As of today, 11 January 2010, I have got just another 105 more days to serve the department. Beginning 16 June I will be on long leave prior to my official retirement on 22 July 2010.
Many people asked me why I choose to retire at 56 whereas I can do so at 58. Some said why not just wait it out till I am 58. A few even asked me why, after being awarded the Dato'ship, I still want to go.
I told them I want to rest. I want to have more time to myself and to my family; more time to do what I like to do, without having to go through all the stresses and strains of being a head department.
"Are you going into business Dato'?"
"No! I'm not."
On my retirement day I would have been working in the department for 29 years 2 months and 5 days, in a variety of positions. I have served under six Director Generals - Thuraisingam, Osman Din, Ahmad Mustaffa Babjee, Nordin Mohd Noor, Hawari Hussein, and Aziz Jamaludin.
I have seen how the poultry industry grows, from a backyard into a vertical integrated industry, with the help of our locally-produced poultry vaccines.
I have seen how a disease nearly wiped out our pig industry and I have been greatly frustrated how someone else found the virus whereas our boys, me including risked our lives in combatting the disease.
I have also seen how deadly H5N1 was, and am so proud of our achievement in confronting the disease head-on and preventing the disease from spreading and finally eradicating it.
All in all, I am satisfied with my achievement so far, though deep inside I would like it very much to continue serving as a pathologist in the laboratory.
Better late than never, I am going into pathology more seriously as soon as I retire. I'm going to teach the budding veterinarians all that I have stored in my grey matter. I want to give them all before senility erases them all from my cerebral cortex.
Writing is another thing I am passionate about that I am going to continue. I hope to finish the three novels that I had started and a few more that is still in my mind.
So please, I will retire but I will not stop working. As long as I could, I will make myself useful and I will improve all that I have been lacking in preparing for that day.