29 August 2010

What’s in a name -Part 2

Concluding Part 2

The campus of the second centre of learning on my drive home, UMT (Universiti Malaysia Terengganu), approaches soon after we pass the University mosque (my Kusza mosque). UMT is across the road on the right. So if I were to salute the two universities I would have my left hand up for UniSZA and my right for UMT until I part with them both at a mini roundabout. Now let us see how this second great university developed itself since 1994.


When I began to drive along this road in 1994, UMT was then the Terengganu campus of Universiti Pertanian (UPMT). However, in 1997 the PERTANIAN matured to become Universiti Putra (still UPMT).

In 1999 UMPT took a new name, KUT (Kolej Universiti Terengganu). Then in 2001, KUT transformed itself into KUSTEM (Kolej Universiti Sains dan Teknologi). I can only presume that Terengganu would not want to be seen lacking in the in-thing, science and technology.

That was not the end of it. In 2007 KUSTEM had to undergo further development. That K for Kolej had to make way for a proper U (sudah jadi universiti lah). After all, its neighbour across the road had shed off the college image. KUSTEM now became University Malaysia Terengganu (UMT).


IPGM Kampus Dato’ Razali Ismail

Pakcik must not be seen to sideline another establishment known as Kolej Perguruan Batu Rakit, just about 3 kilometers away from my home. Because changes in a name was becoming quite common, I hardly realised that this very important centre of learning for teachers was upgraded from a college image to Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia (IPGM)- Batu Rakit.
Then last year this IPGM was declared assuming a new name Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia Kampus Dato’ Razali Ismail (IPGM Dato’ Razali Ismail).


Not Bothered To Change
Seeing what I have seen, I wonder whether I want to feel sorry for those who refuse to change with time. Since I have picked three centres of learning close to me, a matter of six kilometer radius away, let me, likewise, take three centres which are far away, three that do not seem to have advanced with time. They have been there for more than 100 years, a whole CENTURY without a change. The following centres of excellence have remained an institute, a school and a college respectively.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
. Founded in 1861.

2. London School of Economics (LSE).
Founded in 1895

3. Imperial College London (IC London).
Founded 1907


While we continue making changes to reflect advancement and achievement, I am reminded of Ayat 26-27 of Surah 55 translated by Muhammad Asad as “ All that lives on earth or in the heavens is bound to pass away: but forever will abide thy Sustainer’s Self, full of majesty and glory.” -
Nothing, absolutely nothing is permanent


Special note for dear ex-Almanar pupils.
Do not be surprised next time you call on us you will see a more glamorous (canggeh lah) name than Nuri and Al-Manar. But I will still be Pakcik to you, and a Datuk to ten individuals who shortened it to a simple ‘Ki’ to reflect endearment and respect to a real datuk. You, too, may consider changing as you move through life, but be mindful that you and I can never dream of making anything permanent - like the above Quranic verse itself, immortal.

Berkhidmat Kerana Tuhan Untuk Kemanusiaan


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
What's in a name? And to quote Shakespeare: a rose is a rose by any other name. And talking about Shakespeare, whatever happen to the parcel? It's been months. Nevertheless, we've acquired some more plays and this time will make it's hand delivered. purrr....meow!

Pak Idrus said...

Pak Hassan, To me the name of an institution which includes university should never be change. It should continue to remain the same forever.

I was disappointed when they change ITM to UITM when ITM was upgraded to a university. The should have kept the name ITM which has already established itself as great institution of learning in this country. In the US, the MIT, the Boston College for example are university but it kept its original name till these days.

Those folks should wake up and be matured in their thinking before thing became ridiculous.

Have a nice day.

Al-Manar said...

A cat is a cat by any other name. One upon a time, in 1962, still a dashing bachelor, working in Singapore I was given a beautiful Siamese cat that I named Comel.No other cat is like Comel. Do not purrrrr. That is what a name does.
And that parcel is still somwhere. I do not lose hope. E-mail will follow.
Thank for the thought.

Al-Manar said...

Pak Idrus,
I wss in fact towing with the idea of mentioning ITM; but the posting would be even longer.Like you goodself I was annoyed and saddened when ITM became UiTM. It was hailed as a great achievemnet, not to my mind. Thirty years ago I was holding a position with authority to recruit. I admired ITM graduates and had to fight other organisations to recruit them.How I wish today ITM would continue strive to match MIT on the the other side of the globe. Sir, great minds think alike. I appreciate your comment.

Karim Omar said...

Ggitulah. Hok molek dah nak tukar.

