The humble journey to The Creator: After all, we are just a tiny bubble in the ocean




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This is a long email I wrote to all UTP staff today of my own self-reflection on training and learning


Assalamualaikum wrt & Hello

Greetings from CETaL

I have not written via email for quite sometimes, but I would like to share some reflection with everyone of you just to keep the mood enlightened. Four years ago, I have been tasked to lead our brand new centre, CETaL, an unknown territory. Just so you know, my background is always chemical engineering since my degree until my PhD, and I had never been exposed to any of certification of effective teaching and learning, what else any certification of education. I was in a blurry state for quite sometimes when I was given this task, and really 4 years ago, I started from zero. I didn’t know much, only to know that, yes I do have passion to ensure my students did well in the class, and I dig out all the opportunities to get to know the experts out there, so they are able to share some insights with me. From there I learn how to look into this business holistically.

I met several experts who are really passionate into teaching and learning. I remember quite clearly when I first attended a training on active learning, there were not more than 10 people who turned up. But I went through the training for the next 2 days, and I was very fascinated with the scholarly practice being shared. When I teach in the class, I straight away implemented some of the techniques, just to get the right feeling of doing it. Slowly I developed some materials that can be used to support my Active Learning approach.

When the second similar training offered, I encouraged my colleagues to attend the training (this time we had more than 20 participants), and I attended it for the second time. From there, I learnt what I have done well, and what I can improve. There are few times of my ‘aahhh’ moments, where I actually discovered that, there are times I did wrong unintentionally and have to correct that. When the third similar training kicked in, where our previous DVCA, Prof Ahmad Fadzil Hani joined, I also joined the training fully, but this time around to observe how the facilitators, Prof Khairiyah and Dr Syed Ahmad Hilmi conducted the training.

To cut short, I had attended two times cooperative learning, two times PBL training and two times flipped classroom training fully, just to understand what I did right, and what I did wrong, and what I missed to scaffold my students. I believe I still can learn more if I re-attend the trainings. My point here is, attending training for one time, may not be sufficient for us to make our practice solid. There are times where we miss some points, and if we revisit it back, then we may realise what we did wrong, and what can be improved. But on top of that is of course the passion to keep improving ourselves to become a better educator. We cannot simply become excellent for the first time we attended the training, what else if we never attended training and claim ourselves to be excellent educator. Additionally, if we attend the training, but we delay in practicing it, we will lose the skills that we learnt.

It is true that some of us have the talent as the educator, but research has shown that talent alone is not sufficient to bring the excellence in us, but more importantly for us to acquire grit, being resilience, keep improving self without feeling being forced, but liking to do it passionately.

Thank you for your time reading my self-reflection.





Saya meletakkan lesson untuk generasi Y/millenial ini memandangkan ramai pemuda-pemudi zaman sekarang iaitu di dalam generasi Y/millenial seperti saya, hatta yang terpelajar sekali pun, kurang ilmunya tentang adab berkomunikasi. Lahirnya generasi SMS & Internet yang hanya mahu mengejar masa tetapi terlupa tentang adab dan tatasusila berkomunikasi, semuanya dipukul sama rata, apatah lagi kalau kita mahu jadi pendokong Islam.

Lesson 1: Susah sebenarnya nak jadi orang tengah (messenger). Bukan main taram je sampaikan segala maklumat yang dipasskan oleh orang lain, tapi kena pandai-pandai tapis, kena fikir-fikirkan dulu sesuai atau tak sampaikan maklumat itu dan ini atau to the extent tak perlu ceritakan. Banyak adab dan tatasusila yang kita perlu fikirkan, cara menyampaikan dsb.

Lesson 2 : Pilihlah perkataan yang sesuai dalam semua situasi. Bukan semua tempat sesuai untuk cakap aku dan ko, walaupun dalam majlis itu ada kawan-kawan yang sebaya. Ada yang perlu cakap saya dan encik X, encik Y sebagai menghormati majlis/program.

Lesson 3: Apabila kita nak buat kawan dengan seorang yang baru kita kenal, talk about your and his/her background. This is what we call the art of blending the communication. Try to find similar interest, and talk more about it. Bila memilih perkataan ganti diri e.g. aku, ko, saya, awak, abang, kakak…look first at his/her acceptance.

Lesson 4: Pilihlah perkataan yang sesuai apabila anda ingin berbicara. Tak semua orang boleh menerima satu laras bahasa. Bila berbicara dengan orang tua, orang kaya, orang sederhana, budak kecil , semuanya perlu menggunakan laras bahasa yang sesuai. Nilai intelek itu bukannya pada IQ anda, tetapi sejauh mana anda mampu menyampaikan ilmu anda dalam bahasa yang mudah difahami oleh sesiapa sahaja.

