Alright! Alhamdulillah; finally we are DONE with the dreaded session for this whole Master’s Degree programme (lol, is it too far-fetched?)! I just presented the second half of my Project Research (on Chapter 4 and Chapter 5) in front of Fakulti Bahasa Moden & Komunikasi panelists. Three months ago, my coursemates and I presented our first-half parts (Chapter 1 until Chapter 3) on 10th June 2015 (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/my-research-paper-presentation-chapter-1-3-academic-discussion-on-malaysian-moslems-perception-towards-cadburys-image-repair-its-halal-image-faculty-of-modern-language-commun/).
I am the second presenter. But since Abang Zainal, a PJJ student was to present his proposal, I made way for him and served as the 3rd presenter.
Anyway, it was quite a circus for all of us as we were told to expect that the date of the presentation would be on the 15th week circa 21st December 2015. But suddenly on 2nd December 2015; we were told that we were to present the findings as well as the discussion on the 8th and 9th December 2015!! Yes, the gap was only a week!! Anyway, several appeals were done but proved to no avail and we also had to rush our supervisors (For Didi, Yuan and I, having The Dean of The Faculty proved to be a bit hassle as he is very busy man and we had/have to set appointments with him to ‘squeeze / steal time’). Irregardless, what good we get if we remained sulky and complained about it and did nothing, right? In addition, this is the life of Post Graduates and we have to oblige with eleventh-hour setbacks and be on the alert. Therefore, we succumbed and took this as part and parcel of being a student (again!) and decided to do something about it instead of being pompous brats! Hahaha!
My 43-44 slides for presentation!
Anyway, I am quite lucky as now is school holiday and I can concentrate 100% on my Master’s Degree Project Paper. I think it would be quite topsy-turvy if I were to still be working in Serendah and then going back-and-forth to finish the Project Paper as driving from Serendah to UPM consumes 1 hour (1 hour and half if traffic jams). Not to mention to-and-fro!! Time consuming for me and very tiring! Nevertheless whatever it is, it’s God’s plan. They said that “God works in the most mysterious way”, no?
During Ereen’s presentation. We were quite agog when all the heavyweight lecturers such as my supervisor, The Dean of Faculty (Assoc. Professor Dr. Muati @ Zamri), Head of Communication Department (Dr. Hamisah Zaharah) and Professor Edzhar Tamam joined the ensemble of panelists! Eeeekkkss!! Intimidating and scary, right? But honestly I think they have so much insight to share with us and we are to tap their knowledge from this discussion. One side, we did feel intimidated and eerie; but on the other side we felt bewildered and excited with the technical knowledge that they shared with us. Our journeys are still far but not impossible.
Didi and Najmi were slotted on the first day whereas Bad, Ereen, Yuan and I are on this second day. We were told that the venue of presentation was moved to another venue; from Makmal Pidato (Public Speaking Room) to Bilik Sarjana (Post Graduate Room). It was quite a small place so we were duped by that illusion thinking that this session would be a low-key session and nobody would even bother to join in. Good for us for the lesser crowd! In addition, when Bad as the 1st speaker presented her case, only Dr. Akmar and Dr. Rosya were there. OK, half way through suddenly came my supervisor, The Dean of Faculty, Assoc. Prof. Abdul Muati @ Zamri. Bad continued her presentation calmly albeit a bit shaky at first trying to feign her shock that The Dean entered the room. Haha!
Ereen being quizzed by Head of Communication Department, Dr. Hamisah on Tribun Putra, a intra-circulated newspaper within UPM. At the furthest is Dr. Rosya.
OK, I was supposed to be the 2nd presenter but Abang Zainal who was under Prof Edzhar was slotted to present his first half of the chapter; proposal Chapter 1-3 (we are sort of like his seniors). So, Abang Zainal presented his slides and came Prof Edzhar. So, I was the 3rd presenter. Half way through while feigning confidence (of course we have to fake our confidence! Hahaha!) and presented my data; my supervisor Assoc. Prof. Muati went out. So, I was to defend myself alone during Question and Answer session! Hahaha! During Ereen’s (4th presenter) and Yuan’s (5th presenter) presentation, suddenly the Head of Communication Department, Dr. Hamisah came in! And not to mention quite a number of audience witnessing the session. So altogether – we had 6 panelists and audience cramped in the small room! Hahaha! Intimidating!
Professor Edzhar Tamam was seen quizzing Yoko Yuan on her findings. Yoko did a topic involving public perception (if I am not mistaken) on MAS rebranding – before and after. For the first stage, she also experienced the same dilemma like me – she did quantitative and our Supervisor said there were no variables (IV, DV) because this was exploratory research (same like me!). Nevertheless, Yoko wanted to play safe and did not want to stir panelists’ antagonistic remarks. Therefore, she changed her topic slightly and inserted inferential statistics by doing correlation. I, on the other hand; remained steadfast with what my Supervisor said.
Anyway; back to my presentation. As per countless of tete-a-tete and discussions with my supervisor, I have presented a bit of my methodology, findings, discussion and conclusion. OK, let me give a brief skeleton of my Project Paper :-
- Title : “Malaysian Moslems’ Perception Towards Cadbury’s Image Repair & Its Halal Image.”
