Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Terms define what dominant civilization we are in

There is nothing new under the same sky. Earth has its own timing.Over centuries, people are promoting their ideas, agendas, and also propagandas.  First is to learn from previous civilization, second is to write with their own language, and third is to re-write the whole ideas and teach young generations with its own version of ideas and further expands them.  History is written by the winner.

For example, herbal medicine has been practised  much in the old civilisations, yet it is still preserved and practised today. Names and terms can be changed, but the main ideas are still the same.  I.e. use of the same plant for the same disease, with better developed dispensing method and with more controlled planting, harvesting, and processing techniques.

Graeco-arabic medicine is a perfect case for fighting of a term.  Graeco-arabic is presently not a common word in any medicinal education in Australia.  However, this much practiced medicine during medieval era has been transformed, mixed and expanded to other terms i.e. western herbal medicine and naturopathy.

We found that in Australian medicinal society, Graeco-arabic medicine has lesser supporter compared to western herbal medicine initiatives. Regardless, they shared much of the Galeanic principles in healing.  Either lack of Government support or broad acceptance of Graeco-arabic term may be a cause of this phenomenon.

Under Australian jurisdiction, Graeco-arabic practitioners could be categorised as naturopathists, but practitioners are reluctant to accept the status.  This fact is supported by a case study, provided by Dr. Paul Hysen of South Australia. He had forced to close the only college taught for Graeco-arabic medicine, whilst western herbal medicine, naturopathy and traditional chinese herbal medicine courses are adopted in universities and colleges.

However, we found that in the national Australian library of Canberra, the history and knowledge of Graeco-arabic medicine is preserved in the form of a book, titled Hakim Ajmal Khan. 

In our point of view, government should attend same proportion of initiatives for Graeco-arabic medicine with other herbal medicine and also offer better acknowledgement to its practitioners

In a broader view, preserving original term should be sought to provide fair acknowledgement for our previous civilizations.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Readings on Hakim Ajmal Khan from Australian perspective

Syed Ziaur Rahman, Anton Rahmadi & Zahra Hashemi

Muslims in Australia have a long and varied history; their role in making the Australia as a part of multicultural society is very significant. At the same time, these immigrants particularly from Indian subcontinent are also concerned to be familiar with their roots and ancestry. Records on Hakim Ajmal Khan are proof that Indian immigrants study and learn their origins through various literature provided by Australian libraries.
Muslims in Australia have a long and varied history that is thought to pre-date European settlement. Some of Australia’s earliest visitors were Muslim, from the east Indonesian archipelago. They made contact with mainland Australia as early as the 16th and 17th centuries. These early Muslim visitors were the Makassar traders. Muslim immigrants from coastal Africa and island territories under the British Empire came to Australia as sailors and convicts in the early fleets of European settlers during the late 1700s. The first significant semi-permanent Muslim population was formed with the arrival of Afghan camel drivers in the 1800s. Coming from the Indian sub-continent, these Muslims were vital in the early exploration of inland Australia and in the establishment of service links. Since the 1970s, Muslim communities have developed many mosques and Islamic schools and made vibrant contributions to the multicultural fabric of Australian society. Amongst this mixed population of Australian citizens, some are still keen to preserve their own culture and traditions. Muslims particularly from Indian subcontinent like to understand and learn the past Muslims contributions in their own land of Indian origin. Government of Australia also arranged a large number of books and other cultural items for their interest. National Library of Australia (Canberra) is the largest reference library of Australia where manuscript collection of the Library contains about 26 million separate items. In the same Library, a book ‘Hayat-e Ajmal by Qazi M. Abdul Ghaffar (1950), Anjuman Tarraqi Urdu Hind, Aligarh’ in addition to other English reprints on works of Hakim Ajmal Khan are in existence, which will be shared in the present paper apart from excerpts of our personal communication with local persons who keep some thoughts on Hakim Ajmal Khan.
Hakim Ajmal Khan was a versatile figure of international repute! He was an Indian Unani physician, statesman, politician and freedom fighter. Although, his work and contribution have been widely studied in the whole subcontinent of India, but his matchless contributions to the cause of Indian independence, national integration and communal harmony are also being looked with great concern in other parts of the world including Australia.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Aristolochia as an alexipharmic in Dayak Tribes of Kalimantan

