelah 5 jam penantian akhirnya pihak kastam Mesir membenarkan kami masuk ke bumi Palestin.



Kami menaiki teksi dan terus menuju ke Bandar Gaza yang hanya 25km dari sempadan . Di sinilah segala pengeboman Bandar Gaza dapat dilihat oleh tentera Israel yang tidak kenal erti berperikemanusiaan. Saya melihat dengan hati sayu bangunan bangunan yang musnah akibat pengeboman Israel termasuk 18 buah hospital , 41 buah masjid , bangunan Parlimen , markas Polis , Universiti Islam dan pelbagai lagi .



Kelihatan rata rata rakyat Palestin hidup seperti biasa . Kanak kanak kelihatan bermain bola di tebing jalan , golongan wanita dan golongan lelaki berurus niaga seperti sediakala seolah olah tiada apa apa yang telah berlaku , berkemungkinan mereka telah biasa dengan peperangan semenjak tahun 1948 lagi .



Hospital Shifa



Saya berkesempatan untuk bekerja di Shifa Hospital sebagai doktor Ortopedik bersama doktor doktor Palestin selama 2 hari memberi bantuan yang termampu. Wad wad Ortopedik dan Surgery penuh dengan mangsa pengeboman termasuk golongan wanita dan kanak kanak dan kepakaran doktor tidak mencukupi bekerja tanpa mengenal penat lelah .



Kebanyakan pesakit yang dihantar untuk mendapat rawatan di luar Palestin tidak dapat melepasi sempadan kerana ditahan dan terpaksa berdiaman di dalam ambulans selama 2 hari sebelum dihantar kembali ke Hospital Shifa iaitu hospital terbesar di Gaza. Saya sendiri telah membuat pembedahan ke atas seorang wanita yang telah terkena tembakan Israel setelah 19 hari kejadian tersebut berlaku . Setelah 6 jam melakukan pembedahan hanya masa yang akan menentukan samada tangan beliau boleh diselamatkan .



Saya sudahpun lakukan apa yang terdaya . Peralatan tidak mencukupi termasuk bekalan ubat dan kami lakukan apa yang termampu . Pengeboman Israel yang menggunakan biological weapon termasuk “ white phosphorus “ menyukarkan lagi keadaan .



Saya berkesempatan untuk berjumpa dengan Menteri Kesihatan Palestin yang meluahkan masalah yang mereka alami dan memohon bantuan dari negara negara Islam agar menamatkan kekejaman peperangan Israel terhadap penduduk Palestin termasuk memberi bantuan humanitarian aid . Saya pernah ke Afghanistan pada tahun 2002 bersama MERCY tetapi tidak pernah melihat keadaan yang begitu dashyat sekali di mana penduduk Palestin seolah olah terperangkap dan tidak dapat keluar untuk mendapatkan bekalan makanan mahupun perubatan.

Setelah 5 hari di Gaza kami terpaksa bergegas pulang kerana mendapat khabar berita bahawa Israel akan mula menyerang sempadan dengan tujuan untuk memusnahkan beratus ratus terowong yang menyambung Palastin ke Mesir . Saya berkesempatan untuk melihat terowong rahsia yang dibina dan berjumpa dengan anak anak yatim Palestin yang telah kehilangan ibubapa sepanjang 3 minggu pengeboman Israel terhadap Palestin. Saya kini berada di Kaherah berjumpa dan memberi ceramah motivasi kepada pelajar pelajar Malaysia di Mesir seramai 6000 pelajar kesemuanya.



Saya menyeru kepada rakyat Malaysia agar memberi sumbangan dalam apa jua yang termampu termasuk dana , makanan mahupun ubat ubatan . Bagi saya , sumbangan yang terbaik adalah doa doa dan sembahyang hajat kepada rakyat Palestin agar kesengsaraan mereka akan mendapat bantuan Allah SWT .



Wassalam

Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Angkasawan cleared of wrongdoing


PUTRAJAYA, Mon 19th January 2009:

National Astronaut Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh may continue being under the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry's payroll but he will have to subscribe to a more stringent contract.

Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said probes into allegations that Dr Sheikh Muszaphar had been charging exorbitantly for motivational talks had been completed and that the orthopedic surgeon-turned-astronaut was given a show-cause letter, which he replied to.

