Sekelip Mata


The year 1995. I called it 'The Year of Examination'. Four formal examinations would be sat by my family members. Four legal certificates would add into the collection. First, Zidni was sitting for his UPSR in late July, then Malini would sit for her PMR beginning October 25, followed by Rubaini for her SPM beginning November 26. But the most important series of examination was to be sat by their mother at Kajang Maternity Specialist Centre, her tummy that was for our seventh kid. Not the least worth of mentioning was Alyani, who would be getting her ABIM TASKI certificate (and one would be for me too, thanking me for sending her to TASKI).

Single-handedly, facilitated by AmiPro 3.1 on Windows 95, all published in 1995.

With the new year on Jan 1 Sun, the whole month was more of gathering momentum. Compounded with breaks of Taipusam Jan 17 Tue, then Chinese New Year Jan 31 Tue, and the beginning of Ramadan 1415, Feb 1 Wed. Nearly all kiddos were in their examination final mode. Rubaini for SPM in Maahad, Kajang; Malini for PMR in KTK, Seremban; Zidni for his UPSR in SRK Jln 2. Muzani was rather "free" in yr 4 of the same school. Alyani began her schooling phase in the MPI's kindergarten nearby since Dec 1 Thu last year (the 1995 school beginning). Actually we were so much blessed this year.

UKM celebrated its 25th Anniversary, officially launched on Jan 3 Tue in DECTAR. There was an exhibition to accompany the celebration, miniature in size relative to the one held in 1991 (20th Year Anniversary), but Chitin Group did not significantly participate. We just put up the old posters. Since Dr Arisol left last year July, the group admittedly took a pause to regain a new momentum. But I was extremely busy myself even without the group 'road show' performances. And BIRO obviously would like to go on with business as usual.

The first kicking of the Chitin new momentum was a video recording Jan 25 Wed 1500 hr, for the broadcast on February 5 Sun 1130 hr, when I appeared on TV1 telling that chitosan is environmental friendly for treating domestic water and as effective as alum which was known to cause Alzheimer over a long period of time. The slot was "Kita Pengguna", produced by Barirah Hj Alwi. It was broadcasted again in its "Berita Perdana", a month later Mar 5 Sun 2000 hr.

Feb-Ramadan was sleezy thus. It commenced on Feb 6 Mon post-CNY, with Eid break at the end of the month in every body's vision. I completed, single-handed, the CRC of the papers presented in the Asia Pacific Chitin Chitosan Symposium (APCCS) in May last year to be published by UKM Press as the Collection of Working Paper 28. The CRC was submitted on Feb 7 Tue, using the DTP I bought with my own money, while three others were actually 'honorary' editors. The proceeding was published in May 22 Mon. I sent to the American Chemical Society and was abstracted and published in its Chemical Abstract in December. In between, I filled up with the Profile of Chitin Group. To be published to substantiate the establishment of Chitin Centre of Excellence (Chitin CoE). At the same time it will carry the UKM 25-Years tag.

Which took to the Eid Break, Mar 3 Fri which we spent in Terengganu. The spin for the year was actually re-commenced after the break Mar 13 Mon. But interspersed with Raya gatherings: The University in DECTAR Mar 17 Fri hosted by the VC; two on Mar 20 Mon, the Chem Dept in the morning, and FTSM later, and Mar 24 Fri that of the faculty. Alya had a bug in her mind over the months in her school that she was not willing to share with us. She refused to go to the school for that for a week to Mar 22 Wed even after two of her teachers visited at home. That we had no choice but to relocate her to another TASKI in Bangi, Apr 10 Mon in Sect 3. From where she "graduated" and conferred Oct 8 Sun in DAM, UKM. End of Mar closed with students packed themselves for the Sem II final exam of the current session 1994/95.



