Thursday, May 5, 2016


Assalaamu'alaikum Warahmatullaahi Wabarakaatuh

Dear Readers,

For reasons that I do not know, I was invited to receive my honorary concurrent Profership at Nanjing University, China on 11th December, 1996. Being described as the Harvard of China, Nanjing University is regarded as one of the most prominent universitees in China. I accepted the honour. At that time I was the Menteri Besar of Kedah.

A special convocation was organised for me alone and I was asked to speak at length on the subject of change. Below is the whole of the 300 paragraphs lengthy speech which was later translated into Mandarin by Catherine Yu.

Paragraph 120 hace changed from the original to an additional sentence 'Not change from Communism to Capitalism but from being communists to better communists.' According to Prof. Colin this addition was requested by Deng Xiaoping's office, who might not have read it, but died 2 months and 8 days later on 19th February, 1997.

Here goes the acceptance speech:


Mr. Chairman,
President and Members of the Senate,
Academic Staff of the University,
Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.


1. When the late President Park Chung Hee took over power in South Korea, the economy of South Korea was far behind that of Malaysia. Today the situation has changed.

2. Upon his state visit to Malaysia, President Park was invited to the National Operation Room of the Ministry of National and Rural Development whose Minister was also the Deputy Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak.

3. In the operation room, President Park was briefed on Malaysia’s development plan. It was at this time that he asked Tun Abdul Razak for an explanation of the sketches on the screen in front of him. Tun Razak said it was not a sketch but an Arabic script from the Quran which means that:

“God shall not change the fate of man unless they change themselves”

4. President Park later launched Saemul Undong which preaches self-help, much in line with the above preaching from Quran.

Besides God, the only permanent thing in life is change.

5. It is for this reason that I choose “CHANGE” as the topic for my acceptance Speech today.

MUHAMMAD p.b.u.h.

6. At the China-Asia Forum held in Kuala Lumpur on 2nd September, 1966, I said “my first contact with China was through Islam” although I have known many friends of Chinese origin from childhood. Before Muhammad p.b.u.h. –peace be upon him, was upgraded to prophethood, he was a businessman. He went as far as Syria to trade with Asian and European businessmen, who assembled there.

7. Ten years before Muhammad p.b.u.h. was upgraded to prophethood, he saw Chinese businessmen, trading in Syria, brought along printed books from China.

8. When Muhammad p.b.u.h. was upgraded to prophethood, the first word he received through the angel, from God, was Iqra’ which means ‘read’. Muhammad p.b.u.h. was illiterate but he knew the value of knowledge, and he was knowledgeable.

9. He realised that if reading is to be a culture, books must be printed. There were only two new and known achievements in China at that time; that is the completion of construction of the longest bridge in the world, and the discovery of printing press.


10. Among the first tradition of Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h was “Learn, even if it is from China”. I do not think that the prophet, from the desert, was thinking of the longest bridge when he thought of China; obviously he was thinking of the printing press, as “Iqra” means read; and to read, we need books.

11. While the Arabs were then reading from hides of camels and sheep, the prophet realised that printed books were necessary if “Iqra”, or reading, was to be a culture.

Without reading, thereby processing and selecting, choosing or assimilating of new ideas, there will be no change or progress in society.

12. Reading is therefore a necessary function for changes to take place.

13. During my student days in late 1960s I did a lot of reading particularly of books written by revolutionaries.

14. It was an interesting period in history and I was not the only one interested in the subject of revolution.


15. As a result I came in contact a second time with China, at least ideologically, when I participated as an activist organizing the demonstration in 1969 in London against the Vietnam War. We marched from Marble Arch to Trafalgar Square; among other things we did was to carry banners with slogans from Mao Tse Tung’s red book and from the literature of Ho Chi Minh. There were more that one million marchers on that historic day.

16. We yelled for change, as we wanted the war to stop.


17. Change, however, is not limited to starting a war or stopping it.

18. Change involves values.

19. I was I Singapore on Sunday 17th November this year, when I saw in the CNN TV Broadcast a grand wedding ceremony in Taiwan of a male white man and a male Chinese man. I am sure that those in Hong Kong who, accept such values, and propagate such freedom, for people of the same sex to get married, will oppose the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997.


20. Gays and lesbians claimed recognition, of their values, under the “human rights” policy; in Malaysia, as in China, such practices are looked at as “human wrongs”. It goes against the value system of our two nations.

21. During my speech in Hanoi on 7th December, 1989, on the occasion of CIRDAP (Centre for Integrated Development Programme) Conference, I informed the delegates to the conference, that I was in Paris on the eve of the Centenial Celebration of the Eiffel Tower when I saw a mammoth parade of Gays and Lesbians demanding that the next phase of the French revolution should see the global legalizing of marriages between man and man, and between women and women.

