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    My Interview with Datin Aminah

    I have been thinking to further study..but  juggling with career, family.. taking care of my children and study… sleep late to study.. get dark circles under eyes for not having enough sleep…can i do that? and i said to myself  ‘i am too old to study’..too old? how old is too old?  learning is a continuous process..that’s the purpose to live.. that’s what we always keep in mind.

    I saw a picture of  this wonderful lady being congratulate by her family in the newspaper… she just graduated .. i thought.. ‘oh my, she can’t be serious’.. She is a busy woman…with her family, politics and business… how on earth she can sit and study? not only that.. she managed to obtain Deans list for 8 semesters.. and 1st Class Honours in  Bachelor of Management.

    She really inspires me.. and for sure women out there.. no matter how old you are.. how busy you are …if you want to achieve what you really wanted in life.. you can! nobody can stop you.. you  have the will power to go through the challenges, to be where you want to be.


    My post recently ‘My Inspiration’.. inspired me  to get close to this bright, beautiful.. and wonderful woman…she just celebrated her 51st birthday in July this year….her name is Datin Aminah Ambrose (Eugene Dumpangol) i love to get her story and share it with you.  This is my first interview… she have been very kind and willing to spare few minutes of her busy schedule to be interviewed.

    What/who inspires you to study?

    Hi, I attended a seminar ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling’ organised by Yayasan Sabah..(Hjh Patmawati) held at Shangri-La Tg Aru -one of the presenters was Prof. Dr. Mornie (UNITAR Adjunct Professor) Head of SIDMA(Unitar Sabah Branch), he inspired me to continue my studies and ‘The Break Through” and also another presenter was Datuk Adeline Leong ..she too inspired me to go forward and make time for ourselves and achieve our self-actualization.

    You are always busy with welfare & Charity, what makes you feel like studying?

    Oh Yes I was actively involved in Welfare & Charity works and was awarded the ‘Tokoh Kebajikan Negeri Sabah 2005” and also received a “Gold-award” in-conjuction with the 50th Golden jubilee of the Majlis Kebajikan Negeri. My husband (Datuk Amirkahar Tun Mustapha) told me to do something for myself as I had been working to help others. As I mentioned earlier about the motivation seminar that I attended, in July 2006 I went to see Prof.Dr. Mornie and enrolled myself as a ‘part-time’ student but I became a full time student as I attended the ‘face to face’ classes did my own assignments, participated in group assignments & other activities. In UNITAR, it is convenient for me as the notes are available through ‘VOISS. It’s the virtual system so I am able to get notes/updates communicated with course leaders/lecturers even though I am not in class.  This helped me tremendously as the VOISS has other functions such as e-library, emails, discussion boards, etc.

    What course did you took?

    Bachelor of Management (Hons); it is a 3 year program started from August 2006 -Jan 09..graduated on 31st Oct 2009… Initially, I just followed what subjects was given but once I knew that I can more than 4 subjects as I had more than 3.5 CPGA, so took 4 – 5 subjects per semester..Challenging but managed to get Dean’s almost all semesters.  Amazing!

    What did your family reaction when you decided to further study?

    My hubby & children supported me all the way, they were very understanding– especially my hubby as I had to burn the ‘midnight oil’ spend time in my study room –doing my assignment(s)/preparing my paper; especially before semester exams I will be spending time- hours revising and attempt to answer all past questions from previous years…I guess all my hard work has brought about this good results.  During exam time my hubby will be my alarm he will wake up when I tell him that I need to wake up say 4am if I have a paper the next morning so that I have time to revise again.

    Why now and who is your role-model or hero?
    To me, “Learning is a life-long process” and age is only a number not a hindrance. I prefer my heroes to be more skillful and accomplished than I am, so I can be inspired to emulate them by doing something on the scale of what they have done.

    What is important to you?
    Understanding what is important, what gives meaning to our lives is the compass to finding our purpose. I strongly believe that “Values” are the guideposts to purpose.”

    What were your biggest challenges?

    Aside from the normal challenges that after 30 plus years leaving the academic field and only at age 48 then begin to start studying again—I ask myself whether I am ready to go to another level? After considering, I told myself that if I am going to succeed, I must commit myself, align my life and my sense of purpose…Aim high with commitment.

    I heard about the tragedy in your family, how did you face the challenge?

    The biggest challenge was when my son was found dead upon arrival at QEH, I received a call at 7.38am 1st Dec ‘ 07, from his fiancee’s mum informing me that my son had a heart attack and was in critical condition, she told me to rush to the Hospital..I called back to ask which hospital but no answer so I ‘sms’ her (Sheena’s hfon) as that’s the number she used and the sms reply was Emergency Queen..so I rushed there with my maid and 2 wanita members.. I got a shock when I pulled the curtain in the emergency room and found my son has bruises & cuts had already died and his body was so ‘icy cold’ like he was in a refrigerator…how come he is so cold ..he was still alive that was what I was told by Sheena’s mum..’cepat tidak lama lagi ni’ still ringing in my head…I shouted at the doctor and questioned him; I remember shouting, “ my son did not die of a heart attack ..he has been battered to death!”. I can’t forget that tragic moment.
    You know, soon after his funeral, the ‘kenduris’, I think it was 12 days later that I had to take my first final paper for the 4th semester. It was English 3 and I remembered going early to avoid people but still some did offer their ‘condolences’ and this made me feel worst as I couldn’t take it. I was crying throughout the exams. A few days later, I had to sit for Management Guru & Quality, Fundamental of Strategic Management, Introduction to Futures Studies. Honestly, I don’t know where I got the strength, courage and recall memory to answer the questions..but deep down I knew that he was praying for me as well as he knew I was studying for my exams when I last saw him -and he gave me a Chocolate shake that he had prepared with his cousin Melissa for me to taste. Obtaining good results for the 4th semester also made me realized that I had the inner strength that I thought I never had.

    Without the focus, prayers and  support from family members especially my beloved husband and children, I don’t know whether I would have succeeded..Syukur Alhamdulillah…Al-Fatihah to my late son, Datu Azlan.

    What is your advice to other women?
    To quote Robert Kennedy –“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” When we understand our purpose, all the challenging experiences of our lives serve to forge identity, character and meaning. Although life may be challenging, every experience becomes our teacher, and every challenge an opportunity through which we learn and live more purposefully. Awareness of our purpose, allows us to see our lives more clearly from the inside-out.
    Never give up. Dare to fail. Follow your decisions with Action, whether things are ideal or not; success comes in the Doing.

    Thank you Datin for your time, i wish you all the best in whatever you do.

    You are most welcome and thank you for asking and considering me in your blog.

    – end-

    There you got it… my first interview.. for ‘The Inspiration’ and ‘Woman’s Mind’…there will be more to come.