An Octogenarian’s Look At Malaysia

By Paul Chong
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent
Thursday, 14 June 2018                              Malaysia – A Multi-Cultural Nation

Life is full of surprises. You only have to look at Malaysia’s Tun Dr Mahathir who at the age of 92 having led his party to an unbelievable victory on 9 May 2018 became the oldest prime minister in the world. This is an honour & privilege that few will ever attain.

This exceptional episode, perhaps never ever to be repeated anywhere else, has given rise to rethink about life’s perspectives. Evidently life does not cease at the retirement age of 55 or 65. There is a whole new life ahead. The glory of the sunset oftentimes is more glorious & magnificent than the morning sunrise.

The question of youthfulness, health & fitness also come to mind. Looking at Tun Dr Mahathir, still as witty as ever & spontaneous in his response when interviewed, people wonder if it is youth hormone (as rumoured), diet or vitamins that keep him so young & strong. Speculations aside, I believe it’s the natural 3Es (Enthusiasm, Excitement & Emotion) that act as vitamins & spell the miracle. You may well know that Tun Dr Mahathir holds the honour & distinction of having served as prime minister of Malaysia for a historic 22 years (1981 – 2003).

Shakespeare says: “Some men are born great, others achieve greatness, & still others have greatness thrust upon them.” You can, nevertheless, draw courage & inspiration from the lives of great men. To take on the task of managing a country bogged down in extreme corruption & financial disaster of a political quagmire, certainly calls for courage beyond human spirit. For a lesser man this road would not have been ventured.

Quo vadis? From this point on where would Malaysia be? Would racial harmony, fairness & justice rightly return? Would discrimination, polarisation & marginalisation persist? Election promises are often mere political rhetoric – verbal convention loses out to actual implementation & action.

Looking far into the horizon, is there any absolute guarantee? For as long as there’s squabble over trivial matter, materialistically or spiritually, underlying problems would not go away. For the next two years during which Tun Dr Mahathir would serve, things may go well & improve. The good doctor would know how to prescribe good medicine.

People all over the world want the same things in life. Deprivation of equal opportunities, discrimination, marginalisation, polarisation would inevitably give rise to discontent & social unrest.

Malaysia is a beautiful country, a land I always like to refer to as the Golden Chersonese. At least it was until Najib & his cohorts ruined it all.

The phrase: “It’s not the years in our life but our life in our years” which resonates the qualitative & quantitative aspects of life. It’s no good for a year or two – good life must be for always. Let’s hope there’s light at the end of the tunnel. With God’s grace & mercy, life for all in Malaysia would be as bright as ever for a multi-cultural nation.


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