Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MENJADI SEORANG PERDANA MENTERI

THE LAUNCHING OF DR. MAHATHIR ENCYCLOPAEDIA

Pada malam 21hb September, 2003 Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, yang pada waktu itu masih bergelaDato' Seri yang berjawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, telah hadir di Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia untuk melancarkan Ensiklopaedia Dr. Mahathir yang diterbitkan oleh sebuah syarikat di Kahirah, Mesir. Di bawah ini diturunkan ucapan aluan yang telah saya sampaikan pada malam itu yang menyentuh sedikit sebanyak mengenai empat Perdana Menteri sehingga hari itu. Ikutilah ucapan yang saya sampaikan di dalam bahasa Inggeris. Ucapan ini mungkin relevan untuk semua ahli-ahli politik baik yang muda atau pun yang sudah dewasa atau lama.

YAB Dato' Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi,
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Y. A. B. Menteri Besar Pahang,
Y. B. Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri,
Y. B. Timbalan-Timbalan Menteri,
Setiausaha-Setiausaha Parlimen,
Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat,
Honourable Rector,
The Administrative and Academic Staff of the University,
Dr. Hassan El-Zein, The Publisher of the Encyclopaedia,
Honour Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) - The Place of Launching.

Tonight is a historic night. I welcome all of you to this event.

The international Islamic University Malaysia is honoured to be chosen by the Prime Minister's Department to host the launching of the Encyclopedia of Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad.

Many personalities, from all over the the world, have been proposed to do the launching. For that honour, we chose Y. A. B. Dato' Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi who has been chosen by the Prime Minister as his successor.

Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) - Venue for Launching

There was also a request to shift the venue for this event to the Putra World Trade Centre, whih is considered to be the most eventful place in the nation and for Dr. Mahathir during his tenure as President of Univeted Malaysia National Organization ( UMNO ), Chairman of Barisan National and the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

I resisted this proposal. I have great respect and fond memories for PWTC myself, where great events have taken place, tears have been shed, sorrows expressed, interspersed with gigles and laughter. In that great Merdeka Hall, national leaders, budding leaders, and leaders of the world have gathered, expressing their hopes, lamenting on the sufferings of their people and delivering their historical remarks and speeches.

But Dr. Mahathir performed his last act as the UMNO President in that hall, maybe his last act as Prime Minister if no other event involving him takes place in that hall before 31st October, 2003.

The PWTC is now entrusted by Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir to Dato' Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi.

Moving Into Global Arena

Mahathir is moving into the Global arena, particularly the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). This IIUM's hall is therefore his new arena, his place, as the International Islamic University is an OIC sponsored institution, funded and managed by Malaysia, the building of which started during Dr. Mahathir's leadership.

My commentaries tonight are based on what I have learnt after 47 years of knowing, observing, learning and understanding Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad. Please bear wih me.

The Successor

I have learnt somewhere that a leader leaves the stage of leadership as a hero or a villain depending on who his successor is, should he die or be assassinated in office, or who oversees his burial.

But Mahathir is succeeded by a friend, by a friend who is a friend of his father, a friend of his many friends, a friend who will not forget him after his departure.

( Ramalan dalam para yang berwarna merah ini ternyata salah - Sanusi )
Ambition

Many students of politics and teachers of political science think that they can do better and be better speakers and orators, if they are Members of Parliament.

Members of Parliament think, on the other hand, that they should become Parliamentary Secretaries in order to show their prowess, by bullying the opposition, when they could, during question time.

Parliamentary Secretaries wonder why the Prime Minister makes the grievous mistake of overlooking them each time there is a promotion exercise.

Deputy Ministers wonder whether they should succeed as Ministers or change ministries when the promotion comes, and probably wait for the Prime Minister to go and hope that the new Prime Minister will not be so 'ignorant' as to not give them the chance.

In all the graveyards of history and prisons of the world, there is no lack of ambitious politicians who think they should be Prime Ministers. Even heads of opposition parties cannot be barred from the dream and imagination of occupying the seat of power.

Islam as a Revealed Religion.

But this university is a different place, a different theater and a different arena.

This is a place where we accept Islam, as a religion from Allah s.w.t., as a revelation and not just a subject for intellectual rivalries or for orientalists.