- Research Objectives : 1) To determine Malaysian Moslems’ level of awareness towards Cadbury’s image repair and its Halal image ; 2) To determine which sector/ group of Malaysian Moslems’ customer that is mostly influenced by Cadbury’s image repair and its Halal image ; 3) To determine Malaysian Moslems’ perception towards Cadbury’s image repair and its Halal image.
- Literature Review : Used “Benoit’s Image Restoration Theory”.
- Methodology : Non-Probability sampling which was Purposive Sampling.
- Respondents : Pupils and staffs/teachers of SK Serendah, Hulu Selangor.
- Instrument : Questionnaires with 5 sections – adopt and adapt.
- Findings : 1) Malaysian Moslems’ level of awareness is MODERATE; 2) Age is not the factor that influence Malaysian Moslems’ receptiveness towards Cadbury’s image repair and its Halal image due to non-significance in t-test ; 3) Malaysian Moslems’ perception is positive towards Cadbury’s image repair and its Halal image (69.6%).
Yoko and Abang Zainal nervously feigning smiles while waiting for turn. Hahaha!
As you can see, I have aligned my findings with my research objectives. And these are the discussions I’ve extracted from my write-up and presentation. As for the 1st one; why Malaysian Moslems’ level of awareness is moderate :-
- Islamic conservatism : After the demise of Islamic Hadhari in 2009 (introduced in the premiership of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), various reports show that Islamic conservatism is blossoming in Malaysia as the increasing of moral policing, etc. On top of that, Malaysian Moslems’ refuse to be seen as to compromise with elements of Syubhah (raising ambiguities) as that led to stigma of apostasy ;
- Situational Threat Spillover : a psychological concept where people with certain stigma tagged upon them will react as per the label put against them. Malaysian Moslems’ are expected to boycott/ shun syubhah products and they tend to react that way spontaneously.
After the premiership of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, “Islam Hadhari” died and Islamic conservatism seemed to arisen, beginning late 2009. I actually quoted this from a scholar’s paper entitled “Islamic Conservatism & The Demise of Islam Hadhari in Malaysia” by Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid & Muhammad Takiyuddin Ismail (2014). You guys can read the article here for your own mind enrichment! Click at http://www.academia.edu/2258796/Islamic_Conservatism_and_The_Demise_of_Islam_Hadhari_in_Malaysia.
For 2nd finding, age is not the factor that influence Malaysian Moslems’ receptiveness as no significance in mean as well as the p-value; there were two factors proposed for upcoming studies :-
- Sex : As females love chocolate and various scientific experiments proved that females crave chocolates greater during their menstrual cycles, etc (too long to detail) ;
- Respondents’ religiosity : Most Moslems are devoted and kowtow to the prohibition of non-Halal food consumption.
Females love chocolate so much!
For 3rd finding, why Malaysian Moslems’ perception towards Cadbury’s image repair and its Halal image is positive (but children demonstrated slightly lower than adults) :-
- Serendah (the research location) is a hybrid of both traditional and modern lifestyle suburbia (PERODUA headquarters, location for international property development & not far from Rawang, a town in Greater KL) – geographical factor; therefore some professional workers exhibited open-mindedness ;
- Cadbury’s clean past track record for 40 years in Malaysia & utilization of whole ensemble of Integrated Marketing Communication tools;
- Assimilation of Westernization / globalization culture into Malaysian Moslems.
- Kids demonstrated slightly lower positive perception due to Premature cognitive aspect as per Piaget’s Learning Theory (they absorb but they are yet to interpret diligently). Islamophobic events also added the apprehensiveness of children towards westernized products.
PERODUA Headquaters at Sungai Choh, Serendah! One of the factors why Serendah is a hybrid suburbia.
