TTF: Mahathir’s strongest hint yet that he now plans to stay in power for as long as he can.
KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is committed to upholding Malaysia and never letting it down, to his dying day.
The 93-year-old prime minister made this vow after receiving the Asian Association of Management Organisations (AAMO) Visionary Leader and Nation Builder award here, on Monday night.
Dr Mahathir said that Malaysia has come a long way since its independence and that he has been with it since it became a sovereign nation.
“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,” he said, alluding to Pakatan Harapan’s task of rebuilding Malaysia a year after taking over Putrajaya following its win in the 14th general election.
Dr Mahathir said that he drew much of his leadership skills from his career as a doctor.
He said that it is crucial for a doctor to diagnose patients, and if their treatments are ineffective, out-of-the-box methods should be explored.
“In some cases, amputations and surgeries are required,” he said, drawing peals of laughter from the 500-odd people gathered at the AAMO’s Triennial Conference Gala dinner at Hotel Istana here.
“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,” he added.