Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

I believe every Malaysian should know who is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (some Malaysians used to call Him Tun Ma), including the new generations. In fact, He is our ex-prime minister, from 1981 till 2003, who is the longest serving prime minister in Malaysia and leader in Asia so far, where Tun Abdullah Badawi is the shortest serving and stepped down just a couple of months ago (2003-2009).

It was His birthday on yesterday. Since Tun Ma is one of the very few leaders that I respected, I would like borrow this opportunity to recall what He had contributed to our country for the past 22 years for being a Malaysia Prime Minister. Bear in mind that I respect Him not because he is dare-to-criticize behaviour, but his leadership and competency on his job as a Prime Minister.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

Just to recall a little bit of his background, Tun Ma was born at Alor Star, Kedah. His father was a Muslim half-Indian origin, where His mum was a Malay. He is graduated from National University of Singapore as a medical student. If you haven't know, Tun Ma used to sell banana fritters and snacks to cover his family income during Word War II.

Tun Ma became Malaysia Prime Minister at 16 July, 1981, where he was the 1st PM that came from a modest social background, whereas the formers were from royal families. In 1983 and 1991, He removed the royal veto and immunity from prosecution. Prior to this amendment, royal assent was required in order for any bill to pass into law. Great.

As for economic contribution, his pet projects included biggest local steel producer in Malaysia (Perwaja Steel), local car manufacturer (Proton), and satellite television service (Astro). All he is trying to do is to follow what South Korea and Japan are doing in their succeeded industries. In addition, he also embarked many large scale national projects, included Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), North-South Express Highway, Putrajaya IT City, Johor's port, used to be largest airport in Asia - Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Bakum dam in Sarawak, as well as used to be tallest building - Petronas Twin Towers. Although some of the projects are known as failed today and not success at all, we just cannot blame the leader alone, I believe they were due to the management which having big issues. Our country need big correction here.

He admitted to the public that his biggest mistake was to appoint Tun Abdullah as PM.

During Asian financial crisis in 1997, IMF had prescribed a recovery package for Malaysia but it was rejected by Tum Ma. Indeed, after the crisis, IMS and World Bank acknowledged Tun Ma's approach had worked. Although there were some losses speculations for the country on financial during 1981-1990, it doesn't matter anymore, as we all learn from mistakes.

As for education contribution, SPM and SRP where fully introduced as national exam for all secondary school. To cater lower income population education, boarding schools were constructed as well. And government also offer scholarships to tens of thousands of students for further studies in Australia and UK, which he aspired to achieve par development with. Before he retired, he also promoted liberalization of univeristy start-ups locally, leading to branch campuses being built and tie-ups with some of the most prestigious universities in the world, such as University of Nottingham, MIT, Monash University, Curtin University of Technology and so on.

He never let go the polictics even though he is officially retired.

Even after he retired, he also not forget to concern about the country economy and politics. He even setup a blog to concern and offer his precious opinion on the current politics, education and economy issues. Even though his blog has been banned by goverment indirectly and repeatedly, he is still finding ways to do it. Such outstanding actions indicating he is really like to contribute of what he is doing for the country, bravo! I believe this should be the behaviour a real leader should possesses. Please support his blog if you have free time.

Happy 85th Birthday, my beloved leader!

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