Sunday, February 25, 2007

Tok Mat - the longest serving Information Minister

Pix 1: Group photo (1980s) after Tok Mat's visit to the news agency. Seated on the left Rejal Arbee (Datuk and ex-KP), seated second from right Ahmad Mustapha (ex-GM), standing fourth from left Maria Samad while third from right is yours truly. Others in the pix (if u can recognise them) - Hashim Makaruddin (Tan Sri and ex-KP), Azman Ujang (Datuk now KP), Syed Jamil (Datuk ex-GM), Nizamuddin Mohamad, Jaafar Husein (ex-KP), Rahman Sulaiman (ex-KP) Affendi Ariffin, Mahrus Ibrahim, Hoo Ban Khee, Ratna Melan, Zulkifli Salleh, Syed Yahya and the list goes on ....

Pix 2: I was honoured to receive Bernama's long service certificate from Tok Mat, then Information Minister.

Pix 3: Tok Mat, now (February 2007), at 69.

He is still popularly referred to as Tok Mat, Malaysia's longest serving Information Minister until he retired in 1999.

It was a pleasure to meet Tan Sri Mohamad Rahmat at my brother's house in Bukit Damansara. Unfortunately, I could not seek his views on current political development since so many people wanted to say hello and have a short chat with him.

Tok Mat, 69, started his political career in 1965 when he was appointed Political Secretary to the then Transport Minister, the late Tun Sardon Zubir, the guru or sifu of Tun Musa Hitam. In 1969 Tok Mat was elected MP for Johor Bahru Barat and appointed Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health where Tun Sardon served as Minister. In Sept 1970, he served in the same capacity at the Education Ministry and on Jan 1, 1972 he was promoted as Deputy Finance Minister. In Sept 1974 Tok Mat served as Deputy Minister of Coordination of Public Corporations.

In 1974, he was elected MP for Pulai and appointed as Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and in July 1978 he was promoted to head the Information Ministry.

Tok Mat served as Information Minister until April 1982 when he was posted to Jakarta as Malaysia's Ambassador with ministerial rank, by the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. However, in May 1987 he was recalled to once again head the Information Ministry until May 1999 when he retired.

Tok Mat is the most successful and most colourful Information Minister. He was so popular and "down to earth" that he was given various "nick names" such as Mat Bulat, Mat Besar, Mat Setia, Mat Jawa and Mat Re-cond. Sorry Tok Mat, facts are facts but rest assured, your name cannot be separated from many things and the most obvious is the KL Tower or Menara Kuala Lumpur, your brainchild, and as Information Minister, you implemented highly successful campaigns namely Gerakan Setia and Gerakan Semarak. I wonder why such successful campaigns were stopped by his successors?

If only the Malaysia Book of Records existed during your ministerial days, a dozen of things could be easily recorded such as the biggest Malaysian flag, the biggest ketupat and many other "big" things you introduced thus the nick name Mat Besar.

Many of the younger generation are familiar with the "Jom Heboh" programme of TV3 but how many of them are aware that Tok Mat had much earlier organised a similar programme under the K3P project. Of course it was not so "heboh" and lack the glamorous appearance of Akademi Fantasia finalists.

After Tok Mat retired, the Information Ministry is not the same. Now, under journalist-turned-politician, Zainuddin Maidin, what is there to be proud of?


Anonymous said...

Pak Tuan,

I cannot resist a comment on this wonderful man whom i had a "father and son" relationship while serving him as Press Secretary in Angkasapuri from 1995 to 1999. describing this former Pulai Member of Parliament as the "most successful and most colourful Information Minister" is little bit an understatement for his is "The Best There Is". One may like him or hate him for whatever the reason you have but this man is "Simply The Best". To me he is (still is) Minister of Information Personafied, period.

There are many, in fact too many things about this Machiavellian politician that people does not about. The list is almost endless but a few are worth telling here for the sake of present and future politicians and perhaps retired politicians (there are no former politicians...).

The most important of all is Tok Mat (he maybe a Tan Sri Sri but many, yours truly still call him by that name) built the Surau Muhammadi (which is permitted to hold friday prayers) which is still standing proudly and beautifully at a location which is staring at the entrance of Angkasapuri. As a Muslim this is one of the most commendable deed of fardhu kifayah and i would like to say that perhaps this is the only minister that had done so. The surau is always filled to the brink every friday (until now) with Muslims as far as from the New Straits Times complex and others.

