1. One afternoon I met my old classmate who had retired from government services a year after I did and complained about the new pay schemes that the PM announced postponed for a few days after the complaints from CEUPAC. He now did some odd jobs and spent more time with his grandchildren and also travel. He confessed he had a boring 30 years or so at the ministry and climbed the highest post and awarded a Datoship by a state and now the government is awarding 36 top-ranking officers a monthly pay of $50-60K.
2. I said I sympathised with him because at the university we have no boring time and we never complained of having low pay. I said he has no PhD but we have no choice but to slog 3-4 years to obtained that degree in order to be a lecturer and not respected by the likes of him at the Ministry. He asked me what did I do at the university and I said he surely remembered what his lecturers did in the 1970s at the University of Malaya then! Anyway i summarised to him.
3. I do teaching from Dec 1978 until yesterday, almost everyday except Friday all semester and all sessions. I was not bored as the cohorts are different. I do undergraduate and post-graduate courses. I set questions twice every semester and marked them. I supervised undergraduate students, MS and PhD students in their dissertaions. I read every line, paragraph and chapters before being examined.
4. I do research, applied for grants sometimes I didn't get in my chosen discipline which is botany and biodiversity. I prepared research reports, these are boring!. I prepared and published papers in journals, proceedings etc. I presented my research results in seminars and symposia, discussed with friends. I read and evaluated reserach papers sent to journals and I read and evaluated theses from UKM and also other universities as external examiner.
5. I do community services, scientific community I mean not like the convicts! I am active in the Academy of Sciences Malaysia in different capacities as Chair to Discipline Group, Chair the Expedition Task Force and attended various meetings. I am Chair and Trustee of WWF Malaysia, Pulau Banding Foundation and Trustees of Malaysian Timber Cerification Council, Orang Utan Island Foundation, Wildlife Protection Foundation.
6. I still have time for my children and grandchildren. What are you complaining about? I asked him.....you chose the the wrong job and you missed all the spices in life. My friend kept quiet and promised to meet me again and discuss the good old time of university days. I said cheerio and see him again soon.
A Trip To Japan
2 months ago