Bakri Baharom


Bakri Baharom
1 JUNE 2015
Bakri Baharom
[email protected] /www.polimas 019-488-1430
Designed & Edited by: Azlida Ahmad (PTSS)
iCompEx’15 -
24-26 March 2015
Publish or Perish
In academic world, the Publish or Perish mantra is very true indeed. The Curriculum Vitae (CV) of
reputable academicians should include publications on their expertise, preferably in reputable journals.
The so-called Key Performance Indicator (KPI), demands a certain number of research is done before
an individual is qualified to be considered for higher post or grade. Therefore, the drive to publish
academic papers and innovations are wide spread at all levels, i.e. universities, polytechnics, college
communities, technical institutions, as well as public and private sectors. To provide a proper platform
for such needs, POLIMAS has taken the initiative to organise National Innovation and Invention
Competition Through Exhibition (iCompEx) since 2013. The 3rd Edition, iCompEx’15, was held on 24-26
March 2015 at POLIMAS which comprised of 3 aspects:
•Innovation and Invention Exhibition (768);
•Academic Paper Presentation (99); and
•Innovation Poster Competition
The number of participants with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals under the 8 categories of Innovation
and Invention are as follows:
Built Environment Design, Construction & Materials
Machine, Equipment & Manufacturing Process
ICT & Multimedia
Electric, Electronics & Telecommunication
Automotive, Transportation & Industrial Design
Agriculture, Environment & Renewable Energy
Food and Beverages
Service & Product Marketing
Participations for all categories were opened to any interested parties regardless of levels. The
organiser believes that everyone should compete in a free for all at the national level with the tagline,
“Innovation and Invention for All”. However,
school teams were given RM50.00 discount.
iCompEx’15 -
24-26 March 2015
The Trials and Tribulations
iCompEx’15 surprised many parties; some of which had reached the writer’s ears and heart:
a) No one expected iCompEx’15 to attract as many as 1,013 applications for Innovation and
Invention for all the 8 categories. The day it exceeded 1,000, the chairwoman contacted me
for advise. I told her to honour our commitment that the on-line application will remain open
until 12.00 noon as per schedule. The fact is, we reserve the right to screen the applications
and finally 935 were shortlisted (92.3%). The relevant committee worked overtime.
b) The budgeting was really challenging. Imagine investing a quarter of a million RM in
iCompEx’15 and the turn out is poor. Forget about the tarnished image and reputation, the
dollars and cents may send the organisers into hiding. In that sense, we have successfully
produced a group of confident entrepreneurs who understand the trade, took the calculated
risks and triumphed at the end of the day. Congratulations.
c) No one forgets Rome as it was big and strong. Equally, no one forgets Pele as he is
arguably the greatest footballer ever lived. Similarly, after the 3rd Edition, the iCompEx’15
has been a successful brandname for innovation and invention gathering. The 1,000 plus
list of participants came from the length and breadth of Malaysia.
d) Look at the statistics. We had 5 giant tents to house all the exhibits which the contractor
took 2 weeks to assemble. Each participant is given a booth, labelled according to serial
numbers and category. The number of participants exceeded 4,000 while the number of
independent jury stood at 300. The electrical power source was secured and there was no
case of glitches and failure. The sound system and DJs were superb. There were enough
number of stalls selling foods and drinks over 3 days. We did not recall any major complain.
e) Imagine the parking needs. Normal classes for the 5,000 students ran as usual. This meant
thousands of vehicles were in campus including the ones belonging to the exhibitors,
presenters, juries, visitors, students and our 600 staff. The RELA group members who were
entrusted to look after parking did a tremendously good job.
iCompEx’15 -
24-26 March 2015
The Big Day
The minute our Director General arrived at POLIMAS on 26 March 2015, he was marvelled at the scale of
iCompEx’15. Our Director briefed him on the facts and figures of the event. He was very keen to tour the
booths. I was honoured to be given the opportunity to accompany our Director General. There was no way to
cover 768 booths within less than 2 hours. However, I noticed that he paid special attention to primary school
teams and innovation on manual steel bar bending invented by POLIMAS students. He was obliged when the
exhibitors asked for group photograph with him. Being a mechanical engineer himself, he asked relevant and
specific questions to the inventors. At times, he suggested improvements as well. Finally, it was time to get
ready for the Closing Ceremony.
The guest of honour for the Closing Ceremony was no other than YAB Dato’ Seri Mukhriz bin Tun Mahathir,
Kedah Chief Minister. Unfortunately, he could not make it in the last minute and was replaced by Sungai
Tiang EXCO member, Datuk Suraya Yaacob (Women’s Development, Community Welfare, Agriculture and
Agro-based Industry and Entrepreneur Development portfolio). She proved to be very energetic with strong
vocal while delivering her speech. There was no way that anyone could fall asleep!