During his days Tok Mat will have "one nasi lemak bungkus with a cup of teh-o" for breakfast as opposed to other ministers who might have more colorful or even rich meal in the morning. One day i asked him and the answer startled me. He said "you anak lepas Merdeka mana tau. Saya kena jual nasi lemak dan kueh dengan bakul di kedua-dua tangan setiap pagi sebelum pergi ke sekolah." Although his late father was a school teacher (a headmaster perhaps) his family was a large one with 18 siblings (at Kampung Mat Amin in Johor Bahru) at one time and being among the elders in the family Tok Mat has to play the duty of a filial son. So the nasi lemak will always remind him of his humble beginnings, i supposed. He will walk to the school which was 3 miles away from his house in slippers and changed them to his school shoes which he only had one pair for school as well as Hari Raya Puasa for the period of two years. His lunch is, most of the times, a nasi bungkus from Restoran Waspada (from under Wisma Yakin Kuala Lumpur) and among the complusory condiments must be bergedel, togeh and a simple ikan goreng, nothing fancy while on most evenings he takes goreng pisang (must be Pisang Nipah) and again, teh-o which is his favorite drink. For eating our, Tok Mat likes to have his lunch at Restoran Puteri which is still owned by a former drama queen Rubiah Suparman in Brickfields.

Tok Mat's handwriting is among the most articulate that i have seen in my life. Take for instance his famous signiture. Even from a distance one can easily spot the famous "tower-like" stroke which signifies the word M, that represents Mohamed. He is one of the few in this country whose name is spelled rather peculiarly, but it is only understandable because there are many variants to the spellings of Mohammad. Another things that will always strike one's attention is his cursive writings, one of the most unique qualities of this man. He once told me that during his school days at an English School in Johor Bahru (i dont remember the exact name) his teacher would stand with a wooden ruler next (which means any mistake will rendered him a hard knock on the fingers) to him during cursive writing lessons, hence his perfection of the art to his adult life, even in fact until today. His format of letter writing is even mind-boggling for this is a minister (and even perhaps the only man in this world) who will write name to whom the letter is intended to at the bottom of the letter, NEVER at the top as opposed to the rest of us. Tok Mat's letter will always starts with the name of the person he was writing to (after the letterhead) in cursive, of course (even if it is meant to his Sir Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad) to be followed with the body text and then his famous signiture before his name. If the letter is meant to Dr Mahathir or anyone to whom he hold lots of respect then you will find in cursive his famous signing off "Yang Setia". Then only you will find typed name of the person the letter was intended to.

Tok Mat hates shoes with laces and he never had one all his life. All shoes are, in the shoes terminology must be of "lazy man" variant or better known as slope shoes. His reason is "it is simply waste of time to ties the laces because we have lots of work to do to be bogged down by trivial matters".

Tok Mat devided his office times and protocals as such: appointments -- important or not must be in the mornings while meetings -- important or not will be in the evenings after 2pm and there is no compromise or mixture between the two. Theres was a Semarak Tree in the compound of Angkasapuri and he prohibited everybody to touch or even lean against the tree by saying "ini macam anak aku, kau orang kacau pokok nanti aku kacau kau orang, tau!". What he did not say then was that the tree gave him A Big Idea -- Setia Bersama Rakyat or simply Semarak. He also had to juggle between Angkasapuri and UMNO headquarters for he was concurrently the Secretary-General of both UMNO and Barisan Nasional, the unified positions introduced by the ruling party since the late Tun Ghafar Baba's resignation as the BN sec-gen in 1993.

I had approached this man many a times to have his life story documented in a book but believe me that Tok Mat simply declined and refused to have it done despite many repeated pleas by me to do so. He told me "kau ingat orang nak baca ke cerita aku? Kau ingat orang suka ke nak baca pasal aku?". Perhaps his best excuse prevented me from pastering him to agree for the publication of the book of which the mock-up was already been done complete with the dummy cover of his trademark signiture with the words "Yang Setia" in white font color over a bold red background, the colors of UMNO. He was wrong there and i am sure many of us want to know more about the man who was among those responsible to revive UMNO in 1988 (his Umno membership no is 0000003 after Dr Mahathir and Ghafar) and was spearheading UMNO Baru's registration process right from his house to the office of the registrar of societies under colourful (actually akin to cloak-and-dagger and almost CIA-styled) circumstances (which needs another telling at another time). He was also in the forefront (tohether with fmr party treasurer Tun Daim Zainuddin) in the long and ardous process of reclaiming UMNO's assets worth millions of RM that went through many interesting takes of journey from the time it was ban by a decree of the High Court on Feb 14, 1988 to 1998. When the process was completed (meaning UMNO got back its assets including the proud standing PWTC) Tok Mat, in one of his happier moods, said "My job (as a sec-gen and a trustee) is now complete and i can now take my rest and let UMNO be run by other people". He retires in 1999 for the role to be assumed by Tan Sri (now Tun) Mohd Khalil Yaakob.