Hok kukuh dah diorang gi rombok. [lepas hambat orang keda batu dekat pasar payang tahun lepas musim puasa - tahun ni - diaorang hambat orang Lladang pulak tengah-tenagh bulang Ramadang ni - lintang pukang nok cari tempat - dohlah Raya ni anak cucu nok balik Raya dak tahu kat rumah mana]

Hok dah ada nak buah baru - habih semua terbengkalai.

Buat baru runtuh pulak....

Hok bekki dia biar punah pulak [Masjid Putih – Dibaiki Indah Dibiar Punah]

Apa nak jadi?

ninotaziz said...

Thank you Pakcik for the timely reminder. Sometimes, the more you hold on, the more challenging change becomes.

It is an art to go with the flow - and yet remain true to ourselves.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pak Cik,
Our obsession with high sounding titles and names of you just mention it, in almost everything is like eating and drinking. Whereas our tradition always say names do carry more than just a superficial meaning.When Adam was first brought into life, he was taught the names of things, so that he became knowledgeable.
Thus names of institutions do carry a tradition, such as the MCKK, the KGV or the FMC( now RMC). Our people now are lost in their sense of values, so they do not value what they had, thus causing what had been good to become decayed, even our past heritage. Thus the need to have heritage buildings and next would be names of Schools, Universities and Colleges.

Al-Manar said...

Pokok pankal nya kepentingan.
Kalau kita buat untuk kepentingan bersama eloklah hasilnya. Kalau kita buat untuk kepentingan orang tanpa kepentingan kita sendiri itu lah yang terpuji. Kalau semata mata kepentingan kita dan bertentangan keperluan orang itulah yang diekori maki hamun.
Apa boleh buat - berputeh mata saja lah

cikzaa said...


Saya prefer panggil ITM.
3 tahun belajar ('96-'99) guna nama ITM.Tp bila convo thn 1999 dpt Dip. UiTM.

Al-Manar said...

If every so often we can consciously make ourselves time to stand and stare we may see where changes have brought us. Hope you are not changing your name too.

I have tried but invariably got myself lost in the sophisticated pantuns/poems.

Al-Manar said...


It is most appropriate to highlight the need for Adam to be taught the names of things to be knowledgeable. But we are smarter by changing existing names!
Hope all is well with you this fasting month.

Al-Manar said...


Takapa lah. Ada lah gah sedikit bila orang dengar kita keluaran 'universiti' kan?

mekyam said...

salam pakcik!

sounds like we're still trapped in trappings.

so sad. =(

Al-Manar said...

Some of us have been strapped fast into believing that traps and trappings are the same. Someone from outside will have to come to strip them of this distorted view.
Salaam orang jauh.

Anonymous said...

Salam Pakcik

When they upgraded colleges to universities do they also upgrade the requirement for the teaching staff to university level. Must have cost a lot of money, time and inconvenience for everybody.

Selamat hari raya to you and Makcik with your children and cucus and anak2 angkat dari al manar. I bet your guest list this year will be even longer than last year ... Enjoy


Al-Manar said...


I am least surprised that people with so much exposure as you are, would more likely to think of time and the financial commitments. I am not qualified to elaborate on these points but I do have those questions in my mind.

As for Almanar I am somewhat saddened to say that it is at a low ebb. The number has greatly reduced of late for reasons beyond my control. I am formulating a new plan, a new thrust to rectify the situation but would take time as most things depend on external factors.

Selamat berpuasa and berhari raya from us.

norzah said...

Dear Akhi, so many views already I've none to add. Famous institutions of learning in the world don't change their names but let their name change the world. However the craze to be given a university status for many colleges and institutes in this country is unstoppable. The Sultan Idris Teachers' Training College is another example of a famous college which no longert holds its name in pride. My only prayer is that all the new universities will live up to their names and produce famous scholars. Selamat hari raya, maaf zahir dan batin.

Sir Pök Déng said...

I have a different story.

I was schooled in SMK(A) Rantau Abang before somebody big changed its name to SMK(A) Kuala Abang. Why? I tell you why.

The school is located in Kampung Baru Kuala Abang. Hence, the school's name was indeed a misnomer. The Kampung Baru residents protested the matter for years, urging the authority to change into a new one. Some radical heads even splattered white paint on the signboard, coating the 'Rantau Abang' altogether.

After the incident, somebody big changed it to SMK(A) Kuala Abang. The name is used until the present day.

Remembering the history, this school actually has undergone namelift three times.

