Inspired by Professor Khairuddin Yusof - a Universiti Malaya’s Emeritus Professor who attempted to climb Aconcagua about 25 years ago, Professor Dr. Ghazali Musa, from the Faculty of Business and Accountancy went to Argentina at end of January 2019 to climb the same mountain. On 15 February 2019, after 15 days climbing, he summited Mt. Aconcagua (6962m), the tallest mountain in the continents of America along with his Polish and Russian friends with neither the services of porters nor mountain guides.
“We wanted to be self-sufficient and do everything ourselves,” said Ghazali. He added that Aconcagua is a hard mountain to climb, for its high altitude and unstable weather condition.
“It’s more of my mental strength which dragged me up to the summit, rather than my physical strength,” he confessed.
Ghazali, 52, is no stranger to Universiti Malaya (UM). He spent almost three decades in the University, studying pre-university foundation and medical degree and later working as a medical officer for five years. He left medical profession to pursue his tourism study in New Zealand from 1998 to 2002. In 2004, he returned to UM, and this time at the Faculty of Business and Accountancy. Professor Ghazali is a prolific researcher, promoted quickly to a full professor in 2012. He currently is the most cited tourism professor in the country. In 2017, he received the award of distinguished researcher for social science in UM.
Born in Marang (Terengganu), Professor Ghazali has always been an adventurous person. He has travelled to over 100 countries and took part in many adventurous activities, of which two that he is most passionate about are mountaineering and open water swimming. Climbing Aconcagua is a part of his training plan to climb Mount Everest in 2022. Last year, Professor Ghazali attempted to swim across the 38km Melaka Straits from Rupat Island (Indonesia) to Port Dickson Malaysia. After 13 hours swimming, covering the distance of 31km, he was forced to quit due to heavy storm, 8km before reaching Port Dickson.
“It was an unfinished business and an unfulfilled dream,” uttered Ghazali. His aim is not only to break the Guinness World Record as the oldest swimmer to swim across the straits but also to hold the fastest unofficial current record of 22 hours.
It is Professor Ghazali’s hope to have support the Ministry of Youth and Sports to swim the straits again either this year or next year. The University congratulates Professor Ghazali for his success in summiting Aconcagua recently, and wishes the best for his second attempt to swim across Melaka Straits.