PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) has paid tribute to Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the country’s second prime minister, despite his ongoing criticism against his son.
Dr Mahathir said he had nothing but good memories of Razak, the father of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"It is difficult to think that 40 years have passed since the demise of Tun Razak, the much respected and beloved second Prime Minister of independent Malaysia.
"Watching the TV documentary on his life and times, I cannot help but feel sad. Those were great days," he wrote on his blog chedet.cc on Monday.
He said the leaders then were "dedicated, and bent on developing the country and tackling the disparities in Malaysia society."
"It was Tun Razak who introduced the New Economic Policy. He broke away from the apron-strings of the British Commonwealth past, and visited Russia and China. The winds of change blew strongly," he said.
Describing the loss as "personal", he said he owed everything, including his political career, to Razak, who died of leukaemia on Jan 14, 1976.
"I am of course particularly saddened because I owed everything to him. I was expelled from Umno and people who were expelled before me never returned. Their political career was blighted," he said.
Dr Mahathir had a fallout with the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, resulting in his expulsion from Umno in 1969.
However, not only did Razak allow Dr Mahathir to return to the party, he had also appointed him a full minister.
"I was described as Tun’s blue-eyed boy, which angered many Umno stalwarts.
"For me, the loss is personal. Tun Hussein (Onn), who succeeded him, was never close to me and I thought that was the end of my career.
"But it wasn’t, because Razak had spoken a good word for me to Tun Hussein," he said.
Dr Mahathir said Malaysia "truly lost a great leader" when Razak died.
"He could have made a real difference to the future of this country, which he fought so hard for," he said.
Did you find this article insightful?