Saturday, October 08, 2011


Hardly a week after his appointment as the new Vice-Chancellor of our Universiti Sains Malaysia, Professor Dato' Dr Omar Osman requested me to be his representative at an International Conference on Islamic Leadership at Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. The Conference, held on the 4th till 5th October 2011, was co-organised by the Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT), Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), and International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

Appreciating the VC's trust as well as indicating ISDEV's support to the University's new administration,  I rescheduled my hectic workloads and flied off to Kuala Lumpur within the short notice of the VC's office. Moreover, the chance to serve the University on behalf of the VC is not necessarily frequent. As far as I could remember, previously I used to have such a chance only twice, the first to a Conference in Aceh and the other to a Conference in Johor Bharu. Even so, it did not come from the real (former) VC himself; it came from the Acting VC - the former from Dato' Professor Idiris Salleh and the later from Professor Asma Ismail, who as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)  were given the tasks, coincidently, of the real VC when he was away. But this time to the Islamic Leadership Conference in Kuala Lumpur, it was from the real VC himself - the new VC!

The results from the deed done in good faith were incredible. Apart from enjoying the discourse at the Conference especially from the talk by our former Vice-Chancellor Tan Sri Dato' Dzulkifli Abdul Razak and former Malaysia's Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (the only thoughtful talks as compared to the `nothing new' and rather boring talks of the other speakers), I also experienced fascinating encounters. On the early morning flight to Kuala Lumpur, I was together with our Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Asma Ismail, while on the flight back to Penang the next day, I was sitting beside the Minister for International Trade and Industry Dato' Seri Mustapha Mohamed.

Both encounters provided me with a chance to discuss with them on various matters - with the former on the possibility of upgrading ISDEV to a Centre of Excellence and with the latter on various contemporary political issues as well as on personal life.

In addition, while I was at the Conference , I was also blessed by Allah SWT with a luxurious room at the prestigious Royale Chulan Hotel provided by the Conference organiser (as I was the representative of the VC). In between the Conference programmes too I managed to visit my eldest brother at Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia who is having a treatment for an illness. Alhamdulillah.

L-R: Myself at the Conference, the organiser (a lecturer of USIM), and a participant from Nigeria
My room at Royale Chulan Hotel
The Royale Club at the 5th floor of the Hotel where our breakfast is served separately from the normal hotel guests
The brochure of the Keynote Address by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

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