We also believe that there is a divine role in the choice of leaderships.

Dato' Onn Jaafar

Had men had their ways, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia would have been Dato' Onn Jaafar as he was the founder of UMNO.

He certainly would like to have been the Prime Minister of Independent Malaya but he was not. It was not in the divine plan that he would be one.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj.

Tunku Abdul Rahman was an unassuming happy go lucky man, who was persuaded by Tun Abdul Razak and friends to accept the leadership of UMNO and to eventually become Prime Minister of Malaysia.

He needed persuasion to accept the post.

Tunku was not known to be a very brilliant man but he turned out to be a brilliant Prime Minister and the founding father of Malaysia.

The Tunku lived much longer after his retirement and he would not have retired, as he was happy in his job, and even called himself as the happiest Prime Minister in the world. How could he depart from such happiness?

His many friends would not let him go.

Although Tunku was very proud of the racial harmony formula that he germinated, it was the racial riot, not harmony, of 13th May, 1969 which put him out of office.

Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

In actuality, it was not because of the tragedy of 13th May that Tunku had to resign. It was a divine will. Simply, it was Tun Abdul Razak's turn.

Tun Abdul Razak appointed Tun Dr. Ismail to be his deputy. Many at that time thought it was a risky move as Tun Dr. Ismail had challenged him once for the deputy presidency of UMNO. But Tun Ismail did not challenge Tun Abdul Razak when he became Tun Abdul Razak's deputy.

Tun Ismail was respectful of Tun Abdul Razak to whom he owed his appointment. He was given the Home Ministry portfolio which carried a heavy responsibility but lacking in popularity. You can only award places or projects related to guns and bullets, prisons and gallows, to your supporters. Tun Dr. Ismail died in office.

Tun Hussein Onn.

Tun Abdul Razak then chose Tun Hussein as his deputy. Being older than Tun Abdul Razak and married to the elder sister of Tun Abdul Razak's wife, Tun Hussein was expected to retire before Tun Abdul Razak. But Tun Abdul Razak knew better, as he kept to himself his suffering of a fatal disease. Tun Abdul Razak wanted Tun Hussein to succeed him.

Since Tun Dr. Ismail was not on the divine list to be a Prime Minister, he died before the sickly Tun Abdul Razak. Tun Hussein was on the divine list to be a Prime Minister. So Tun Abdul Razak passed away. It was not Tun Abdul Razak's plan, it was divine.

It was then Tun Hussein's turn to choose a Deputy Prime Minister. There were three candidates, from among three Vice Presidents of UMNO, on the list. The most popular, with the highest vote, was Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. The oldest and the second most popular was Tun Ghafar Baba, the third choice was Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

It was easy to understand Tun Husseins's rejection of Tun Ghafar if we remember that Tun Ghafar was one of the prominent opponents to Tun Husseins's father Dato' Onn Jaafar, in the UMNO crisis of 1951. Tun Hussein's memory of his father's grief was a disadvantage to Tun Ghafar.

I could not think of why Tengku Razaleigh was not chosen except that Tengku Razaleigh was a bachelor and I don't think Tun Hussein would feel comfortable having a very able bachelor around his office when he had two beautiful, unmarried daughters.

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

Tun Hussein chose Dr. Mahathir, with Dr. Siti Hasmah tailing behind. He liked this charming couple. He knew that a good leader needs a good and supportive wife and Datin Seri Dr. Siti Hasmah is such a wife.

While you might love and admire Dr. Mahathir for his achievements, you must not forget that Dr. Mahathir was Tun Hussein's best decision or best project as a Prime Minister.

Tun Hussein would have been Prime Minister for much longer had it not been for his cardiac surgery. As a cardiac patient myself, I was informed during the second, third or fourth month after a surgery, a cardiac patient is bound to be emotionally unstable. It would be the wrong time to decide on a divorce, to sell a property or to resign from a post, whatever the problems faced during that period. It was a divine wish that Tun Hussein resigned during this recuperation period, giving way to Dr. Mahathir.

Mahathir's Deputies

Dr. Mahathir had many deputies.

