Saturday, July 22, 2006

What state leaders say about Dr Mahathir

Following are what state leaders said about former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad before he retired in October 2003, as reported by The Star daily in its special edition (Star Collector's Issue), dated 31 October 2003.

1. DATUK SERI ADNAN YAAKOB, who became Pahang Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) in 1999, described meeting Dr Mahathir as having "a three-in-one experience" as it was like meeting a father, a teacher and adviser.

Adnan also said one thing which he had picked up from Dr Mahathir was on the economic matters.

"I have managed to understand some basic knowledge of economics and current issues through reading a lot of the Prime Minister's speeches."

2. JOHOR Menteri Besar DATUK ABDUL GHANI OTHMAN recalled the day he first attended the Cabinet meeting as Youth and Sports Minister when Dr Mahathir instructed him to tackle the "lepak" culture. (Lepak refers to youth/juveniles lazing aimlessly at shopping complexes)

"It took me nearly six months to come out with the Rakan Muda programme.
"But it took him less than an hour to give his approval and on top of that he wanted it to be implemented on a large scale."

3. MELAKA Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Rustam will always remember three key advice given to him by Dr Mahathir.

"First, he briefed me about the Federal Government's policy. Secondly, he advised me on the proper way to spend money.

"Finally, he said to me "Don't get involved in scandals or unnecessarily with women."

4. PERLIS Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim regards every moment spent with Dr Mahathir as a "most memorable" occasion.

"Even during the 1987 UMNO crisis, he always seemed cheerful, always motivating us.

"Even in his younger days, his mere presence was captivating enough as Dr Mahathir had the ability to win people over."

5. PERAK Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali admires Dr Mahathir for planning his own retirement at the height of his popularity.

"I am impressed and proud of him for making this move."

Recalling the time when he worked as Deputy Home Minister under Dr Mahathir, Tajol Rosli said his boss was a firm, cautious and prudent person.

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