The Road Less Travelled


1. I like adventure, not a physical one but experiential learning adventure. One of the ways to participate in experiential learning is by literally taking the road less traveled. Metaphorically true, it’s my choice and I bear full responsibility for my decision.

2. I am lucky to have a spouse who is understanding and supportive of what I determine to do. Once my experiences have reach ceiling and I feel I need to move on and set, there I go. At the same time, I have to make sure that my children schooling is not jeopardized with my inquisitive for multifaceted experiences.

3. What it takes to run a university? Running a university is akin to running a cruise. It is crucial to know MQA procedures. Students’ selection, lecturers’ qualification, curriculum design and development as well as quality monitoring, just to mention a few. These areas need to be repeatedly reviewed time and again.

4. Horizontal relationship with students, lecturers, and parents has to be kept parallel and unequivocal in concordance with vertical relationship to VC, Registrar, and Bursar. On top of the pyramid is a Board of Director. These group of people governs the cruise either to turn right, left or to stop cruising altogether.

5. A University programme leader has to defend the programme at any cost. Knowing the curriculum thoroughly takes determination and hard work since the curriculum encompasses multiple course programme outcomes, course learning outcomes as well as course objectives.

6. The challenges: funding and fulfilling regulatory framework (MQA)! Next is maintaining the quality of the programme.

7. In the last few years, funding of public university has gradually transformed from government grants to students’ tuition fees, research-business collaboration, and consultation activities. Many university executive heads have to spend a large chunk of their work on business networking and various other ways of fundraising.

8. Universities in the future have to form consortiums in order to address those challenges.

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Future of University


1. Corporate culture, objectives, vision, and mission of the university in a new economy must reflect high trust, principle-oriented, high-performance culture.

2. Indeed, in the near future half of the works in the university are outsourced and many are not going to work in the office anymore. People will make use of advanced telecommunication to do their work from homes or from specific workstations. No need big campus and a huge library. High trust culture to deliver result is needed.

3. The business then becomes global. Students come from all over the world. Universities need to narrow down their focus. It happens already now – Medical University, business, and management university are examples of focus business. In a competitive world, the focus and specific market allow specialization. Universities with less specialization need to regroup or share expertise with those with expertise.

4. Successful players relate very well to successful branding. People know the quality just by looking at the branding. Branding has to be benchmarked with quality. Branding using the new media provides much more targetted audiences.

5. Private universities must venture into the high-end market segment. Getting high-income customers requires strategies and expert assistance. Similarly, high-quality, intelligent and hardworking lecturers are the prerequisite to excellent teaching-learning and research activities.

6. Lastly, embark on quality. Continuous quality monitoring effort through ISO, 5S, programme accreditation keeps the university on par with its competitor.

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Kuala Perlis


1. Nice place and nice food. My motto for Kuala Perlis.

2. Look at thick sallow-colored souce of mee udang for lapan ringgit per plate. Cheap. The udang are fresh from the sea.

3. The embion is good too. Less overcrowded during non-school holidays. Time for food hunt.

4. Apa tunggu lagi?

Freedom of Speech


1. Intellectual discourse is part of the freedom of speech. Malaysian universities allow academicians to embark on free academic discourse inside and outside the classroom. Aristotle denounced that human beings are by nature political animals. Humans are made partisan too. They grouped themselves on purpose i.e to protect their groups and to attack the other challenging groups. This is all about politics.

2. When a university lecturer is attacked by netizens for delivering his objective views in a forum discussing on the topic whether the Pakatan Harapan Chairman is too old to be the next Prime Minister of Malaysia, the principle of freedom of speech is abused. Quo Vadis, Malaysians?

3. Malaysian voters which comprise supporters of both parties and on-the-fence voters must learn to respect freedom of speech.

4. To the contrary, age shouldn’t be a deciding factor to select who should be the next Prime Minister. Physical fitness, mental sharpness and the ability to be firm and impervious are psychological attributes required from the top political officer.

5. He must feel the pulse of the masses. Issues close to the heart of rakyat like the accelerated cost of living, fuel cost and subsidy have to be addressed with immediate effect.

6. The shipwrecks that caused leakage have to be fixed instantly.

All the Best, Sir!

 

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..meeting friends.. freedom of networking..

 

Travel


1. Wake up as early as 3.30 am to board the earliest electric train service from Butterworth to KL Central. Reach Penang Sentral station 15 minutes before departure. No security check. No boarding pass, just the earlier print ticket I bought from the net.

2. Time to continue sleeping in the moving coach…zzzzz

3. Reach KL Sentral 15 mins to 9. Again no long trails to reach electric railway line train.

4. The connectivity has improved drastically in 30 years. More work needed. People demand shinkansen to speed up the journey. Govt has to listen.

Bravo my country!

Alor Star, Orang Kedah


1. Today, we completed the final round of accreditation review, area ten document. All is done in a rush since I will have to go for my teaching round in Alor Star tomorrow. Basically, a ton of files with hundreds of documents need to be prepared just for few hours document inspection. What is ironic, this is a repeat inspection.

2. My Alor Star visit usually begins with an early morning trip via BKE and NSE. Roti Canai and teh tarik at Restoran Mee Abu are fantastic for breakfast after long hours journey. The roti texture added with kuah banjir offer the taste, you can’t refuse! It’s hundred times better than the Secret Recipe or Cili Restaurant at Bali Hai Golf Club.

3. Here, in Alor Star is the place where I rediscover friendship and jealousy. It’s the place where mitragyna speciosa species are made into a cocktail and sold between RM2.50-RM5 per bungkus. It is also the place where my patient would come with paranoia and aggressive behavior.

4. Whether you know or not, Binjai is the name of a rare fruit which is found around every corner of the country, many decades ago. That’s why, you almost instantly bumped into Binjal in Kedah, Kelantan, Perak, and Melaka. In Kelantan, Binjai is the site of a day market where I used to go and buy fish and buah-buahan kampung each and every weekends. The sour taste of buah binjai is so good to make sambal belacan! Luckily, in Kedah, it is the name of a kampung too.

 

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..this pic has nothing to do with the article, Happy hours with a friend in Penang..

 

Blessing


1. I think, I better pen down my thought again as I may quickly gain gradual memory loss as the premature neuronal loss is inevitable as time passed by. If I am allowed to foresee the future of Malaysian people, I believe we Malaysians are at the junction of political and socioeconomic transformation. This is a normal phenomenon in life since life is a dynamic process.

2. In a way, my life as clinician and academician is bestowed with blessing. Thanks to Allah for allowing me to breathe and feel the pulsating life through a telescope and microscopic lenses. There are instances when I am involved with policy formulation. Certainly, policy formulation requires far-sighted decision making which demands viewing problem at telescopic level. On the other hand, when a patient comes to me and she presents with items of life baggage which she can’t handle. I treat and manage her problems at the microscopic level. The satisfaction to help others in many different ways is what I define as the blessing.

3. I believe to achieve balance in life, an equilibrium between work and family life has to be sought after. Otherwise, miscalculation creates dysequilibrium and leads to crisis.

4. Dr. Kathleen Hall, an internationally recognized lifestyle expert in stress said: “We have overstretched our personal boundaries and forgotten that true happiness comes from living an authentic life fueled with a sense of purpose and balance.” Achieving balance and moderation has always been one of the objectives of the spiritual masters of the past and will remain so in the future.

Bye.

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