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EDDIE MURPHY’S MOVIE, “A THOUSAND WORDS” : SAYING CONSCIOUSLY WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID & DONE…….NOTHING MORE?

I decided to watch the movie, “A Thousand Words”, after finding out that this Hollywood movie was only released this year after having been made in 2008!

Rather strange considering that it was starred by Eddie Murphy.

Sure, mega stars could have their flops…….but they are only considered flops after their movies have been released…….BUT this one was held back for some reason or the other.

It was only after watching it recently that I realised its so called controversy.

The story revolved around a successful smooth talking agent (played by Eddie Murphy), who was arrogant as a result of his material wealth.

His ‘comeuppance’ came about when a tree with a thousand leaves ‘appeared’ in his garden – and that one leave would fall off for every word uttered by him…..and when all had fallen off, he would die!

This caused him to be mindful of what he said – in addition to having to search for himself in order to be released from the bondage he was unaware he had!

He soon realised that he was burdened by his late father ‘leaving the family’ when he was a boy, a burden he tried to forget by having a successful career/material wealth/make believe image.

Well, to cut a long story short, the three words he uttered for the last three leaves left on the tree was……..”I forgive you”…..in front of his father’s grave.

And lo and behold, he did not die and the tree became filled with leaves again……much to the delight of Murphy.

Of course from a Hollywood perspective, it was all so mucky and a non starter……which explains for its delay.

I think the film’s release….notwithstanding its subsequent non commercial success……highlighted the need to ponder and reflect on the many challenges faced by society today.

And before anyone labels me as all soft and mushy……I’d like to share this article which I came across, rather fortuitously, about Dr Richard Teo, a millionaire cosmetic surgeon and his ‘reflection’ after having being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

He died recently (18 October 2012) at the age of 40.

Read on:-

“Everyone knows that they are going to die; every one of us knows that.

The truth is, none of us believe it because if we did,
we will do things differently”

Below is the transcript of the talk (in January 2012) by Dr. Richard Teo:

Hi good morning to all of you.

My voice is a bit hoarse, so please bear with me. I thought I’ll just introduce myself. My name is Richard, I’m a medical doctor. And I thought I’ll just share some thoughts of my life. It’s my pleasure to be invited by prof. Hopefully, it can get you thinking about how… as you pursue this.. embarking on your training to become dental surgeons, to think about other things as well.

Since young, I am a typical product of today’s society. Relatively successful product that society requires.. From young, I came from a below average family. I was told by the media… and people around me that happiness is about success. And that success is about being wealthy. With this mind-set, I’ve always be extremely competitive, since I was young.

Not only do I need to go to the top school, I need to have success in all fields. Uniform groups, track, everything. I needed to get trophies, needed to be successful, I needed to have colours award, national colours award, everything. So I was highly competitive since young. I went on to medical school, graduated as a doctor. Some of you may know that within the medical faculty, ophthalmology is one of the most highly sought after specialities. So I went after that as well. I was given a traineeship in ophthalmology, I was also given a research scholarship by NUS to develop lasers to treat the eye.

So in the process, I was given 2 patents, one for the medical devices, and another for the lasers. And you know what, all this academic achievements did not bring me any wealth. So once I completed my bond with MOH, I decided that this is taking too long, the training in eye surgery is just taking too long. And there’s lots of money to be made in the private sector. If you’re aware, in the last few years, there is this rise in aesthetic medicine. Tons of money to be made there. So I decided, well, enough of staying in institution, it’s time to leave. So I quit my training halfway and I went on to set up my aesthetic clinic… in town, together with a day surgery centre.

