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Wisdom Knows No Age: 79YO Secures PhD in Malay Literature

Wisdom Knows No Age: 79YO Secures PhD in Malay Literature

A father of seven and grandfather to 17, Dr Muharam pursued his PhD from 2015 to 2023.

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Knowledge plays a vital role in life, guiding individuals from an early age with age-appropriate information.

In a remarkable feat, a 79-year-old senior citizen, known as Dr. Muharam Awang, overcame age and health challenges to achieve a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Malay Literature from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Facing blurred vision due to cataracts, Dr Muharam sought assistance from his children to complete his research thesis.

This assistance was sought after receiving guidance from his supervisor, Dr. Zubir Idris, a Senior Lecturer at the Malay Language, Literature, and Culture Studies Center, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM.

“When I was about to complete the thesis, my eyesight blurred, and I couldn’t read. At that time, I had to ask my children to type my research thesis again.

“Last May, I underwent cataract surgery, and Alhamdulillah, my vision improved, and I successfully completed the thesis,” he said, as quoted by Kosmo.

Embarking on his PhD journey from 2015 to 2023, Dr Muharam aimed for personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, overcoming a past feeling of inadequacy during his teaching career.

“I used to teach at primary schools, and at that time, high school teachers were highly regarded. From there, I felt low, and I was also challenged.

“So, I pursued a diploma in 1965 and later a degree at UKM. I once taught at the sixth form level for General Studies before retiring as an educator at the college,” he stated.

His love for knowledge was a driving force, and while the PhD thesis posed challenges, the support of his children, Dr. Zubir, and his wife, Fuziah Md. Taha, proved invaluable.

“The thesis for a PhD is indeed challenging, and initially, I faced many problems, especially with computer skills. Technical matters were difficult for me,” he said.

Dr Muharam was awarded the PhD scroll in Malay Literature during the 51st UKM Convocation Ceremony from 25 to 30 November 2023, where 7,255 graduates were conferred degrees and diplomas.


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