23rd. August 2001

An Exclusive Interview with Dr. Mah Peh Yong,80 ?A True Malaccan

Emelaka.com : It is an honour to interview you so that we can document your experiences first as a truly Malaccan and as a General Practitioner in Malacca.

Emelaka.com : When & where were you born?
Dr. Mah : I was born in 1921 in Malacca.

Emelaka.com : Where did you receive your primary & secondary education in Malacca?
Dr. Mah : My primary education was at Banda Hilir English School and my secondary education was at The High School, Malacca.

Emelaka.com : Was Malacca very different from now during your early years? Any comments?
Dr. Mah : There were very few cars then. People used bicycles and rickshaws in town. There were a few gharries (horse carriage). Trishaws were not made at that time. Bullock carts were also used to transport goods.

Emelaka.com : When did you go to pursue your Medical degree course?
Dr. Mah : I entered the Singapore Medical College in June 1939.

Emelaka.com : After graduation as a Medical doctor, did you serve the Government?
Dr. Mah : Yes, I worked in the Malacca General Hospital from 1949 to 1951.

Emelaka.com : When did you decide to become a General Practitioner (GP) so that you can serve the community better and where was your first clinic?
Dr. Mah : I left Government service in 1951 to work as a locum in a doctor’s clinic on Wolfeston Road ( Jalan Bendahara ).

Emelaka.com : How were the medical conditions then different from now? Comments, please?
Dr. Mah : Malacca had only a handful of GPs at that time. It is very different now.

Emelaka.com : You have also pursued your career overseas before your retirement. Any comments?
Dr. Mah : I left Malacca in 1970 to work in Hong Kong. From 1976 to 1978,I worked in Sydney, Australia. In 1978, I returned to Hong Kong and worked until my retirement in 1986.

Emelaka.com : What is your advice to readers who want to live a long & healthy life?
Dr. Mah : I do not smoke or take alcohol drinks and I exercise regularly. Do not be envious of others who are richer than you. Be contented and grateful for all the blessings that God has given you. Relax and spend as much time with family members as possible. Always be friendly and kind.

Emelaka.com : Over all these years, how has Malacca changed? For better or worse?
Dr. Mah : Malacca has changed very much. Life was slow and quiet. It was very safe to walk 3 or 4 abreast on the roads as cars numbered less than 4,000. Itinerant hawkers were plentiful shouting out their fare as they went along. You could even buy “char koay tiow?at your door. Traffic jams were unheard of and there were no one-way streets. House doors were left open or unlocked during the day ?something you dare not do now.