Yesterday I was at a book launch – a simple, elegant one!

And the book itself is simply and elegantly titled STRAIGHT TALK by Tunku Abdul Aziz – himself an elegant man who is, may I add, simple in spirit!

By KL standards, the launch was a modest one with several rows of theatre style seating in a small section of the Heritage Room of the Royal Selangor Golf Club. What the MC referred to as the stage was a make-shift platform, too small I thought for such distinguished VIPs. The guest list was distinguished too, comprising ambassadors and high commissioners, political leaders and other eminent Malaysians. The guest of honour was Tun Hanif Omar the benign, humble and much respected former IGP and newspaper columnist.


What struck me immediately was the punctuality of the event which started on the dot of 3.30pm – something seldom experienced at  grander events when more/most important people the MIPs are in attendance.  Simple or grand, to me  punctuality must be observed as it not only shows one’s efficient time management skills but also one’s personal integrity.

I was also not disappointed with the 3 speakers – Tunku Abdul Aziz, Tan Sri Robert Phang and Tun Hanif  – who spoke eloquently taking no more than their allocation of 5 minutes (I suppose). But they were able to inject the substance and the relevance of the man and his writings in their short oral presentation! It confirmed my own thinking that in speech, the economy of words forces one to focus on the message which the audience also absorbs better especially at an afternoon book launch.

The book is a compilation of Tunku Abdul Aziz’s writings in his column in the New Sunday Times spanning a period of two years 2006-2008. It contains choice pieces on ethics and good governance gleaned from his vast experiences as a corporate man, his stint as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General and his fight against corruption locally and internationally as head of Transparency International Malaysia.

An impressive career indeed and impressive ideals in a not-so-impressive and  ideal world!

To the cynics and sceptics who think that the world must spin always in pragmatic, compromising circles I’d like to say that there must be room for the dreamers and idealists among us who envisage a cleaner, fairer and more equitable world and who strive to articulate it. And in our everyday professional, community and family lives we try to live it!

To the movers and shakers of society in politics, government and business I’d like to make a plea for them to stop and ponder awhile! If you cannot think for the good of the country, pause and think for the good of your families, for your children and grandchildren!

I will always envisage a world where good is better and white is whiter and pure is pristine although I know the real world is a murky grey mass filled with corruption and abuse.

If we don’t dream or have ideals what good is our temporary sojourn on this earth!


4 Responses to “”

  1. October 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Salam, came here via Rocky’s blog. Certainly a must buy on the next trip home. Met Tunku once when he came to give a talk in London.

  2. 2 ninitalk
    October 2, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Kak Teh! Thanks for visiting! Yes, the good Tunku’s thoughts are worth savoring over and over again to remind ourselves of the human potential for good which is often overshadowed by the quest for fame and wealth!

  3. October 3, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Thank you for giving prominence to this important event. I don’t think I’ve seen it covered prominently in the mainstream newspapers. Or may be I’ve missed it.

  4. 4 ninitalk
    October 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Perhaps in the newspapers which are pro-Opposition or pro DAP considering the Tunku’s position as the Vice Chairman of DAP.The NST should have the courtesy to report the event since he was one of their columnists.

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