22. It is a demand for acceptance of change for new values.

23. China is very familiar with the word “revolution”. You will certainly note from this event in Paris that this sacred word “revolution” can be debased in its application and use.

24. Revolution for change in these instances are not therefore necessarily change for the better.

25. In this, the people of Malaysia and China share the same values.


26. Against the World Bank limit, under the Family Planning Programme, our Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad decided that “5” is the ideal number of children for each married couple in Malaysia.

27. China has fixed a lower number, of children, for an ideal family.

28. In the case of gays and lesbians, their marriages bear no children.

29. It is obvious that values adhered to by individuals, organizations and nations have undergone great changes over the years.

30. While individuals brought about changes in line with the ideas and values they profess, organizations and nations undergo changes under he leadership of individuals professing their chosen ideas and accepted values.

31. The assembly of ideas, however, is not limited to the realm of social or political sciences, or personal experiences and observations, or that of others.

32. There is a lot to learn from science.


33. At a gathering of Agriculture Ministers of Muslim Nations on 16th January, 1995, in Tehran, Iran, I said “… It is in the management of … change that each Muslim nation should measure its progress in the future.

34. Change, of course, does not come by itself.

35. It involves choices.

36. If we choose not to do anything, we will change for the worse in relation to others who are progressively changing. But if we make the wrong choices, then we loose our direction in the process of changing.”

37. But change we must.

38. There is one God’s law, describing the process of change, which is now called Newton’s law of motion, a scientific law, which states that:

39. “A body remains at rest or move in uniform motion in a straight line unless impressed forces is applied upon it.”

40. These “impressed forces” are necessary to bring about changes.

41. The use of these impressed forces involve the making of choices.

42. Of course they are choices involving ideas and values.


43. Talking about choices, I remember the story of a man, in a bar, who would like to know what makes a man drunk or intoxicated.

44. Was it water?
45. Was it beer?
46. Was it whisky?
47. Was it brandy?

48. He proceeded to mix water with beer and drank the mixture.

49. He was drunk.

50. He then mixed water and whisky and drank it.

51. He was drunk.

52. He later mixed water and brandy and drank.

53. He was drunk.

54. He then concluded: As water was the common liquid in all the drinks that he drank, it must be water which caused the intoxication.

55. It is obvious that one can make wrong conclusions logically. One can choose wrongly.

56. Since the leadership brings about change, then leaders, making wrong choices, will only lead a nation in the wrong direction.


57. Leadership on the other hand, is not about style, but about ideas and values.

58. A stylish leader, without ideas and with conflicting values, is just an actor on the stage of history.

59. Entertaining, but without substance.

60. Popular, but without direction.

61. Change would then be difficult.


62. Dr. Mahathir is not such a leader.

63. When he became the Prime Minister of Malaysia, he introduced many changes, such as:

       63.i. Bringing the time forward by one hour, later followed by Singapore.
  63.ii. This decision was rational and correct.

         63.iii. Introducing punch card in every government office to ensure punctuality of government   
    63.iv. This decision brought about greater productivity and efficiency.

    63.v. Looking East for inspiration instead of looking West where most of our elite are       
             educated. This decision changed the work ethics of Malaysians.
          63.vii. Buying British (products) last instead of preferring British products as in the attitude in
                     all former British colonies.
    63.iix.This decision broke the last cord which subdued our spirit to colonialism and many other decisions.
64. Dr. Mahathir took the World Bank by surprise when he propagated that each Malaysian family should aim at having 5 children, when the fear of “world over-population” was rampant. Dr. Mahathir looked forward to a bigger population in Malaysia as a way of ensuring a large enough market for Malaysian products, from Malaysian industries. This is in preparation from Western nations obstructing the import of industrial products from Malaysia.

65. These are all new ideas and new decisions which brought about drastic changes.


66. Summarily, Dr. Mahathir rejected the fear generated by Thomas Malthus. By his prediction in 1798, in an essay on the principles of population, Malthus said “…that population when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increase only in arithmetical ratio…”

67. Therefore, there will not be enough food for all the population of the world in the future if birth rates are not controlled.

68. Malthus marketed this idea.

69. But Malthus was evil.

70. He welcomed war, famine, diseases and other calamities if they serve to reduce the population.

71. From this conclusion by Thomas Malthus, one would assume that those who cannot afford to feed their children will be the first to have less children and those who are rich or better off would want to have more children.

72. Statistics does not agree with this claim.

73. Contrarily, the better off preferred lesser number of children and those who cannot afford to have, do have more children.

74. In fact, humans die of hunger does because there is insufficient food in the world but because of uneven distribution.