With Dr. Mahathir's help, Tan Sri Musa Hitam defeated Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in a contest for the post of Deputy President of UMNO , thereby becoming Deputy Prime Minister. Tan Sri Musa would have been Prime Minister had he not felt uncomfortable winning his post with Dr. Mahathir's help, had he been patient and waited longer. But Tan Sri Musa was also suspicious that Dr. Mahathir was grooming Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Tan Sri Musa miscalculated, resigned and opposed Dr. Mahathir.

When Tan Sri Musa stepped down, Dr. Mahathir picked Tun Ghafar to succeed Tan Sri Musa.

But Tun Ghafar, as Tan Sri Musa, was not divinely destined to be the future Prime Minister. Tun Ghafar was defeated by Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar - Abdullah

Had Tan Sri Musa ascended to the post of Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Bahawi would have been his deputy. They were very close friends.

Had Dato' Seri Anwar become a Prime Minister then Dao' Seri Abdullah would have been sent as permanent ambassador to one of the states in Africa or the Middle East, as both are from the same state and could not be a deputy to one another, especially when Dato' Seri Abdullah is also much older than Dato' Seri Anwar.

My grandfather used to remind me not to stand in the way, or the path, of any man who is divinely destined for greater things.

Being a Foreign Minister when Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim was in crisis, Dato' Seri Abdullah was away when everything happened.

Mahathir, Abdullah And Anwar

Dato' Seri Abdullah is therefore untainted and one cannot see, the mark of his palm, the bruises, and the dent of his finger in the wounds of the man who owed so much to Dr. Mahathir and from whom Dr. Mahathir suffered so many bruises and tormenting hidden wounds.

It is obvious that in the divine list of names of Prime Ministers of Malaysia, up till now, no other name appears near the horizeon except for Dato' Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Bahawi.

Dato' Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi

Dato' Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi is therefore the right choice to launch the Encyclopaedia of Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad. As I said earlier, Dato' Seri Abdullah is Dr. Mahathir's chosen successor.

Malaysia and Palestine

Malaysia and Palestine were two nations colonized by the British. Both wanted independence after the Second World War. Just as the Jew of Europe settled in Palestine after the Second World War, the Chinese and Indian immigrants migrated to Malaysia before and after the First and The Second World Wars.

Some ran away from the sufferings in their own land, others were brought to serve their colonial masters, while still others came for new opportunities.

The natives of Palestine and Malaysia were frightened of the immigrants, for if there were too many of them, they might have political agendas to dominate the land. As such, the move towards independence accelerated.

The Palestinian leaders made a mistake that Malaysian leaders managed to overcome. The Palestinians rejected any idea of accepting the Jews as citizens, until the Jews were strong enough to reject the Palestinians from becoming citizens of their own land. But Malaysia willingly recognized the benefits of having, and accepting, all immigrants as citizens by stages, so long as the natives or Bumiputeras are in the majority.

Politics Of Gratification, Worry And Fear

There was a time in Malaysia's post independent history when the Malays and later the Bumiputeras, the Chinese and the Indians were living in gratification, worry and fear, and all politics were geared towards highlighting the gratification, reducing the worries and eliminating the fears.

The Malays were gratified with their domination and predominance in occupying political positions in the government, worried about their progress in the economy and afraid of losing political power before progressing satisfactorily in the economic fields.

The Chinese were gratified with their economic dominance, worried of the erosion in their political stature due to infighting and afraid of the Bumiputera's progress in the corporate sector with the fear that the Bumiputeras 's shares might encroach on their dominant percentage.

The Indians were gratified playing the role of mediators in the big and small Sino-Malay conflicts, worried about not having even one parliamentary seat with an Indian majority and afraid of their non performance in economy and education.

Elimination Of Fear, Worry And Complacency

While component parties in the ruling coalition continue soothing the fears, eliminating the worries and taming down the excitement in gratification, the opposition parties spent much time in facilitating, confirming and exaggerating the fears and worries of the different races in the populace by belittling the achievements and the reasons for gratification, and highlighting the faults and failures of the ruling party.

The Five Prime Ministers

The three previous Prime Ministers, the present Prime Minister Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and our immediate future Prime Minister have certain similarities and differences.

