A TRUE BROTHER THROUGH THICK AND THIN

This is Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak’s key­note ad­dress, ti­tled ‘Tun Ab­dul­lah, the Ex­em­plary Loyal States­man’, at the Tun Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Badawi Lec­ture in Putrajaya on Thurs­day

New Straits Times - - Opinion -

IWISH to ex­press my grat­i­tude to the Almighty for be­ing picked as the first per­son to de­liver a lec­ture on Tun Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Badawi. I ac­cepted this in­vi­ta­tion, with­out any hes­i­ta­tion, to at­tend and de­liver a lec­ture.

I wel­come the no­ble ef­forts un­der­taken by the Tun Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Badawi Legacy As­so­ci­a­tion, chaired by Je­fridin Atan, in or­gan­is­ing a se­ries of mean­ing­ful lec­tures.

Tun Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Badawi, or more af­fec­tion­ately known as “Pak Lah” by most Malaysians, has long been a key fig­ure in Malaysia’s his­tory.

In com­ing up with my notes for this lec­ture, what’s in my mind and deep in my heart about Pak Lah, in an in­for­mal per­spec­tive, is that he is not only a close fam­ily friend, a brother and re­li­able friend in good times and bad times, but most im­por­tantly, he is the most sin­cere soul that I have ever known.

Re­turn­ing to this pro­gramme, I was made to un­der­stand that the Tun Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Badawi Lec­ture ini­tia­tive was aimed as an an­nual plat­form to in­vite in­tel­lec­tu­als and prom­i­nent fig­ures from var­i­ous fields to dis­cuss and study the thoughts and con­tri­bu­tions made by Tun Ab­dul­lah through­out his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer as an ad­min­is­tra­tor, right to the point when he be­came prime min­is­ter and Umno pres­i­dent, as well as his strug­gles now.

As we all know, Tun Ab­dul­lah, was the fifth prime min­is­ter of Malaysia, and known as the “Fa­ther of Hu­man Cap­i­tal De­vel­op­ment”. In high­light­ing the im­por­tance of hu­man cap­i­tal for the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment, Tun Ab­dul­lah of­ten em­pha­sised the need to strengthen hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment as the most im­por­tant cap­i­tal in the quest for na­tional progress.

Among his pop­u­lar choice of quotes in many of his speeches in var­i­ous func­tions or fo­rums is: “We do not want a sit­u­a­tion in Malaysia where we have a first­class fa­cil­ity or in­fra­struc­ture, but a third-class men­tal­ity.”

To me, what Tun Ab­dul­lah stood for is true.

De­spite hav­ing all the fa­cil­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture in place, or hav­ing a build­ing with all its bricks and mor­tars in place, it will be mean­ing­less if it is not paired with the nec­es­sary hu­man cap­i­tal in the form of trained in­di­vid­u­als, who are knowl­edge­able with no­ble char­ac­ter­is­tics or have an in­tel­lec­tual power par ex­cel­lence... ev­ery­thing would be mean­ing­less.

In fact, when Tun Ab­dul­lah be­came prime min­is­ter at the launch of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, he stressed the ob­jec­tive of en­sur­ing the na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment goal is bal­anced and holis­tic for the ben­e­fit of the peo­ple.

Tun Ab­dul­lah also of­ten high­lighted the need for in­creas­ing the value or value-add in the na­tional econ­omy, en­hanc­ing the ca­pac­ity for knowl­edge, cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion, nur­tur­ing “first-class men­tal­ity”, tack­ling so­cio-eco­nomic in­equal­i­ties con­struc­tively and pro­duc­tively, as well as in­creas­ing the level and qual­ity of life, sus­tain­ing in­sti­tu­tional ca­pac­ity strength as well as na­tional im­ple­men­ta­tion and to in­cul­cate in­tegrity among the peo­ple.

From an­other point of view, I re­spect Tun Ab­dul­lah as a leader, who has con­sis­tently up­held the virtues of Is­lam. This is not sur­pris­ing, given his back­ground of study in the field of Is­lamic Arts Stud­ies from Univer­siti Malaya.