Morris (1887) wrote Aristolochia plants have been a well-known traditional medicine to cure snake-bite. The remarkable properties of the plant spread in almost all continents, but mainly practiced in Asia. The inhabitants of "new world" (red Indians) used extracts of various Aristolochia species as antidote to snake and spider bites. Similarly to other parts of the world, Dayak ethnics relied on Aristolochia plants as their main antidotes.
Dayak ethnics spread across Kalimantan (Borneo) island and considered as one of the oldest native tribes. The island is now separated into three countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam. There are strong connections between each of Dayak tribes, for example the use of traditional medicines from the surrounding forest. Punan tribe lives in Malinau, nothern part of East Kalimantan, which belongs to Indonesia. Kadazan and Murut tribes live in Malaysian part, at the southern part of Sabah, near the boundary to Indonesia. Kulip (2005) describes Kadazan and Murut tribes shared 81 (23%) of identified medicinal plants. One of them is "Babas lontong" (Aristolochia papilifolia). In Punan, the local name for the plant is "Tabar Kedayan". Dayak tribes have segrerated name for medicinal plants based on its claimed function. "Babas" in Dayak Sabah language means antidote.
In the Dayak people of Kalimantan, knowledge of traditional medicinal plants become rare and kept secret from generation to generation. A social study reported that in oral teachings from one generation to another, almost 40% of local knowledge is not successfully transmitted (Chazdon 2003). This social practice is now under critics. In this modern world, major medicinal knowlege from Dayak had been revealed since 1931. During the Dutch missionary Adela S. Baer and A.H. Klokke exploration in Kalimantan, identification and medicinal plants from the Dayak tribes have been recorded (Baer 1931; Salilah and Klokke 1998).

Overall, it is estimated about 10% of plants that grow in tropical forests have the defensive capabilities-based chemical compounds (Newman 1994). Tropical forests are said to have potential sources of medicines, which until now has not been completely characterized. Aristolochia plants are mainly found in tropical zones, spread across the continents from Asia, Africa and America.
Morris (1887) elaborated Aristolochia as “herbs or shrubs often twining over trees with peculiar inflated and lurid coloured flowers. The plant has a strong smell, mostly because of volatile oil with bitter resin and extractable acrid substance.” Aristolochia has a vast range of characteristics, but mainly live in dry and rocky woods. The height of the plant is 8-24 inches while the flower colour may vary between species.

Scientific approval
Aristolochia has active chemical properties mainly derived from terpenoids. For example, it may contain acyclic monoterpenoids like Geraniol and (S)-Linalool, Menthanes like Limonene, and other structure of terpenoids as described by Tian-Shung et al (2004).
Recently, Armenta-Acosta (2006) filed a patent based on an extract of Aristolochia gigantea that may act as viper and rattlesnake antidote. Extract of Aristolochia plant is prepared by boiling the rhizomes, stems, and foliage in water which then being concentrated. Embodiment of the medicine contains 7-15% of plant extract, 25% of alcohol (96% purity), and 65% of water. The administration of plant extract may also by other means like intramuscular and intravenous injections. Effective doses of the extract are 3ml/kg for children under 1 year, 6ml/kg for children less than 30kg, and at maximum 13ml/kg for adult.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Diskusi dengan anggota Komisi 1 DPR