75. Some nations produce more food than thy need, while other nations need more food than they produce.


76. Dr. Mahathir has made his choice as a leader.

77. He chose not to be frightened of Malthus’ idea. He took the bull by the horn after having understood the problem.

78. He did not mix water with beer, brandy and whisky and came to the wrong conclusion in a logical way.

79. If Malaysia is to come out of property or not o be classified as underdeveloped, or politely describe as developing, as against the developed countries, Malaysia must industrialise.

80. If products from Malaysian industries are to be barred from entering other markets, then Malaysia must have a bigger population to have a bigger market of its own.

81. It is obvious that a change in an organization or a nation depends on the ideas generated, based on knowledge in individuals, who serve as leaders.

82. For change to be beneficial, leaders at all levels, must make the right choices.

83. Vast knowledge is therefore necessary for choices to be made.

84. The importance of knowledge can never be overstressed.


85. In 1776, three significant events took place in this world:

  1. The founding of the United States of America

  1. The book “The Wealth of Nations” was written by Adam Smith

  1. The formation of Lunar Society in Britain

86. Of the three the least known, but I consider the most significant happening, is the formation of Lunar society. Without this society, America will not be what it is today.

87. What is it, that makes Lunar Society so significant? What makes Lunar Society more important than the USA?

88. It is because Lunar Society puts stress on the search for knowledge.


89. James Watt, the scientist who put engines to the wheels, was a member of Lunar Society.

90. One cannot imagine, wheels of motorcars, lorries, buses, trains and aeroplanes without the power of engines. America would not progress if it sticks to horse driven caravans.


91. Michel Faraday, the founder of battery, was also a member of Lunar Society. Michel Faraday made possible the practise of the various political systems which is in existence today, including the democratic system.

92. With the battery, we have the microphones, telephones, wireless, radios and TVs which are all necessities for modern communication which, in turn, are necessary for the execution of activities in our various political systems.

93. Without the microphones a political orator of today cannot communicate with more than a few members of the audience as was the scene in Rome, Italy during the days of Julius Caesar.

94. Our civilisation owes a great deal to this unknown Lunar Society, a society which puts emphasis on the search for knowledge.

95. A society which generates a lot of ideas, for change to be possible.

96. While James Watt and Michel Faraday ventured into science, J. S. Mill was a western political thinker.


97. In western society, it is obvious, that the values thy adhered to is centred around freedom and liberty. It was J. S. Mill’s idea that “the only freedom, which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own goals in our own way so long as we do not attempt to deprived others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it”.

98. I have taken the extreme case of gays and lesbians to demonstrate the extent to which J. S. Mill’s idea of freedom can lead the world.

99. Western philosophy, supposedly based on Judeo-Christian Tradition is said to view man as being self motivated and able to choose by himself between good and evil.


100. Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist teachings lay stress on the virtues of obedience, stoicism, contemplation and acceptance of one’s lot.

101. Confucian political philosophy sees the law as a means of preserving order in society and not to guarantee individual rights and freedom.


102. Islam on the other hand, requires man to surrender to the will of God.

103. A religion that calls man to surrender to the will of God cannot be a bad religion.

104. Even Napoleon Bonaparte said that if surrender to the will of God is the demand of Islam then he was a Muslim.

105. But Islam has a bad reputation in the west by it being associated with hijackings, bombings, murder and terrorism.

106. Since hijackings, bombings, murder and terrorism, which brings about unhappiness to the people, are associated with Islam, then Islam will be accused of bringing about unhappiness.

107. It is the water and liquor logic again.

108. The label “Islamic Fundamentalists” to all those people who commit murder, bombings, hijacking and terrorism in the name of Islam, is not an attack against those murderers, bombers, hijackers and terrorists but on Islam itself.

109. The label Islamic Fundamentalists, given to all those people who are associated with all types of crimes, implies that the fundamentals of Islam are bad.

110. I do not agree with that.


111. However I do know that it is difficult for people of almost similar religions like Islam, Judaism and Christianity to cooperate with one another, if they spend their time on highlighting their differences.

112. On the other hand we found that the Muslims, Confucionists and Hindus, can easily cooperate, as their religions are so different that they spend their time searching for similarities among themselves.

113. nterpretation and practice of every religion brings about changes to our society.

114. However, freedom is necessary for change to take place; at least the freedom to change.


115. While J. S. Mill lay stress on freedom as a whole, Adam Smith propagated that freedom in man, searching for wealth, will bring economic benefits to society as a whole. A man searching for wealth, will start a factory thereby, benefit society by providing employment.  Smith claimed the existence of “invisible hands” that will ensure society’s benefit.

116. However, it is often forgotten that Smith as not an economist but a moral philosopher and that his earlier book, a Theory in Moral Sentiments, written before the “Wealth of Nations” carries with it the assumption that for an “invisible hand” to benefit society, moral values in entrepreneurs and businessmen, are prerequisites. It is this lack of moral values in businessmen and entrepreneurs which caused deviation thereby the “invisible hands” sometimes do not exist to benefit society.