This is why, in ad­di­tion to talk­ing of­ten about hu­man cap­i­tal, Tun Ab­dul­lah also takes a bal­anced ap­proach with re­gard to na­tional and Is­lamic civil­i­sa­tion, in ac­cor­dance with the

frame­work.

Through Tun Ab­dul­lah out­lined 10 key prin­ci­ples, among which are faith and de­vo­tion to God, just and trust­wor­thy govern­ment, mas­tery of knowl­edge, qual­ity of life as well as cul­tural and moral in­tegrity.

In this re­spect, when I took over as the prime min­is­ter, I felt it was suit­able and proper to con­tinue with the ba­sic prin­ci­ples en­vi­sioned by Tun Ab­dul­lah.

There­fore, through the phi­los­o­phy of 1Malaysia, Peo­ple First, Per­for­mance Now, it is a con­ti­nu­ity of the vi­sion in my era and the link to what had been worked on dur­ing Pak Lah’s era.

In fact, in the in­ter­est of the coun­try’s fu­ture, the whole world is now on the verge of what is called “The Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion”, which comes through in var­i­ous com­bi­na­tions, in the form of agents of change, such as in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and the In­ter­net, ro­bot­ics, nan­otech­nol­ogy, task au­to­ma­tion and 3D print­ing.

In fact, there is so much more that I can list out of the sac­ri­fices, con­tri­bu­tions, and ser­vice and ded­i­ca­tion by Tun Ab­dul­lah.

Just now, we saw an ex­hi­bi­tion of the Na­tional In­tegrity In­sti­tute, J-Qaf cur­ricu­lum in schools, the avail­abil­ity of Halal Cor­po­ra­tion and, for me, each time I chair the Iskan­dar Re­gional Cor­ri­dor, the Eastern Cor­ri­dor, East Coast Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor and the North­ern Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor, I re­call that all this is Pak Lah’s legacy to the na­tion.

For the pur­pose of my speech and lec­ture pre­sen­ta­tion, maybe, I can list out a few key el­e­ments about our “Gentle­man States­man, Loyal With­out Peer”, which, among oth­ers, are:

I would like to pay trib­ute to Tun Ab­dul­lah, Malaysia’s fifth prime min­is­ter, who is also the sixth Umno pres­i­dent, for his de­vo­tion in serv­ing the peo­ple with de­ter­mi­na­tion since 1964, hav­ing be­gun as an ad­min­is­tra­tor in the pub­lic sec­tor;

on be­half of my­self and my fam­ily, I would like to ap­pre­ci­ate the ser­vices and sac­ri­fices of Tun Ab­dul­lah, es­pe­cially when he was ap­pointed to the Na­tional Op­er­a­tions Coun­cil, or NOC, to help my fa­ther, Tun Ab­dul Razak Hus­sein, as its chair­man when the na­tion faced the racial tragedy in 1969. He had a close re­la­tion­ship with my fa­ther, in that, he of­ten said: “You are the bi­o­log­i­cal son of Tun Razak. I am his po­lit­i­cal son”; and,

I would like to state my ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Pak Lah’s loy­alty be­cause what­ever hap­pens, he con­tin­ued to sup­port and stand by the govern­ment, the party and Barisan Na­sional, and had never be­trayed the party or left Umno.

Back to our per­sonal re­la­tion­ship, what touched me is that he not only called me “my brother”, but Tun Ab­dul­lah has al­ways been a true friend as he re­mained loyal and was in the govern­ment with me through thick and thin, in what­ever sit­u­a­tion.

In fact, what is most touch­ing to me is the love Tun Ab­dul­lah has for the party and the na­tion, as a great leader with a no­ble heart,

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak and for­mer prime min­is­ter Tun Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Badawi launch­ing the Tun Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Badawi Lec­ture in Putrajaya on Thurs­day. With them is Tun Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Badawi Legacy As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Datuk Je­fridin Atan.

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