Semalam saya bela-belain memenuhi undangan mendadak KJRI Sydney di Maroubra untuk beraudiensi dengan anggota Komisi 1 DPR RI, Bapak M Najib (blognya, email pribadi: najib_jakarta@yahoo.com) bekaitan dengan peranan Komisi 1 DPR RI. Perlu diketahui, beliau datang atas undangan Australian Labour Party (ALP) dengan dibiayai oleh Pemerintah Australia berdasarkan hasil seleksi dari 80 peminat/perwakilan Indonesia untuk kepentingan kerjasama antar parlemen.
Sejak awal, sekalipun juga datang terlambat, penuturan beliau dimulai tanpa membuang waktu dan berbicara yang tidak perlu. Kesan menyerap aspirasi mahasiswa terlihat sangat jelas, tanpa ada gesture yang dibuat-buat. Dalam hati kami-kami berkata, seandainya komisi-komisi "ribut" itu anggota-anggotanya seperti ini, mungkin tragedi email dan peristiwa Melbourne, Masindo Spanyol, dan Stadiun Madrid&Barcelona tidak akan terjadi.
Dalam dua jam pertemuan, saya mencatat paparan awal sekitar 20-25 menit. Sesi pertanyaan terbagi dua dengan lima penanya di awal dan tiga penanya di akhir. Total terdapat lebih dari 15 poin pertanyaan dan semuanya dijawab. Komisi 1 membawahi permasalahan Politik, Hankam, Luar Negeri dan Kominfo.
Rundown Tanya Jawab
Di awal beliau menyampaikan tentang sejarah beliau sebagai pendidik (mantan dosen ITS) hingga akhirnya terjun ke politik, peranan intelektual muda utamanya menyongsong 2014 yang sangat penting sebagai saat pergantian presiden, penguasaan bahasa dan kesempatan belajar di luar negeri yang harus disukuri, permintaan untuk mempelajari sistem di luar negeri dan mencoba menerapkan yang sesuai di Indonesia, sedikit tugas komisi 1 tentang RUU Intelijen dan pemanfaatan nuklir untuk sebuah negara - CTBT (http://www.ctbto.org/).
Seperti biasa, pertanyaan PPIA yang kali ini terdiri dari perwakilan UNSW, USyd, UWS, Wollongong, dan Newcastle menukik ke masalah berat-berat seperti:
  1. Sistem pemerintahan China yang seakan-akan anti-tesis sistem demokrasi, dijawab dengan tesis kapitalisme negara (see: State Capitalism) dan diktator yang baik hati dan tidak (parah) korup(nya).
  2. PPATK sebaiknya tidak diatur lagi dalam RUU Intelijen karena fungsinya beda (sebagai intelijen keuangan). Dijawab: pentingnya lembaga koordinasi intelijen (LKIN), yang walau diakui persoalan koordinasi lintas departemen adalah masalah yang tak kunjung selesai di Indonesia.
  3. Ekstradisi pelaku korupsi: dijawab pihak-pihak/negara-negara yang diuntungkan umumnya tidak bersedia. Diplomasi "Lion/Fox" Indonesia belum mampu menembus ini, sekalipun terus dilakukan (misal dulu kasus yang mengakibatkan mundurnya Juwono Sudarsono, mantan Menhan).
  4. Menggunakan orang Indonsia di LN/KBRI/KJRI untuk mencari data: dijawab mekanismenya belum pernah dibahas di DPR (mungkin yang dimaksud proses policy inquiry belum dijabarkan lebih dalam di DPR).
  5. Kemandirian bangsa seputar pemanfaatan sumber daya alam dan pengetahuan: dijawab DPR dan Pemerintah mengakui adanya pressure asing (analogi: preman yang punya senjata vs kita yang tidak punya senjata) dan menyelesaikan permasalahan ini dengan cara formal (negosiasi G to G) atau informal (meminta kekuatan opini rakyat untuk memaksa).
  6. Good and sustainable governance, pemerintahan yang berkelanjutan terkait dengan isu-isu jangka panjang seperti pendidikan: dijawab sistem presidensial saat ini menganut pola presiden dan partai pengusungnya menawarkan program (mirip USA), sehingga isu-isu jangka panjang tidak semuanya dijalankan akibat ikatan/janji politik di awal kepemimpinan sudah lemah.
  7. Edukasi sebagai program kunci: dijawab tentang dana abadi dan penggunaan dana abadi untuk peningkatan kualitas bangsa oleh Kementrian Pendidikan dalam periode Bpk M. Nuh (Mendiknas saat ini).
  8. Pengadaan Alusista negara: dijawab pola pengadaan perlu diubah sehingga dapat dilakukan dalam jumlah besar, terprogram, dan ada transfer teknologi. Komitmen bersama ini harus diikat dalam sebuah UU.
  9. Implikasi kematian Osama: tidak mau berkomentar. Dan mengajak untuk berfikir lebih dari sekedar isu berkembang, melainkan apa yang dibalik itu.
  10. Recall Dubes Swiss: dijawab tidak yakin akan dilakukan DPR.
  11. Indonesia menengahi isu perbatasan Kamboja/Thailand: dijawab sudah disampaikan permintaannya,
  12. Klarifikasi bahwa yang diinginkan PPIA pusat salah satunya adalah laporan (akuntabilitas) studi banding DPR RI harus tersaji secara publik di situs DPR.GO.ID.