The first three Prime Ministers were all smokers, Dr. Mahathir does not smoke and I have never seen Dato' Seri Abdullah smoking. In the contest on smoking, the score is probably three-two.

Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and  Tun Hussein were all lawyers, Dr. Mahathir is not a lawyer, he is a doctor. Dato' Seri Abdullah is a civil servant. By being a civil servant, he followed the foot-steps of the Tunku who was a member of the Kedah Civil Service and Tun Abdul Razak who was from the Malaysian Civil Service. We have three lawyers here against two non-lawyers. We also have three civil servants, one from the state, against two practicing professionals in the legal and medical service.

The first three Prime Ministers were all educated in Britain, the fourth and the fifth are local graduates. You can never expect the first three to look East, at the ginza, maruzen and tempura, and not at Foyles, Oxford Street, Marble Arch or Hyde Park Corner or even at Tottenham Court Road.

Similarities in The Five Past, Present and Future Prime Ministers.

But in two aspects, the five of them appear to be similar:

1) They do their best, the best they can, in whatever is expected of them, and

2) They are honest leaders, not hypocrites. They do not behave lime chameleon which changes colour to suit the environment of to please others. They are transpartent and we know them as they really are.

These are their strengths and also their weaknesses. I know all five of them personally.

I joined UMNO on 13th October, 1963 when Tunku Abdul Rahman was the Prime Minister, I became a Member of Parliament during Tun Abdul Razak's premiership, was appointed as Deputy Minister by Tun Hussein Onn and became a Minister and Chief Minister ( Menteri Besar ) during Dr. Mahathir's premiership.

Dato' Seri Abdullah, the only member of the National Operation Council (NOC) which ruled the country under Tun Abdul Razak's leadership, after the 13th May racial riot, who is still active in the government. I know him since I was a youth leader and he was the Director of Youth in the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports.

I even know that it was Dato' Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi's grandfather, Haji Abdullah Fahim who suggested to Tun Saadon, the UMNO youth leader at that time, deputised by Dato' Seri Abdullah's father, Hj. Ahmad Badawi, the date 31st August 1957 as the date of our nation's independence.

Dr. Mahathir in 1956 - Langkawi

I knew Dr. Mahathir much longer although he was not aware of me when I visited him with my cough problem at a dispensary in Langkawi when he went to work in 1956 as a newly qualified doctor. We have the same birthday, 13th July, with 18 years difference. Of course, he is older than me.

Little To Say On The Encyclopedia

In launching the Encyclopaedia of Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, there is little that I can say which you cannot read for yourself. He is one of the most written about leaders in the Muslim world. If you do not like this encyclopaedia, you would not be here tonight.

What I have said is just what Y. A. B. Dato' Seri Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi cannot say, as it involves him.

The Encyclopaedia in 4500 AD

But I must add that:

In the year 4500 AD, this encyclopaedia will be as old, then, as the Iliaad is now, being written by Homer about 2500 years ago before the fifth century B. C..

While Julius is remembered for the ruins of Caesar, Pompei for his own ruins, and the brutish Hitler by his autobahn, Dr. Mahathir will not be linked to any battle fought in history, as described in such great and famous books of war commentaries of Julius Caesar, Plutarch's lives and Napoleon's campaigns. This great encyclopaedia is different.

Dr. Mahathir is known to condemn war and wished to make war illegal.

Mahathir's Monuments

His monuments such as the Petronas Twin Tower, the Kuala Lumpur International Aairport, Formula One circuit, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, the highways, the ports, the trains, the Penang Bridge and other bridges, the many mosques, the Protons and other vehicles, should be remembered in the future, not as ruins, as he had not hurt anyone to deserve the destruction of his creation.

Mahathir's Policies On Attitude And Economic Development

His many policies should be studied and understood after which, what is not relevant for any period should be amended, tailored or discarded for better alternatives. After all, he his human.

Mahathir's Foreign Policy

His foreign policy is his strength, for he practiced free speech, so aggressively free that he annoyed even the descendants of the founder of the idea of free speech.

