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,
Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat,
The Administrative and Academic Staff of the University,
Dr. Hassan El-Zein, The Publisher of the Encyclopaedia,
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.