You know the irony is that people do not make heroes out average GP (general practitioner), family physicians. They don’t. They make heroes out of people who are rich and famous. People who are not happy to pay $20 to see a GP, the same person have no qualms paying ten thousand dollars for a liposuction, 15 thousand dollars for a breast augmentation, and so on and so forth. So it’s a no brainer isn’t? Why do you want to be a gp? Become an aesthetic physician. So instead of healing the sick and ill, I decided that I’ll become a glorified beautician. So, business was good, very good. It started off with waiting of one week, then became 3weeks, then one month, then 2 months, then 3 months. I was overwhelmed; there were just too many patients. Vanities are fantastic business. I employed one doctor, the second doctor, the 3rd doctor, the 4th doctor. And within the 1st year, we’re already raking in millions. Just the 1st year. But never is enough because I was so obsessed with it. I started to expand into Indonesia to get all the rich Indonesian tai-tais who wouldn’t blink an eye to have a procedure done. So life was really good.

So what do I do with the spare cash. How do I spend my weekends? Typically, I’ll have car club gatherings. I take out my track car, with spare cash I got myself a track car. We have car club gatherings. We’ll go up to Sepang in Malaysia. We’ll go for car racing. And it was my life. With other spare cash, what do i do? I get myself a Ferrari. At that time, the 458 wasn’t out, it’s just a spider convertible, 430. This is a friend of mine, a schoolmate who is a forex trader, a banker. So he got a red one, he was wanting all along a red one, I was getting the silver one.

So what do I do after getting a car? It’s time to buy a house, to build our own bungalows. So we go around looking for a land to build our own bungalows, we went around hunting. So how do i live my life? Well, we all think we have to mix around with the rich and famous. This is one of the Miss Universe. So we hang around with the beautiful, rich and famous. This by the way is an internet founder. So this is how we spend our lives, with dining and all the restaurants and Michelin Chefs you know.

So I reach a point in life that I got everything for my life. I was at the pinnacle of my career and all. That’s me one year ago in the gym and I thought I was like, having everything under control and reaching the pinnacle.

Well, I was wrong. I didn’t have everything under control. About last year March, I started to develop backache in the middle of nowhere. I thought maybe it was all the heavy squats I was doing. So I went to SGH, saw my classmate to do an MRI, to make sure it’s not a slipped disc or anything. And that evening, he called me up and said that we found bone marrow replacement in your spine. I said, sorry what does that mean? I mean I know what it means, but I couldn’t accept that. I was like “Are you serious?” I was still running around going to the gym you know. But we had more scans the next day, PET scans – positrons emission scans, they found that actually I have stage 4 terminal lung cancer. I was like “Whoa where did that come from?” It has already spread to the brain, the spine, the liver and the adrenals. And you know one moment I was there, totally thinking that I have everything under control, thinking that I’ve reached the pinnacle of my life. But the next moment, I have just lost it.

This is a CT scan of the lungs itself. If you look at it, every single dot there is a tumour. We call this miliaries tumour. And in fact, I have tens of thousands of them in the lungs. So, I was told that even with chemotherapy, that I’ll have about 3-4months at most. Did my life come crushing on, of course it did, who wouldn’t? I went into depression, of course, severe depression and I thought I had everything.

See the irony is that all these things that I have, the success, the trophies, my cars, my house and all. I thought that brought me happiness. But i was feeling really down, having severe depression. Having all these thoughts of my possessions, they brought me no joy. The thought of… You know, I can hug my Ferrari to sleep, no… No, it is not going to happen. It brought not a single comfort during my last ten months. And I thought they were, but they were not true happiness. But it wasn’t. What really brought me joy in the last ten months was interaction with people, my loved ones, friends, people who genuinely care about me, they laugh and cry with me, and they are able to identify the pain and suffering I was going through. That brought joy to me, happiness. None of the things I have, all the possessions, and I thought those were supposed to bring me happiness. But it didn’t, because if it did, I would have felt happy think about it, when I was feeling most down..

You know the classical Chinese New Year that is coming up. In the past, what do I do? Well, I will usually drive my flashy car to do my rounds, visit my relatives, to show it off to my friends. And I thought that was joy, you know. I thought that was really joy. But do you really think that my relatives and friends, whom some of them have difficulty trying to make ends meet, that will truly share the joy with me? Seeing me driving my flashy car and showing off to them? No, no way. They won’t be sharing joy with me. They were having problems trying to make ends meet, taking public transport. In fact i think, what I have done is more like you know, making them envious, jealous of all I have. In fact, sometimes even hatred.