"Except for a few things, by and large his answers were acceptable ... with that, we are on to the next phase, his next role in the Ministry and the whole (Angkasawan) programme. He acknowledged that there was charges made (for talks) and gave reasons for them. He qualifies to stay with the ministry if he intends to stay," Ongkili said.

The Ministry's legal unit will meet after the Chinese New Year to cover all loopholes and gray areas in Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's previous contract.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, Ongkili said, had argued that he conducted talks, at night, outside of office hours. The probe also concluded that the astronaut had been conducting talks abroad and some of his commitment with the government contradicted with his engagements with the private sector.
Ongkili dismissed reports that the astronaut had become a millionaire by charging over RM8,000 an hour for each talk. Reports also claimed the fees did not include his hotel stays and flight tickets for appearances in Sabah and Sarawak, hinting he may have amassed such fortune since his space journey in October 2007.

The ministry then opened up the inquiry to the public, allowing them to lodge reports against Dr Sheikh Muszaphar.

"Yes, there had been some receiving of money ... In his own way he fixed the fees for the purpose (talk), but nothing of that sort (achieving millionaire status)," he said.

From NST

Monday, January 12, 2009

Angkasawan hopes to form Islamic Space Agency

KUALA LUMPUR: Angkasawan Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor said yesterday his mission this year was to gather all the nine Muslim astronauts worldwide to form an Islamic Space Agency.
He said he had met Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Sultan Salman to discuss how to form the agency when he performed the haj last year.

Prince Sultan is a retired officer in the Royal Saudi Air Force and a former astronaut.

He is the grandson of King Ibn Saud and the only Saudi citizen to travel in space as well as the first Muslim to do so.

"I hope more Muslims can travel in space and more Muslim aerospace experts can meet and contribute to science and technology," said Dr Sheikh Muszaphar after a Batek Modelling exhibition in conjunction with Chinese New Year 2009 at Galeri Seri Endon.

On another matter, he said he had met Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Fadillah Yusof to clarify the allegation that he had amassed wealth from giving talks on his space experience.

He added that he was waiting for a response on whether his contract with the ministry would be continued.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar was alleged to have charged RM8,000 per hour for his talks and also to have amas-sed RM1.2 million from 150 companies upon his return from the International Space Station in 2007. -- Bernama

Sukarelawan Angkasawan Dipanggil


KUALA LUMPUR: Kementerian Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi (Mosti) akan memanggil semula sukarelawan yang pernah disenarai pendek ketika sesi pemilihan angkasawan negara bagi membolehkan mereka turut terbabit membantu pelaksanaan Program Angkasawan yang dikemas kini.

Timbalan Menterinya, Fadilah Yusof, berkata panel khas sudah dilantik Mosti bagi meneliti maklumat serta kredibiliti sukarelawan terbabit dalam pelaksanaan program terkini, malah angkasawan negara Datuk Dr Sheikh Muzaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha dan Mejar Dr Faiz Khaleed akan turut dipanggil bagi membincangkan potensi dan pembabitan mereka dalam program itu.

"Keputusan kita untuk memanggil mereka adalah untuk membincangkan keseluruhan mekanisme serta berkongsi idea bagi meningkatkan lagi keberkesanan program, selain membincangkan pelbagai perkara berkaitan.

"Perbincangan bersama mereka dilihat amat membantu dalam usaha meningkatkan imej dan inti pati program ini kerana industri aeroangkasa adalah sektor unik yang mana bantuan dalam bentuk dasar dan kewangan dianggap satu kemestian," katanya ketika dihubungi di sini, semalam.

Program Angkasawan yang dirancang hasil perjanjian timbal balas pembelian 18 jet pejuang Sukhoi (SU-30) MKN dari Russia menjadi kebanggaan negara apabila Dr Sheikh Muszaphar berjaya tiba di Stesen Angkasa Antarabangasa (ISS) pada Oktober 2007.

Hampir 12,000 sukarelawan memohon menjalani latihan menjadi angkasawan namun hanya 200 terpilih untuk saringan awal dan ia ditapis lagi kepada 30 berdasarkan kriteria terperinci termasuk faktor kesihatan fizikal serta mental sebelum hanya 10 layak ke peringkat akhir.

Berita Harian 9hb Januari 2009