About his contributions to the nation, the government and the party i am sure Pak Tuan has said enough of it and others could add it more here. Please remember that this is the one and only MP who had never switch his from or to his Pulai constituency right from day one and was elected for so many times over continously (meaning he was never defeated in general elections). It was also the same with his Pulai Umno Division chairmanship which went on concurrently during his time.

Tok Mat's ideas gathering is outstanding for he is a one-man think tank and once he told me ideas could come from and gotten almost anywhere. He coined the lyrics (yes he write lyrics as well) of the famous Setia song while he was driving to Angkasapuri from his residence in Damansara Heights. The Big Idea of organizing the Setia Bersama Rakyat (SETIA) campaign came to his head while he was having lunch and was perfected after so many days of hard thinking, all by himself. He once said that Dr Mahathir was at first reluctant to agree but has give in when Tok Mat give him a piece of his mind that "...Sir if you want people to see and know that you are actually human "yang makan nasi" just like the rest of them kampung folks". The rest, is history. Tok Mat had also penned so many songs and lyrics and they were tuned to perfection by then rtm's director of music ahmad dasila. I should think that Tok Mat still until this day receives his dues like any other lyricists for the songs which are sometimes being played over the radio and television. And of the many things that people do not know, Tok Mat started his professional carreer with Information Ministry as a script writer with the National Film Board (now Jabatan Filem Negara Malaysia) back in the 1950s.

It was an honor to serve this wonderful man, father, politician, master tactician and many more accolades that one could want to shower him. Although it was a short stint (1995 to 1999) i had the pleasure to learn many things, Politics 101 included to be what i am today. He discovered me as a government operative when i was a chief reporter with TheSun by saying "buat ape lagi kat suratkhabar Vincent Tan tu. Nanti aku cakap dengan dia...Kau datang kerja dengan aku and be somebody". That i did.

Today, Tok Mat's experiences and his wealth of knowledge especially in matters relating to Umno and the government (with special attention to propaganda works) is priceless and invalueable (both words are an understatement). It is a sad thing that many people want him to fade away into oblivion lest they regard him as a veteran. To me his is still an important source of knowledge and a good point of reference. We still need him, this man whom i called "Sir" and behind his back -- "Tok Penghulu UMNO". He should be remembered as "Simply The Best" and "The Best There Is".

Zukri Valenteno
Taman Sri Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.

Syed Imran said...

Bro Zukri,

What can I say, as the saying goes ..."hanya jauhari yang mengenal manikam". You cannot keep a good man down!

Thank you, Bro, for your valuable inputs. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Pak Tuan Syed Imran,

