Some 1,000 people showed up for a talk by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in an event organised by the Centre For A Better Tomorrow (CENBET) recently. Titled “The Malaysian Dilemma”, the talk comprised an hour of talk followed by another hour of question-and-answer session.
The forum saw a mixed crowd comprising secondary school students, businessmen, diplomats and members of civil society groups. Admission was free although the audience had to register first.
The address by Tun Dr Mahathir saw him sharing his views on why the people in a diverse country like Malaysia should share political power and the economic cake. He also drew on his experience about how each ethnic group had its own peculiarities, such as how the Chinese were good in doing business while the Malays tend to spend what they have.
Standing for over two hours during the entire session, the 89-year-old Tun Dr Mahathir kept his composure as he fielded tough questions from the floor as he led the audience through a mixture of historical insight, funny anecdotes and thought-provoking ideas.
The organisers later presented Tun Dr Mahathir with a souvenir in the form of a replica of his earlier book, The Malay Dilemma, but with the title changed to The Malaysian Dilemma. The souvenir contained empty pages. The idea was that it was time Tun Dr Mahathir start penning a new book, going by that new title.
CENBET is a civil society group that promotes moderation and good governance. It is jointly-headed by Lim Chee Wee and Gan Ping Sieu, both of whom are established names in these areas. CENBET has spoken up on a host of issues that touches on moderation and good governance and will be organising more programmes that revolve around these areas.
Tun Dr Mahathir flanked by Co-Presidents Lim Chee Wee (left) and Gan Ping Sieu
Tun Dr Mahathir signing an autograph of his own book, 'Doctor In The House' following a request by an audience