117. We in Malaysia believe that, whatever the shortcomings that exist in a free enterprise system, it is still the best so far.

118. While society has to pay the price for the progress it achieves, while adopting a free market economy, it is not a reason to stretch freedom so far as to ignore moral values.

119. It is this free market economy that is witnessing progressive changes in China and Malaysia today.


120. China, as a nation, has undergone a great change. Not from Communism to Capitalim but from being Communists to better Communists.

121. China has great leaders.

122. From a great nation normally associated with poverty, it is on its way to becoming a world economic power. In recent years China’s economic growth is constantly at over 10 per cent per annum.

123. Given the absolute size of China, humankind has never before witnessed such a massive transformation.

124. According to the International Energy Agency in Paris, China will require one new large electricity power station every week for the next 15 years, giving her 280 giga-watts of new capacity between 1996 and 2010. In that year, 2010 China, at its peak, will be importing 3 million barrels of oil a day more than the entire output of the North Sea.

125. The “World Bank’s Global Economics Prospects”, published in 1995 predicted that, if everything goes well, by the year 2020, 24 years from now, China will have overtaken the United States as the largest economic power on earth.

126. There is of course a price to pay, for this success, when it comes.

127. By 2010 China will also be emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than all the 32 nations of OECD put together.


128. Malaysia itself has undergone great changes.

129. Malaysia was born on 31st August 1957. The major races, the Malays, Chinese and Indians came together to make the birth possible.

130. Malaysia has now become an industrial nation.

131. Under the first Prime Minister the various races came together out of hatred of colonialism.

132. As to the relationship between the various races, they were at peace so long as the Malays accept and remain working as farmers and later on as employees of Government as well; while the Chinese concentrate on business activities; and the Indians remain labourers in the estates.

133. It was as farmers that land schemes were given to the Malays by the government.

134. The British welcomed the Chinese and Indian immigrants and perpetuated the separation of economic functions amongst the three major races. It was a convenient divide and rule policy.

135. The racial riot of 13th May, 1969 brought new consciousness to the unacceptability of this economic arrangement.

136. A new paradigm was searched.

137. This racial riot was Newton’s “impressed forces” which necessitated change based on new ideas. 


138. The new Economic Policy was the new idea, was launched with the view to:

  1. Eradicating poverty (a problem for all races)


  1. Restructuring society in order not to identify races by functions. (This is an attempt to eliminate the divide and rule political atmosphere).

139. The above economic policy was introduced during the period of our second Prime Minister.

140. Government agencies were set up to assist bumiputras in business.

141. Too many of these agencies were not successful.

142. In the process of implementation, tension continued.

143. There was much contemplation, ponderings and reassessment made during this period.

144. The intention of the New Economic Policy was for the indegenious group, the Bumiputras, to increase their stake in the economy by taxing into the expanded economy to the extent that within 20 years the Bumiputra’s portion would be 30% of the overall corporate sector.

145. The success of this policy depended on the degree of expansion of the economy.

146. With government assistance capital was not the problem for Bumiputras.

147. Their weaknesses then were in entrepreneurship and management. This needs experience which can only be acquired over time.

148. Tension was caused as a result of the different momentum of progress between the Bumiputras and the more experienced non-Bumiputras.

149. We cannot slow down the non-Bumiputras’ momentum. It hurt and frightened them.

150. It was impractical to expect the non-Bumiputras to slow down their rate of economic progress while the Bumiputras catch up.

151. The mistake was probably because the Bumiputras were competing in areas of economic activities where the non-Bumiputras had more experience and tradition.

152. However, a fair amount of the losses incurred by the government agencies, looking after Bumiputra affairs, could be regarded as the cost paid to acquire the experience and expertise in business.

153. Indeed, change is costly.


154. During the period of the third Prime Minister, who paid more attention to the eradication of corruption, the issue of economic disparity was dimmed. There was a period of reminiscents when focus was laid on terrorism, free masonry, drugs, family planning, and moral values.

155. As a result not much changes took place during this period.


156. The coming of Mahathir was a historical event for Malaysia, as important, if not more important, than the 13th May incidents. While the May 13th incident was unnecessary, Mahathir was a historical necessity or HISTORISCHE NOTWENDICHKEIT.

157. Mahathir is the precondition for the present growth of Malaysia.

158. He is the first Prime Minister of Malaysia who is not educated in Britain.

159. He studied at University of Malaya in Singapore.

160. He is the first Prime Minister who is a medical doctor and not a lawyer.

161. The previous three were all lawyers.

162. He is the first who is not a golfer.

163. The rest were golfers.

164. He is a commoner, the previous three Prime Ministers were either royal or aristocratic.

165. He is the only one of the four who does not smoke.

166. He does not eat cooked fish; but he eats raw and salted fish.

167. He has an educated wife, also a medical doctor, accompanying him everywhere.

168. While the 13th May, 1969 incidents necessitate a search for a new paradigm, the coming of Mahathir raises curtain to expose an even newer paradigm for Malaysia.


169. Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir, our fourth Prime Minister, is determined to see Malaysia becoming a developed country by the year 2020. He introduced farsighted vision 2020 which becomes the guiding principles of our development.

170. Dr. Mahathir was quick to decide that government should not be in business. This thinking led to the successful privatisation efforts.

171. Dr. Mahathir also believed that the government and the private sector should be partners in development, as after all, even without investing any money in a project the government enjoys a fair portion, through taxes of the profits of the private enterprises.

172. Thus the Malaysia incorporated concept was introduced.

173. Dr. Mahathir is a proud Asian who believes in what he says and says what he believes in.

174. He is courageous.

175. He is not afraid to release the unseen, but greatly felt, brake, that curtail the momentum, the acceleration or the rate of advancement in the economy and education of the non-Bumiputras.

176. The non-Bumiputras are happy with his leadership.

177. He attacked the premises which make Bumiputras feel protected from non-Bumiputras. He didn’t waste time helping the handicapped Bumiputra to stand up; but spend a lot of time assisting Bumiputras, who can run, to speed up. Bumiputras are not encouraged, or discouraged, to break into business areas where non-Bumiputras can do better.

178. They have to make their own choices, choose their own directions, face all risks and harvest their rewards.

179. A protected Bumiputra businessman cannot survive overseas where there is no full-proof protection and no guaranteed advantages.

180. Mahathir generated courage in Bumiputras.

181. Mahathir invited businessmen and public servants to scout the world with him on his overseas travels. They learned and brought home many ideas for implementation. They participated in the changing process of Malaysia.


182. The governments’ role is in managing opportunities and overseeing balance and harmony.

183. Mahathir’s policies worked.

184. Today, the Bumiputras and non-Bumiputras are prospering and working together.

185. Malaysia is now the biggest foreign investor in Cambodia, Vietnam, the South Pacific Islands and even in South Africa.


186. I have been in Parliament for 21 years and 18 years of which as Deputy Minister and Minister. As a party member since 1963, for 33 years, I have seen Dr. Mahathir form far and near.

187. During his premiership, I have the courage to dream.

188. For China, I need say only one word to describe Dr. Mahathir –trustworthy.

189. Many books would be, and have been, written on why and how China and Malaysia succeeds.

190. Or change was brought about.


191. On 11th August, 1989, in Yakima, Washington State, USA I said that, “during the early 1980s, when most nations in the world was undergoing economic recession or chaos, the following nations were enjoying economic growth. They are West Germany, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

192. I then ironically recommended, at that forum, that there were three conditions for a nation’s economy to succeed, i.e.:

  1. Lose a war.

  1. Enjoy foreign military protection, and thereby accumulating capital.

  1. Exploit the US market.

193. Looking for reasons of success I read through American and British Books, as the USA is still the biggest economic power in the world, and Britain was our colonial master, besides English being our second language in Malaysia.

194. What perplexed me at that time was the growth of Japan in competition with the USA and other nations of the west.


195. Western authors such as Peter Drucker and Charles Handy were very influential in the English Speaking World. But one cannot just read management books to explain all the changes.

196. In 1919, Alfred P. Sloan wrote a book entitled “Organization Study”. Peter Drucker praised the book as a thoroughly logical theoretical concept of the corporation which has helped General Motors to achieve its unparalleled success for a quarter century.

197. In 1946, after the Second World War, Peter Drucker in his writings, suggested that General Motors must change in order to face the future global competition, changing social values, automation, a knowledge-based economy, and consumer demand for quality.

198. Drucker worried that the bureaucratic hierarchy of commands and controls that Sloan painstakingly created would insufficiently responsive to such massive changes.

199. Around the same period, after the war, J. W. Edwards Deming noted that historians, politicians and military analysts of both the Allied and Axis sides credit the quantity of high quality American materials, produced for the war effort, as a decisive factor in the Allied Victory.

200. Deming’s observation was relevant as he was a consultant to the Department of Defence between 1942 and 1944, and had conducted some 23 seminars, lasting 8 days per seminar, in which he taught techniques of statistical quality control to engineers engaged in war production.

201. Deming stressed the human factor of production as much as the technological elements.

202. However, American managers would pay no attention whatsoever4 to Deming’s views, for most of the next four decades.

203. Realising the truth in what Deming was preaching, Myron Tribus of MIT said:

“The ultimate curse is to be a passenger on a large ship, to know that the ship is going to sink, to know precisely what to do, to prevent it, and to realise that no one will listen.”

