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These local doctors are crossing borders to help non-Malaysians

These local doctors are crossing borders to help non-Malaysians

When Dr Mohd Lutfi Fadil Lokman was a medical student in Universitas Padjadjaran in Bandung, Indonesia, he lived among the poor communities of Bandung for three years.

This triggered his desire to focus on healthcare for the poor.

“As a medical student, I observed that poverty and illness always go hand-in-hand, and tackling one solves the other.

“We must do more than prescribe medications to patients and then send them back to the poor environments that made them sick in the first place,” said Dr Lutfi, 30.

Together with his classmate Dr Wan Abdul Hannan, 28, they founded Hospitals Beyond Boundaries (HBB), a non-governmental organisation registered under the Malaysian Societies Act 1966, in 2012.

HBB is dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable communities through sustainable healthcare efforts.

Starting the endeavour in South-East Asia, HBB’s most notable project is running a community clinic and a maternity hospital for the poor in Cambodia.

These health facilities are run as social enterprises by local youths who are employed as community health workers to complement the work of HBB doctors, nurses and other health professionals.


We must do more than prescribe medications to patients and then send them back to the poor environments that made them sick in the first place, says Dr Mohd Lutfi Fadil Lokman.

Dr Lutfi’s family and friends were supportive of his initiative, although he had already been working as a doctor in Malaysia, and running HBB meant longer working hours.

“My parents were the ones who first thought up the idea to build health facilities to help the Cham minority in Cambodia,” he said. His wife Dr Kamaliah Jalalonmuhali, 27, who is expecting their first child, has always been supportive of HBB.

HBB aims to help anyone who lacks access to healthcare if they are too poor to afford it.

“While keeping to this broad and ambitious goal, we stay focused by helping one community at a time, with our first project being to help the Cham minority of Cambodia,” said Dr Lutfi.

The majority of the Cham people are still poor and depend mainly on foreign aid in terms of education and health.

“Most of the hospitals built by foreign NGOs lack cultural competence when treating an ethnic minority, presenting a barrier to quality care delivery, which ultimately leads to healthcare disparities.

“We aim to be different by minimising the cultural differences between patients and healthcare providers,” Dr Lutfi added.

From small health-screening programmes, HBB promoted itself on social media to gain more financial support and trust from the public.

HBB then branched out into mobile clinics, and after three years, they gained enough funds to buy a piece of land in Cambodia in 2015.

Dr Lutfi encourages more people to volunteer in society-beneficial organisations that fit one’s passion and purpose.

After handing over the title of HBB Chief Executive Officer to Dr Wan Abdul Hannan, Dr Lutfi is currently doing his post-graduate study at Harvard University in the United States.

Wizards at Tribeca serves spellbinding modern comfort food

Wizards at Tribeca serves spellbinding modern comfort food

Wizards at Tribeca might actually have been crafted by real-life wizards, because I swear, you feel magic in the air when you walk into this place.

The space is bright and airy, with lots of natural light filtering in from large windows. Feelings of calmness and contentment envelop you as soon as you enter this oasis, punctuated only by the gentle buzz of conversation forming the background soundtrack to your meal here. It isn’t a huge space, but there is so much character oozing out of it, it might as well be the size of a dinosaur’s lair.

The restaurant, which opened in January this year, is a collaborative effort between the Low Yat Group and the team behind popular local eateries The Red Beanbag and Yellow Brick Road – Lee Hai Lin, Lee Yew Kheong, Jason Loo, Shaun Liew and Ryan Cheah.

“In May last year, the Low Yat Group approached us and said they were opening a serviced residence in KL, and asked if we were interested in coming on board. They wanted something a little bit different and they wanted us to cater for the residents’ breakfast. Like a brunch kind of thing, which is what we’re good at,” says Liew, who is Wizards’ social and coffee wizard.

Wizards only caters to Tribeca’s guests from 7am to 10am. From 10am onwards, the eatery is open to everyone.

Wizards at Tribeca

The interior of Wizards is pleasant and charming, and instantly lulls you into a state of contentment.

Coffee and cocktails are a major highlight at Wizards and are guided by probably the most knowledgeable hands in Malaysia at the moment. Both Loo and Liew are Malaysian barista champions – Loo is the 2013, 2015 and 2017 Malaysia Barista champion and has represented Malaysia at the World Barista Championship (in 2017, he placed seventh among 60 competitors!).

