I was working in Maybank Sea Park Branch (already into my 3rd year with Maybank) and this was mid 1977. After failing to continue my 'Kajian Luar Kampus' classes in ITM Jalan Othman, I wishes to continue my studies full time; after all Maybank has offerred scholarship to deserving staff who wishes to continue their studies at any Universities including ITM. I got the required forms and applied for Diploma in Banking course at ITM. After being short listed, I was called for an interview at the School of Business & Management at ITM. With burning desire to continue my studies, I went for the interview, which was chaired by Encik Salleh Majid (now Dato').
Encik Salleh Majid was flanked by a few other lecturers and his office staff. He started by telling me, "You are already working in a Bank with good pay, why do you want to study some more? ITM is far from people and people are far from us. The food is lousy and the bed is uncomfortable. Life as a student is not easy. This is the place for 'Jin Bertendang'. There is no money and studying is harder than working and not getting paid like now". I told the committee, "I want to study and would not mind working harder than I should now. If I can get a place, maybe Maybank will award me with their scholarship; which I am already eligible." He said okay! We'll see.
Two weeks later, as announced in the newspaper, student registration in ITM is 2 days away, but I have still not got my offer letter; and the Bank is waiting for my ITM offer letter in order for the scholarship to be awarded. Gaining all the strength and courage, I got to the phone and called Encik Salleh Majid! Not knowing what circumstances he was in, I asked him about my application and mentioned about the interview. He remembered me, however; was screaming into the phone. "You think you are the only 'Melayu' in this country and that we have to accept you into ITM. Even though you may have Maybank scholarship, so what! There are thousands of other 'Melayu' applicants who have better grades than you that have been offered". Could not remember what else Encik Salleh was screaming further into my ears - he slammed the phone down! I was left in awe and sadness and deep in my heart I realised that calling him was a mistake and there goes my chance of getting into ITM again ... (even though I may have a Maybank scholarship). I may be destined to work in Maybank for the rest of my life.
Two weeks later. I got a call from a Kak Azizah (Encik Salleh Majid's Steno). She said, "Encik Salleh Majid said even if you have not received ITM's offer letter, Encik Salleh has asked you to register during the 2nd intake and that all paperwork will be done by Encik Salleh Majid to ensure that you are accepted into ITM as a student". As soon as she put the phone down, I was left in awe again, but was also damn bloody happy. Immediately I called Maybank's Personnel Department and inform that I have been accepted into ITM and wishes for the Maybank Scholarship to be offered to me (as I have fulfilled all other conditions including going through the interview). I registered into ITM during the 2nd intake July 1977.
After all the paperwork and logistical arrangements were done with Maybank, I packed my things and left my rental house in SS2 to start my new life as a student in ITM with a scholarship from Maybank.
[Stories in relation to Encik Salleh Majid - see following posts - "Nak Masuk ITM - Part IIa" and "Nak Masuk ITM - Part IIb"]
2 weeks ago