Benarlah seperti kata mantan perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad bahawa Melayu Mudah Lupa. Hari ini kita sudah melupakan jasa (yang terlalu banyak), sumbangan (yang tidak terhitung) dan pengorbanan (yang tidak mungkin dapat disebut satu persatu hattta punyalah banyak sangat) manusia yang dilahirkan sebagai Mohamed bin Rahmat. Ramai orang gelarkan beliua dengan pelbagai gelaran yang juga terlalu banyak, mungkin disebabkan atas perasaan suka, sayang atau tidak suka (tapi belum sampai peringkat benci) atau benci kepada mantan Menteri Penerangan ini.
Saya ingin fokuskan kepada gelaran "Mat Setia". Gelaran itu terlekat kepada Tan Sri Mohamed selepas beliau berjaya memartabatkan semula kepimpinan Dr Mahathir selepas episod 14 Februari 1988 bilamana Umno, payung umat Melayu dan Islam, wadah perjuangan nasionalisme Melayu, jambatan hijrah Melayu dan pelbagai lagi hikmah untuk umat Melayu/Islam di Malaysia telah diharamkan dengan hanya satu keputusan oleh Mahakamah Tinggi yang dilafazkan oleh Harun Hashim. Suatu titik hitam dalam perjuangan UMNO. Tok Mat (maaf tok, tak biasa lah membahasakan diri tok sebagai Tan Sri sebab ramai sangat tan sri sangkut hari ini ini akan tetapi hanya SEORANG SAHAJA TOK MAT sahaja yang saya kenali) yang ketika itu berulang-alik dari Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru-Jakarta lantaran menjalankan tugas sebagai Duta Besar (Dubes) dan Ahli Parlimen Pulai telah membuat suatu perkiraan politik yang sangat kritikal yang hanya mempunyai satu jawapan iaitu samada hidup atau matinya kerjaya politik seseorang itu -- berada di persimpangan antara dua pilihan yang sama berat iaitu antara Dr Mahathir atau Musa Hitam, mantan Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Pilihan yang agak sukar kerana Dr Mahathir telah "menyingkirkan" Tok Mat yang "dihumban" secara terhormat ke Jakarta manakala Musa Hitam adalah ikon politik (baca"sangat berkuasa ketika itu, mungkin sekarang masih berpengaruh) Johor moden dan rakan seperjuangan di bawah satu kepala atau sifu (seperti kata Sdra Syed Imran) -- Sardon Jubir. Ianya bukanlah suatu pilihan yang senang malahan amat sukar (dalam perkataan Tok Mat sendiri) kerana andaikata tersilap memilih langkah maka akan terkuburlah ikhtiar-hidup (survival) politik beliau. Akhirnya setelah memikirkan semasak-masaknya (cukup masak kata Tok Mat) dalam benak politiknya yang hatinya ketika itu walaupun masih membara rasa pedih, mungkin sedikit marah dan kecewa terhadap Dr Mahathir yang telah "menunjukkan pintu" kepada beliau telah memihak kepada Dr Mahathir yang kelihatan seperti mula sudah dipinggirkan, ditinggalkan, dilupai dan dibenci lantaran kempen membusuk-busuk, kempen cerca-nista, kempen maki-hamun serta kempen dashyat politik yang teramat kotor dalam sejarah Umno. Beliau muncul sebagai antara pendekar utama (seorang lagi ialah Tok Sanusi Junid, walaupun ketika itu kurang sihat dan uzur seketika) Dr Mahathir yang menurutnya "...sekiranya ada orang hendak rodok keris Umno ke perut Dr Mahathir aku rela (tanpa memikirkan apa-apa sekalipun) menjadi pelindung dia dan engkau tikamlah aku semahu engkau sebelum kau tamatkan riwayat Dr Mahathir, itupun kalau kau boleh. Tapi kau tikamlah aku dulu." Kata-kata ini yang pernah diucapkan kepada saya (ketika sedang berehat setelah melawat kawasan parlimen pulai nya di Hotel Hyatt Regency Johor Bahru, hotel kegemaran beliau) ditemani dengan genangan airmata (kelihatan berkaca-kaca) dalam kedua biji matanya. Tiada sesiapa yang boleh berkata lebih daripada itu mengenai perasaan kasih dan sayangnya kepada Dr Mahathir ketika itu, pada pendapat saya. Tok Mat pernah melawak dengan saya (semasa moodnya cukup baik ibarat perbualan antara bapa dengan anak) dengan berkata "...kau tau tak pasal apa Dr M dah jadi macam ni? Pasai dia dah buang Rahmat (nama bapa Tok Mat) keluar (daripada Jemaah Menteri dan pentadbirannya)...Pasal tu lah. Tapi sekarang kau tengok Rahmat dah mula sampai! Sebab aku ada kat sinilah..." Celoteh itu mungkin ada kebenarannya, wallahualam.
