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SEREMBAN, Feb 22 -- Age is no barrier in the pursuit of knowledge. Senior citizen Salman Ahmad is living proof that anyone can do it if they put their heart and soul to it.
Despite being 65 years old, he is determined to sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination for the first time. He is among 645 private candidates, out of the total 16,554 SPM 2020 candidates in Negeri Sembilan who sat for the examination which started today.
Salman, who is also the former deputy director of Tourism Malaysia who retired in 2012 said the decision was made because he wanted to prove to society, especially the young, that age is not a barrier for individuals to acquire knowledge and achieve success.
“I first took the Malaysia Certificate of Education (MCE) examination in 1973, all the subjects were in English, then I continued my studies at the Institut Teknologi MARA in the field of Public Administration. So now I want to take up the challenge of sitting for the SPM as well.
“I also want to set an example and be a motivation to my grandchildren. Age is no barrier to learning, the pursuit of knowledge is a lifelong process,” he told reporters after sitting for the Bahasa Melayu Paper 1 at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan King George V here today.
Salman said the desire to sit for the public examination surfaced last year, but he had to postpone his intention following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commenting further, the Negeri Sembilan native said in preparation he had been buying some revision books since last year and his younger brother who was a teacher guided him, besides also learning online.
“My family gave me a lot of support and encouragement. I am not shy, I am not surprised by what people say. As the saying goes it’s never too old to learn, there is no end to it - from the cradle to the grave,” he said.
In the meantime, the father of two children, said besides taking Bahasa Melayu, he also took two other subjects, namely English and History and intends to take the other subjects next year if he gets an excellent result in the 2020 SPM.
Today, Malaysia made history when 401,105 candidates nationwide sat for the 2020 SPM examination in the new norm, with strict standard operating procedures (SOP), when the country was still battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first day of the exam began with Bahasa Melayu Paper 1 at 8 am and the Bahasa Melayu Paper 2 at 2 pm today with 48,014 exam invigilators assigned to ensure full compliance with SOPs.