First, I would like to express my greatest regret to all my loyal readers for not coming with any new post for the last three months. Since I was on vacation and some very important trip to Malacca and Johore for the past three months (April-June), I did not have access to any reliable Internet connection to update this blog. The only ways to get online was via my mobile phone, which unfortunately limited only to check my e-mail inbox due to unfriendly 3G data transfer price.
Nevertheless, Tok Penghulu has coming back into action.
Honestly speaking, I do not know what to write for this post after 3 months of sabbatical; only then, inspiration strikes me to write about IIUM. Yes, the new semester has begun and I am now in my third year of study (sigh, how fast the time flies). No, this post has nothing to do with the former IIUM President Tan Sri Dato Sri Sanusi Junid (in which I am very pity on what happened to him), but I would like to share with you, how I got into this place called Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia.
Take note! This post will be very, very long, as I am going to ‘payback’ all the missing post for three months. If you want to read this until the end, I strongly recommend you to find some snacks, a cup of coffee (or more) or if you are reading this in Cyber Café, safe this page to your pen drive and read it later in your laptop.
Let us open the book labeled ‘The Chronicles of Audi Faliq Ibrahim’…
Actually, it was very interesting to know how I ended up learning at IIUM. I did not tell nor narrated this story to anyone before this, but now I would like to share to all of you my loyal readers.
When I was in Form 5, my original plan during that time was to join Matrikulasi Kementerian Pelajaran. My teachers approved it and encouraged me to proceed with the plan. As usual, I bought the entry form, filling it up, but I did not submit it! (I still keep the admission form at my home) Therefore, technically I was ‘out’ from Matrikulasi Kementerian Pelajaran. In case if you still wondering, no, I did not buy the UPU form!
I started considering joining Form 6 after SPM. When I asked my teachers about Form 6, they all gave me their disagreeable stares. Puan Norfadzilah Abul Hassan, my class teacher and one of my trustful advisors, personally feel Form 6 is a waste of time and at my best, should avoid the option. Similarly, when I asked Cik Norma Che Lah (Kimia), Puan Rema Ragavan (Fizik), Puan Tai Lung Kee (Matematik Tambahan), and several other teachers, their gave me similar views – I should avoid Form 6 and treat it as a last resort.
In addition, two of my friends, Aileen Tan Ai Ling and Tan Wei Yee met and advised me, personally, to apply for scholarship at various private institutions. They explained to me, in detail, about various options available during that time and no doubt, the offerings were tantalizing. However, regretfully, I did not follow their advice.
Whoa, a dangerous move, you say it! Yes, it was risky. When SPM results were announced on March 2005, I still did not have any plan of what to do after getting my results. My priority on that time was to prepare for National Service training.
11 Mac 2005, MCIIUM Open Day
Around 9:00 a.m. in the morning, my mobile phone rang. A friend, Arabath Ali called and invited me to join him to IIUM Matriculation Center Open Day (which was held on 11 Mac 2005 – Friday). Since I had nothing to do on that day, I accepted his invitation and we went there.
IIUM Matriculation Center (MCIIUM) was nothing new to me. I would pass the entrance gate every time I went back home from the school, and the Pak Guard and Mak Guard surely recognized my face (duh, I saw them everyday since 2003). To those who did not know, I lived in Section 17, my secondary school was SMK Sultan Abdul Samad (Section 12), and MCIIUM was at Jalan Universiti (Section 16 to be exact). Everyday after school ends I walked back to home, and I will pass MCIIUM main gate.
However, I never dream one day I will enter and study there!
OK, back to the story. Around 10.00 a.m. we entered MCIIUM and went directly to Al-Malik Faisal Hall (yes, AMF!), where the open day was held. We brought together our SPM result slip, in order to know which courses were suitable for us. Interestingly, I did not have any plan to apply for any courses since my intention was only to accompany Arabath Ali. Furthermore, as I stated in previous paragraph, I did not buy UPU form.
In AMF, the scene was very busy. There were many people, mainly SPM-graduate seeking for suitable courses. The exhibition booths were scattered in the center and both wings of AMF. I remember one instance when I was at Department of Economics and Management Sciences booth, Arabath Ali and I both handed our result slip to the officer to check whether we were eligible to join the department. When looking at my result slip, the officer laughed frantically. Curious with his act, I asked him why he laughing like that. He looked at me, with his right hands waving my result slip, and slowly said,
“Brother, dengan result ni awak dah lebih daripada layak, untuk apply apa-apa courses di sini. Jarang individu dengan result macam awak ni berminat nak masuk Matrik UIA…”
I took back the slip from his hand, and he asked me about my UPU form. When I mentioned I did not buy any, he shocked. “Then awak patut mohon secara online, awak ada masa dua hari lagi!” said the officer. I just smiled and still, I did not have any intention to apply! After roaming inside AMF and visiting all the booths, I went back home.
