Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim My Hero
I have to admit that I wasted most of my time there. Being a Bank Negara scholar, I took things for granted. Late nights out, jamming session, movies/videos (during that time VCD has not been invented :)took priority over my studies. I was totally wrong to underestimate the commitment required for an undergraduate course. Perhaps my excellent SPM results have somehow make me think I was smart enough to go thru university years. How wrong I was.
I can still recalled my first semester exam taken in autumn 1993. It was a Business Computing paper. The night before the exam, AC Milan came to town to play the Australia national team. Me and my college buddies decided that since we know so much about computers, perhaps some time off could be taken to witness the Italian job on football. To be honest, it was a grand occasion. The likes of Paulo Maldini commanding the left pitch was a sight to behold. We came back after supper and started to panic rushing thru the lecture notes and tutorial. I failed the exam miserably. It served me right. It was partially an eye opener (still tak sedar diri) for me since I was under contract to complete the degree with honours within the stipulated time (4 years in my case). I barely got thru the others (my highest mark was 60) and have to re-sit the Business Law exam. My first year was a total disaster, academically and personally.
I tried to buck-up and concentrate more on my studies in my 2nd and 3rd year although the distraction was sometime too hard to resist. Baillieu Library became my second home. In order for me to be accepted to continue the 4th year (Hons), I need to at least obtain an average of 75% throughout my 3 years as an undergraduate. The law of average was too cruel on me. My 1st year result brought down the average to 73%, just 2% short of the required grade. I went to see the Hons program co-ordinator and begged her mercy to accept me as the Hons candidate. Failure to be accepted in the Hons programme could cost me RM240,000 for breach of contract. She tried her best but I guess her best wasn't good enough (sounds familiar?). I tried to console myself by enjoying my Graduation Day. At least I've got a degree :)
December 1995. I came back for good from Australia. Ready to serve the Central Bank of Malaysia. But I was brought to reality when the then Assistant Governor, Rafiah Salim call all scholars to her office. When it came to my turn, she crunched my results and threw it to me saying, "With results like this, you are not good enough to work at the bank" I was totally embarrassed and devastated in front of my colleagues. She treated me like rubbish. Demanding me to pay RM240,000 for breach of contract. I actually offered myself to work at any post (guards included) as long I could serve my contractual obligation with the Bank. After all, I did have a degree, not a total disaster in my own opinion. Even some of my seniors didn't complete the Hons. year but were still accepted to work in the bank. But to her, I was public enemy number 1. The one who tarnished the prestigious image of the Central Bank. All my appeals went to deaf ears and they started to issue a demand letter for breach of contract. I will never forgive Rafiah Salim for what she did on me and my family.
My family was in disarray after knowing that I need to pay RM240k. How on earth can we earn that much? My father, being a hot tempered guy, always directed his anger towards Ibu. Pity my mum, I would say she's the most patient human being in the world, tolerating my father's antics without even raising her voice. We tried to seek help with this so-called helpful politician but to no avail. We even seeked the assistance from Datuk Salomon Selamat, my father's schoolmate, the then YDP SDARA, my very own alma mater.
He promised us that he'll do his best but whenever my father called him, he kept on giving the same answer and finally told us that he can't assist us after we were made to wait for more than 5 months. A true politician indeed! I have nothing personal against Datuk Salamon. Just disappointed with his know everybody attitude but in reality....? It would be completely fine if he told us that he can't help us during our very first meeting. But having to waste precious months like menunggu bulan jatuh ke riba is a bit to much for me.
In the mean time, I went to this job interview at a Bank Negara affiliate. If I'm not mistaken some kind hearted BNM's HR staff called me and ask me to go for the interview. Lucky enough I was accepted but my offer letter was withheld thanks to Rafiah Salim who convinced the Governor not to allow my contract to be transferred to BNM's affiliate.
I totally ran out of hope. My father drafted a last appeal letter addressed to Anwar Ibrahim of the Ministry of Finance. About 3 days after that, we received a call from his secretary En. Muhammad Ahmad, if I recalled correctly. He called to get a clearer picture on my case and say he'll recommend to Dato Sri Anwar to write to BNM's governor to appeal on my behalf. Having been toyed around by many politicians, I didn't put my hope that high and was prepared for another disappointment. Two days later, I received the news I've been waiting for 9 freaking months. BNM has agreed to transfer my contract and release me from any contractual obligation.
Anwar Ibrahim did it in 5 days. The others took almost 5 months before saying they can't do anything to help me. For that I owe him my sincerest gratitude. Forget about all the nasty things accused on him (I don't even care if all the accusations were true) Dato Sri Anwar Ibrahim is my savior. A true hero indeed. You'll surely get my vote of thanks.
Share this article :