KPJ celebrates Raya and 42nd anniversary


“On 10 May 1981, Johor Specialist Hospital, the first private specialist hospital in Johor was opened to the public with just 65 beds.


KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital celebrates
42 years since its opening in May 1981

It was the first specialist hospital in Johor with a mission to deliver quality healthcare services to patients and it grew from strength to strength to establish its brand, not only in Johor and throughout the nation, but also abroad.


After acquiring two more hospitals in Johor Baru and Kluang in 1993, they embarked on a new challenge in hospital development and management and built three more hospitals in Muar, Pasir Gudang and Bandar Dato Onn in Johor.


Now the KPJ Healthcare Group manages over 25 specialist hospitals throughout Malaysia, along with two hospitals in Jakarta, Indonesia, and one each in Bangkok, Thailand, and Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Banquet and buffet tables were set up
in the front lobby

From specialist medical care, hospital management to nursing training, the Group then ventured into a community service outreach programme in their Wakaf An-Nur charity clinics, established nationwide.


Since 1996, KPJ Healthcare hospitals in Johor have been recognised for its quality healthcare and service excellence through numerous Quality Achievements and Excellence Awards.”


The above is a brief excerpt from my story on the KPH Healthcare Group, featured in My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, among other proudly Johor brands that were established in Johor, expanded nationwide and exported abroad.


My Johor Stories, Book Three was
presented to En Mohd Azhar Abdullah

The chronology of this inspiring story was garnered from the experience of Tan Sri Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir, a co-founder and Board member of Kumpulan Perubatan Johor Sdn Bhd, incorporated on 17 February 1979.


In 1979, Tan Sri Siti Sadiah oversaw the development of the hospital and construction of the building commenced in 1980.


Kumpulan Perubatan Johor Sdn Bhd was renamed Johor Specialist Hospital Sdn Bhd in 1989 while the name Kumpulan Perubatan (Johor) Sdn Bhd was given to Johor Corporation and became its medical division.


In that same year, Tan Sri Siti Sa’diah was appointed Chief Executive of Kumpulan Perubatan Johor. She served as Managing Director of KPJ Healthcare Berhad from 1 March 1993 and was responsible for overseeing its listing in November 1994.


Welcome speech by Pn Haliza Khalid

She retired from her illustrious career on 31 December 2012 and is now based in Kuala Lumpur.


Yesterday I was at KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital again, not as a patient or visitor but as a guest for a Raya Open House celebration and to commemorate 42 years since the Hospital opened in May 1981.


The porch in the front lobby was transformed with a stage set up for the celebration while guest arrivals were ushered to be seated at banquet tables. I could smell the mouth-watering fragrance of grilling satay from among the live-cooking stalls set up under pitched tents, that were preparing an array of Raya specialties.


In the lobby, I was welcomed in by KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital, Chief Executive Officer, Puan Haliza Khalid, who assured me that I will (finally!) meet with Regional Chief Executive Officer of the KPJ Southern Region Hospitals, En Mohd Azhar Abdullah.


Presentation of mock cheque to representatives
from Princess Elizabeth School

Work on the manuscript for Book Three of My Johor Stories started in 2019 and while publishing was delayed due to the global pandemic, I made good use of the time to refine its contents which included proudly Johor brands like the KPJ Healthcare Group.


Published in partnership with MPH Publishing Kuala Lumpur, My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now was launched in a simple event in December 2022, witnessed by family and friends as well as representatives from the subjects featured in Book Three.


Meanwhile, I was pleased to receive a confirmation by email that Puan Haliza Khalid and En Mohd Azhar Abdullah would attend my book launch event and I had prepared a hard-cover version of my Book Three to present to them.


An overview of the
KPJ Specialist Hospital compound

But due to unavoidable circumstances, they were unable to come so I kept aside this copy of my book, autographed and ready to be presented to En Mohd Azhar as Regional CEO of the KPJ Southern Region Hospitals.


It was a matter of, Better Late Than Never, so I was pleased to bring this book to the Raya Open House event to present it to En Mohd Azhar, to receive it on behalf of the KPJ Healthcare Group.


Seated inside the lobby, were young guests from Princess Elizabeth School for the visually impaired, beneficiaries of the hospital’s Corporate Social Responsibility gift in conjunction with the Raya celebration.


With Mohd Izwan Md Noor [Left]
and Nor Hisham Md Atan of AFFIN

I was ushered to sit at a nearby table and not long after, two gentlemen arrived to sit with me. When we exchanged name cards, I learnt that they were representatives of AFFIN Bank and AFFIN Islamic Bank.


In the course of conversation, we chatted on topics like the many Raya Open House celebrations this year and when we talked about banking facilities, I was delighted to discover the origins of the word, AFFIN.


Mohd Izwan bin Md Noor, Relationship Manager in Strategic Business Alliances, Southern Region of AFFIN Islamic Bank, explained that the word AFFIN was in fact, an abbreviation coined from, Armed Forces Finance. This was quite a revelation as I had no idea that AFFIN originated from an English phrase.


Our chit-chat was, however, cut short when Pn Haliza kept her word and brought En Mohd Azhar over for us to meet and for me to finally present to him, Book Three of My Johor Stories which also features the KPJ Healthcare story.


Ready to present prizes to participants in the
hospital's building renaming exercise

They expressed regret in the delay of our meet-up and reassured me of the opportunity for My Johor Stories to collaborate with KPJ Healthcare in their anniversary celebrations.


On the stage, the Raya event kicked off with traditional Malay dances performed by the hospital staff and this was followed by a Welcome speech by Pn Haliza.


Among the highlights of the event was the presentation of mock cheque to the representatives of Princess Elizabeth School and prize presentation to winners who participated in a building renaming exercise among the hospital staff.


As the complex of buildings gradually expanded within the hospital compound, it was timely to rename the buildings for a clearer identity as the Azalea Block, the Begonia Block and the Camelia Block.


Live music entertainment presented by the
talented youngsters from Princess Elizabeth School

A cake-cutting ceremony to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the founding of KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital completed the event agenda before guests were invited to enjoy the Raya specialties served.


A convivial Raya mood prevailed as live music entertainment was presented by the talented youngsters from Princess Elizabeth School who had fun belting out familiar Raya popular songs.


As I savoured the food and enjoyed the pleasant company, I trust that many guests (like me!) could not help from singing along to the chorus, “Oh, oh, oh, balik kampung…”


KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital is part of KPJ Healthcare Bhd, a member of the Johor Corporation Group, located at 39-B Jalan Abdul Samad, 80100 Johor Baru, Johor.

For more info, visit website:


The trilogy of My Johor Stories books is available from MPH bookstores nationwide and online from mphonline.


My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage was published in 2017, followed by My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People in 2018, while the final instalment, My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, was launched in December 2022.

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