204. This is the curse that has been visited for quarter of a century on J. W. Edwards Deming.

205. Rejecting the opinions of Drucker and Deming retarded the American change process.


206. What was a loss to America was a gain to Japan.

207. In 1950 Deming found his audience. General Douglas Mac Arthur recruited Deming as his adviser in Japan. Under the auspicious of the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers, Deming conducted a series of seminars. In his lectures some 340 Japanese industrialists were exposed to the pioneering ideas of a man who had had an influential role in producing the planes, trucks, ships and tanks that had won World War II – a man whose ideas had helped out produced them.

208. The Japanese listened to Deming and put Deming’s system to the test.

209. As a result, the Japanese lost the war but won the peace.

210. In 1963, Alfred P. Sloan wrote his book “My Years With General Motors”. It became a necessary reading for all students of management in American Universities. As the book was written by a successful chief executive it was assumed to be righteous. However, it was an incomplete analysis of a successful manager.

211. It was misleading.

212. The book did not include the motivation and character of Alfred P. Sloan which was a major part of the reasons that make General Motors succeed.

212. The contents of this book, if practised, in isolation from the study of the character of Alfred P. Sloan, will lead future managers to failure, as they will not be able to bring about progressive changes.


213. The western world would like to lay claim that economic progress in the world, whenever it takes place, is due to the competition that exists between individuals, organisations and nations in free enterprise system and that the Ottoman, Mogul and other Empires collapsed because of Centralizations which stultifies competition.

214. The west would like to forget that a fair amount of the riches they accumulated, during the early colonial days, were from the colonies they routed.

215. Their colonies became the markets for their industrial products.

216. At that time, the West were great exporters.

217. It was Bismarck who said that “free trade is the idea of the exporter”.

218. Bismarck is an honest man.

219. He was talking the truth.

220. It now seems that western nations preach free trade to the world so long as they are exporters. When East Asian Countries began to export to the west, all sorts of restrictions are imposed. The newly independent Eastern European nations also suffer the same fate. Their economic reforms are sabotaged when they cannot freely market their cheaper products to Western Europe. This affects their political reform process.

221. They probably should reform their economic system first before attempting to reform their political system.


222. On the other hand the eastern tycoons and scholars would like to promote eastern values and cultures as reasons for the rise of the east. They refer to the following confucionist values as reasons for their success. They are:

222.i. Ren – Patience
222.ii. Yin – Capital
222.iii. Ren – People
222.iv. Shen – Prudence
222.v. Cheng – Responsibilities Qin – Diligence

222.vii. Jian - Thrift
222.viii. Zhi – Moral
222. ix. Xin – Ability
222. x. Yong – Courage
222. xi. Yan – Discipline

223. While this claim is humble and fitting for their comfort of the descendants of eastern tycoons we must not forget that, not a few of them, inherited their wealth from their drug-smuggling forefathers.

224. The fact that the west WAS successful and that the east is NOW prosperous theme must be reasons for the change in position.

225. The search for the factors for change must go on.


226. While the Chinese promoted their Confucius ethics as reasons for success we noted that Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Marubeni and Sumitomo, all formed in 1873, were founded by Samurais who have Bushido principles of:

226.i. - trust
226.ii. - courage
226.iii. - diligence
226.iv. -   loyalty
226.v. -  discipline


227. As to the Muslims all the above qualities are encouraged and propagated.

For each of the above quality, there is a prophet providing an example.

227.i. for trustworthiness we have Yusuf (Joseph), a prophet who became Finance Minister during  the draught period in Egypt.

227.ii. for courage we have Ibrahim (Abraham) who faced great challenges like fire

227.iii. for diligence we have Daud (David), who ran a farm and make swords for use in many wars

227.iv. for loyalty we have Prophet Noh (Noah), who was a prophet for many long years.

228. Islam is such a religion that a good normal, practising Muslim, is almost like a priest, in comparison to other religions, in terms of discipline for performing his prayer and other commandments.

229. Tabulating all the values earlier mentioned, the following qualities seem to be common to Confucianism and Islam, i.e.:


These values will bring about change.


230. A few years ago Benjamin Spock, a child psychologist from the United States of America confessed that he had propagated wrong ideas for over 40 years in all his books on how to bring up children.

231. Millions of books have been read by parents, particularly mothers, who would like to raise their children in the best possible way.

232. Benjamin Spock is now an unhappy, but a brave man. He took the blame for his influence on young men of today who among other faults, have less respects for their parents. He looked unhappily at the growing number of juveniles in western society.

233. While the damage is done, we are still lucky that Spock had the time to confess and that future generations can put his earlier books away.

234. What happens then to all those other writers, or disseminators of ideas, who either have been wrong, but not realising them, or have not the courage to confess, after realising that they have been wrong.


