Saturday, 22 February 2014


This is Mohd Yassin Shariff, my father. He retired as acting Perak's Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran (JPS) Public Relation Officer (PRO) but originally was a draughtsman. He was acting the post until his retirement because he didn't have any university degree but was excellent in managing JPS state's affair hence the prolonged acting of the post.

From him I learned what passion, quality and integrity are. He took pride in all his works and would tell all about them to mom and we, his kids, would then listen to it as well with amusement and admiration.

I believe this what makes up the other half of life education. Whilst we learn the "technical" aspect of life in school, the other half, that is the "spiritual" one, we learn in at home, we learn it from our parents, we learn it from our family.

If our parents were the passionate kind, we would be passionate too. If they were men of integrity, we would be too. Because we are what we listened and watched when we were kids.

And looking further at my greater family; my cousins for example, although we are not that grandly rich and famous but we are doing not bad. Most of us are professionals and many are quite successful businessmen. In fact, one of my cousin is the CEO and owner of Tutti Frutti Malaysia. In addition, three of my cousins got to the level of state player in Malaysia's football premier league.

And I would say we are all self-developed Malays, in the sense we are not politically connected, in the sense we optimized what have been provided for us by the government but nothing more. In the sense, our grandfather, SAIDIN ALANG MAT JASAT was just a chicken seller on a bicycle.

Now, the reason I write all these is to stress that, although our education system is partly to be blamed for many mischiefs in our society but there is another half that must be taken into consideration that is UPBRINGING. This is where the role of parents, uncles and aunties, older brothers and sisters come into play.

If we can blame the teachers and the schools and the ministry, why can not we take a little time to look back at our family; have they done their parts, have we done our parts?

This writing of mine was triggered by my attempt to search for reasons why there are distinct differences in the behavior and performance of some malays in general and some malay students in particular as compared to their counterparts; in terms of passion, enthusiasm, sincerity, integrity and quality in their study (for students) and/or in their works (for society).

Maybe, when I talk, say, about PASSION to some, their appreciation towards that very WORD is less simply because it is alien to them; alien as they didn't get the chance to hear and watch the manifestation of that WORD when they were kids.

So, am I writing this to downgrade my people? NO!

Am I writing this to say there is no hope for my people due to the lacking of our upbringing? NO!

Instead, I am writing this to say that there is another half of life education that governs our performance both as an individual and as a member of society.

WE must START HAVING THIS OTHER HALF; those had missed it during childhood, they must ACQUIRE it by themselves NOW and those who are starting a family on their own must ensure this half of life education to be manifested in their future family.

For this is the only way our people can change as a group, this is the only way we can change our culture for the better.

The change must be done in a collective manner, the change must be done FROM HOME.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014


(ini sambungan, sila klik SINI utk baca Part 1)

so, apa yg Feynman "ajar"kan kepada Leonard?

Pertamanya, Feynman kata jgn risau sangat. Mmg biasa utk ahli akademik untuk kadang2 tak dapat idea untuk research. So jgn panic.

*sama macam John Nash dalam A Beautiful Mind kan? Ingat tak aku tulis dulu how he searched for an original idea to distinguish himself. Ini la yang aku cakap, lagi banyak kita baca dan kenal ahli2 akademik tersohor, kita akan perasan (notice) how they shared the same values.

Kedua, Feynman kata kita kena ingat yang scientiest dan manusia-biasa tak jauh beza. Manusia-biasa pun buat creative work, buat prediction based on pattern CUMA BEZANYA, ahli scientist akan work dengan creative work itu dan buat prediction dengan cari pattern itu, untuk tempoh yang jauh lebih lama dan sangat tertumpu, sampai bertahun lamanya berbanding manusia-biasa.

Sbg contoh, katakan la utk manusia-biasa, Abu dan Ali sepatutnya berjumpa pukul 3 di satu kedai. Tapi selepas Abu tunggu disitu sampai 3.30, Ali tak sampai lagi. So, otak Abu pun ligat berpusing cuba mengagak (meneka) dimana Ali mungkin ada. So selalunya (pattern) waktu ini Ali ada di rumah makciknya. So, Abu pun start motor dan pegi ke rumah makcik Ali dan lihat Ali ada disitu, rupa2nya Ali terlupa yang diaorang ada buat janji.

So, inilah contoh bagaimana proses sains iaitu membuat pemerhatian (observation), membuat analisis (pattern tracing) dan membuat tekaan (prediction) adalah sifat semulajadi manusia dan semua kita mengamalkannya. Bezanya scientiest akan lakukan proses ini dengan lebih mendalam, lama dan beriltizam dgn satu tujuan, iaitu menambah baik sistem kehidupan manusia.

Feynman kata;

"Really all we do is a hell of a lot more of one particular kind of thing that is normal and ordinary! People do have imagination, they JUST DON'T WORK ON IT AS LONG. Creativity is done by everybody, it's just that scientists do more of it. What isn't ordinary is to do it so INTENSIVELY that all this experience is piled up for all these years on the same limited's trying to find the potentiality as a human being".