Mahathir's Strength

What is his strength? It is his ability to recognize a man's ability. Once recognized, he will trust and support the man until the man defaulted. By this trusting quality in him, he entrusted more and more responsibility to thos e who came and performed in his way. This trust of his is often questined by many, especially those who could not earn his trust as he had never known them, or the abilities of those who wish to be trusted do not include the ability to get near him or be introduced to him.

Those who know him close enough will also know that he keeps his words. He struggled alone, for one whole year, to put me as the Menteri Besar ( Chief Ministry ) of Kedah despite all odds.

He kept a letter written by the wife of one his great adversary and refused to release it, even when he could have demolished the adversary's reputation by just releasing it, just because he had promised to the writer, during better times, to keep the letter as a secret document.

A Fighting Mahathir

Dr. Mahathir is a fighter. Not being an economist, he challenged the economists of the International Monerary Fund (IMF), went against them by managing Malaysia's economy in ourown pragmatic way and proved the IMF wrong. He won the admiration of the world and even the IMF now admitted their erroneous policies.

Mahathir's Weakness

What is his weakness? It is the weakness of those he trusted.

All criticisms labelled against him, as I sudied them yes, I now have a lot of time to study them, are the failures or the betrayals of those he trusted. Dr. Mahathir took too long to recognise the mistakes, or was too careful to act immediately for fear of misjudgement.

Yes. Sex, power and wealth do metamorphosise man.

One can only choose a man for his known good qualities at the time of choosing but one cannot control the metamorphosis.

Being Human

If Dr. Mahathir appears to have forgiven or tolerated such failures or betrayals, now or later, when he has left his office, it is a sign that besides being strong, he is also human.

This encyclopaedia is a national monument of a man who does not only speak and write, but perform. He is a patriotic Muslim.

This encyclopaedia is a testimony of the many battles fought without the casualty of human deaths and sufferings, and without destroying the battle grounds. It is a war documentary for the minds of man.

Mahathir ............ the Malays, the Malaysians and the ummah are proud of you.

Thank you.

7 comments:

Jebat Must Die said...

Dear Tan Sri,

A very excellent write up indeed.

Thank you for sharing.

Warmest regards,

JMD-

Anonymous said...

Y. Berbhg.Tan Sri,

Saya kagum dengan gaya dan bahasa yang Tan Sri gunakan, tepat, padat dan sendat.
Semoga generasi yang akan datang mendapat manafaat dengan tulisan ini. Terima Kasih.

AJ, UPM

Abdul Hayee Zabidin said...

Y.Berbahagia Tan Sri,

My son Khairul Nizar phoned me this morning asking me whether I have read your latest article in your blog. At that time I was in Taiping to have my car serviced.

Ayah, please don't forget to read it when you return home. I told him I will.

After reading it, I said to myself No wonder my son insist that I must read it.

Thank you Tan Sri for sharing your excellent speech with us.

AHZ
K.Kangsar

Kay Own said...

Agreed, that is one of the better written summary of the PMs we had up to then.

Ayah, memang this is one of the best.

Tan Sri, I would be honored if you would consent to have this blog articles linked to your page in facebook. It would allow for more access to your articles and ideas.

planetorangbumi said...

Assalam; Tan Sri, you yourself is a patriot. Thank you for being along with "ayah" - Mahathir Mohamed. Semoga tuan2 mendapat rahmat dan redha Allah dunia & akhirat. Amin.
-planetorangbumi
* kalau tuan boleh bawa juga pengkisahan di sebalik Tun Daim & TS Aziz Samsuddin. These are among human pillars like you, the new generation need to know, to feel and admire what they have sacrificed and done for the country.tq

ABDULLAH HASNAN said...

SATU UCAPAN DAN GAYA PENYAMPAIAN BAHASA YANG MUDAH DI FAHAMI.PENKESAHAN PERLANTIKAN PM MALAYSIA YANG MESTI DI KETAHUI OLEH SETIAP JENERASI..FAKTA DAN SEJARAH..SYABAS TS..TERUSKAN MENULIS UNTUK MEMUPUK MINDA JENERASI KINI DAN AKAN DATANG.

voice of edinburgh said...

Asm wbt, that was very interesting and informative! pls do share more about the policies that these leaders had imposed which made our country grow so rapidly.