235. There is therefore a need for us to search and eradicate wrong ideas in society if we are to change and prosper sensibly and morally.

-          Benjamin Spock was wrong
-          Adam Smith might not be fully understood
-          Thomas Malthus was wrong
-          Alfred P. Sloan was wrong in writing an incomplete analysis of his success
-          Earlier Americans were wrong to reject Drucker and Deming

236. Marx was wrong.


237. I am sure there are also wrong ideas in China. I will demonstrate a few wrong ideas which have been corrected in Malaysia in recent years.

238. After serving in the Ministry of Land and Regional Development, since 1978, and later on in the Ministry of Home Affairs as Deputy Minister, for five years, I spent the next 15 years in the Ministry of National and Rural Development and the Ministry of Agriculture.


239. I was in the Ministry of National and Rural Development that I introduced a spiritual approach to poverty eradication and enlarged the scope of poverty eradication to include the upgrading of the level of happiness, of population, and to diversify the definition of poverty to include, other than poverty of income, to poverty of:

the ears – sound
the eyes – sight
the mouth – taste
the nose – scent
the mind – knowledge
the heart – feeling

and also poverty of health and that of faith.


240. As the Ministry of Agriculture, I realised that many problems faced by the farmers, breeders and fishermen are based on wrong thoughts existing in our society.

241. These wrong thoughts, when propagated at higher lever and thereby influencing policy makers may result in wrong policies and programmes being implemented.

242. As example, we noted Malthus’s theory on population whereby the problem identified was the lack of food.

243. As such, efforts were driven to increase the production of food. This emphasis on food production pushed the producers backstage. As a result of this product oriented approach, the people, behind the products, are neglected.


244. Malaysia is the first country to push for “a peoples’ approach” in food and agriculture production. Besides talking of higher productivity in the agriculture sector, we stressed on the ideas that:

“A happy farmer is more productive farmer”.

245. We further emphasized that:

246. The farmers are more important than the fruits and crops they harvest.

247. The Padi planters are more important than padi.

248. The Rubber tapers are more important than rubber.

249. The Fishermen are more important than the fishes they catch.

250. And the Breeders are more important than the cattle and sheep they reared.

251. As said earlier, a citizen of higher income and standard of living looks forward to having less children. It is those who cannot afford, who tends to have more children – whatever the campaign being carried out against having too many of them.

252. Effort should therefore be undertaken to introduce the poor to sports, music, cooking technologies with the view to improving the quality and variety of their lives.

253. On specific commodities we have the following experiences:


254. The people of Malaysia, particularly the Malays, believe that drinking of young coconut water will reduce their potency. When demands for coconut oil was reduced, due to its cholesterol contents, and palm oil being there to serve as alternative, the price of the coconut fell and the government had to subsidise the coconut growers at cost of some million Malaysian Ringgit per year.

255. The idea that young coconut water reduces potency was wrong.

256. We launched a nation wide campaign to correct this wrong belief. We succeed, and Malaysia is now an importer of young coconut as it has become very popular with the locals and the tourists.

257. The government does not subsidise coconut growers any more.

258. The situation is changed.


259. Malays used to believe that fish breeds worm in young boys and girls. This belief was probably encouraged by the elders to discourage children from eating too much fish.

260. As a result, the price of fish fell and fishermen threw away surplus fishes as each of them need only one fish for a plate full of rice.

261. The ‘worm’ story was wrong.

262. We launched a campaign to correct this wrong belief and now our people are eating twice more fish than they used to eat in the past. The consumers are now complaining about the high price of fish.

263. Change can sometimes be costly.


264. The British brought goats from India to Malaysia.

265. Sheep was introduced to Australia and New Zealand.

266. As goats have the habit of eating bark of rubber tress, and as goat (kambing) and sheep (kambing biri-biri), have almost the similar name in the Malay language, we assumed that the habits of eating bark of rubber trees is the same in sheep as in goat.

267. When we questioned the truth of this assumption, we discovered that sheep differs from goat in that sheep does not eat bark of rubber trees.

268. This discovery lead to the prospect of Malaysia going into sheep-farming, as our 3.5 million hectares of rubber, oil-palm and coconut plantations can support 9 million heads of sheep.

269. These are only examples.

270. I am sure there are more wrong thoughts prevailing in Malaysia which we need to correct in order to make greater changes possible.

271. I am sure wrong thoughts also exist in China.

272. In the state of Kedah, we are now campaigning with the view to eliminating any trace of hatred towards the rich and the successful.

273. We are also campaigning that science is easier and more interesting than arts, in order to encourage our students to study science and succeed. They will not be allowed to give the excuse of difficulty of science subjects as reasons for their failures.