I also prepared slides for Implication and Recommendation but my supervisor asked me to put them on hold and reserve that. I was to only show to panels if they inquired. Nevertheless, they did not asked. OK, now I have already enlisted the skeleton of my research, these were the feedback given to the panelists to me & the answers that I obtained from my supervisor after the presentation :-
- Where are my Independent and Dependent variables? I claimed to use quantitative but no variables? – As per my presentation 3 months ago and repeated inquiries towards my supervisor, he said there are no variables needed since I am not studying causal relationships (as this was just Descriptive Research; REFER to my blog at https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/my-supervisor-i-against-the-world-questions-on-variables-of-quantitative-research-a-descriptive-research-design/) BUT all the panelists disagree with that, noting that when I use questionnaire, I must have variables which are the elements confined in my questionnaire. I argued this point because I’ve read that “no variables are being manipulated in Descriptive Research” and I am not studying causal relationships; just to DESCRIBE the phenomenon – nonetheless the panelists still adamantly disagree. When I revert this to my supervisor, he said – JUST IGNORE ;
- I should not put “Malaysian” in my title and “Halal image” as well as “Cadbury’s image” are two different entities? That means I am studying two aspects? – My supervisor said it doesn’t make sense. We have to put Malaysian as to enunciate the respondents’ whereabouts and also to solely put ‘Halal image’ does not make any sense. Hence, – JUST IGNORE ;
- I have to show each percentage for each of the 36 questions I put in the questionnaire to reflect the receptiveness or the so-called to prove my claims of the “positive and negative perceptions”. In short, they wanted me to enlist the respondents’ reactions towards every 36 items in the questionnaire – My supervisor said no point because I already had the whole percentage for each section. Hence, – JUST IGNORE ;
- I cannot use the word “Positive Perception” in the conclusion because it reflects correlation and I merely dwell in Descriptive Statistics! – My supervisor said this is just a trivial case of terminology. Hence, – JUST IGNORE ;
- I didn’t have to waste my time finding the receptiveness of Malaysian Moslems’ customers towards the advertisement via Benoit’s Image Restoration Theory (Mortification & Corrective Action) because it is not IN MY RESEARCH OBJECTIVE. I had my reason because that will support my discussion part but one of the panelists refuse to hear – although the advertisement “Cuba Teka Apa Yang Abah Bawa Pulang” uses bolstering instead of mortification and corrective action, Malaysian Moslems still perceive it as effective due to ensemble of integrated marketing communication. The panelists said WASTE OF TIME. My supervisor agreed with me that it is essential in my discussion. Hence he said – CARRY ON.
Benoit’s Image Restoration Theory.
On whole, my supervisor agreed that I am in the right path as per his visions although there were a few comments made by the panelists. So now, all of us have been given 24 days to complete our final write-up. So I guess I want to share my Implication and Recommendation for this research. As for Implication, my supervisor had asked me to see it from 3 angles which are from Theoretical, Practical and Methodological. As for the recommendation, I have suggested that in order to improve the Malaysian Moslems’ moderate level of awareness, Cadbury should use Islamic media channels to reach the wider spectrum of Malaysian Moslems :-
- IKIM.fm – radio channel ;
- or TV stations like Al-Hijrah/ASTRO Oasis ;
- or magazines like Solusi and Anis
For the second Research Objective where sex and respondents’ religiosity could be the factors to influence Malaysian Moslems’ receptiveness, I have suggested that Cadbury does joint venture with :-
- A handsome debonair Malay actor ; or; renowned Hijabi/shawl labels such as Fareeda, Aidijuma or Ariani to tackle their female Malaysian Moslem customers ; and
- Cadbury could cooperate with JAKIM to sponsor events such as International or National Al-Quran Recital Competitions to tackle their religious respondents.
Even my female teacher-colleagues are experiencing the veil/shawl revolution. As a male, I observe this though I am not interested. For me, they all look the same. Huhuhu. Sorry. But you know what they said – this industry is a cashcow for the Hijab entrepreneurs!
For the third Objective on why children seemed to demonstrate lesser positive perception in comparison to their adults counterparts, I’ve enlisted :-
- Usage of Westernization element like English Literature and Hollywood film. So happened that Roald Dahl’s “Charlie & Chocolate Factory” is incorporated within Malaysian pupils’ Year 5 syllabus as Literature Component (Hahhaaa, that’s the perks of being a primary school teacher. Check the entry on my lesson on this Literature Component at https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/5th-observation-by-english-sisc-officer-of-hulu-selangor-5-mentari-sk-serendah-2015-the-language-art-fun-with-willy-wonka-stick-marionette-roald-dahls-1964-classic-charlie-the-choco/) and also a film starring Johnny Depp!
- Therefore I suggested Cadbury implemented the same technique like Willy Wonka – inserted golden tickets inside chocolate bars and invite kids who obtained the tickets into their factories! Amazing, isn’t it? Hahaha!
Perhaps Cadbury Malaysia can adapt this for Malaysian Moslems’ children in Serendah by having golden ticket and a visit to factory. Of course since a Descriptive Research (like mine) meant as a precursor for upcoming studies and also to merely describe this phenomenon at the early stage, the result CANNOT be generalized. Hence, it is merely restricted for population in Serendah and Halal polemics on Cadbury.
Once a while. It is not everyday that I wear professional attire. A far cry from my usual “selekeh” self with t-shirt, track bottom and flip-flops. That’s just me. My style. And I am kinda proud of that simplicity. No faking whatsoever. Haha!
On whole of course personally, I feel that this session was also a valuable experience because I’ve got feedback from these educators who are well-versed in the research methodologies. I appreciated their constructive feedback especially to Dr. Akmar who genuinely wanted to help me finding solution that could alleviate the curiosity of the panelists. I am quite touched by her approach and that she highlighted what she felt isn’t right and suggested alternatives to me. That was all for the betterment of my research and for the long run, my own knowledge if I really want to pursue PhD in Communication line. After all, these are all professional and academic discussions to improve myself, no? Amin!
The only ‘acceptable’ pose of my picture during the presentation. Thanks Bad for the picture (Hahhaa! Like usual, I badgered my coursemates for the pictures for my own blogging memorabilia). Professor Edzhar was jotting something before he GRILLED me! Hahahaha!