vendredi, août 28, 2009

Tunku says...

Today, on the way home, roads chocker-blocked with cars and drivers eager to get home for buka puasa or away for the Merdeka weekend, I heard a radio DJ recollecting that exactly 52 years ago, The Tunku announced his cabinet ministers, among others - Dato Abdul Razak, Colonel H S Lee, En Tan Siew Sin, En Sambanthan and En Khir Johari were called upon to serve. For one, I was amused to see all the Enciks seating on the highest seats of our young nation. Perhaps this kept them in touch with what the common people needed. Secondly, it is quite enlightening that Tunku drew upon such a diverse group to help him in his vision and cause for the nation.

A personal collection of my favourite quotes from The Tunku and what they mean to me:

It is the duty of each and everyone of us living in this country, to ensure peace for all time

What does this mean for the man on the street? For you? For me? As a mother, I try to instil this quest for peace in my children , even when at times you have to speak out and speak up. To stand for what you believe in while appreciating your friends' beliefs - or religion. And yet to understand that not all are willing to hold out a friendly hand -to face bullies with courage and acceptance that some people will have to determine their own path. To have empathy for the weak and poor.

In my career, I try to embrace my colleagues. And it is amazing that the same rules which apply at my daughters' school, resurface here. However, at work I am driven towards excellence, sometimes that does not make peaceful collaborations possible. We can only do so much.

As a writer, I try to bridge the past and present. The young and the old. The sentimental romantic and the practical perfectionist.

Now, if that is not peace-keeping, what is?

Every man thinks of his race as superior, but if we continue with this line of thinking, we only invite trouble

Here, The Tunku sheds light on his uncanny insight to the nature of man. Coupled with his wit, he used his extraordinary gift of bridging differences and making true men follow his leadership.

Above all, we must give this nation our absolute loyalty, and may it continue to give us shelter and protection for all time - God be praised

This country is a secular state.

The Tunku once again displays his complete mastery over the written word.

He does not say our country is a Muslim state. It is a country where one and all can enjoy the freedom of religion.

I thank God for my mother's continued wisdom, for my family, for placing friends and mentors in my life who have given me so much - my daughters, my husband, my sisters and brother, my grandmother who told me the Hikayat of old and watched Peyton Place with me, my grandfather who was the strict and religious headmaster yet kindly Tok who loved Nana Moskouri and insisted I watched Nadia in 1976, the extravagant and worldly grandfather and gracious grandmother who was a great cook who introduced me to her lovely garden, Mak Ungku and her wonderful stories, Puan Sri Nik Daud and her guidance, En Jon [another Encik who understands what needs to be done], my SSP friends, teacher and gymnastic coach, Mrs Khaw, Datin Vasanthi, Trevor Padasian, Datuk Feisol, Mr Nyam and daughter, Michelle Nyam, the late Mrs Ruth Bowling, Prof K T Joseph, Prof Vincent Basseville, my friends Lai, Simon, Cheah, Mac, Kahar, Nasran, Rahman, Lynn, Kak Julie Sudiro, the late Auntie Yah, and most of all my late father who taught me the importance of saying Thank you and being true to yourself - even when you are incapable of remembering yourself.

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