Justeru Tok Mat mula memikirkan apakah langkah susulan (next steps) untuk memartabatkan maruah, mengembalikan kepercayaan dan seterusnya mengukuhkan keyakinan di kalangan yang pertamanya Orang Umno (bahasa Tok Mat sendiri kerana menurutnya kalau kita kata ahli umno akan samalah sifatnya dan statusnya seperti ahli persatuan guru, ahli persatuan pinggan mangkuk selangor/wilayah persekutuan atau ahli koperasi ataupun ahli perniagaan) dan keduanya orang ramai terhadap presiden Umno dan Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang menang tipis pertandingan paling sengit dan getir jawatan utama parti dalam sejarah Umno. Munculah kempen Setia Bersama Rakyat yang diringkaskan kepada SEMARAK. Tok Mat adalah antara segelintir orang politik "old school" yang ketika itu hebat dengan akronim-akronim yang sama hebat bunyinya, maknanya, falsafahnya, prinsipnya dan sebutan-mudahnya. Antara akronim-akronim hebat yang pernah lahir daripada minda Tok Mat Ialah MESRA (Mesra Eratkan Silaturrahim Rak yat Akrab), KEMPEN (Kementerian Penerangan yang cukup sesuai dengan peranan utamanya), MENPEN (Menteri Penerangan), BUNGA (Berjuang Untuk Negara, Gagalkan Angkara) KITA (Kerajaan Ingat Tidak Lupa) dan satu dua lagi yang saya sudah tidak ingat. Seorang lagi "old school" (yang amat saya kagumi mindanya) ialah Tan Sri Sanusi Junid yang terkenal dengan akronim-akronim hebat seperti SUPERI (Sungai Perak Indah), GORPIS (Goreng Pisang), SHAMELIN (Sharikat Melayu Insaf), TALASCO (Tahan Lasak Company) dan pelbagai lagi yang saya juda tidak ingat. Pada pertemuan dan temubual khas saya (untuk akhbar TheSUN) dengan Tok Sanusi semasa beliau baru sahaja dilantik menerajui Kedah Darulaman (negeri tanah tumpah darah dan kesayangan saya) sebagai Menteri Besar, saya berikan beliau akronim SAJIRA (Sanusi Jiwa Rakyat). Beliau tersenyum lebar!
Berbalik kepada Tok Mat (walaupun antara Tok Mat dengan Tok Sanusi yang suatu ketika dahulu pernah difitnahkan bahawa wujud "political bad blood" yang sebenarnya ialah merupakan satu racun politik yang sangat kotor dan paling hina dalam satu strategi perang saraf kerana TIDAK wujud langsung perselisihan faham antara mereka kerana kedua-dua berTUANkan orang yang sama iaitu Dr Mahathir dan Tok Mat menyambung dan menyempurnakan tugas dan tanggungjawab setiausaha-agung Umno atas arahan Dr Mahathir di atas permintaan Tok Sanusi sendiri yang ketika itu tidak sihat dan terlantar di hospital) yang digelar Mat Setia lantaran kejayaan Kempen Setia nya adalah sebenarnya itu adalah hanya separuh daripada kebenarannya. Label Mat Setia terlekat dengan Tok Mat adalah kerana keSETIAan beliau terhadap Dr Mahathir yang tidak berbelah bagi dan tidak terhingga hatta biar apa sekali pun harga yang perlu dibayar untuk dipilih samada setia atau tidak setia terhadap Pemimpin No 1 Negara yang ketika itu baru sahaja melalui suatu ujian politik yang maha getir (sesuai dengan nama beliau, maaf Pak Tun!), maha hebat dan maha mutahkir dalam sejarah hebat politik beliau. Tok Mat pernah berkata kepada saya "aku ni Jawa, therefore nobody should question my loyalty to my leader. Its a thing about being Java (Jawa) as is it in my blood". Tok Mat amat setia kepada Dr Mahathir sehingga ke akhir garisan perjalanan politiknya. Saya amat percaya dengan kenyataan itu dan ianya terbukti dalam pelbagai bentuk, falsafah, tindak-tanduk dan pemikiran Tok Mat yang pernah berkata "kau tau tak orang yang tak suka aku ni...yealah yang ngoblok-ngoblok nilah ingat aku ni tak reti cakap omputeh. Aku dulu sekolah English School Johor Bahru la. Bila aku mengaji quran dan berqasidah lagi ramai orang terkejut pulak dengar, dia orang ingat aku ni jahil sangatlah. Memang ngoblok!!". Memang benar bahawa Tok Mat amat fasih berbahasa Inggeris kerana beliau adalah lepasan sekolah aliran Inggeris (pernah menjadi Ketua Pengawas) dan mendapat pendidikan tinggi di Indonesia sehingga ke peringkat Sarjana Kesusasteraan. Lantaran Anak Johor yang mana negerinya memberi penekanan yang amat sangat kepada pendidikan agama yang tiada tandingnya di negara kita ini Tok Mat adalah lebih daripada mampu muncul sebagai qari dan cukup dikenali di johor bahru sebagai handal berqasidah!
