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Sunday May 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday May 11, 2014 MYT 8:46:09 AM
Apart from that, I have been travelling with my husband. We have decided to spend most of our free time travelling. Once in a while, we go off as a whole family, otherwise mostly it’s my husband and I. The rest of the time I relax at home. I go out and eat like normal people do.
> What do you think of the government implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST)?
It has been debated for years as long as I can remember but unfortunately, we do not seem to be telling the stories appropriately. We want to use the kind of information dissemination as we would use for branding something. We use huge billboards. I see one in my area here that says GST is not charged for education. What for? That billboard is a few hundred thousand dollars. Nobody’s worried about education. There isn’t direct communication with the Rakyat.
> What about the TPPA?
We have to make sure when we negotiate this, we do a thorough cost and benefit analysis. At the moment, we can benefit more than what we sacrifice, that’s the time you advise the government to sign it. It should never be politicised.
> What is your view on Hudud?
I don’t even read about this debate anymore because it’s of no relevance anymore.To me, (there are) better things to look at. The way it’s being debated, why should I even bother to read about it? Why waste my time and clutter my mind?
> Recently there seems to be a rise in the number of Malay rights groups such as Isma and Perkasa. How do you view these groups?
(Sighs) I don’t want to even go there. I’m a very nationalistic person. And a nationalistic Malay to boot. I’ve always been. My father was like that. I was nurtured that way but I have a different perception of nationalism as a Malaysian from Malay roots. My nationalism is equal to doing the best I can, being the best Malay and best Malaysian I can and performing to the best of my abilities. When people look at me, whatever I do, they will see the good of Malaysia and the Malaysian in me.
I just don’t want to be a Malaysian or a Malaysian Malay at the lowest bottom rung of the economy.
What purpose does it serve? It gives such a bad image of my country, doesn’t it?
So every Malaysian, every Malay, every Chinese, every Indian should strive to be the best so that they carry the Malaysian flag all the time. That is my message when I talk to universities, to private sector staff and all that. If you do the best and your company produces the best products, then you have done your duty to be nationalistic. That is my interpretation. I don’t care what others think. It’s immaterial to me.
> Do you plan your own schedule?
Of course. My secretary never organises my schedule. Once many years ago, she agreed for me to go to a dinner when I’d already made up my mind to play golf that Wednesday evening. I told her that she could go for it. She was stunned. So from that moment onwards, she has never done it again.
People will always understand if you can’t go for something, you (just) have to explain. If you have family matter, you just say no. Don’t just say no for no's sake. Don’t just say yes for yes' sake and end up with three functions in a row without seeing the completion of any. You manage your time, not your staff.
> Why is time management important?
There are only 24 hours in a day and almost half that time is spent sleeping, leaving you 12,13,14 hours. You better make sure what you want to do, you do it that day. If you postpone to the next day, you become complacent. So I am very particular about my schedule. I have schedules on two phones and on a hard copy diary. If this phone goes bonkers or gets stolen, I have my diary as backup.
> What would you consider your biggest priority in life?
I’ve always prioritised what makes me happy, (which is) balancing time with family and what I want to do. Those days when I had a job, I had to balance with family and politics. Now my job is in a different context, so keeping this balance to the best of my ability brings me happiness and contentment. As long as I find myself content and letting it flow, that is it. That’s happiness.
You might be surprised with this but I am always grateful and thanking Allah daily for what I have. I always tell my children aren’t we lucky that we are able to do what we want to do? After two years (of retirement), I got three chairmanships, which enables us to live the kind of life we were living before. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do the things I want to do. You cannot imagine how grateful I am.
> Does Wanita Umno seek advice from you?
Once in a while, whenever they try to complain. Well, you choose your leaders, end of story. That’s my stark reply. I don’t entertain so much. I have no time for triviliaties, it’s a waste of time. We have so many things to do in life.
> Do you go back to your old constituency?
No, whatever for? I wasn’t even invited for Hari Raya, they forgot. But it doesn’t matter. They did invite two days before the thing, I said what? They assumed I was invited and when they checked, I wasn’t invited. I’m not hard up to go.
> Do you think Malaysians need more outspoken people, like someone who calls a spade a spade?
No, we need people to say what should be said. You can brand it anything you like, do not hide behind the facade, do not twist and turn words and issues so it doesn’t come out right. Do not have spindoctors to craft messages that mean nothing, but sounds right. Don’t do that. We should have people, ordinary people, leaders at any level just say what is right and people must accept it. Don’t play politics all the time.
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Politics, Rafidah Aziz
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