Monday, November 10, 2008

Tahniah, Prof. Ghauth Jasmon

My congratulations to Prof. Datuk Dr. Ghauth Jasmon (B.Sc, Ph.D, FIEE, FIEAust, SMIEEE, CPEng), who will become the new UM Vice Chancellor and will start his duty on Tuesday 11 November 2008. He will be the first engineer to be the VC of UM (the first engineer closest to be UM's VC was Prof. Emeritus Chin Fung Kee (the man behind Penang Bridge, who was the Acting VC for one year during the 1960s).

With such an excellent credentials (1st Class from Imperial College, PhD in less than 3 years, professor at the age of 36, Deputy VC at 39), I am sure that he will be able to contribute greatly to UM. He was responsible in making Multimedia University from nothing to a university with 7 faculties and 20,00 students.

I think MMU's loss will be UM's gain. In his farewell greeting, he wrote that his term of MMU's President 'has been determined to end' on 31st December 2007 (note the passive sentence). I hope he will be able to chart the future of our oldest university without any interference from outside. Knowing him for about one year when he was the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development) of UM, he made quite an impression on me with his no-nonsense approach of doing things. To work with a workaholic and perfectionist like him was not easy. To him, 'students are customers' and I think he brought this motto when he was in MMU, endearing himself to the students there. We in the Development Dept of UM were under intense pressure to work under a Deputy VC who came to work at 6.30 am and went back after Isyak prayer. When I was in Mecca for my haj in 2001, I met one of his ex-staff in MMU who had just been discharged from CCU and subsequently resigned from MMU. The reason was the pressure that he got from working under this Prof.

In a speech, he once described Bill Gates (who visited MMU in 2000) as 'not very brilliant but knows what he is doing' (I tend to disagree with this - Bill Gates achieved 1590 out of 1600 in Scholastic Aptitude Test, even though he took a leave of absence from Harvard) . You might call this as an arrogant statement, but this reflects his level of confidence which most of the times will make him at odds with others. Maybe his frankness and straightforward style also contribute to his exit from MMU. I hope that with his renowned status academically, he would be able to transform UM's ranking back to at least the Top 100. And I hope not to see him appearing in newspapers boasting about the lecturers 'menggondol sepuluh pingat emas di Geneva Exhibition of Invention'. (Have Imperial College, MIT, Caltech, Tokyo University or even NUS ever participated in this event? Are there any commercial values on the 'inventions'?)

I'm sure that his re-entry into UM will send shivers down the spines of some of the academicians there. Hopefully, di UM nanti tidak akan ada mana-mana dekan atau ketua jabatan yang masuk CCU selepas Prof Ghauth memulakan tugasnya sebagai VC. If everything goes well, he might be quite long in UM.

On a lighter note, lessons learned are:

1. Brilliant people are health hazards to others.
2. You don't have to be very brilliant to become a billionaire. Just be a bit smarter and know what you are doing, and maybe you will become a successful businessman. Be a brilliant person, and you will end up to be a professor or a monthly paid professionals.



Anonymous said...

apakah keturunan prof ghauth jasmon?
prof seorg muslim ke?

Anak Timur Laut said...

Prof Ghauth Jasmon seorg Muslim, dr Batu Pahat. Bapak Jawa, mak Cina

enjit2semut said...

Kenapalah Pn Rafiah Salim mendahului prof ghauth jasmon di UM kemudian semacam tak mahu meninggalkan UM pulak walaupun tamat perkhidmatan.Pada ana dari dulu lagi xsepatutnya Pn RS menduduki kerusi teratas di UM tu...

anak ahmad no3 said...

Salam, believe me UM will be the greatest Universiti in malaysia..
Prof Ghauth Jasmon is the best president i think...
i'm graduates from MMU, with prof ghauth anything can do...anything can be achieve..seriously best.
maybe the new president pun ok kot utk staff tp student rasa kureng..

Anonymous said...


Although i welcome Mr. Ghauth, the fact remains that in his 12 years stint with MMU, he was not able to make it to the top of 100 global Universities. Will he be able to explain that before condemning the previous management of UM?

And for those who are enquiring about his "Keturunan", please take note that merit based selection should be the way forward otherwise we will be left out...


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