What was the hightlight on the Big Day? iCompEx’15 is listed in The Malaysia Book of Records for
organising the Largest Participant in Innovation and Invention Competition. The record was signed by YAB
Kedah Chief Minister and endorsed by the founder, Tan Sri Datuk Danny Ooi. The certificate was officially
handed over to our director by YB Datuk Suraya Yaacob and witnessed by Datuk Mohlis Jaafar,
representative from the Local Council and iCompEx’15 chairwoman. It is probably the first Malaysia Book of
Record for POLIMAS and it will definitely not be the last one after this event. We are thinking of the possibility
of breaking the record in iCompEx’16.
Each category of the innovations had 3 winners; Gold, Silver and Bronze. With the 8 categories, the total
number of medalists were 24, out of which 6 (or 25%) went to Polytechnic Malaysia students’ projects, as
Smart Rubber Sign Pole
Student Industrial Training Management System
Prepaid Energy Meter KilowattHour (KwH)
Easy Superbike Rear Stand
Anchovies “Dulis” Abstract
Smart Shoes
iCompEx’15 -
24-26 March 2015
The Way Forward
There is no doubt that iCompEx’15 has achieved its objectives. It has become a new brand
name in town. The hardwork by many is very much appreciated. In return, they may be treated
with an excursion trip to somewhere interesting to unwind followed by sumptuous barbeque or
steam boat dinner. There will be those longing for a transfer back to their hometown for
various reasons, after giving their best in iCompEx’15. The 6 million dollar question now is,
what will be our next move ?
a) Everyone agrees that iCompEx would be POLIMAS annual event. Further, the name
iCompEx is legally registered as POLIMAS right. The catchy name is simple yet elegant.
It will give the other organisers a run for their money.
b) To be cost effective, probably our headquarters should sanction that iCompEx becomes
the official annual TVET Innovation and Exhibition in the Northern Region. With the
participation of regional polytechnics, college communities and other TVET providers, the
critical mass number of participants is possible.
c) We should consider smart partnership with Kedah State Government. One is definitely on
financing. An Innovation and Exhibition on technology is comparable to Medical Tourism
as it will attract many interested parties. The State Education Department (JPN) can help
to mobilise school children to open up their mind and inspire them to be innovative and
creative. The state government should consider iCompEx in their Annual Calendar too.
d) Competition always brings out the very best (or the very worst) from people. If we do not
take part in competition, we will never know how we fare with the others. The recent
iCompEx has opened our eyes that we have to strive harder in order to win Coveted
Award. Definitely, we no longer wish to remain as “village champions”. An American Poet,
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) and John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) once said:
“There is no limit to what can be accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your
With Our First
Car, Proton
The Wedding
My Family Life
I have 3 children, the first two are daughters and the third is a son. Someone asked, “Why
only 3?”. I used to joke that if men were to give birth, probably every family will have only one
child. Have you ever been to the labour room at the hospital before? To another friend, I said,
“I hope to leave behind RM3 million so that each one of them will be a millionaire. The
problem is I am still struggling at the very beginning of my first million”. The first two
daughters were born at home; one in Jitra and the other in Kuantan. However, the son was
born in Hospital Kuantan. All of them have short names (5 characters) like my wife and I do:
Diana, Lidia and Fazli.
The first daughter, Diana graduated in Hotel Management and is now working at Top Glove in
Klang and was married to Razif in 2009. They have a son, nicknamed Eki. The second
daughter graduated in Accountancy and works in a private firm in Shah Alam. On 21 March
2015, she married Taqiuddin from Taiping, Perak.
& Neighbours
in Kuantan
Father & His 3
Children On
the Way to
We moved back from Kuantan to Jitra in early 1994 after spending 9 long years at POLISAS.
At the time; Diana, Lidia and Fazli were 10, 6 and ½ years old respectively. We drove back in
a brand new Proton Wira (CAJ7212) after selling off Proton Saga (CAA8800). Diana
continued in Standard 4 at Sekolah Kebangsaan Ahmad Tajudin while Lidia attended a
preschool near our house at Taman Damai Jaya. Since my wife is a fulltime housewife, she
took care all of them including sending and fetching them from schools.
In Kuantan we used to live in Berserah, initially Taman Berserah and later on moved a stone
throw away at Taman Sri Beserah. My wife was close to the land owner and our house was
next to theirs. After finishing primary school both Diana and Lidia joined Sekolah Menengah
Kebangsaan Jitra. Diana did her Diploma in Hotel Management at UiTM (Melaka) and later
on continued her degree in Shah Alam. Lidia joined Matriculation Programme for a year in
Changlun before proceeding to pursue a degree in Accounting at UiTM (Shah Alam). Now,
she has almost completed her ACCA programme. Fazli went to Sekolah Kebangsaan Jitra
and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kamunting. Following his elder sister’s footstep, he
enrolled at UiTM (P.Pinang) for Diploma in Electrical & Electronics before continuing his
degree for similar programme and at the same place.
