By: Azman Zakaria
Photo: Noor Azreen Awang
SERDANG, May 11 - He divides his time wisely in discharging the tasks entrusted to him - his official duty as Assistant Science Officer at the Faculty of Science and Food Technology, as a motivational trainer and his relentless efforts in promoting traditional and classical music Cak Lempong – and Razali Othman finds great satisfactions in doing all three.
His efforts, determination and success saw him being named the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship Award (under the category of Perkhidmatan Profesional Kumpulan Pelaksana (Professional Services Group Implementers) at the Gemilang Akademia Putra 2015 (MGAP) event here recently.
He was among 18 others who received the awards from Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah,who is also the Chancellor of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
Razali said he had the advantage of helping the lecturers in preparing and handling practical classes for students as well as to carry out research work and professional services in the field of food processing and preservation as he had not changed his workplace ever since he first started in 1978.
From an Assistant Laboratory in the Science and Food Technology Department before he was promoted to the present post, he said the students always came to him for reference while preparing for their respective projects and researches.
“About 60 percent of my duty is to ensure the smooth running of practical lessons for students, another 20 percent on lab management such as sanitation and health and the remaining 20 percent on other related duties such as course preparation,” he said in an interview.
“In life, we must continue to learn and seek knowledge. Hardships actually motivate us to do better in life,” said Razali who started working after finishing Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) but continued to raise his level of education, which saw him graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Malay Language and Linguistics) in 2002 and a Master of Science (Human Resource Development) in 2006.
Despite his tight schedule, he finds time to be a motivational trainer for team building activities and a lecturer in the field of food processing which is based on a concept “Japanese Training Methods” where he comes up with his own modules, one of which is named Konsep 4H (Head, Hand, Heart, & Health) and Konsep Air Cucur Tangan. Concept).
His interest in music and to preserve the national cultural heritage, has prompted Razali to study the musical Cak Lempong in 1980 at Kompleks Budaya Negara, now known as Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA).
“Actually, I felt challenged when a friend who played rebana could go round the world. Only then I knew that it was actually easy to travel the world, just by bringing our culture along. Gracious Be to Allah, with Cak Lempong, I have been travelling overseas, including to several Asean member countries,” said Razali who is also chairman and manager of UPM’s Kelab Cak Lempong Uniputra.
To attract young people to Cak Lempong, he initially included a few Rock numbers in Cak Lempong but he was heavily criticized. However, two makers of gamelan musical instruments in BatuPahat, Johor, Wak Sarbini and Wak Margono, where he got his Cak Lempong orders from, did not stop him from doing so.
“Just like fishing for a big catch, we cannot just pull but the string of the fishing rod needs to be thrown first into the water before it is pulled over. I am doing this because I want the youngsters to be interested in Cak Lempong,” he said.
By being involved in Cak Lempong, he also said it could help de-stress himself, adding that he was thankful to UPM which had been his working place and where he could gain knowledge and experience from. – UPM