A Tribute to Professor Dato’ Mahmood’s Career

Fondly called as “Mood” by family, close friends and colleagues, Professor  Mahmood  drew his last breath at 5.00 am at Shah Alam General Hospital on 3rd January 2019. He passed away on Thursday at the age of 58 after a battle with blood cancer.

Obituary

By,

Professor Datin Noran Fauziah Yaakub  & Dr. Goh Chee Leong

Professor Dato’ Mahmood Nazar Mohamed

( 2nd September 1960 –  3rd January 2019)

A loving husband and a devoted father, he is survived by wife Professor Sabitha who is an academician at University Malaya and two beautiful daughters – Sabrina and Farah.

 

What people said about him: “I remember him so well. Big, strong and friendly and always with a smile for everyone.” Words from Padmini Pillai, former Assistant Registrar of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) who had known Professor Mahmood since the founding days of the university in the eighties.

“The country has lost a great person who has (made) tremendous contribution to the field of psychology and counseling.” Dr. Zall Kepli, Mahmood’s former Ph.D. student who later became his colleague and friend at Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS).

“His legacy shall remain a legacy to us.” Dr. Isaac Christopher, former Post-Graduate Diploma in Addiction Science (PGDAS) student from Tanzania at CUCMS.

Many of his former students, colleagues and friends were devastated by his demise.  He had touched their lives and hearts in many different ways. I first knew him in 1987 when we were colleagues at the School of Foundation Studies, UUM.

Professor Mahmood is no stranger in the academic world in Malaysia. He started his career as a tutor at the School of Foundation Studies,  UUM at the age of 25.  After obtaining his Masters degree in clinical psychology from Duquesne University,  Pittsburg, Pennsylvania  Mahmood was appointed a lecturer in 1987 at the age of 27. He was a rising star – promoted to deputy dean a year later and then as dean at the age of 29. In 1995, Mahmood obtained his Ph.D in Psychology from the National University of Malaysia.

His other academic management positions included as Director of Research and Consultancy and Deputy Vice chancellor at UUM.

As a true academician, Mahmood carried out research which culminated in different forms of publications locally and internationally. Since 2004, his research area of interest was on substance abuse in which he succeeded in getting research funding from different agencies and ministries.

This research experience was instrumental for Mahmood to be seconded to the Malaysian Anti Drug Agency (MADA) as Deputy Director-General in 2006, a position he held for six years. He also served as the President of Malaysian Substance Abuse Council (MASAC).

After leaving MADA, Mahmood returned to academia as Deputy President of Academic and Student Affairs at CUCMS. It is here that he started the Psychology Program – from Diploma to Doctorate level. He also brought in the Post-Graduate Diploma in Addiction Science (PGDAS) with funding from the Colombo Plan. To date, two cohorts have graduated from this program.

Mahmood’s highest academic position was as President of Asian Metropolitan University (AMU), a position he held till the middle of 2018.

Photo of seven past and present PSIMA Presidents taken in 2017. Professor Mahmood is on the extreme right.

Mahmood also played an instrumental role in the development of Psychology in this country. As the fourth President of the Malaysian Psychological Association (PSIMA) he diligently helped to draft the Psychology Act which is now in its final form and consistently encouraged the discipline to be outward looking and progressive.

He was also one of the founding members of ARUPS (The ASEAN Regional Union of Psychological Science) in 2003 serving as a Charter President representing Malaysia at the first ARUPS council.

He leaves a legacy that will continue to have an impact in this country and this region. May Allah bless his soul and may he be placed among the righteous in heaven.

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