"My desire to succeed in the business world inspired me to pursue my studies at OUM. It has helped build the career that I have now."

By Izyan Diyana Merzuki (

This 34-year-old was never interested in numbers, yet he managed to graduate as a top scorer in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programme.

Sashi Kumar Murugaya, who graduated in 2017, went the extra mile to score well in courses he found challenging, especially Mathematics for Business, Accounting, and Financial Management.

"I managed to score an A in the first mathematics course and that gave me the confidence to pull through. I majored in Finance and did very well in my Financial Management subjects, even Islamic Finance. I still wonder how I managed to do it!" shares Sashi.

The third of four siblings, he was born in Bentong, Pahang, and lived in a small town called Karak until the age of 12 before moving to Kuala Lumpur. His lifelong dream of becoming a graduate was almost forgotten when personal troubles got in the way but he bounced back and graduated with flying colours.

"I always wanted to study something business-related, which I believe will provide me with relevant knowledge and skills to be a competent employee in any industry that I choose. My desire to succeed in the business world inspired me to pursue my studies at OUM. It has helped build the career that I have now."

Sashi has come a long way and now works as a financial services consultant at a leading insurance company. "Life has been great so far as I'm doing what I love. But I am still a student: I am currently in my second year of a law programme at a UK-based online university."

His passion for learning keeps him motivated and he is determined to earn this second degree just as successfully as he did the first time.

"Law is actually a very versatile discipline. I can apply the knowledge into almost every aspect of my life, be it professional or personal. And this dream is also extra special as my mother always wanted me to be a law graduate," Sashi explains.

Sashi says he would never have succeeded without the help and encouragement of his family and friends. "They have been my biggest support system and voice of reason ever since."

Though busy with career and part-time studies, Sashi still spends quality time at home with his family, especially his cute little nephew.

"I'm also looking forward to owning a motorcycle real soon and spending my free time riding anywhere I want to go," says Sashi.


By Izyan Diyana Merzuki (

Faizulniza Mazly Zulkifli, also known under his pen name, "Ijoi", is a cartoonist who has published his own comic book and numerous cartoons for local humour magazines, newspapers and websites.

He has been passionate about drawing cartoons since his teenage years. After completing secondary school, he tried his luck by sending his artwork to Gila-Gila, Malaysia's highest-rated humour magazine at the time. As a result, he was called to attend a workshop conducted by the late Rejabhad, dubbed the King of Malaysian cartoons. "It was with his help and guidance that I managed to get my very own workpublished in Harian Metro back in 1994," he shares proudly.

Ijoi completed the Bachelor of Multimedia Communication programme in 2009, then under the Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication, majoring in animation. While he was still a learner, he was given the opportunity to publish his artwork in Learner Connexions, which was previously an online bulletin for learners.

"In 2007, Sayembara Kartun was born. It was later renamed IjoiCartoon and is the first web comic blog in Malaysia. I used it as a platform to put together cartoons, caricatures, sketches and other kinds of artwork.The blog has received hits not only from locals but also visitors from the United States, Russia and France, just to name a few," he adds.

Sayembara Kartun was published as an e-book in 2011 and was well received by local comic fans. Ijoi then collaborated with popular motivational speaker, Prof Dr Azahari Othman, also known as Dr LUV, to publish Sekilas Kehidupan, a special motivational book with his illustrations.

"The book was launched by our most celebrated cartoonist, Lat (Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid). That was very memorable for me," shares Ijoi.

Besides managing his own graphic design and printing services company, this father of four is also a coach for RTP Soccer Academy in Cheras. "The soccer academy is especially for kids, so I have my sons train there too. Though I'm busy with business and football coaching, spending quality time with my wife and children remains a priority."

At 46, this talented cartoonist has accomplished a lot. He also has 20 years of experience in graphic design. He was appointed as the Graphic Director for a theatre called Sri Mersing and Art Director for Persatuan Pencinta Seni dan Muzik Malaysia.

However, there is still one particular ambition he has yet to achieve.

"I specialised in animation and I am currently applying all the knowledge that I have gained in publishing an animated series. The animation project is well under way. Slowly but surely, I will get there!"


By Tengku Amina Munira (

What luck! A Nigerian prince needs help transferring millions out of his country and will pay you a hefty sum if you help him out.

Anyone with an email account will surely have come across this message, and hopefully most of us have just laughed it off. But the dangers of scams are no joke. Numerous headlines in recent months have told the story of people surrendering their hard-earned ringgits to scammers. Four separate cases between April and June this year reported how four unfortunate Malaysians lost a cumulative RM2.47 million to Macau scams. Many others have lost smaller, but no less gut-wrenching, amounts.

And before anyone claims that only the uneducated and gullible would fall for such trickery, such reports prove this isn't so. Professionals and blue-collar workers alike are all potential victims of scam artists.

So what is a Macau scam? And on that same note, what other scams are common in Malaysia?

A Macau scam is a form of telecommunications fraud. According to the Royal Malaysian Police, there are four types of Macau scams in this country. In all of them, victims receive a fake telephone call that leads them to willingly transfer money and valuables to scam artists, either as payment, ransom or for safekeeping.

There are other kinds too, including phishing for personal information, investment scams in which victims are promised untold profits if they invest in a business venture, pension scams in which scammers pretend to assist in withdrawing victims' life savings, and perhaps the most sordid kind, love scams, in which lonely, middle-aged women are deceived by so-called lovers to part with their precious cash.

According to Dr Zahir Osman, Programme Director for the Master of Business Administration (MBA), scams happen because greedy and unscrupulous parties are taking advantage of those who lack financial awareness.