Lesson 5 : Orang Melayu dahulu tinggi adabnya, manis budi bicaranya. Yang pentingnya, bijak menggunakan common sense. Kita jarang meletakkan diri kita dalam kasut orang lain. Adakalanya kita meletakkan kepentingan menyelesaikan kerja kita mengatasi keperluan orang lain, maka akhirnya aspek ‘common sense’ dikesampingkan. Remember to balance two things: people focused & task focused!

That’s all for now. 🙂



I read my students’ reflections on what they had learnt throughout the semester on my subject. One thing that I could relate is, when you are trying to implement student centred learning (SCL) approach, whether the students like it or not what you taught them (with all the activities that you did in the class), it CANNOT be correlated at all to their learning, because mainly their definition of ‘like’ is way too different than what we as the educator perceived. So, if you’re doing SCL, don’t be disheartened that your students pushed and resisted the change, or even mocked you out. Just persevere. If you want your students to have perseverance, we are the one to show our perseverance first.

In my final chapter that I taught my students, I purposely conducted it using conventional lecture (with short activities in between). From their reflections, some of them said they’re glad that they finally have a lecture and happy with my delivered lecture, BUT they could not relate what they’ve learnt and many of them still said that they need to study more and it is a difficult topic for them, when actually the difficulty is almost similar with other chapters.

Meanwhile, despite they didn’t like the activities that I conducted with them using flipped classroom and PBL approach for other previous chapters, surprisingly they managed to highlight all the key important points in the subject in their reflection. I realise that the way how they define ‘like’ probably means they would probably like when they just attending lecture, sit down and listen without contributing anything to their learning experience in the class. If you do anything that push them to think more, and collaborate more, they wouldn’t ‘like’ it and accused you are not teaching them, BUT actually they learnt. (Here, you are facilitating them to become a self-directed learner, and of course initially they’ll claim the glory that if they do good, it is because of themselves, and the lecturers are not helpful! – it is ok, they’ll realise it the semester after or maybe when they start working – or hunting for jobs later)

So my fellow educators, persistent and persevere! Don’t be scared of not being a popular teacher, just because you really want to ensure your students really learn!



Sekiranya anda bertanya kepada saya, apa yang saya nak buat dengan tanggungjawab dan jawatan yang saya pegang sekarang, baik dalam kerjaya, persatuan, atau sebagai aktivis, sebenarnya saya nak ‘let go’.

Sebenarnya, sangat sukar untuk menjalankan amanah yang diberikan, kerana setiap satu tindakan kita, pastinya akan dipersoalkan oleh Allah SWT di akhirat kelak. Tekanan yang diperolehi pula, untuk beramanah dengan jawatan yang diberikan bukannya mudah. Ada saja suara-suara dan bisikan yang cuba mempengaruhi kita supaya mengambil mudah dengan tanggungjawab yang diberikan.

Alah rilek la, bukan orang tahu.
Alah, atas nama je, kerja tu nanti orang lain boleh cover.
Alah, nanti ko bagi la alasan nak mengelat. Politiking la sikit.

Apabila saya diberikan jawatan, saya mahu pastikan kerja yang saya buat adalah kerja yang tip top. Kerja yang bermutu. Kerja yang mendatangkan impak dan menganjakkan paradigma masyarakat dan komuniti yang saya ketuai. Sekiranya saya hanya memegang jawatan atas nama, pastinya kerja-kerja yang dijalankan tidak menepati citarasa saya, dan akhirnya mendatangkan fitnah kepada saya. Saya juga tahu, antara tanggungjawab manusia sebagai khalifah ialah mentadbir alam ini dengan baik. Adalah malang sekiranya atas asbab saya menolak jawatan yang diberikan, maka ia dipegang oleh orang-orang yang tidak amanah dan merosakkan komuniti yang ingin kita bina, iaitu membawa manusia kepada jalan menuju Allah SWT.

Tetapi jika saya diberikan pilihan, bila-bila masa sahaja saya sanggup ‘let go’ jawatan-jawatan yang saya pegang sekarang. CEO Petronas, Datuk Wan Zul pernah memberitahu wartawan dalam sesi wawancara dengan beliau, “in order for you to the best (while holding your position), you must not want the position”

Memegang jawatan, bukanlah matlamat utama kita sepatutnya, kerana apabila kita meletakkan sasaran memegang jawatan sebagai matlamat utama, apabila sudah berjaya memegang jawatan itu, kita akan jadi ‘complacent’ dan selesa. Matlamat utama kita ialah mengubah paradigma masyarakat dan membawa mereka kepada jalan kebaikan, dan sudah pastinya tanggungjawab itu tidak akan putus, sehinggalah kita akhirnya menutup mata mengucapkan selamat tinggal kepada dunia.

Kalau boleh, saya nak let go. Saya nak lebih masa bersama anak-anak dan isteri. Cuma saya tahu, jika saya mempunyai keluarga untuk ditatang, orang lain juga begitu. Mengimbangkan segala aspek kehidupan ini sungguh sukar. Moga-moga segalanya menjadi ibadah sebagai bekalan pencen kubur saya.

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