Those are what we call objects of envy. I have them, I show them off to them and I feel it can fill my own pride and ego. That didn’t bring any joy to these people, to my friends and relatives, and I thought they were real joy.

Well, let me just share another story with you. You know when I was about your age, I stayed in king Edward VII hall. I had this friend whom I thought was strange. Her name is Jennifer, we’re still good friends. And as I walk along the path, she would, if she sees a snail, she would actually pick up the snail and put it along the grass patch. I was like why do you need to do that? Why dirty your hands? It’s just a snail. The truth is she could feel for the snail. The thought of being crushed to death is real to her, but to me it’s just a snail. If you can’t get out of the pathway of humans then you deserve to be crushed, it’s part of evolution isn’t it? What an irony isn’t it?

There I was being trained as a doctor, to be compassionate, to be able to empathise; but I couldn’t. As a house officer, I graduated from medical school, posted to the oncology department at NUH. And, every day, every other day I witness death in the cancer department. When I see how they suffered, I see all the pain they went through. I see all the morphine they have to press every few minutes just to relieve their pain. I see them struggling with their oxygen breathing their last breath and all. But it was just a job. When I went to clinic every day, to the wards every day, take blood, give the medication but was the patient real to me? They weren’t real to me. It was just a job, I do it, I get out of the ward, I can’t wait to get home, I do my own stuff.

Was the pain, was the suffering the patients went through real? No. Of course I know all the medical terms to describe how they feel, all the suffering they went through. But in truth, I did not know how they feel, not until I became a patient. It is until now; I truly understand how they feel. And, if you ask me, would I have been a very different doctor if I were to re-live my life now, I can tell you yes I will. Because I truly understand how the patients feel now. And sometimes, you have to learn it the hard way.

Even as you start just your first year, and you embark this journey to become dental surgeons, let me just challenge you on two fronts.

Inevitably, all of you here will start to go into private practice. You will start to accumulate wealth. I can guarantee you. Just doing an implant can bring you thousands of dollars, it’s fantastic money. And actually there is nothing wrong with being successful, with being rich or wealthy, absolutely nothing wrong. The only trouble is that a lot of us like myself couldn’t handle it.

Why do I say that? Because when I start to accumulate, the more I have, the more I want. The more I wanted, the more obsessed I became. Like what I showed you earlier on, all I can was basically to get more possessions, to reach the pinnacle of what society did to us, of what society wants us to be. I became so obsessed that nothing else really mattered to me. Patients were just a source of income, and I tried to squeeze every single cent out of these patients.

A lot of times we forget, whom we are supposed to be serving. We become so lost that we serve nobody else but just ourselves. That was what happened to me. Whether it is in the medical, the dental fraternity, I can tell you, right now in the private practice, sometimes we just advise patients on treatment that is not indicated. Grey areas. And even though it is not necessary, we kind of advocate it. Even at this point, I know who are my friends and who genuinely cared for me and who are the ones who try to make money out of me by selling me “hope”. We kind of lose our moral compass along the way. Because we just want to make money.

Worse, I can tell you, over the last few years, we bad mouth our fellow colleagues, our fellow competitors in the industry. We have no qualms about it. So if we can put them down to give ourselves an advantage, we do it. And that’s what happening right now, medical, dental everywhere. My challenge to you is not to lose that moral compass. I learnt it the hard way, I hope you don’t ever have to do it.

Secondly, a lot of us will start to get numb to our patients as we start to practise. Whether is it government hospitals, private practice, I can tell you when I was in the hospital, with stacks of patient folders, I can’t wait to get rid of those folders as soon as possible; I can’t wait to get patients out of my consultation room as soon as possible because there is just so many, and that’s a reality. Because it becomes a job, a very routine job. And this is just part of it. Do I truly know how the patient feels back then? No, I don’t. The fears and anxiety and all, do I truly understand what they are going through? I don’t, not until when this happens to me and I think that is one of the biggest flaws in our system.