Liew, meanwhile, won the Malaysian Brewers Cup 2017 and represented Malaysia at the World Brewers Cup last year. Liew was also a lecturer at Berjaya University College of Hospitality, and one of the subjects he lectured on was mixology!

Shaun Liew, Wizards at Tribeca

Liew and his partners are the people behind popular cafes The Red Beanbag and Yellow Brick Road. They opened in Wizards in January 2018 in collaboration with the Low Yat Group.

To get a sip of what they’re capable of, try the flat white (RM12). The coffee is a luscious, bold affair that is clearly not afraid to announce its presence. It makes a strong statement from the get-go and has an unforgettable quality that will leave you hankering for more.

Then there is the hot chocolate (fruity, RM16). The drink is made using local brand Chocolate Concierge’s Pahang-sourced single origin chocolate.

“There are options for bold and fruity hot chocolates, and these two chocolates are fermented in two different barrels. So there are distinct profiles – one gives you a bolder, easier-to-drink hot chocolate and the fruity character is for people who enjoy acidity in chocolate,” says Liew.

The fruity hot chocolate is phenomenally good, like a eureka moment that pops up when you least expect it. I was tapping out an urgent message on my phone when I started drinking this, but this hot chocolate was so decadent, so indulgently rich and chocolatey, that I left my phone untended and clean forgot about the formerly urgent message I was composing.

Wizards at Tribeca, hot chocolate

The fruity hot chocolate is sensationally good, and boasts warm chocolate flavours that will find instant favour with your palate.

For a taste of something utterly invigorating, try the cascara soda (RM18), made using the husks of the prized Geisha varietal coffee from a farm in Panama.

“Cascara means coffee husk. It’s a by-product of the coffee and is normally discarded. But instead of discarding the husk, it is turned into cascara tea, which is basically coffee-tea. So what we do is we take that, brew it with hot water and reduce it with brown sugar to turn it into syrup, and then you get a cascara soda,” says Liew.

The sheer volume of work involved in making this soda sounds crazy and labyrinthine, but it will all start to make sense when you have a sip of this complex drink that is sweet, refreshing and has almost caramel-like undertones.

If drinks form the heart of Wizards, food is its lungs. The two function as inexorable partners in crime, reliant on each other to boost the eatery’s appeal. Food-wise, Wizards serves up refined comfort food and a host of brunch delights, all concocted by head chef Cheah, who worked at fine-dining mecca Cilantro and helmed the kitchen at The Red Beanbag.

Wizards foie gras brioche, Wizards at Tribeca

Yummy is a word that perfectly sums up the hedonistic goodness of the artfully crafted foie gras brioche.

For a sample of the best from Wizards’ repertoire, try the Wizards foie gras brioche (RM44). The dish is a lesson in textures and layers, made up of luxurious, velvety foie gras, soft, dense brioche, crispy beef bacon, creamy duxelle mushrooms and a mixed berries reduction. This is a dish that is unapologetically perfect. When you eat it, you’ll experience that elusive feeling of having searched for something your whole life, only to realise you’ve found it in this dish, with its alchemy of pure magic.

With the taro mish mash (RM28), you’re likely to think “What sort of strange bedfellows are these?” when you see the ingredients sharing the plate here. The dish consists of yam mash, French sourdough, diced avocado pesto, tomato salsa, feta cheese and poached eggs. The taro mash especially, seems incongruous in this constellation, but once you taste it, you’ll realise it actually works, offering a starchy-soft sumptuousness that contrasts well with everything else once you break the eggs apart and they coat everything in yolky-albumen goodness.

The buttermilk fried chicken (RM28) is essentially a burger which pairs a chunk of buttermilk fried chicken with brioche, kimchi cabbage and mango relish. The star player here is the fried chicken, which is as crunchy and crusty as even your loftiest hopes for it could be. All the other accoutrements are clearly just sideshow attractions for the main star.

tree hugger pizza, Wizards at Tribeca

Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, it’s easy to like the tree hugger pizza, which incorporates ingredients like pesto, avocado, tomato, baby spinach and buffalo mozzarella.

Then there is the cheekily named tree hugger (RM28), an allusion to vegetarianism that takes the shape of a pizza dolloped with pesto, avocado, tomato, baby spinach and buffalo mozzarella. The confluence of flavours show thoughtfulness, as each ingredient doesn’t jostle for your attention like a needy toddler. Instead, everything inhabits the pizza evenly and without any favouritism, so you can enjoy the flavours harmoniously.