(1) SMKA Mulia Bestari
(2) SMKA Dungun
(3) SMKA Rantau Abang
(4) SMKA Kuala Abang

Sorry I don't have example for higher learning institutions.

Unimas is Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

UMS is Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

Anonymous said...


As littlereddotters of my generation grow old gracefully were told time and again not to take the easy life for granted as "nothing is free in this world not even the fresh air that we breathe in" said uncle LKY, we tend to become kedekut/bakhil so we spend money wisely unless wherever necessary.

Inshaallah enrolment at al manar will improve so please don't be disheartened.


Al-Manar said...

Akhi Norzah
You have raised the subject of an old instution we are familiar as SITC. An elder member of my family graduated there during he time of our pendita Zaaba. It was an all-male, having its counterpart in Melaka.The colonial power seems to have done better for our education with these, Kikby/Wolverhampton, FNC, MCKK and its counterpart MGC, and the rest of it.
So now we have UUUUUpsi instead of SITC.
We allowed names to grow in reputation as the 'bodies' they carried grew in stature and strength

Al-Manar said...

My dear Sir,
Indeed you have brought a different story. All my life I have known Rantau Abang for her turtle eggs that I used to love. (dah berenti makang lama dah -.. mahal macam geduk). So it has a school with controversial past, just because of a name. So as I said a name is important. Only then it can produce knights and all.

Thank you, Sir, for bringing up an example close to home.

yongzu @ 9W2YZU said...

Dear Pakcik, there's another institution that was there before but now it is gone forever ;) Only those who were the product of the institution can still remember it and I was among them.

I found a little bit of its old history here ---> http://www.angelfire.com/tn/mppp/page2.html

Insya'Allah, some of the alumni are going to have a gathering in KT at the end of the year.

Al-Manar said...

It is not all that bad o be a lttle, not too kedekut on certain things and err on the other side for good causes - but you have done it well yourself.
Disheartened maybe but never without optimism. Thank you.

Al-Manar said...

Pasir Panjang TTC at the foot of Bukit Besar indead had its history and you were part of it. Do you recall a lecturer by the name of Khadijah Yong?
I am certain you know that Sekolah Menengah Sains Pasir Panjang has taken over the premises.Hope the prposed reunion will bring you here. That would be nice, but be prepared with payong and all.

KotaStar said...

Pak Chik,

Apa boleh buat.Masing2 dg ajenda sendiri. From what I have observed institutions do not only make changes to their names but also alter the course contents/ programs. It could be 'schools','faculty or whatever depending on the whims of the 'chief' that run the organization and the exposure he gets.With rankings and standing of the institutions on the block by MQA,just as the schools too are being classified into various categories and therefore rewards alternatives get discovered. Our understanding of name changes is as good as the expressions vouched by yr commentators. Here's hoping greater success to AlManar in the final analysis .

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
It is a toss up between heritage and pride. Heritage demands status quo and pride demands change.

Pride demands not just change but a quick change, a fast change, a short cut in plain language.

Change the name, make it fast and be recognized as an upgraded institution. It exudes a lot of pride – the faster the better. So overnight an institute becomes a college and a college becomes university college and later a full-fledged university.

I suppose it is a sequence that shows the progress of higher learning that is given an accelerated growth for which we are proud of.

My point is, it cannot be avoided but it is something good. Brace ourselves for more changes!

Al-Manar said...


As you can see we can just sit and watch and hope for the best because that is all we can do. I thank you for your good wishes.

Al-Manar said...

I only hope you are right that changes will indeed bring the desired effects.
Selamat Hari Raya

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir Batin.

Salam sejahtera kpd Pak Cik Hassan, Ma'Cik dan kaum keluarga kesemuanya semoga di berkati ALLAH SWT serta senantiasa berada dalam keadaan sihat dan walafiat.

kaykuala aka Hank dan Shadah

Al-Manar said...

Dear Hank and Shadah,
Selamat Hari Raya to you and family too. Who knows you may drop on us in KT one of these days.
Pakcik Hassan and Salmah

azahar said...

Pak Cik Hassan,

We are still too engrossed with names. May be we are too feudalistic in nature.

To us University > Institute > College > School. Is this true? They are the same, no difference.

In the West they say which school did you go to?

Al-Manar said...

I did some search and found that this is how you should be addressed. Pardon me if I am wrong.

It is so coincidental that I happened to post about changes which include one university you have just joined. We need universities staffed by qualified people with applicable experience.
Selamat bertugas.
Pakcik Hassan