The fourth Prime Minister and the Father of Modernization of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad didn’t sit still and chill after he signed out of the Cabinet in 2003. At the age of 91, you can find him conducting quality control spot-checks and having breakfast at one of my favorite café franchise, The Loaf, wood carving, blogging at chedet.cc and currently acting as a chairman in a new formed political party, The Malaysian United Indigenous Party or PPBM. This man who celebrates his birthday twice a year has recently challenged himself by accepting an offer to act in a short film produced by HAS Filmmaking Academy that aspires to educate the society through films, and filmmakers that educates the society.
The video that was released in February 15, which contains the behind-the-scenes of shooting the short film around Perdana Leadership Foundation, Putrajaya had inserted his thoughts on the film and the youth today. As a successful person that obviously had been through it all, he emphasized on having an attitude that suits success. He elaborated on that statement by saying, “The success of a person depends on their principles of life. If someone chooses entertainment and resting down as a priority, he will fail. His nation will fail. If someone prefers to work hard, he will succeed. His nation will succeed”. This proves the hypothesis that a nation’s future lies on its living youth. As the first defense line of the country in the future, we should be equipped with knowledge to rule. You don’t have to be in politics and run for President to have the authority to lead. Change is undoubtedly can be done by the compound of our small palms.
Growing up, tilting my head up high at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed as an icon and keenly reading his biographies before sleep, showed he had done what he said. Aside of eating fish for health which I only practice after entering high school because I don’t have the luxury to choose what to eat, I have trained myself to practice what he did. In the midst of rushing to classes and a tower of homework, I will force myself to buy a book, regardless what the genre is, to let my brain imagine and digest facts compared to directly reading it with visualized pictures on the Internet. His job that required him to work around the clock didn’t make him miserable. In fact, he even had time to spare on his hobbies and family, and of course, reading. He is proactive and always had ideas to build and improve Malaysia to a better place in the eyes of the world. He was the one that generated the idea to build Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC), The Penang Bridge and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The high contained empathy in his heart that will never leave his people suffer alone by themselves has made him not settle down and keep on brainstorming for the development and betterment of his beloved country and nation. He is also a very well-planned and a super saver.
Sharing about the ups and downs managing his Japanese concept restaurant chain, The Loaf, at a SME Seminar on July 6, 2011, he mentioned that he used his savings from his salary as Prime Minister 100% to start The Loaf instead of asking for loans from banks because debts fear him. “If I have a debt, I will lose sleep. Since I value my sleep, I might as well not borrow”. Believe it or not, the main capital of starting The Loaf costs millions of ringgit. This is a clear example of the advantages of saving up for our youth today that is predicted are not able to pay their debts until the day of their death. Investments in the right track such as business, assets and unit trusts like what Tun did can guarantee your future. Come on youth, you can change the stereotype.
In the 3-minute length clip, Tun also advised us to live according to the situation that we are in. If we can live easy and free, then do so, but if life demands us to struggle and live the hard way, live the hard way. Easy or hard, you still have mouths to feed. You are still obligated to success in any form. Don’t, at any circumstances, feel that your hands worth a lot more than to hold a broom with a low-paying salary because you have a degree. Look, let me give a shot in your head a bit. The economy downfall is stressing everyone. Companies will usually offer high end positions to experienced staffs rather than fresh graduates that knows nothing about the raging world except for the contents in his thick book and researches for thesis. Are you still going to portray that snobbish stare during job interviews and wait for months, and years, with banks jamming your phone line because of the stacking debts of your car and the rent of your 3-room apartment that you hardly ever come home to before the clock strikes midnight?
Wake up. The bell of realization had just blasted off.
Wrapping up, there are a lot of life lessons that I learned from the most respected ( and adorable) personnel that did so many contributions to my country, and I hope all of you will to. This may be cliché, but, it’s time for a spin-off and change.
I’m not going to let my idol down. I’m not going to let my nation down. Most importantly, I’m not going to let myself down.
The Malay-language based short film Sikap (Attitude) will premiere on Facebook and Youtube HAS Filmmaking Academy on March 8, 2017 at 9 PM. Don’t miss this short film that includes important messages to the society especially, and Tun’s first act ever!