Decision That Change
After Friday prayer, at home, when preparing all necessary equipments for National Service training (my training was scheduled to begin on 13 March 2005 at Terengganu), I keep thinking about the officer’s comment. Then, I decided to give a try on UPU application, since the officer told me that I had two days to send my application. After bought the PIN number at Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) for RM 10.00 (all physical forms had sold out, since most ordered it via school), I went to the nearest Cyber Café and started registering eight courses, plus application for Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) Overseas Degree Program, online.
However, contrary to popular belief, I did not put too much hope on the UPU application, since I just wanted to try it. Done with the registration, I took off to Terengganu for 3 months National Service training. Even during my tenure at the camp, I did not put UPU application as my highest priority, and I started thinking about applying to study at private institutions.
After completing my training and returned to Petaling Jaya on May 2005, I began examining and reviewing the entire offer letters that, I received from the private institutions (one thing that I did not understand until now – how they got my address?). After about one week evaluation, I decided to accept offer from Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR). I started filling up the application letter.
Allah Had Destined Me To Study at IIUM!
Rather ironically, a thing that I thought hopeless was the other way round! When I was about ready to send UNITAR’s application form, I received a big brown envelope. When I looked at the letterhead, it was from IIUM Matriculation Center. Quickly I opened the envelope and read the contents.
“Congratulations! Your application to join The Gate of The Garden of Knowledge and Virtue has been accepted, brother!”
It was an offer letter from IIUM Matriculation Center, and signed by Brother Khair Ngadiron. Alhamdulilah, my hopeless application had came to me with full of hope (sorry for the pun!). Wait a minute I was stuck now! I already completed UNITAR’s application form, and now MCIIUM was offering a place. What should I do? I had three options
Proceed with UNITAR, and reject MCIIUM offer
Trash UNITAR application form, and accept MCIIUM offer
Reject both offers.
Of course, I cannot accept the answer ALL THE ABOVE, silly! If I choose third option, I would go nowhere. Therefore, I left with first and second options. I tried to ask my parents opinion, and they just left me without any answer (which meant they left it to me to decide). For the whole day, I devoted my available time to evaluate and reviewed all the consequences. At last, I came out with my decision.
I choose IIUM Matriculation Center.
At the Gates
Again, at first, I did not believe myself that I had chosen IIUM Matriculation Center over UNITAR. Nevertheless, decision will ever be decision, and I will proceed with my decision. With full of confidence, I calmly completed the admission form, and prepared myself for the registration day.
Finally the day came, rather abruptly. On 4 July 2005, IIUM Matriculation Center were ‘infested’ by people all around Malaysia – cars entered and exited the gates – tents erected at strategic spot – people with batik shirt roaming around. It was registration day!
Dressed with white executive shirt coupled with black trousers (yes, I know, we call it dress code), I was excited to register. The registration was smooth and silky, and for male students, the registration exercise was done at Umar Al-Khattab College 1 (UKC 1). The first person that I met at MCIIUM was Bro. Mohd Adham b Mohd, a Kelantanist, who also applied for ECONS. We were assigned into the same room – UKC 320.
After one week of Ta’aruf, with all the raves and rants, finally I was recognized as a student of IIUM Matriculation Center, with my student ID number 050462. The story did not end here, as I just reaching the ‘gate’, not the ‘real garden’. To reach the garden, I had to struggle here for about one year.
Was There The Other Samadian?
During my days at SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, most of my friends, when being asked about university or higher learning institution that they would like to join, the name IIUM were seldom (no, I should say it – rare) mentioned as an option. Majority of them aimed to join Matrikulasi Kementerian Pelajaran or pursuing diploma/foundation program at other well known (popular, to be exact) institutions such as Taylor’s, KDU or Help Institute.
Thus, at the beginning, I assumed I was the sole Samadian in this IIUM Matriculation Center. Besides Rafezzal Yusof (Engineering) who was also a Samadian, I did not have any clues whether other Samadian (my batch) exists here. However, my assumption was proven wrong and inaccurate.