The Wedding
The Preparation
My friend said, there are 3 special instances in our life, namely:
a) When you were born – everyone is happy while you cry;
b) When you die – some may cry while you just keep quite; and
c) When you get married – everyone including you are happy.
We moved to our new house, a bungalow on a piece of one-acre land in 1997. It is situated
about one kilometre away from my parents’ house. The house is next to BHP Petrol Station,
by the main road, Jitra – Kodiang. Since the compound is big, it can accommodate a few
tents easily. Since this is my second experience to hold the reception, I know exactly what
needs to be done; such as:
a) To engage a professional caterer to provide food and drinks. The caterer will be
responsible to serve the guests by employing a few helpers. Gone are the old days
where the whole villagers would come together to prepare the dishes.
b) To engage a few stall operators serving local delicacies like Laksa, Laichikang, IceCream or Teh Tarik.
c) To engage a professional contractor to supply the tents (including fan, light and
decorated with scarlet), table (with table cloth) and chairs for the guests. The workers
will assemble and disassemble according to the time scheduled.
d) To engage a professional Bridal Consultant to prepare for special dais where the bride
and bridegroom will sit. In Malay custom, both of them are treated as a “one-day-Kingand-Queen”. Their wishes are your commands.
e) To invite all your relatives, friends and colleague. In the old days, you have to see each
and everyone of them in person or alternatively is to appoint your representative to get
the job done. However; in modern time, an invitation card, messages through SMS or
Whatsapp are equally acceptable.
f) To engage a professional photographer to record the event, both in term of still photos
and video clip. As you get older, the album would help to reminisce a few happy
moments in your life.
g) To engage a professional MC to make the day more lively. The MC will welcome your
guests, play some songs over the PA system and make important announcements.
h) You probably also need to repaint the house and fences, cut the grass, trim the trees
and do some chores for the big day.
The Wedding
The Birds Are Leaving the Nest
Sooner or later, the day would come, your children will leave their parents’
house, like you did. They will join their new spouse to start their own family.
Consider yourself lucky if they are still able to visit you once a week. Most
would not be so fortunate. Once all of them are married, you will have to wait
till school holidays before your children and grand-children pay their visit for
a few days. In the mean time, your spouse and you would be all alone, just
when you first got married.
Are you worried about your children when they get married? Of course, you
do. However, you will not interfere in their matters except in ‘life-and-death’
situation or being consulted for opinion. You should allow them to make
mistakes so that they will learn from their experience. As they get older, they
will be more mature and be responsible for all their actions. Quietly, you pray
from a distance that they will be all right.
Time has changed. In the old days, we used to live in the village where we
were surrounded by uncles, aunties and relatives. Now, most of us live in
housing areas (taman) where everyone goes about his/her own business.
Lifestyle has changed. The only meeting place for the residents or friends to
catch up with their neighbours is probably at the mosque, once a week. That
is also done in a rush as Friday is a working day in most states.
As you passed your 55th birthday, you would prefer a quiet place to reflect
the past times. You remember how active you used to be in sports, games,
recreation or pursuing your hobbies and pastimes during your younger days.
You may smile alone as you recount the experience, the journey of your life
from the beginning. You thank God for the blessed life to date. You pray to
God for granting you good health, understanding spouse, successful children
and peaceful life. Life will continue and you accept as a fact of life that one
day your beloved children will fly away to leave their nests and be on their
The Wedding
As Time Passes
It was only like yesterday that you yourself were married. You remember
how you moved out from your parents’ house to start your own family.
For most people, your new working place is far from your own hometown.
At the young age of say mid 20’s, you started to rent a small house to live
with your spouse. Everyday both of you may go to work, to earn a living
to buy food, clothes and other essentials. Every month you try to save
some money until you can afford down payment for your first car/bike and
very much later a house. Along the way, you would welcome new
members to your family, your new offsprings. Remember:
a) You learn to prepare milk for the babies. You would spray a little bit of
milk at the back of your hand to make sure the temperature is right.
You shop around for bargain price as your children will consume
plenty of milk over the years. The same goes for napkins and
disposable diapers.
b) You learn to sacrifice your night sleep when they have fever or cry for
no reason. Sometimes, you might lose your cool but someone would
remind that you were worse off at one time.
c) You always give priority to your children’s needs. They would always
get new clothes for the big day like Hari Raya while you still wear the
d) You would never admit you are in any difficulty when it comes to your
children’s schooling; uniform, bag, fees, books, pocket money,
transportation, etc. As they grow older, the bill gets longer but you
would do your best and learn to hide your tears and fears.
e) You might be half-dead coming back from the work-place due to work
pressure, lion-like boss, traffic jam or poor business but you pretend
everything is all right when you are at home with the children. You
might stay awake late into the night, burning midnight candle to
prepare nasi lemak to supplement your income to make sure the
ends meet. All these and many others are part and parcel of raising
your own family.