When I wanted to undertake my PhD, there was so much uncertainty on whether I had the discipline, time and stamina to stay the cause. I remember Prof Siow telling me that I might have a lot of information and knowledge about Foreign Policy and International Relations but this did not necessarily mean it could be turned into academic work. I agreed with him and thought I should not pursue my intention to do the PhD.
Prof Ansari kept on telling me I could do it. So was Meilina the Registrar. I saw Prof Siow a number of times before he somewhat became convinced that I could do it. That was how my journey began. Then I had to choose the exact subject of my research before I could begin writing my PhD proposal, which was quite an uphill battle. I consulted the AeU and spoke to a number of my friends who were familiar with the PhD proposal submission. Aziah, my wife who thought I was crazy at first to venture into this journey at the age of 67 however encouraged me, so were my children and children in-laws. They were tremendous help with their comments and editing.
I took two research assistants namely Khairunisa and Philip Mathews to help me with the research. This was useful but the real work and research has to be done by you. I also did something unorthodox when I chose Prof Juhary to be my supervisor instead of well-known scholars of international relations and foreign policy. He was the Prof. of Business Management. My reason for choosing him was he would be more open than the specialist. Before submission, the AeU informed me that I could not submit for a PhD as I had not done my Masters degree. I nearly gave up but the AeU helped me to continue with the submission. Faithfully, I followed the procedure and appeared before the examining board in front of four Professors consisting of Prof Siow in the Chair together with another Prof in charge of quality control. The external examiners were Prof Mustafa Ishak, the Vice Chancellor of UUM and Prof Nathan from UKM. Both were excellent. In fact they were responsible for upgrading my proposal to PhD. (To be continued...)
FBSHApost@9 April 2016