Monday, January 14, 2008


Ex-Melaka CM pursuing second PhD at UMS

Age is not a barrier to getting an education and former Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik can attest to that. The former Melaka Chief Minister is among 192 postgraduate students of University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) for the semester two session 2007/2008. “Although I am now 57 and already have a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), I still have the yearning to study and achieve more,” Rahim said when interviewed after the registration which was held at the Centre for Postgraduates Studies, School of Arts Building in UMS yesterday. “I have other responsibilities as a member of the Umno Supreme Council and the chairman of Gagasan Ekonomi Melayu Seluruh Malaysia but getting an education is very important. This is important for a leader nowdays and the younger genaration must ensure the culture of getting an education be continued from time to time,” said Rahim who would be doing a research on the development of politics in Malaysia while pursuing his second PhD part time at the university. According to him, he finished his first PhD at the University of the Philippines in 1997 with the research title, “Asian Financial Crises, Malaysia as a Reference”. When asked why he chose UMS to pursue the second PhD, Rahim said it is a good step for national integration even though there are many universities in Kuala Lumpur. Rahim added the quality of the university is the same with the other universities in Malaysia. “It (UMS) can provide academic excellence which is competitive with any university in the country,” said Rahim. Yusuf b Wahid, 38, from Tawau, who is also pursuing his PhD, said there is no limit in obtaining an education. “Knowledge must be obtained continuously as long as we could afford it,” Yusuf said, adding the university has the same standard as the other universities in Malaysia and outside.the country and that is why he is doing his PhD here. For Richard Nelson Sokial who will be doing Masters by research under the Tourism Department at the university’s School of Business, his interest in searching and documentating Sabah’s heritage architecture has made him take up the UMS postgraduate programme. “I was recommended to take the course by lecturers in UMS who felt that my work has an academic merit and value for society,” Richard said when asked what encouraged him to take up the course. He added based on observation or experience, heritage architecture can only be viable in Sabah and it can benefit locals from an economic standpoint. “However in Sabah, we are still lacking in good ideas, strong policies and implementation in regards to architecture heritage conservation. In fact, not many people are well versed in the said field in Sabah,” said Richard, adding that his aim is to continue his research work through UMS and he hoped that his findings could help to suggest guidelines and policies for Sabah’s heritage architecture that will benefit the local tourism industry. According to him, his book, ‘Native Architecture of Sabah’s West Coast,” which was written based on a study of six traditional native houses, will be coming out soon. He added the study grant was awarded by the Tun Fuad Foundation in 2005. Meanwhile, Deputy Dean (Academic & International) of Centre for Postgraduate Studies Dr Zaleha Aziz said that they expected a total of 273 postgraduate students to register for the Master and PhD at 12 schools and three research institutes. Registration for Master or PhD by research is still open for four weeks while for those who are doing Master by course, they have until next week to register. Of the 273 postgraduate students, 19 are taking PhD. “Six foreign students namely two from Indonesia, two from China and one each from Nigeria and Egypt will also register as postgraduate students here,” Zaleha said. She added the two students from Indonesia had already registered for Master and PhD respectively yesterday. Out of the 192 postgraduate students who registered yesterday, 182 are doing Master and 10 PhD.