We’re being trained to be healthcare providers, professional, and all and yet we don’t know how exactly they feel. I’m not asking you to get involved emotionally, I don’t think that is professional but do we actually make a real effort to understand their pain and all? Most of us won’t, alright, I can assure you. So don’t lose it, my challenge to you is to always be able to put yourself in your patient’s shoes.

Because the pain, the anxiety, the fear are very real even though it’s not real to you, it’s real to them. So don’t lose it and you know, right now I’m in the midst of my 5th cycle of my chemotherapy. I can tell you it’s a terrible feeling. Chemotherapy is one of those things that you don’t wish even your enemies to go through because it’s just suffering, lousy feeling, throwing out, you don’t even know if you can retain your meals or not. Terrible feeling! And even with whatever little energy now I have, I try to reach out to other cancer patients because I truly understand what pain and suffering is like. But it’s kind of little too late and too little.

You guys have a bright future ahead of you with all the resource and energy, so I’m going to challenge you to go beyond your immediate patients. To understand that there are people out there who are truly in pain, truly in hardship. Don’t get the idea that only poor people suffer. It is not true. A lot of these poor people do not have much in the first place, they are easily contented. for all you know they are happier than you and me but there are out there, people who are suffering mentally, physically, hardship, emotionally, financially and so on and so forth, and they are real. We choose to ignore them or we just don’t want to know that they exist.

So do think about it alright, even as you go on to become professionals and dental surgeons and all. That you can reach out to these people who are in need. Whatever you do can make a large difference to them. I’m now at the receiving end so I know how it feels, someone who genuinely care for you, encourage and all. It makes a lot of difference to me. That’s what happens after treatment. I had a treatment recently, but I’ll leave this for another day. A lot of things happened along the way, that’s why I am still able to talk to you today.

I’ll just end of with this quote here, it’s from this book called Tuesdays with Morris, and some of you may have read it. Everyone knows that they are going to die; every one of us knows that. The truth is, none of us believe it because if we did, we will do things differently. When I faced death, when I had to, I stripped myself off all stuff totally and I focused only on what is essential. The irony is that a lot of times, only when we learn how to die then we learn how to live. I know it sounds very morbid for this morning but it’s the truth, this is what I’m going through.

Don’t let society tell you how to live. Don’t let the media tell you what you’re supposed to do. Those things happened to me. And I led this life thinking that these are going to bring me happiness. I hope that you will think about it and decide for yourself how you want to live your own life. Not according to what other people tell you to do, and you have to decide whether you want to serve yourself, whether you are going to make a difference in somebody else’s life. Because true happiness doesn’t come from serving yourself. I thought it was but it didn’t turn out that way. With that I thank you, if you have any questions you have for me, please feel free.

Thank you.

Dr Richard Teo

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ZARINAH ANWAR : FROM SC TO THE EC (ELECTION COMMISSION)?

And why not?

She appeared to have well choreographed her exit from the SC (her term ended in March this year) culminating in an interview with the Star newspaper.

From the snippets, it is obvious she yearns to be remembered as the ‘Mother of Malaysian Corporate Governance’ with the issuance the previous day of the latest Code as her last official act as Head Honcho!

And is it not opportune (for the country) that with major grievances persisting with Malaysia’s electoral roll (alleged fraud and 149 year old voters still voting!) ……… Zarinah Anwar is now available to ‘clean up’ the act at the Commission …… the Election Commission, that is!

After all, she must have done the same at the SC, albeit quietly and in her own way.

It was also unfortunate that her husband did not lend her the requisite support expected of a spouse ….. that led Zarinah to hasten her departure from the SC.

But by taking the helm of the Election Commission ….. it may provide some redeeming grace for someone known to passionately care for her public rating.

So Abang (Big Brother) Najib ……. for your consideration.



FOR MANY MALAYSIANS, JUSTICE & SPIRITUAL CONTENTMENT ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN MATERIALISTIC CONSUMPTION!

The opposition Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) appear to be a contradiction of sorts.

You have the Democratic Action Party (DAP) that is predominantly Chinese and whose working class supporters are most concerned about earning a living and putting their children through education.

