Business leaders heap praises on Mahathir

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 01 Nov 2003

TAN Sri Haji Mustapha Kamal Abu Bakar,  

executive chairman of MK Land Holdings Bhd. 

My success is largely due to Dr Mahathir's challenge to the bumiputra community to muster their energy, work hard and prove themselves. 

I am what I am today because I took up that challenge to prove that bumiputras can survive in the highly competitive business world.  

MK Land has developed into one of the premier property players in the country today and we will continue to do our part as a good corporate citizen.  

Dr Mahathir has on many occasions taken a genuine interest in how our projects are doing and offered his advice on how to overcome challenges.  

When a person has proven himself to be reliable and capable of producing good results, he places his trust in him to become a partner in the development for the country. In fact, many significant projects have been conceived by the Prime Minister to unveil Malaysia's capability to the world.  

Dr Mahathir has not only instilled confidence in Malaysians in the spirit of Malaysia Boleh but also the foreigners who now have a high regard for the many achievements the country has made. 


Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam, president of the Federation of Malaysian Port Operating Companies and Westport executive chairman  

Dr Mahathir's vision in the past 22 years was ahead of the popular thinking of the time. This is demonstrated in his tireless efforts to propel Malaysia's ports into the forefront of the industry. 

His far-sightedness was one of his greatest gifts to the country's ports. I've said it before and I will say it again – if there is anything I would like to ask Dr Mahathir for, it would be his binoculars. 

This is why foreigners always comment that Malaysia has super infrastructure in terms of ports, airports and the multimedia communications industry. 

It is fortunate that infrastructure was developed as part of Dr Mahathir's Vision 2020 programme for a developed nation, ensuring that development was way ahead of schedule and, looking back, way ahead of the Asian economic crisis in 1997.  

The timing was perfect. If we had been a little late, we will not be where we are now. Today, Malaysia 's infrastructure is definitely on par with that of developed nations. 


Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, managing director YTL Corporation Berhad 

Dr Mahathir is the most sensational leader this country has ever known. The West often perceives his outspoken, very independent and often trenchant views as unorthodox. 

Malaysia is also a beacon of stability, democracy and prosperity in the Islamic World. Dr Mahathir would probably describe himself as a fundamentalist Muslim – true to the fundamental values of his faith, preferring substance to mere form. 

He has successfully warded off racial and religious extremism whenever it threatened to upset the hard-won inter-racial synthesis. 

One man may keep the enthusiasm for 30 minutes; another man for 30 days but this man has kept his for 30 years and more.  

He is an idealist, but a practical one and a strategic thinker. 

He is humble but not weak.  

Those expecting to meet an arrogant dictator, encounter a courteous Malay gentleman. He shuns the pomp and circumstance of the office and would just as soon eat at the stalls as at some sumptuous banquet. 

He is a good husband and father and an exemplary family man. 

His prognosis and recommended medicine may not be pleasant but they do come from his heart. We will miss him for sure. 

I wish him well and pray that God will continue to cause His face to shine upon him. 

Tan Sri Abdul Halim Mohd Ali, chairman of Multimedia Development Corporation 

Dr Mahathir has brought a lot of changes in not only the country's economy but also in education, and in changing the attitude of the people. 

He has brought Malaysia to what it is – a well-industrialised, dynamic economic power in the region. 

He has been instrumental in the development of the Multimedia Super Corridor, which led to the growth of IT and Cyberjaya. 

The guidance that he had given to MDC to promote the MSC is something that we in the MDC will never forget. 

Because of the tremendous development under Dr Mahathir's leadership, the world has come to respect Malaysia as a country that can carry out its promises and development plans. 

There are so many positive things Dr Mahathir has brought – including the modernisation of the education system, expansion of the education facilities and industrialisation. 

We hope that he'll live long. He's a unique man. I hope he will continue to inspire us. 


Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar, managing director and chief executive officer of UEM group  

There's a long list of what Dr Mahathir has done for Malaysia.  

He has very much been responsible in completely shaping the country's economy, from an agriculture-based economy, to manufacturing and now growing into a knowledge economy. 

Dr Mahathir has an ability to make right decisions and he is very, very visionary.  

He's ahead of our time. He has a way of translating those visions into reality that not many people can emulate. 

We in UEM are deeply indebted to him as he had initiated the rescue of UEM. 

He was responsible in getting Khazanah Nasional Berhad to take over UEM and had implemented various strategies.  

The actions had resulted in not only the turnaround but the lives of 20,000 employees were protected. 

I first met him after my appointment and he quietly took me aside and told me to always maintain my integrity and that there'll always be temptation but that it is vital that we maintain our cause.  

His strategic policies and his vision and privatisation policies have done a lot for the economic development of the country.  

His infrastructure projects have been catalysts for growth and have benefited the country. 

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