Age is no barrier in the pursuit of knowledge, and senior citizen Salman Ahmad is living proof that anyone can learn if they put their heart and soul into it.
Despite being 65 years old, Salman is determined to sit the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination for the first time. He is among 645 private SPM candidates, out of 16,554, in Negri Sembilan who sat the exam today.
Salman, a former Tourism Malaysia deputy director who retired in 2012, said he wants to prove to society, especially youth, that age is not a barrier for individuals to acquire knowledge and achieve success.
“I first sat the Malaysian Certificate of Education examination in 1973, all the subjects were in English. Then, I continued my studies at the Mara Institute of Technology in the field of public administration. Now, I want to take up the challenge of sitting the SPM.
“I 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 said after sitting the English Paper 1 at SMK King George V here today.
Salman said the desire to sit the major public exam surfaced last year, but he had to postpone his intention due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Negri Sembilan native said as preparation, he bought revision books, joined online classes and had his younger brother, who is a teacher, guide him.
“My family has encouraged and supported me a lot. I am not shy or surprised by what people say. As the saying goes, it’s never too old to learn. There is no end to it (learning), from the cradle to the grave.”
The father-of-two said besides Bahasa Malaysia, he will also be taking two other subjects – namely English and History – and intends to take other subjects next year if he passes SPM 2020 with flying colours.
Malaysia made history today when 401,105 SPM candidates nationwide sat the examination in the new norm, with strict standard operating procedures, while the country is still battling the Covid-19 pandemic.