On the other hand there is Parti Islam (PAS) that is Islamic based i.e. religious centric.

The pact’s third member, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party) is effectively an off-shoot of UMNO after the fall-out involving Anwar Ibrahim back in 1998.

It is a pact that somehow managed to gel itself into a mean ‘fighting’ machine ……. that took away the UMNO led Barisan Nasional’s two thirds majority in Parliament in 2008!

So how did Anwar Ibrahim manage to bring parties of diverse objectives onto the negotiating table and hash out a manifesto that appeals to the Rakyat (people).

Quite honestly, his task was made quite simple by his adversaries.

He continuously exposed UMNO’s excesses in terms of corruption, slanted deals, cronyism, nepotism and worst of all …….. they were all done at the tax-payers’ / people’s expense.

And when we have people struggling to put a decent meal on the table for their family, these expose’ can create the kind of response that shakes the very foundation that the UMNO led government has been operating on these past 50 odd years!

It is made easier for Pakatan Rakyat in that the UMNO led Barisan Nasional warlords cannot stop doing what they have been doing ……. enriching themselves with the country’s monies.

Look at the deal whereby known UMNO supporter, Abu Sahid, is selling his Highway concession (Maju Expressway) to a listed company EPMB for a cool RM1.7 billion with cash accruing to Abu Sahid amounting to RM1.1 billion.

And let’s not forget the highway built by Abu Sahid was substantially financed from a government grant!

Ever notice how these humongous cash deals suddenly take place before a General Election.

The same happened just prior to the 2008 General Elections when KNM (under docile & compliant front-man Lee Swee Eng) bought some foreign company from ‘individuals’ for RM1.7 billion cash financed by the country’s major bank.

And how is the company doing now?

Not so well, I hear.

Looks as though the Cowgates, Copgates and now the Bodygates (Nazri, son and bodyguards) issues will continue surfacing until the whole country will say:-

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!



TO LEAVE OR NOT TO LEAVE A COMPANY ….. FOR ONE’S HEALTH : A SIMPLE CHOICE IN LIFE?
March 4, 2012, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Coaching & Mentoring, Human Resources | Tags: , ,

THEY RECENTLY FETED HIM TO FOOD, WINE & SONG (on the company’s account)

AFTER HAVING SLAVISHLY USED HIM FOR OH SO LONG

TILL HE HAD TO INSISTENTLY TAKE HIS LEAVE

MUCH TO HIS LOVING FAMILY’S RELIEF

Recently, I attended a lavish farewell dinner for a close relative of mine, who had worked very hard for his company.

So hard, that he hardly had time for his family …… and that was not surprising considering he was virtually working 24/7 …. of course with the ‘concurrence’ and ‘support’ of his superiors.

Well, this kind of things take its toll ……… and it culminated in his health spinning out of control!

So much so, that he was given friendly and medically inclined advice ……. that he had to stop doing what most people now saw as a sickly vice!

This relative finally threw the towel in and is now recuperating ……. hoping to get back into the kind of physical condition that he was in prior to his bodily (and mental) abuse!

But what do his superiors care!

As long as people like him do the work for them …… and there are so many credit takers for work done by others …… what do they care?

After all, the money paid to him in terms of salaries, bonuses and perks come from the company …. especially those laden with cash!

To put it into perspective, I recall a speaker once saying that for companies, the EPS i.e. “Earnings Per Share” is a very important indicator of a company’s well being and is defined as “Profits divided by number of shares of the company”.

Companies’ EPS will determine the value of companies’ shares based on their Price Earnings multiple.

In the same way, EPS is also an important personal well being indicator for individual wage earners. In this case, EPS stands for Earnings Per Stress unit …. whereby a higher EPS is preferred too.

In my relative’s case, the company had given him fantastic salaries and perks …… but the corresponding stress was multiple of times more……… the relative effect being it lowered his EPS!

It was so low ….. meaning the ‘Stress Units’ were so high ….. it could cause a human ‘valve’ to burst ….. at the blink of an eye!

