Kuala Lumpur—After he received the Asian Association of Management Organisations (AAMO) Visionary Leader and Nation Builder award on Monday, April 29, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad vowed to uphold and support the country as long as he’s alive.
Around 500 people attended the AAMO’s Triennial Conference Gala dinner at Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur to hear Dr Mahathir’s acceptance speech.
He recounted how he has been in Malaysia since it achieved independence, and that the country has come a long way in its journey as a sovereign nation.
Dr Mahathir said,
“I witnessed how it struggled to find its footing and how its people, through sheer grit, determination, sweat, and tears, dragged the nation from a small, former bullied colony, to a modern, proud and confident nation.
As long as I live, I will try not to allow this nation of ours to flounder and fall, to lose its dignity and sense of purpose.
I am aware that the challenges seem insurmountable at times. We have prevailed in the past and we will hopefully prevail now and in the future. InsyaAllah,”
The New Straits Times reports him as saying.
The challenges Dr Mahathir was talking about are the obstacles the ruling coalition, Pakatan Harapan (PH) faces, a year after its stunning win in Malaysia’s General Election last May.
Despite PH’s win, ruling the country has not been easy, and Dr Mahathir’s approval rating has taken a dip in recent opinion polls.
In spite of this, the 93-year-old leader remained optimistic and upbeat when he accepted his award.
He told the audience that he had gotten his leadership skills from his practice of medicine. He said that for doctors, the correct diagnosis is vital, and when traditional remedies don’t work, novel solutions must be found.
“In some cases, amputations and surgeries are required,” he said.
“In a lot of ways, managing a nation requires similar processes as those of a doctor, and where and when necessary, leaders have to make drastic and decisive decisions so as to save the nation.
Most times, the people, like most patients, do not like having to swallow the bitter pill. But a responsible leader, like any responsible doctor, may have to force their people and patients to accept the prescription for the good of the nation in the long run.”
The Malaysian Prime Minister posted an excerpt of his speech on his Facebook account, wherein he emphasised how important it is to find common ground as a leader, something that is always easier said than done.
“…It is indeed an honour to receive the Visionary Leader and Nation Builder Award. I thank the Asian Association of Management Organisations or simply AAMO, for finding me deserving to receive such an honour.
Since I am receiving this award from an association of management organisations, I will try to share some of my experience in managing the nation.
When I was the Prime Minister the first round, I was frequently asked what were my secrets in being able to manage a nation which is so diverse that almost each segment has a different set of demands and priorities.
There are no secrets other than the most basic and logical concept when we are dealing with a diverse group of people – we first find what are the common grounds and common purposes.
Once we have established what are the common grounds and purposes, we can build on them and after that, these common grounds and purposes will become the rallying point which we can claim to have achieved unity in diversity.
It sounds easy but I am sure, you are all aware of how difficult it is. Herein lies the actual secrets to it – hard work, determination, purposefulness, drive, focus and giving everyone a hearing among others…”/ TISG
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