Sedihnya hari ini Umno kelihatan seperti tidak lagi meraikan tokoh-tokoh lama Umno seperti Tok Mat, King Ghaz (Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie)dan beberapa lagi tokoh-tokoh lama yang sama hebat dan hanya mengenang dalam belasungkawa yang ringkas apabila mereka sudah berhijrah ke alam barzakh atas sebab-sebab yang hanya mereka ketahui. Sebenarnya Tok Mat kita ni masih berguna (maaf Tok, sebenarnya tok ni lebih daripada berguna!) walaupun beliau kini digelar Veteran Umno apabila status namanya dan taraf keahlian ingin disebut. Veteran Umno ini sebenarnya masih menyengat dan masih memilik minda yang tajam dan kritikal terhadap pelbagai isu dalam dan luar negara.
Sekurang-kurangnya Pemuda dan Puteri Umno atau mungkin Umno sendiri yang mungkin sekiranya ketandusan tokoh-tokoh terkemuka untuk diminta nasihat, pandangan, buah fikiran dan idea untuk kebaikan bersama dalam konteks perjuangan untuk Agama, Bangsa dan Tanahair (ABT) (ini juga hasil buah fikiran Tok Mat yang selalu dizahirkan dalam tulisannya serta arahan kepada saya untuk memasukkannya dalam teks ucapan, kenyataan, kata-kata aluan dan ucaputamanya kerana kata beliau sekiranya Umno berjuang di atas landasan itu yang mengikut turutan berkenaan yang sinonim dengan awalan huruf-huruf Bahasa Jawi yang bermaksud Alif, Ba dan Ta (andaikata dirumikan masih berakronim ABT), maka Umno akan berada di landasan yang benar dan akan sentiasa dirahmati ALLAH swbt). Saya amat yakin dan percaya bahawa Tok Mat masih boleh memberi sumbangan yang bermakna walaupun dalam konteks politik hari ini, setidak-tidaknya sebagai pakar rujuk yang pernah melalui pelbagai pahit getir, suka dua dan kejayaan dan kegagalan perjuangan Umno sebagai wadah keramat Umat Melayu dan Islam. Saya rasa kemahiran beliau berpidato masih "boleh tahan dan terror dan mencongkam(kata orang sekarang)" dalam bahasanya yang tidak mudah jemu didengar dengan idea-idea menarik, anekdot daripada pengalamannya yang cukup lama sebagai orang politik dan pegangan beliau yang (saya percaya) masih belum lupus akan Fahaman dan Amalan Politik Machiavelli. Beliau adalah Orang Politik dalam ertikata yang sebenar, yang tulin (hari ini golongan muda suka kata Ori)samada kita suka atau tidak.
Justeru, jemputlah Tok Mat untuk berpidato, memberi ceramah, berkongsi buah fikiran dan pandangan, pengalamannya serta pendapatnya sebagai "Orang Lama" dalam Umno yang pernah menyaksikan Umno diharamkan dan dihidupkan semula yang sebenar-benarnya berlaku di hadapan bijimatanya sekitar 1987 sehingga 1988.
Saya amat yakin dan percaya Tok Mat ini tidak akan menolak jemputan dan undangan malahan akan merasa terharu dan pilu (pada pandangan saya yang kerdil inilah) lantaran sumbangan beliau masih diperlukan, pengalaman beliau masih dihargai dan dirinya diraikan oleh setidak-tidaknya Umno sendiri. Nescaya beliau akan berbesar hati dan merasakan dirinya masih dihargai dan dimiliki untuk turut sama menyumbang dan membantu Umno yang amat Tok Mat sayanginya (saya percaya koleksi tali leher Umno nya masih kemas dalam simpanan walaupun sudah ribuan kali dipakai kerana beliau pernah berkata kepada saya "...aku mau lambang umno ni yang tersemat dengan gagah huruf-huruf pa, kap ba, ra (akronim Jawi untuk PeKemBaR atau Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu) duduk dekat dengan hati aku" untuk kepentingan martabat perjuangan Umno.