It is no wonder that many people end up dying rich instead of having lived richly!

It is also no wonder that Work-Life balance is the name of the game in the corporate world, the world over.



DEATHS DUE TO ‘STRESS CRISIS’ – AND THE ONES CLOSEST DO NOT SEE IT ……….. OR REFUSE TO?

When one looks at the ‘Rat Race’ lifestyle that most people live under, it is no wonder that we hear, day in day out, about the ugly outcomes arising from it.

A recent newspaper report about a husband stabbing his wife 35 times in a rage ……. and then falling asleep after the exertion ….. certainly does not make comfortable reading!

I started thinking about the subject, ‘Violence arising from Stress’ after reading about the tragic death (apparent suicide by hanging) of footballer turned manager (of Wales), Gary Speed.

Tragic because he was such a professional in every sense of the word and in whom many tried to emulate.

It became more tragic when the coroner’s findings as to the circumstances leading to Speed’s death appear to point to the stress placed on his marriage and the altercation and text message (contemplating suicide) between Speed and his wife just prior to the incident.

I do recall some expert saying that stress does not kill …….. it is how you respond to stress that may result in tragic consequences, like untimely death!

It is always in the heat of the moment of what seems to be a ‘Gunfight at OK Corrall’ scene whereby ‘all bets are off’, ‘no restraint’ and ‘shoot at sight’ frames of mind prevailing ……… resulting in all hell breaking loose!

Whilst I may stand accused of bias,  it is generally the female species of the human kind that can help alleviate most of these possible volatile situations.

Of course, the male species are not absolved of any responsibility …….. especially in the areas of empathy and ‘communication’.

Bottom line – it is restraint that is required but is something so hard to practice, yet easy to propose and philosophise on!

The alternative?

Well, with ego and sensitivities currently at an all-time high, our words may need to be couched in language acceptable to the troubled!

If that doesn’t work either ……… disappear from the scene for a while ….. enough time for agitated minds to find ‘calm seas’ ahead.

And btw, if you are indeed in the ‘Rat Race’, you are likely to remain a RAT at the ‘end of the race’!! 

Click HERE for the ‘Husband stabs wife 35 times’ report.

And HERE for the Coroner’s findings on Gary Speed’s death.



A ‘SINGLE COCKUP’ WILL DESTROY ONE’S POSITION OF STRENGTH / POWER …….. OR WON’T IT?

It was reported in the Singapore papers today that the heads of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (Peter Lim) and the Central Narcotics Bureau (Ng Choo Chay) have both been suspended and replaced, both of whom will be subject to investigations into their alleged corrupt practices ……. involving money and women!

I then recalled what former Singaporean PM, Lee Kuan Yew warned about a few years ago when asked to comment about the indifferent attitude and the lack of diligence and vigilance in today’s global society :-

“THE MOMENT KEY LEADERS ARE LESS THAN INCORRUPTIBLE, LESS THAN STERN IN DEMANDING HIGH STANDARDS, FROM THAT MOMENT THE STRUCTURE OF ADMINISTRATIVE INTEGRITY WILL WEAKEN AND EVENTUALLY CRUMBLE”

It was therefore a relief to know that the current crop of politicial leadership in Singapore still maintain that level of vigilance against something that can easily cause the ‘fall of a nation’.

I also recall vaguely reading about an incident when Lee Kuan Yew was PM ……. a Singaporean Minister ‘caught with his hands in the till’, committing suicide rather than face the wrath of the PM.

Besides Singapore, one could also find examples of leading political or corporate individuals being cast to the way-side once exposed for leading a life of duality ……. the darker side, being greedy for unjust monetary and materialistic gains!

Bernard Madoff comes immediately to mind …… and whose financial charade exposed the regulatory frailties of the Securities & Exchange Commission of the United States.

There was also former New York Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer, who exposed many fraudsters during his time …… but who was exposed himself for not being able to control his libido at the same time!

That’s the result of Spitzer taking the moral high ground with his own ‘excess baggage’!