Dr Zahir adds, "Some people are easily fooled into believing all kinds of sweet promises made by scam artists. Some are also too trusting when they disclose personal information, such as their identity card and telephone numbers, as well as addresses and passwords."

So what should we do? Dr Zahir says that educating oneself is essential.

"Be careful and alert. Don't be too quick to believe fantastic offers," he advises. "Also, don't give out personal and confidential information to unidentified or dubious parties. Change your passwords regularly and delete all suspicious emails."

"People should know that financial awareness is important. Through some basic financial management knowledge, one can make decisions rationally and make sure that all money matters are carefully managed to avoid unnecessary loss."

Those who want to beef up their financial knowledge should consider signing up for the MBA.

"The MBA includes courses such as Bank Management and Financial Management that deal with fraud issues, such as through Internet banking, credit card use and online scams. These courses are meant to promote financial literacy and educate learners on the dangers of scams," Dr Zahir says. "Hopefully, this knowledge can be passed on to friends and families so this threat can be stopped."


"My motivation is that I need academic qualifications in order to share my knowledge with others."

By Dr Zabedah Othman

Dr Zabedah Othman, 58, was one of two PhD (Business Administration) graduates at the 22nd Convocation held on 22 to 23 September 2018. As the graduate representative at the ceremony, she also had the opportunity to address the audience on that very special day.

The following is an excerpt of Dr Zabedah's inspirational speech.

"You might be wondering why an old lady like me wanted to go back to university, pressure myself to study, do assignments and conduct research for the sake of holding a scroll.

Please allow me to share my lifelong learning journey with you. I started as an accounts executive after obtaining a diploma. I worked in the financial sector for 10 years. Even though I held a senior position, I felt that I needed to upgrade my academic qualifications.

Ten years after obtaining the diploma, and despite facing financial difficulties, I was able to complete my degree and secure a better position. I gained experience in the whole spectrum of human resource (HR) functions.

Then when I was having my fourth child, I had a difficult pregnancy. I resigned and became a full-time housewife, taking care of five children for more than ten years. My sons said to me, you have a lot of HR knowledge, why don't you share it with others? However, in order to share my knowledge, I needed a higher academic qualification. The best way was to equip myself with a master's degree.

So at the age of 48, I decided to enrol in a master’s programme. I was thinking about my future and didn’t want to remain a full-time housewife till I died.

So, much to my husband’s surprise, I took the KTM train to the Kuala Lumpur Learning Centre with two of my children and enrolled in the Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM) programme.

I was in the pioneer batch for MHRM in January 2009 and graduated in 2011.

When a course mate decided to enrol in the PhD (Business Administration) programme, I decided to follow his lead. I am sure there are others like us who took a similar decision, to continue studying at this university for the second time.

My course mate and I enrolled together and started our doctoral seminars even before we had our master’s convocation. Now, after 7.5 years, I have obtained my PhD. In total, I spent 10 years studying at OUM.

I was so committed towards finishing my PhD that I decided not to work until I graduated. My motivation is that I need academic qualifications in order to share my knowledge with others. During those 10 years of studying, I attended fewer weddings, gatherings, birthday parties, outings and Hari Raya open houses. I was focused on completing my research and taking care of my family.

I am grateful to Allah that I was able to do that with the help of OUM staff, right from the time of my master’s until my PhD.

I hope my story will inspire other graduates to also continue studying at this university. OUM's flexible learning mode, combined with its physical and online accessibility, make it the ideal university for working adults."


"Look for ways to make your money work for you."

By Azeezah Jameelah Mohamed Mohideen (

Have you ever wondered what your retirement would be like? Would you be living as you do now or doing things you have been putting aside such as going on overseas vacations? If you are living from salary to salary, you cannot retire comfortably. So, instead of spending all your wages or even just keeping it in a bank account, you need to put some in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, property or other forms of investments. You need to become an investor.

But first, you need to think like an investor. Here are some tips how you can do that:

Be Focused and Disciplined
- Set a clear goal, such as "I must have X amount of RM by the year 20 _ _", focus on it and pursue it without getting side-tracked by other matters. If you know you need to set aside RM200 a month, focus on that. Cut expenses or, better yet, look for ways to increase your income so that you have extra cash. It’s not always fun, but it pays to stick with it.

Educate Your Mind
- Read up as much as possible about investing. If you don’t like to read books, try blogs, Facebook pages and websites. A few hours of reading each week is enough. Better still, learn anytime anywhere, so that you can add to your arsenal of practical and valuable strategies and techniques.

Get Rid of the Consumer Mindset
- Stop constantly thinking of the next big purchase. Research has shown that owning bigger and better things won't make you happier. It will for a little while but that’s all. Look for ways to make your money work for you. It doesn’t always mean getting the cheapest thing, as it is more about the best value. Spending wisely can help you keep more of your money for making investments.

Be Willing to Make Wise Investments
- It takes money to make money. Learn about the power of compound interest and how to make wise investments. Investigate investment options until you are satisfied they won’t land you in a financial ditch. Then, make the leap. Sometimes we worry that we will fail if we do something. Investing requires us to take risks. If you do it with much thought and care, the risk could turn into opportunity.

Keep Things in Perspective
- Money is a tool to help you accomplish certain things, which in this case is to enjoy your twilight years. It would be good to invest as much as you can afford to so that you can reach your ideal retirement figure by the time you clock out for the last time. However, you must not get so carried away with investing that you refuse to spend money on the little things in life that bring joy. There is more to life than just amassing wealth. Sometimes you need to spend time with your family and friends, eat good food and relax a little.

Hope these tips help you on your way to become a successful investor!