Ok apa yang boleh kita belajar ialah, nature utama pekerjaan kita sebagai ahli akademik, tak kiralah pensyarah atau students ialah


We dont give up, we persevere (bertahan) sehingga kita betul2 FAHAM, sehingga kita betul2 MASTER sesuatu subject, topic dan issue. Kita baca2, kita fikir2, kita derive2, kita buat2, kita ulang balik bacaan2, fikiran2 dan perbuatan2 tadi. WE ITERATE!!!

So pasal ni la aku di fakulti semacam "menyendiri". Bukan sebb aku suka buat kepala sendiri tapi as an academic, aku rasa kita perlu spend more time on reading alone, thinking alone and "working alone", else, our intensity akan terganggu oleh orang lain. Ada beratus benda nak dibaca, ada beratus equations nak difikir, so seriusly, mmg aku tak sempat untuk benda lain. And this is why, aku selalu cakap dan tulis



Ok sambung balik. So basically its all about perseverence; macamana kita boleh terus bertahan untuk tempoh yang lama tanpa putus asa.

Sebab, dengan hanya bertahan then baru lah idea dan kejayaan boleh datang. Sapa2 yang cepat mengalah, idea dan kejayaan TAK SEMPAT NAK "DATANG" PADA DIA!

ok, untuk faham lagi apa yg aku cuba sampaikan di atas; kita baca lagi apa yang Feynman kata (seperti dibawah);

"I am working on this very hard problem now, and have been for the last few years. The first thing I tried to do with this problem is try to find some sort of mathematical way of doing it, solving some equations...In this case I just tried everything...I've struggled with this method and that method. Maybe that's what I do-I try as much as I can different kinds of things that don't work, and if its doesn't work I move on to some other way of trying then I thought, well, if I understood how things behaved, roughly, that would tell me more or less what kind of mathematical forms I might try. So then I spent a lot of time thinking about how it worked, roughly"

So nampak tak? Ini came from the famous physicist ni, a noble prize winner lagi. So betul orang cakap, genius tu sebenarnya hard-work dan bukan setakat nasib sahaja. Sedangkan genius macam Feynman pun kerja tak henti2, fikir tak henti2, ini kan kita. Sepatutnya, kita kena lagi kuat kerja, membaca, berfikir berkali2 ganda dari feynman.

dan pasal ini la aku hairan, macamana kita boleh bazirkan banyak masa sedangkan kerja kita banyak sangat.

pasal ni la aku hairan kenapa students kita ada banyak masa untuk bercakap ttg politik dan bergaduh sama sendiri. kalau mmg pandai dan jawab semua soalan perfect, tak pe juga. tapi cakap phung phang phung phang, tapi bila soal pelajaran dia sendiri, merapu2 jawapannya. aku tahulah, aku yang marking paper exam diorang.

Sama juga dengan pensyarah, aku pelik macmana kita masih sempat "beraktiviti" yang macam2 sedangkan ada banyak lagi loophole dalam sistem pengajaran kita.

Pasal ini jugalah, aku menentang sangat pelajar2 tajaan negara buat PHD tapi buat kerja part time sedangkan duit tajaan sudah cukup. Kalau tak cukup, duit tajaan utk yuran sahaja contohnya, tak pe lah cari kerja part time; untuk survive tak pe. Ini tidak, bawak balik bawak "harta karun" ber tan2.

yes korang boleh kata, kerja part time tu tak mengganggu study korang dan yes korang kata korang boleh dapat PhD. Tapi kita cakap ttg what you and the country would be missing during that 3 hours sehari yang korang buat kerja part time lap lantai "orang putih" tu.

Kita cakap tentang, kalau orang lain, adakah mereka akan buat perkara yang sama (cuci lantai orang putih) jika diberikan"nikmat" yang sama (semua ditanggung)?

Kita cakap tentang, kita disana tu bukan atas duit MAK BAPAK KITA SENDIRI tapi duit orang, duit negara. Ada tujuannya negara tanggung kita belajar iaitu DAPATKAN ILMU SEBANYAK MUNGKIN UNTUK SETIAP SAAT YANG POSSIBLE, ULANG, SETIAP SAAT YANG POSSIBLE.

Kita cakap tentang 3 jam, yang kalau Feynman, dia akan gunakan untuk learn, think and try out all the possible solutions to solve a problem.

Dan mungkin ada yang kata, "arrghh malas aa macam tu, letih la macam ni..."