Included was my postgraduate student, Zainal Abidin Harahap for his PhD viva on June 12 Mon. He registered under my supervision from 1990 Dec semester which began Dec 10 Mon. His thesis embodied an attempt to clean the palm oil mill effluent by using the chitosan. Zainal went through in his exam with normal nominal corrections. Prof Idris in USM was the examiner (in absentia). His doctorate was conferred in the 23rd Convocation on August 6 Sun which I attended. He and his family paid me his last visit (and absolutely last!) on Aug 20 Sun night before returning to assume lectureship in Universiti Shiah Kuala, Banda Acheh, Indonesia.

And also Harry Agusnar (and USU staff) for his PhD, the student I was made to care-take since 1994 July when Dr Arisol Alimuniar left the faculty. He in fact was made to care-take since 1993 Jun when Dr Rusli Ghani passed away 1993 Jun 16 Wed. He was trying to improve the paper quality made from palm oil fibre trunk by using the chitosan, since his first registration day in 1991 Jun. He was rather unfortunate with the changes of the consecutive supervisors. And rather hasty to submit his thesis without taking into consideration the unfortunate situation. His viva was on August 24 Thu. His thesis unfortunately met with a serious hitch of experimental inadequacy. Assoc Prof Wan Ramli from USM was his examiner. He was made to retain and may consume another year or with the supervision transferred to a committee chaired by the Head of Department. And that change of supervision mode into a 'dragonly heads' had made the situation worse. And dilated the time longer than necessary. With a possibility of not a happy ending.

TD 7419. 1983 Mar 29 Tue, s. 1995 Jun 3 Sat

A Toyota KE30 Corolla 1979. 11 kRM, from a used car dealer near Ladang in Kuala Terengganu, during my two weeks 'resuscitation' break on returning home from England. It was through the salesman En Musa who was staying in the rented house next to my home in Pengkalan Arang, Kuala Terengganu.

I drove the car to Bangi, with my family. The place where I would spend a large fraction of my life, being a full fledge lecturer in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), with the faculty I was in, the science faculty, moved since 1982 May from Pantai Valley, Kuala Lumpur. TD, even though four years plus, was very reliable. I never had any problem or trouble with its engine throughout my ownership for twelve years. It never failed to take the passengers to the intended destination irrespective of the time and weather.

When I started building my own residence in Sg Merab in 1986 Jan 19 Sun, TD served as the the van, lorry, car all in one. Reliably. The roof used to carry the plywoods (over the rug), and the boot and the passenger seat used to carry bags of cement. Azizah commenced her driving life in this car when we moved from BBBangi to Sg Merab in 1987 Jul. Alyani, my #5daughter who was born in 1989 Apr grew up in this car while ferrying her elder brothers and sisters to the school in BBBangi. (Followed similarly by her younger brothers in later years in other car - Pajero).

1989 Dec with Pajero in service, I sent TD7419 for engine overhaul and repaint at the Tong Chye W/Shop in Jln Reko, Kajang, a repay for the car's constant reliable service since March 1983, especially during the time I needed it not to be without. Apart from this I spent very little money on its well-being.

One traumatic memory with TD: during the 1986 Dec home-comming journey, Dec 31 Wed, we started at 5.30 pm in Bangi, after very tired in the office, and around the peripherals. We reached Kemasik at about 5 am the next morning. I was very sleepy, so did every body else. Rubaini was sleeping on the back-dash, Malini and Zidni on the back seat, and Azizah and Muzani on front passenger seat; and during that few microseconds I fall asleep, and the car lost control. The steering wheel was turned by the non-aligned wheels on the rough roads, it made a sharp turn. We were saved by the 'fate', the car turned to the right, between two telephone posts. When I was awaken by the near-accident, the car was on a dead-stop on the road shoulder, heading towards Kuantan. Rubaini fell on Malini and Zidni, Azizah got her head knocked on the wind screen and she got a slight bruise on the lips; only Muzani, then two, unwaken. All my muscles were trembling. I uttered a long "shukur", so did Azizah, made the reverse U-turn and stopped at the nearby Kemasik Mosque for a prayer.