274. We need these children to bring about change in the future.


275. As Minister of Agriculture, I attended the Food and Agriculture Organization Conference in Rome on 11th November, 1991.

276. In that meeting, I quoted a Scottish Economist, Alexander Fraser Tytler who, in 1876 wrote:

- Man moves
- from bondage to spiritual faith
- from spiritual faith to great courage
- from courage to liberty
- from liberty to abundance
- from abundance to selfishness
- from selfishness to complacency
- from complacency to apathy

- from apathy to dependency

- from dependency back again to bondage

277. Looking back at these stages, we can determine the level we have reached.

278. As society, in a free enterprise system, does not progress, develop or advance homogeneously, there will be members of population in a nation, at different stages or levels of development.

279. While China might have the problem of narrowing the gap between members in society who are at different levels of development, Malaysia, with a very much smaller population have more varied types of problems because of the additional differences in ethnic cultures, languages and religions.

280. Malaysia needs to maintain its growth momentum. It has to prosper and therefore it has to change with time.

281. We have managed this because our leaders, as yours, are pragmatic.

282. Our leader is free and is not trapped or imprisoned by any ideology or methodology. We are prepared to change to adjust, in order, that our people always happy and united. We do make mistakes from which we learn.

283. We have decided that pragmatism is the answer to our multiracial society.

284. We believe that China, as all other nations in the world look forward to having happy and united citizens.


285. We have so far recognised that, for change to take place in the right direction, organizations, and societies and nations need leadership.

286. Leaders, in bringing about change need to make choices and arrange priorities.

287. These choices involve values and ideas.

288. Sir Winston Churchill once said that:

“The future emperor of the world, will be emperor of ideas”.

289. In this Information Era, with internet and what else to come, ideas and knowledge are freely available.

290. The responsibility of a leader therefore, is not just to choose between existing and available ideas but also to be able to communicate these ideas convincingly.

291. In this interdependent world, it is probably necessary for more students to learn more than one language to facilitate communication.

292. I was informed by the governor of Oita Prefecture, Mr. Hiramatsu, that his Prefecture will establish the Asia Pacific University that will be the first University in Japan with English as the medium of instruction.

293. This is a brave and thoughtful move in a nation which is already in the forefront in its advancements without having any such University.
294. In East Asia, it is probably necessary to promote, a people to people contact if we are to nurture a United Asia as part of a United World in the future.


295. Besides Mandarin, which is the language most spoken in the world, and English, which is the language for international communication, Malay is the second most spoken language in East Asia.

296. About 200 million people in South East Asia speak Malay; the majority of whom are from Indonesia. The difference between the Malay language and the Indonesian language is like the difference between the English and American languages.


297. Before I leave may I thank the University again for bestowing me in this honour for which my family, my wife and I, shall never forget. My only regret is that my parents and my children are not here today.

298. I do hope that we will meet again some day in the future. Whatever I have said in this acceptance speech is more for the students to ponder and the teachers to correct. These ideas, on CHANGE, which are summaries and synthesis of all ideas and experiences which I have come across, so far, in their truths and faults, will serve as an arrow in the poem of Wordsworth’s Longfellow:

        I shot an arrow in the air
        It fell to earth I knew not where
        Long, long afterwords in an oak
        I found the arrow still unbroken.

299. I do hope that anyone finding this unbroken arrow will be reminded of these ideas, and this occasion at Nanking University, for whatever they are worth.

300. Thank you.

Nanjing University, 11 December 1996.

First entered into this blog on 27 August, 20012

Second entry into this blog on 5 May, 2016

1 comment:


Saya Puan Esther Patrick, pemberi pinjaman pinjaman swasta yang memberikan pinjaman peluang masa hidup. Adakah anda memerlukan pinjaman segera untuk membayar hutang anda atau anda memerlukan pinjaman untuk meningkatkan perniagaan anda? Anda telah ditolak oleh bank dan institusi kewangan lain? Adakah anda memerlukan pinjaman penyatuan atau gadai janji? mencari lebih banyak lagi kerana kita berada di sini untuk membuat semua masalah kewangan anda menjadi sesuatu yang lalu. Kami memberi pinjaman kepada individu yang memerlukan bantuan kewangan, yang mempunyai kredit buruk atau memerlukan wang untuk membayar bil, untuk melabur pada perniagaan pada kadar 2%. Saya ingin menggunakan medium ini untuk memberitahu anda bahawa kami menyediakan bantuan yang boleh dipercayai dan benefisiari dan bersedia menawarkan pinjaman. Jadi hubungi kami hari ini melalui e-mel di:

Pinjaman yang kami tawarkan adalah:

1. Pinjaman Peribadi
2. Pinjaman Perniagaan
3. Pinjaman Pelaburan
4. Pinjaman Perumahan, dsb

Jadi hubungi kami hari ini melalui e-mel di: (