There are many other examples to quote …. but what is of concern is that there are many who cling to their positions (of trust) in spite of damning revelations against those individuals.

The first that come to mind is of course, Shahrizat Jalil, a Malaysian (unelected) Minister in Najib’s Cabinet who was given the Women  & Family portfolio.

No doubt, Shahrizat has now taken a leave of absence, pending investigations by a body that unfortunately has had its fair share of controversy ….. hence casting a significant discount to whatever its findings may ultimately be!

The damage has already been done and any subsequent findings of an independent accounting firm, after a perceived ‘clean up of the books’, will not offer any respite to the UMNO led government.

There is no reason to elaborate further ……. suffice to say that so long as the big fish and their hangers-on are able to get away with ‘blue murder’ ….. a country’s standing or rating on whatever basis or scale will ….. as mentioned by that old man….. weaken and eventually crumble.

Many companies and countries have and will continue to bear testimony to this!



MAHATHIR’S POLICIES …… FROM EDUCATION TO POPULATION : PROVEN TODAY THAT THEY WERE ….. AND STILL ARE, SERIOUSLY COUNTER-INTUITIVE!

I recall proponents for the subject of History ……. and Mindfulness …… articulating the need to know about the past in order to understand why we are in this current situation.

In the same token, it was said that it was equally essential to know (read: to be mindful) what we are doing NOW as it would result in what we are going to be in the future!

I am quite certain that such thoughts did not go through the UMNO administration’s minds under Mahathir when they decided to change the language of instruction in schools from English to Malay.

Neither do I think serious thought was ever given for Mahathir’s declaration or ambition for the country to have a population of 70 million!

Such ambition …… or vision as many of Mahathir’s supporters call it, was not sustainable for reasons that would have been clear even then.

For example, the conversion of the medium of language in schools from English to Malay has now churned out students who do not have a firm grasp of any language ……. be it Malay or English ……. or even Chinese.

Not only that, their level of comprehension, analysis has fallen several knotches down compared to students prior to the change in policy.

The failure of that education policy ….. primarily due to its poor / short-sighted implementation …… was confirmed when Mahathir himself confessed to it in his book, “Mahathir – Doctor in the House.”

Mahathir even conceded that for a particular language to flourish, their people had to be successful ….. hence encouraging others to pick up the language. He then gave examples like Japan and France ……. whose languages were learnt the world over by different nationalities!

Well, unfortunately Malaysia has not been much of an example for others to emulate …… in language terms anyway!

As for Mahathir’s vision of Malaysia having a population of 70 million by the year 2020 ……. was like telling us having a large population is a panacea to all of the country’s economic challenges.

There were even those UMNO Ultras who took advantage of Mahathir’s population vision by encouraging their bretheren to have ‘large’ families ……. in order to dilute the proportion of non-Malays in the country.

Comprising about 33% of the total population of 13 million when Mahathir came into power in 1981, the Chinese population has dwindled to 23% of a total current population of 28 million.

I recall data stating that the Chinese comprised 45% of the population back in 1957 prior to independence.

Thinking that this would entrench the supreme political power of the Malays ……. the original intention of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ slowly gave way to greed, lust for power ……. and corruption!

At the same time, the economic cake was being cut up by the UMNO led government warlords that meant little in terms of crumbs left for the Rakyat.

And this Rakyat we are referring to are the large numbers of Malays that have increased multi-fold ….. thanks to Mahathir’s vision for a 70 million Malaysian population.

The Malays are dis-enchanted.

The Malays ….. together with the rest of other concerned non-Malays …… are witnessing corruption of the crudest nature committed by the most senior of UMNO warlords …… without these cretins batting an eye-lid.

And what was entrenched Malay political power has now become a nightmare for the UMNO political hierarchy!

The Malay vote is split.

The Malays (many of them decent & hardworking) now have the luxury to choose a credible alternative government in place of one deemed self-interested (read: corrupt). 

As I have said before, what was originally a ripple has turned into a wave …… possibly a tsunami of change for Malaysia …… a change for the better.

God willing.

And so much for the Mahathir legacy!