I was invited to attend a dinner honoring and commemorating the retirement of my former boss Prof. Dr. Amir Bashah Ismail from the company at Holiday Villa on Tuesday night. The dinner was organised by several friends of mine who are also ex-staff and colleagues of the esteemed professor. I personally knew Prof. Amir way back in 1988 when I first started my carrier with the company.
Prof. Amir is a very technical, philosophical and religious person. Almost on daily basis, I would see him reading the Quran early in the morning in his office as I was walking to my working cubicle. He was among the senior people in the department who I felt very comfortable to work with because his attitude towards people is always constructive.
I say this because when I first started, I did not have a Master's degree let alone a PhD degree like him but I can actually feel that those qualification did not really matter to him. In fact, he was among the first few people I knew that encouraged me to further my knowledge and supported me when I wanted to pursue my MSc degree.
My first overseas trip with him was to India in 1990. In fact, that was the first international conference of which Dr.Amir and myself jointly published a paper and presented it at the conference. We were also in many other business trips together and I still remember during one trip to Bangkok with him where he carried a 'Tupperware' with food inside to a restaurant as supplement for his meal to the curiosity of the Thai hosts.
The reason, well he is very strict in terms of getting halal food and the tupperware is his version on n-1 for getting halal food! Like any other bosses I used to have, Dr Amir has many positive attitude albeit there were times when I kinda feel a bit confused on his behaviour. I guess a good hearted and smart person like Dr Amir has his bad days also like the rest of us human.
But nonetheless, those are actually the kind of things that shape us as a human when we grow older. 19 Years has past since I know this man and all I can say is that he is not only an asset to the company but also to the whole country. His knowledge in power system engineering is not easily surpassed by many and I am very sure that his service is still needed in many universities as well as consultants in Malaysia.
In his speech during the dinner, Dr Amir mentioned about how thankful he is to the company. He said that the retirement benefit was good as he is now in the 1M club and does not have any debt to worry. However, he still believes that he can contribute and at the moment he is considering few offers already on his table.
There were also several speeches made by friends reminiscing his contributions to the company. I was also asked to talk and I did tell the audience our experience together when we were in India. But, I was also asked by the organiser to be the official photographer for the night and hence my speech was not well prepared...
In summary,the dinner was a very good and nicely organised. I sincerely feel that Dr Amir Bashah should be treated with a much bigger occasion befitting his contribution to the company. If anything, I will always respect him as my boss, brother and also as a devout Muslim who really knows the real purpose of why he is being created. May Allah bless him always...Amin..
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