Ok fine, tak pe. Tapi yang cakap macamni, please:

1. jangan sambung PhD dgn tajaan negara. bagi peluang tersebut kpd yang betul2 menghargainya dan "tak malas" dan yang mahukan WORLD BEST

2. jangan jadi pensyarah sebab orang macamni cuma akan merosakkan lagi profession tersebut di negara ni

3. jangan complain hidup susah dan jangan salahkan orang dan kerajaan. kehidupan senang yang kita impikan tu cuma akan dapat kalau effort kita at least sama macam orang lain. kalau pensyarah dan students kita jauh panggang dari Feynman dan students MIT, macam tu lah jugak negara kita akan jauh panggang dari negara maju.


*Dalam Part 3 nanti, aku akan tulis ttg rahsia Feynman bagaimana dia boleh persevere (bertahan) dalam kerja dia.

**pic diambil di kedai minum tepi sg perak as scheduled


Ini kisah Leonard Mlodinow dan pengalaman nya ber"kawan" dan ber"guru" dengan Richard Feynman, one of the best physicist in modern era and definitely the COOLEST. Kisah tentang bagaimana kerisauan Leonard dalam meneruskan kecemerlangan sebagai faculty member di Caltech selepas kejayaan PhDnya di Berkeley dan bagaimana Feynman gave a sort of comfort.

banyak yg boleh kita pelajari terutamanya bagaimana universiti di negara maju adalah tempat yang sangat "mulia" dan mempunyai "persaingan" yang sangat tinggi. kerjaya sebagai akademik bukan main2 sebaliknya satu "penghormatan" terbesar yang one could have.

Dengan baca kisah ini, kita boleh bandingkan dengan situasi kita; bila kita jadi pensyarah, adakah kita benar2 rasa "sangat terhormat" lalu menjaga amanah dan tanggungjawab di tahap tertinggi?

adakah kita merasakan, untuk berada di universiti, tak kesahlah sebagai students atau ahli akademik, adalah sesuatu yang sangat PENTING dimana seluruh human civilization bergantung kepada kita?

kita boleh jawab persoalan2 ini as we go along dengan kisah leonard ini.

kerisauan Leonard ini boleh kita baca dari petikan dibawah:

" I had been given my fellowship because my PhD thesis which was on quantum theory in infinite dimensions, had caught the attention of some notable physicist. Did I really fit in here (Caltech), with two Nobel Prize winners down the hall and the best students in the country all around me? Week after week, I came to my office and pondered the great open problems of physics. No ideas came to me. It was certain that my earlier work had been a fluke (nasib) that I would never again discover anything worthwhile"

Apa yang kita boleh belajar:

1. sepatutnya jadi pensyarah ni bukan senang, kena betul2 power baru boleh dapat. dan mcm leonard, walaupun dia dah habis power dah sbb dapat PhD berkeley tapi even that, dia masih lagi ragu2 jika dibandingkan di caltech. begitulah sepatutnya persaingan di akademia.

2. sepatutnya kita kena ada ahli akademik yang betul2 kita "puja" atau "angau" yang boleh bagi benchmark yang tertinggi. dalam petikan diatas, dua akademik yang disebutkan adalah feynman dan murray gell-man, dua nobel prize winners in physics. siapakah orang yang betul2 kita respect dan "angau"kan dalam universiti kita? kalau takde, kena adakan.

bercakap tentang "angau", sebenarnya Leonard dah angaukan Feynman sejak dia umur 20 tahun bila dia terbaca buku2 feynman. Ini tulisannya:

"i was twenty and felt night there was little to do except...visit the small library..which had a few dozen books in of them was a paperback called The Character of physical law (aku ada buku ni) by a fellow i had vaguely heard-Richard Feynman...Feynman made it wondrous and magical. I was riveted. I wanted to read more. There were three other books by Feynman in the collection-his three-volume The Feynman Lectures on Physics...They were chatty; they were amusing; it felt as if Feynman was in the room speaking to you...I promised myself that I would someday make a discovery. And that I would someday meet this Professor Feynman"

ok, pernah tak kita angau kepada mana2 buku dan mana2 author, jawab pada diri sendiri dengan ikhlas. pernah tak kita jumpa satu buku yang "gila best ah!". kalau tak pernah, macamana kita nak jadi phD students dan pensyarah yang world class? kalau tak pernah, janganlah hairan yang universiti kita nombor 300.

Dan cita2 leonard waktu umur 20 akhirnya dapat ditunaikan bila dia dapat menjadi fakulti member di caltech spt yang ditulis berikut:

"At first I was ecstatic that not only did I have an academic job, but it was an elite university- the home of my hero Feynman. And it was a dream job, a particularly prestigious multiyear fellowship with complete academic freedom"

Hmmm, berapa ramai dari kita yang dah jadi pensyarah ni yang really2 menikmati kerja kita dan menghormati kerjaya kita macam diorang ni?

Ok cukup untuk malam ni. Esok aku sambung lagi pasal buku ni. Tapi sebelum aku undur diri, aku harap korang fikir2 kan lah jawapan kpd soalan2 aku diatas sebab ia mengdefinisikan skop tugas kita sebagai pelajar research dan ahli akademik.