1995 Jun 3 Sat night, just after dinner, I signed the ownership paper to Pok Mak Cik Yam, Mengabang Telung for 8 kRM, in preference to my sister's need while waiting for her second baby. It was a totally wrong preference. To the time of writing, less than half of the agreed price was settled. Dated 2009 Aug.

A DBP editor En Zakaria Abdullah approached me to write a chemistry textbook for Pre-University students, which I deliriously pleased in accepting it. However, this project had evaporated when late in the year DBP shelved all publication of higher learning books, and a reshuffle in the management personnel resulting in En Zakaria was no longer in charge of its progress. I had no rapport with the new person in charge. But instead I gathered all the time and resource I had to take the advantage of UKM 25yr Celebration, to get the 'Ekperimen Kimia Polimer' to be compiled and published to carry the UKM 25-Years tag. The content was those that I designed since I was made to teach the polymer subjects in the Chemistry Department since 1983. It was finally published on the 25-years celebration vote, after a choppy handling in the deanery.

IRPA RMK7 was launched this year. Chitin Group needed to apply for a grant for revitalisation. The briefing for the faculty was on Apr 3 Mon. I took the liberty to head the task, becoming the 'tractor' while the other colleague preferred to become the plough, extracting the rips behind the tractor path. So I called several meetings to put up a proposal sensible enough for a grant. In the background of grey sky (black to some quarters). I chaired the first meeting Apr 6 Thu. Which consequently consumed all of Apr and May, with Dr Md Soot, and Dr Pauzi assisting. After a much arduous paper works, a proposal of mega-ringgit was eventually established. The Vice Chancelor official visit to the Faculty and Department, Apr 18 Tue, perhaps was not a good omen for Chitin, taking into account the excitement the VC enjoyed during the glorious early days of Chitin in 1990 before 1994 Jul episode.

I was called for the Faculty meeting of Heads of IRPA proposal Apr 22 Sat. Then it went dead over a "long silence". Until I came to know Jun 8 Thu that Chitin proposal was not submitted to the Ministry. It was not supported by the faculty. It was thrown into the dustbin at the faculty level without even the courtesy of a word of reply saying why it was dustbined.


Wai Cheng

Chitin had another edge that had been sharpened to cut. It was to be pioneered into a ride to materialise the idea of the so-called commercialisation. MTDC was contacted as early as in late 1980's but began to made appearence in the campus in 1993. BIRO acted for UKM. Norhalim of MTDC made a visit May 12 Fri, followed by Wai Cheng May 26 Fri to probe the climate and push for the progress. The idea was gathering pace and quickly move into phases when some third parties, the one who had some monies to spend, showed the interest.

Plus another, the Profile of Chitin Group to be published to substantiate the establishment of Chitin Centre of Excellence. It was published too on the same vote, and I took it to the special senate meeting on September 21, discussing the prima facie of Chitin Centre of Excellence, in which the professors amused themselves with the chitin projects to the extend that even one very high rank academic administrator bravely connoted that 'nothing could be done on chitin since its research had completed'.

On June 9, a ceremony was held in DKU for the Chairman of the UKM Council to confer appreciation token to UKM staff who reported duty in 1974, supposedly 20 years service medal in the form of a home-made appreciation certificate and a gold-coloured plated Seiko wrist watch. I was one of the recipient.

1989 Apr

1992 Feb

1995 Aug

The first to get their results was the kids mother who born another contending boy in the morning of August 4. We named him Ahmad Ashbihani. Next Zidni, then Malini, all were to our wish. Rubaini's results would not be known until next year.

1995 Apr 6 thu gi mekah, May 18 Thu Mak Cik Yam balik mekah

1995 Apr 6 Kha, Mok Chik Yam gi Mekah, hantar di Subang. Jun 3 Sat serah doc TD 7419 di rumah Mak Cik Yam, Ngabang Telung. Sold for 8 kRM. The car had become the subject in many occasion during my KBSM writing from 1987 to 1991.

1995 Aug 4 Fri SB lahir

1995 Aug 6 Sun Konvo ukm 23, Zainal PhD.

Edition dated May 2003