Selepas tujuh tahun dan tujuh bulan di Tronoh, akhirnya pada 31 Oktober, 2012 Datuk Dr Zainal menamatkan kerjayanya di institusi ini. Datuk memulakan kerjaya pada 1 Mac 2005 kira-kira sebulan sebelum aku mendaftar sebagai pekerja di ITPSB. Dua hari lepas adalah hari yang menyedihkan bagi semua warga institusi, melebihi misteri persoalan bagaimana keadaannya pengganti kepada Datuk nanti?
Satu makan malam penghargaan kepada Datuk dan isterinya, Datin Rosemi diadakan dan telah dihadiri oleh lebih daripada separuh warga UTP. Meriah dengan aktivti tetapi keseluruhannya penuh dengan emosi. Prof Fadzil dalam ucapannya menggambarkan keseluruhan penghargaan atas segala pengorbanan Datuk kepada UTP. Aku juga beremosi tapi memandangkan Zaihan di sebelah kanan, Nuzah di sebelah kiri, staf2 lain di hadapan, maka ku tahan juga air mata dari jatuh berderai….
Antara kata-katanya seperti berikut: -
“……..Tonight, as the UTP community gathers to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to Datuk Dr Zainal, we are also honouring and celebrating an individual who is leaving behind a huge impact on the university with a legacy to be cherished and remembered in our hearts and minds. We are here to commemorate the successes that this university has enjoyed under his leadership over the past seven years and seven months.
If you recall Datuk, when you first arrived at UTP and chaired your first Management Committee meeting – you had asked us a question. In particular, your question to us was - where are we now? That simple, but thought-provoking yet a correct question had sparked a lot of imagination within us – and we started to imagine things that were at one time, almost unimaginable. Thus, one cannot speak about the achievements that the university has experienced thus far without mentioning the Transformation Plan, which is the brainchild of Datuk.
That's how I get into the transformation study team. I had few good moments with Datuk when we struggled in preparing presentation especially...EAC, AAC, TP, etc.. Good moments that I will cherish forever..
Datuk had realized the challenges that were staring at our faces at a very early stage, and being a true leader, Datuk showed his proactiveness by taking a bold step to embark upon a journey – a journey that have since then, transformed our lives almost entirely, and had changed the way we think and act. These changes have impacted all aspects of the university, from academic delivery, research output, student development, operational excellence as well as linkages with our stakeholders….”
Datuk’s traits that I could not agree more: -
“….Perhaps the most notable and appreciated quality of Datuk Dr Zainal is his genuine warmth and concern over his people. I believe this springs from Datuk’s sincere interest to develop his people, both the employees and the students. Datuk is always ready to listen to our suggestions and even problems, and is ever willing to engage with staff as well as students. This has actually made our life easier as the management is able to make informed decisions based on the feedback solicited.
Another particular trait of Datuk Dr Zainal that is extremely important for us to remember and emulate is his motivational skills. I am always, and still am amazed by Datuk’s ability to motivate everyone around him, especially the students. As a lecturer myself, I find it an excruciating task to motivate them, but for Datuk – it seems like a breeze.
When you are with the students, you are at ease – you can sing, you can dance and you can even play music with them – and not many of us can do the same. You have been generous with your time spent for this purpose, and you have touched the lives of countless students, and even the staff and alumni. In fact, I was made to understand that just last night, you spent more than three hours with the students – giving them advise and sharing them your personal experiences in life…”
Something for Datin too...
“…Behind every great man there stands a woman. On behalf of the university community, I would also like to express our gratitude to YBhg Datin Rosemi Hamdan for her strong and gracious support of our university. It is clear that Datin’s unwavering support and sacrifices have been vital to Datuk’s success and we deeply appreciate her selflessness in sharing her husband with us for the past seven years. So Datin, you can now have him back full time…”
Prof Fadzil could not bear his emotion when uttering these words…
“…No words can express our deepest gratitude to you but..
Thank you for your wisdom
Thank you for your guidance
Thank you for your advice
Thank you for always listening
Thank you for understanding
Thank you for the sacrifices made
Thank you for leaving us a treasured legacy
Thank you for your leadership
Thank you for everything
And most of all, thank you for your willingness to be away from your family to be with us for the past seven years….”
Not to miss some of the quotes from prominent figures: -
“A nation or race is only civilized if it knows how to appreciate its leaders” – the late Tun Azizan
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the mind of others, and the stories they share about you” – famous author, Shannon Alder
“Leadership is not magnetic personality - that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people" - that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations” – management guru, Peter Drucker
P/s - To YBhg Datuk and family, thank you for everything, I hope you will cherish all the good moments in UTP as we do. Happy retirement Datuk.