Perdana Podcast | Tan Sri Dato' Seri Utama Arsyad Ayub

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Arsyad Ayub

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Arshad Ayub’s involvement in education began in 1965 as the Principal of the MARA College of Business and Professional Studies. In 1967, Maktab MARA was transformed into Institute Technology MARA (ITM) of which Tan Sri Arshad became the First Director, serving with courage and determination from 1965 to 1975. He laid the foundation for Institut Teknologi MARA (now UiTM) and led one of the most successful education initiatives in the country. Apart from that, he has had a distinguished career in the Malaysian Civil Service, serving as Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (1975 - 1977), Deputy Director General in the Economics Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department (1977 - 1978) and as Secretary General in the Ministry of Primary Industries (1978), Ministry of Agriculture (1979 - 1981) and Ministry of Land and Regional Development (1981 - 1983).

Perdana Leadership Foundation spoke to Tan Sri Arshad recently and gleaned some interesting insights about his life and his approach towards education.

1. School Days

Tan Sri Arshad speaks about life as a schoolboy growing up during the Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War II. It was a hard existence struggling just to get enough to eat. He says such harsh conditions made him more understanding of poverty as he knows what it was like to be very poor at one time.

2. Institut Teknologi MARA (ITM)

Tan Sri Arshad talks about the early days of ITM such as when he first got Ealing Technical College in the UK to offer an external diploma programme in collaboration with ITM. He also talks about the progressive achievements of ITM such as offering equal pay for equal work for women. He is also proud of the fact that he had insisted that English be maintained as the medium of instruction.

3. Education

Tan Sri Arshad says that any good education system must take note of the fact that Malaysia is a multiracial country and be aware of the sensitivities of each community. He believes language skills, especially English, are important. He advocates that universities assess students properly in order to counsel them on the right courses to take.