Friday, July 25, 2014


Razali  (seated third from, left) captures his triumphant moment with the Board of Examiners as well as his family members who were present throughout the viva session. 

While most people are busy gearing up for the 'Eid festivities that is just around the corner, the opposite is true of ISDEV. The third viva voce session in Ramadhan took place on Wednesday, 23 July, 2014 at C06 School of Social Sciences. RISDEV (ISDEV Postgraduate by Research) student, Razali Othman was ready both physically and mentally to face the barrage of questions that would be posed to him.

However it was obvious that coupled with spiritual readiness, Razali was all set to ensure that ISDEV clinch for the 10th time in 2014 the much coveted "Grade 1" award for his PhD thesis on "Penggunaan Wang Sebagai Instrumen Wakaf Tunai: Satu Kajian Teoritis" (The Use of Money as a Cash Waqf Instrument: A Theoretical Study).

In the newly refurbished Masjid Al-Malik Khalid, ISDEV members standing in a straight line
before performing solat hajat congregationally.

According to Razali, while awaiting for his viva to begin at 9:30 am that day, a melancholic feeling seemed to engulf him especially after the congregational solat hajat which was performed at Masjid Al-Malik Khalid, USM earlier that morning. However his passion towards his research was quickly unfolded when he started to provide further details about his research to the Board of Examiners. His external examiner, Dr. Asmak binti Ab.Rahman, from the Department of Syariah and Economics, Academy of Islamic Studies, Universiti Malaya (UM) admitted how impressed she was with the thoroughness of his research. In the meantime, the viva's chair was Professor Wan Mohd. Fauzy Wan Ismail, from the Centre of Instructional Technology and Multimedia (PTPM), USM.

Razali's viva took a mere hour to conclude. Sitting behind him throughout the viva session was his family members. Associate Professor Dr Rohayu binti Ab. Ghani from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) was elated with joy and utter gratefulness for the wonderful news of her husband's excellent results. The viva was a truly family bonding time for Razali. Throughout his candidature as a RISDEV student, he had chosen to be physically apart from his family. His wife revealed that prior to the commencement of his studies, the family had agreed and understood the implications of his pursuit of a PhD. 

A picture of a happy family. Razali (left) the dutiful student introducing his family members to his main supervisor, Prof. Syukri (right). Standing in the centre is Razali's wife, Assoc. Prof. Dr Rohayu binti Ab. Ghani.

There is a woman behind every man's great success. This is so true of Razali. Assoc. Prof. Dr Rohayu had consented to a temporary long distance relationship as a lovely pay-back gesture to her husband who had sacrificed his promotions twice in the civil service because he had chosen to be with her while she pursued both her Master's degree (in the States) and PhD (in the United Kingdom) back then. She is truly a strong woman. For three years, she had to juggle her responsibilities as a mother to their three children and struggled with her health conditions on her own most of the time. Twice she was warded in the hospital, without her husband's presence. However all these did not deter her from encouraging her husband to continue with his passion - embarking in the research for his PhD. She admitted that all these sacrifices was truly worth it as she saw Razali's positive transformation and had begun to accept that ISDEV is indeed very close and dear to her husband.

A dutiful and obedient student, Razali (center) poses with his supervisors, Prof. Syukri  (left) and Dr Zakaria (right).

All in all, Razali declared that with his PhD in hand he now would like to spread the message around on the dangers of fiat money. In addition to being grateful to Allah SWT for his fantastic results, he also profusely thanked his guru, his main supervisor Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh and his co-supervisor, Dr. Zakaria Bahari for their guidance throughout his candidacy as a RISDEV student. Following the footsteps of his nine predecessors in viva this year, Razali's PhD thesis also received the nomination for the "Best PhD Thesis" award.

Congratulations Razali!

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