Tok Mat bukanlah orang politik yang mudah "fade away into oblivion" seperti sesetengah bekas pemimpin kerana sejarah perjuangan Umno amatlah sinonim dengan manusia istimewa ini yang ramai orang mungkin tidak ketahui sehinggalah ke hari ini bahawa beliau pernah digelar oleh Dr Mahathir sebagai "...tu dia Mat Umno". Ini. seperti kata Pak Tuan, menambah kepada koleksi gelarannya dengan awalan "Mat".
Dari hujung rambut shingga ke hujung kaki, saya amat yang kerdil ini apabila berdiri disebelah Umnowan atau negarawan akan sentiasa mengenang jasa, budi baik beliau, sumbangannya, pengorbanan beliau dan bekas tangannya yang tidak akan saya lupakan sehingga ke akhir hayat saya, iaitu "membawa saya masuk ke dalam Umno dan Angkasapuri."
Hari ini adakah wujudnya sesuatu penghargaan istimewa terhadap jasa baik, sumbangan, bakti, pengorbanan dan keringatnya kepada Umno dan Kerajaan Barisan Nasional? Saya rasa belum lagi (saya optimistik kerana yakin dan percaya bahawa suatu hari nanti akan wujudlah) kita mengenangi secara fizikal Mohamed bin Rahmat yang akan wujud sehingga akhir zaman. Saya beroptimistik dengan berkata "belum lagi" dan "tidak" kerana yakin dan percaya bahawa suatu hari ianya akan dizahirkan untuk kita mengenang Tok Mat. Hanya sekiranya kita mengembara ke Langkawi, maka akan terjumpalah sesuatunya ingatan secara fizikal atau landmark akan manusia bernama Y.Bgh Tan Sri Datuk Seri Haji Mohamed bin Haji Rahmat, mantan Menteri Penerangan Malaysia dan Setiausaha-Agung Umno Setiausaha-Agung Barisan Nasional -- Warong Tok Mat di Kampong Tok Senik Village Resort, Langkawi. Itupun kalau benarlah diabadikan nama Tok Mat dalam erti kata sebenarnya pada kedai kopi berstandard tinggi kerana taraf resort Kampong Tok Senik adalah 5+ bintang! di resort yang diilhamkan oleh Dr Mahathir mengikut citarasa tulin Melayu unik dan lama yang lengkap dengan balai besar di perkarangannya. Resort yang seratus peratus didirikan dengan kayu (atas permintaan Dr Mahathir) ini adalah replika kompleks Sejarah Kesultanan Melayu (mungkin Kedah atau Melaka?) yang merupakan antara resort terkemuka di pulau lagenda ini.
Apakah cukup dengan hanya ingatan yang tidak seberapa itu (kalau benarlah diabadikan untuk memperingati Tok Mat) terhadap tokoh terbilang dalam menegakkan perjuangan Umno kita? Mungkin orang-orang Umno yang terbaca posting ini akan menyampaikan hasrat kecil (walau kecil pun cukup bermakna lantaran tanpa sebutir bata yang kecil maka tidak akan lengkaplah Menara Kembar Petronas yang berdiri megah di tengah-tengah dada Kuuala Lumpur hari ini) dan impian saya ini ke atas untuk dimartabatkan nama Mohamed bin Rahmat sebagai Pejuang Umno, dulu kini dan selamanya. Kita perlu mengenang jasa beliau dan ramai lagi perjuang yang terdahulu dengan lebih bermakna untuk memartabatkan perjuangan Agama, Bangsa dan Tanahair kita ini. Seperti kata Pak Tun Dr Mahathir "...tiada yang dulu maka tidak mungkin akan ada hari ini". Kita sayangkan pemimpin lama kita kerana insyALLAH suatu hari nanti kita juga akan bergelar pemimpin lama sepertimana para pemimpin lama yang ada hari ini mengelarkan para pemimpin lama di zaman muda mereka.

Zukri Valenteno
Taman Sri Gombak, Kuala Lumpur

BudakJB said...

Assalamualaikum Tuan,

Saya, webmaster ingin memohon persetujuan dari pihak Tuan untuk men"copy" komen-komen yang telah dituliskan disini, untuk diletakkan dalam laman web, diruangan "Catatan Tan Sri".

Saya juga ingin memohon persetujuan pihak Tuan untuk mengunakan gambar-gambar Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat untuk diletakkan didalam ruangan beliau.

Harap dapat persetujuan dari pihak Tuan.


Syed Imran said...

Budak JB,

sila gunakan bahan-bahan penulisan, komen dan foto yang perlu tanpa ragu-ragu.

Salam hormat.

BudakJB said...

Terima kasih. Komen Zukri Valenteno telah saya letakkan di ruangan khas untuk Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat di

Terima kasih.