KUALA LUMPUR: The late Tun Abdul Razak’s open-mindedness and willingness to share are some of the qualities that made the country a success, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“The willingness to share power and not wanting power to himself allowed the different political parties to form an alliance,” he said.
“Malaysia is a success today because we share, if we are selfish the country will be unstable,” he said at a dinner talk entitled Tun Razak from the Perspective of Tun Dr Mahathir on Monday.
The two-hour talk was organised by the Tun Razak Alumni Association Foundation with the help of the Tun Razak Foundation and the Perdana Leadership Foundation. Also present were Abdul Razak’s wife Toh Puan Rahah Noah and son Datuk Nazir Razak.
Dr Mahathir said the second Prime Minister’s dedication and commitment in carrying out his duties was an example that should be followed by the youth.
“I think we should all emulate these qualities, we must dedicate ourselves to work. Tun Razak is an example of excellence, a humble leader,” he said.
He said Abdul Razak devoted his life to the people even though he was ill.
“I remember during a trip to Sungai Petani, he did not look well, but still carried on giving a speech to Umno leaders,” he said.
“I was impressed that at a young age, Abdul Razak had such abilities to be a leader,” he added.
At a question and answer session later, Dr Mahathir said that among the qualities he chose to adapt from Abdul Razak was his humility.
“I chose to be humble and not to think that just because you are in a position of power you can throw your weight around,” he said.
Dr Mahathir added that he believed he was selected as the Deputy Prime Minister in the late 1970s based on Abdul Razak’s advice.
“I was not close to the late Tun Hussein Onn at that time, but I believe that Abdul Razak had faith in me to handle problems when I was Education Minister,” he said.