From the desserts on offer, I would strongly urge (read: insist) that you try the chocolate molten (RM24). The molten lava cake is made using Maracaibo 65% criollo chocolate from Venezuela and is served with vanilla ice cream and a red berry compote. This cake is sensational, a gushing chocolatey affair overflowing with intense cocoa flavours. The quality of the chocolate makes all the difference here, and you’ll detect its richness and superiority from the first bite. Do not – I implore you – miss out on this!

Wizards at Tribeca, chocolate molten lava cake

Don’t let this molten cake’s simple looks fool you. Once you cut through the cake, a pool of thick chocolate runs out, engulfing your senses in total decadence.

You could also opt for the deconstructed tiramisu (RM22) which features chocolate ladyfingers soaked in the espresso of the day, with mascarpone crème, German cocoa powder, chocolate soil and caramelised roasted cocoa nibs. While this iteration nails all the flavours of the traditional tiramisu, it is also decidedly less rich than the original, and while they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I’m not sure this ultimately works in this dessert’s favour.

End your meal at Wizards with possibly the most fun night cap in town – the Wizard’s potion (RM42). Made with house-pour red wine, Campari, passion fruit, blood orange syrup and rosemary, this riotous celebration of flavours instantly calls to mind the phrase, “Let’s get this party started!”

Wizards at Tribeca

Ground Floor, Residensi Tribeca
Jalan Imbi
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2715 5308
Open daily 10am to 10pm

Many unhappy with plan to have MasterChef Singapore in Mandarin

Many unhappy with plan to have MasterChef Singapore in Mandarin

A plan to air a Mandarin version of MasterChef in Singapore sparked anger recently, with netizens claiming that the cooking show will not cater to all in the multi-ethnic country.

The competition, created in Britain in 1990, pits amateur chefs against each other in a pressure-cooker environment.
It has since seen several spin-offs featuring celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay, including MasterChef Asia which was broadcast in English in 2015.

Announcing MasterChef Singapore, national broadcaster Mediacorp said the programme would be shown on a free-to-air Chinese-language channel, and potential applicants were asked online to rate their fluency in Mandarin.

The city-state has a population that is over 70% ethnic Chinese but is also home to large Malay and Indian minorities, as well as many expatriates.

Singapore has four official languages – English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil – but people mainly communicate in English.

Facebook user Magen Prasad said the planned show was “catering to the majority race in Singapore. Minority race, we gotta deal with it”.

“So what, Malays, Indians and Eurasians can’t cook? What nonsense is this!” Shaik Syasa wrote on the networking site.

masterchef singapore

The judges of MasterChef Asia Susur Lee, Audra Morrice and Bruno Ménard. Photo: AFP

But Mediacorp insisted that contestants do not need to be fluent in Mandarin.

“For contestants, fluency… is not a prerequisite as translation services can be provided during the show,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

“For television viewers, the series will be subtitled.”

According to Mediacorp, the Chinese channel which will show the programme attracts the largest audience of any channel in its network. – AFP Relaxnews

Limkokwing University presents culturally-diverse runway show in London

Limkokwing University presents culturally-diverse runway show in London

In a show best described as a beautiful marriage of cultures, students and alum of Limkokwing University presented fashion creations combining trendy design with elements of tradition.

The runway extravaganza, which ran alongside London Fashion Week, saw ready-to-wear that were rich with references from Botswana, Swaziland, Kenya, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Iran, Indonesia and the Maldives.

The show’s theme “Date Night” alluded to a romantic modern mood between long distance lovers. As such, the design team produced chic, yet seamlessly fun and bold pieces.

“Our collection was created with a special touch of uniqueness to express a feeling of romance and love through costume,” said Limkokwing University’s vice president of brand, creativity and talent development, Datuk Tiffanee Marie Lim.

The journey towards the showcase was apparently challenging, as the team from the Faculty of Fashion and Lifestyle Creativity in Malaysia had to individually scour for fabric and accessories from different parts of the world.

According to Lim, the collection represented Limkokwing University as close-knit collaborators. It also spoke of how well the team worked together and exchanged ideas.

“This showcase was a collaborative effort between our students and staff. We involve our students in these huge projects to show that we know how to build, manage and push any new idea,” she stated.