Later on, to my surprised and rather shocked, I found other Samadian resided here in MCIIUM. The first Samadian that I encounter (besides Rafezzal) was Syarifah Nazirah, who also appeared to be my sidekick during primary school (a bit of 1999 history – Standard 6, I was the head prefect, she was the head of librarians, and we were in the same class since Standard 5). She the one who screamed my name during the night after Ta’aruf closing ceremony, and I was a bit panicked when I saw her (huh, of course, long time no see!).
Then, I found out the other Samadian, whose I did not expect to join MCIIUM – Farah Hazierah, Mustaffa Khair, Mohd Qarizmi, and Shuhada. To sum it up, there were seven (7) Samadian here, including me.
One Year of Mujahadah (Struggle)
I spent my life in this MCIIUM for about one year. During my term here, there were many funny, unexpected, hilarious (plus some scolding and punishing) events happened, all I faced with sweet and sour feeling mixed up.
As I mentioned before, I was attached to Department of Economics and Management Sciences (ECONS). In this department, I met many dedicated and hardworking students, whom all of them I respect! Oh, until then, I discovered that two Samadians, Farah Hazierah and Syarifah Nazirah, were also members of ECONS and out of my surprise, they were assigned in the same class with me (oh, oh!).
One year here was full with joy, happiness as well as penalty and punishment! Haha, it was normal for students, duh. Come on my dear friends, who can forget about Mdm. Afifah Mat Husin (Mathematics 1) madness when most of her student did not finish the assignment? Who can forget about Mdm. Norlida Raja Embong (Mathematics 2) when she scolded the students due to excessive noise made by us? Moreover, Mdm. Norhalida Haziaton Md Noor (Accounting 2) who was supportive and helpful when we stuck doing Job Costing accounts. Remember, Mdm. Mazlinah Omar (Computer 2) who belanja all of us with keropok lekor when we were confused in Microsoft Access extra class? Recall, Ustaz Wan Shohor Bani Leman (Arabic 1) with all the jokes and story of his experiences?
The most remembered one, of course, when several female students in Aisyah College and Zainab College were assaulted with hysteria late of September 2005. I even experienced it live in front of me when one of the female students was attacked by hysteria at SMAWP 3 building (according to my record, it happened on 28 September 2005) and Ustaz Wan Shohor, tried to heal her.
Yes, I know, there were many other unforgettable incidents happened during my study here in MCIIUM. Although some of the challenges were bit unforgiving for me, I faced it all with my full trust and confidence, and Alhamdulillah, I managed to complete my matriculation program with admirable results. Now, I had left the gate and my steps were near to the Garden of Knowledge and Virtue!
I Smelled The Garden
Yes, I finished at the gates, and now I was ready to step into the garden. On 27 June 2006, I received a big, brown envelope. Looking at the letterhead and contents (which a bit on heavy side), I knew it was the offer letter from International Islamic University Malaysia (or, in Malay, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia, for those who still a bit blurred).
Inside that huge envelope, there were many forms to be completed (as usual). I acknowledged that the registration day for new intake would commence on 1 July 2006, at Cultural Activity Center (CAC). Therefore, I had about 3 days to prepared myself. Not wasting the precious time, I was getting ready for the D-Day!
1 July 2006 was the day. At 8:00 a.m. in the morning, I blasted from my home in Petaling Jaya, headed towards Gombak (where the Main Campus was located). At 9:00 a.m. sharp, I reached there, and when looking at the view of the Main Campus surroundings, I was awestruck with its beautifulness and prettiness! Stepped out from my parent’s WHT 5998 Proton Wira 1.5 A, and putting my foot on the CAC tarmac. I smiled while looking at the crowd, and declared silently inside my heart,
I am now at IIUM Main Campus, The Garden of Knowledge and Virtue!
I smelled it, and I feel it, Alhamdulillah! One of my childhood dreams, to study at University had been fulfilled by Allah s.w.t. I stood still on IIUM ground, and ready for the days ahead! Without further delay, I proceed with the registration process.
There was one week Ta’aruf (orientation week) for new intakes, and personally, as I mentioned in my previous post a long time ago, I enjoyed it very much! Many unforgettable things happened during this one-week period, and those will be a collection of our sweet memories. Finally, Ta’aruf ended, and I officially recognized as a student of International Islamic University Malaysia (or UIAM, if you prefer) with student ID number 0613101.