  13. Revitalisasi situs DPR.GO.ID dan email-email anggota DPR sebagai bagian dari pertahanan negara: dijawab saat ini ekspektasi untuk itu masih 'terlalu tinggi'.
  14. Kekhawatiran tidak bisa berkarya setelah pulang ke Indonesia: dijawab kontribusi untuk negara dapat dilakukan dari mana saja.
Poin tambahan yang diangkat sendiri oleh ybs.
  1. Permasalahan ideologi (yang beragam) harusnya tidak perlu diributkan lagi, tidak perlu menganyam di luar apa yang sudah disepakati oleh pendahulu-pendahulu kita saat negara ini berdiri.
  2. Interdependensi antar negara sudah menjadi isu penting dan tidak dapat dihindari.
  3. 2014 adalah tahun yang diharapkan kita stabil menapaki era pembangunan lagi dan pemimpin muda (boleh jadi calon dari jalur independen dapat disetujui) diharapkan mampu menjawab tuntutan bangsa yang semakin besar.
Diskusi informal selepas pertemuan
  1. PPI UNSW ingin mengadakan pertemuan ilmiah sehari: dijawab mari disusun tema besarnya, pandangan-pandangan yang diharapkan adalah bersifat "out of the box", harus menunjukkan kajian yang tidak mampu dibuat hanya dari Indonesia.
Diskusi informal di mobil saat mengantar beliau pulang
  1. Permohonan untuk disampaikan kepada teman-teman DPR bahwa PPIA terdiri dari para pelajar yang memegang teguh kritisisme dalam ranah ilmu pengetahuan: dijawab dicoba untuk disampaikan.
  2. Wagyu (sapi infant/sangat muda), sertifikasi halal, dan lembaga sertifikasi halal Australia: disini saya yang memberikan informasi bahwa wajar ada perbedaan pendapat antara Australia (yang punya banyak lembaga sertifikasi halal, satu dan lainnya saling klaim yang paling berhak) dengan Indonesia. Salah satunya adalah masalah mazhab, dimana Indonesia cenderung satu mazhab (Safi'i) sementara di Australia terdapat banyak mazhab (Hanafi misalnya punya sedikit pandangan berbeda tentang proses jaminan halal).
  3. Kunker DPR RI: dijawab adanya tarik menarik kepentingan misalnya mengapa partai A ikut partai B tidak boleh, mengapa delegasi tidak mencerminkan keterwakilan (jumlah) dari wakil rakyat dalam fraksi, serta kenyamanan berpergian dengan fasilitas/layanan di LN. Setidaknya ada aspek positif seperti fasilitas bagi rakyat yang harus dibangun di Indonesia.
CCed: Bapak M Najib (anggota Komisi 1 DPR RI) PPIA-pusat sebagai laporan pandangan mata.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Hari ini tepat empat hari kedatangan Komisi VIII DPR-PRI yang membidangi masalah Agama, Sosial dan Kesetaraan Gender serta Anak ke Australia dalam rangka studi banding Rancangan Undang-undang Fakir Miskin. Update (3/5): saat tulisan ini selesai, rombongan Komisi VIII DPR RI telah berada kembali di Indonesia.
PPI-Australia memberikan reaksi keras namun dibingkai bahasa yang halus menanggapi adanya kunjungan ini. Setelah komunikasi dua arah terjadi dimana Komisi VIII yang berkunjung juga aware akan hal ini, agenda kunjungan mereka, utamanya acara makan malam diubah formatnya sehingga memungkinkan perwakilan-perwakilan PPI-Australia untuk hadir di dalamnya. Tercatat lima sesi dari kunjungan tersebut yang diganggu oleh PPI-A diantaranya makan malam di Konsulat Jenderal Sydney, KBRI Canberra, dialog pagi dengan ABC Australia, kunjugan ke Department of Health and Services Australia, dan makan malam beserta dialog yang disiarkan langsung Radio PPI Dunia dari KJRI Melbourne. Transkrip dari diskusi dan rekamannya akan disediakan online oleh rekan-rekan PPI-Australia cabang Victoria. Update (2/5): sesi 1, sesi 2.
Beberapa catatan yang perlu disampaikan adalah, ternyata pertanyaan-pertanyaan yang dilontarkan wakil-wakil PPI-Australia tidak dapat dijawab dengan memuaskan, misalnya soal proses terjadinya studi banding (penentuan tujuan, peserta, Linkdan persiapan keberangkatan), hingga susahnya melakukan kontak dengan komisi VIII (misal: SMS tidak dijawab, email yang ternyata fake hingga website pribadi yang suspended). UPDATE PENTING dari rekan yang membuat email tersebut: Pada tanggal 5 Mei 2011 Jam 08.01 waktu Canberra, alamat komisi8@yahoo.com sudah diakuisisi orang (sesuai notifikasi dari blackberry service)
Dari timeline tweet PPI-Australia, diketahui bahwa setelah ini PPI-Australia akan melakukan evaluasi terhadap kunjungan Komisi VIII di Australia ini. Update (3/5): evaluasi tahap akhir sudah dikirimkan dan tersedia online.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Wishing You A Very Good Year

Happy new year everyone!
Best wishes for successful and healthy year

Season's greeting