View the slideshow below for a look at some of the designs.

What to eat when you’re on the 5:2 diet

What to eat when you’re on the 5:2 diet

I have decided to embark upon the 5:2 diet because it is easier for me than going on the ketogenic diet. But I am struggling with the two days in which I am required to eat 500 to 600 calories a day. I learned that even one plate of wantan mee is 450 calories! Do I have to skip two meals for those two days that I am doing intermittent fasting then?

You are right. One plate of wantan mee is around 450 calories!

You can imagine that one plate of nasi lemak, which people usually eat for breakfast in Malaysia, together with sambal and one piece of fried chicken, as well as one egg, will be around 850 to 1,100 calories!

Actually, you don’t have to skip any meal at all for those two days in which you are required to take in less.

How do I do this?

Okay, this is what you can do in a typical day to get below 500 calories.

Remember, if you are a man, you can eat up to 600 calories. If you are a woman, you have to do 500 calories.

In general:

5:2 diet, intermittent fasting, fasting diet, diet, losing weight, sample menu, corn on the cob, Star2.com

Corn on the cob, as seen in the above filepic, can be part of a dinner during this diet.

• Eat a lot of vegetables.

Green leafy vegetables are bulky and make you feel full. Also eat vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli because those give your stomach a sense of bulk.

• Eat small portions of lean meat, fish or eggs.

Protein will make you feel full. Remember to choose lean meats, rather than fatty ones, because fat contains a lot of calories.

Unlike the ketogenic diet, you are trying to restrict calories and not take too much fat.

• Bake and roast something, rather than fry.

We advocate that you prepare your own meals so that you can control your calories better, instead of eating out for these two days.

• Drink a lot of soups.

They will make you feel full.

• Do not eat a lot of carbohydrates like bread, pasta or rice.

You certainly cannot have cakes on fast days! If you must eat something sweet, try fruits.

• Drink plenty of water.

5:2 diet, intermittent fasting, fasting diet, diet, losing weight, sample menu, turkey sandwich, Star2.com

Paired with corn on the cob for dinner would be a turkey sandwich, which would come up to about 328 calories in total. — Visualhunt.com

You can also drink black coffee or tea without any added sugar or milk.

You should also avoid artificial sweeteners as these will spike your insulin.

Remember, you are trying to get your insulin levels to go down – the main reason why you are even doing intermittent fasting!

• Yes, you can skip a meal.

Some people advocate skipping breakfast entirely in order to get more hours of fasting in, and only start eating lunch at 2pm.

If you do that, you can add those calories back to lunch or dinner.

Give me an example of a diet on a fast day together with the amount of calories per meal.

Okay, this is an example of a one-day meal plan:

Breakfast – 1 sachet of mixed oats (255 calories)

Lunch – skip

Dinner – Beetroot, spinach and feta cheese salad (125 calories)

Supper – 1 apple with some butter (145 calories)

Total calorie count: 525 calories

Here is another:

Breakfast – skip

Lunch – 1 soft boiled egg and asparagus (90 calories)


Snack – A few grapes (60 calories)

Dinner – Turkey sandwich (172 calories) with corn on the cob (156 calories)

Total calorie count: 478 calories

Wow! You can hardly eat anything at all! I tried this, and I was so hungry that I could not focus at work during fast days.

When you start this for the very first time, it is normal to feel hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar) or unwell, with a lack of concentration.

You should also not plan to exercise during fast days unless you are already comfortable with the diet. (No, you cannot add calories to your food based on how many calories you think you burned during exercise! You must stick to the calorie restriction!)

But if you keep busy, such as being hard at work, you will be surprised that time passes quickly and you won’t realise that you are hungry anymore.

Some people also feel cold or have headaches. Again, this is common with any new diet, and it will pass.

If you really cannot take the hunger, just keep one small snack available with you at all times. I recommend half a large banana, which is around 60 calories.

Pregnant women, teenagers and children should not fast.

If unsure, you should consult your doctor before trying this, or any, diet.

How much weight can I lose on this diet?

It depends on how long you keep at it. A lot of people have reported losing anything from a few kg to 40kg.

You will usually lose more weight at the start of the diet than in the middle of it.

Dr YLM graduated as a medical doctor, and has been writing for many years on various subjects such as medicine, health, computers and entertainment. For further information, e-mail starhealth@thestar.com.my. The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information. The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

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