Wednesday, May 23, 2018

PM Tun Mahathir in Okinawa

The newly-minted and champion new PM Tun Mahathir came to Okinawa with his entourage as a panellist in Ministerial Forum to World Peace on 11 Nov. 2003. Amongst other panels of the forum came from the ministerial position of which included the ex-Pm of Russia, Mikhail Gorbachev.

 Date 11 Nov. 2003

They were in the Reception Room after the forum ended. The security personnel allowed me in the room. I was alone. Before entering the room, I thought there should be many political people and their security personnel. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I was alone with the Tun and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah.

They were both staring at me when I entered through the door. So, I panicked. What topic to talk and how to greet them?
The Tun has just retired. I didn't even know who took over his position as PM of Malaysia that time.

So, I just smiled and suddenly became speechless. But Tun Dr Siti Hasmah started first by asking me how long I've stayed in Okinawa, am I a student.
She was soft-spoken and her quiet personality brought calm in me.
I told them many native people of Okinawa live through the ripe old age of 100. The Tun asked what is their magic diet. I told him the island people take lots of goya or bitter gourd.

The Tun asked many things of Okinawa and its people. Easy, I thought.
We went to a garden party after this conversation. The garden party with many politicians and media people were held on the ground of the Emperor of Okinawa. The ground has a summer palace where the once Emperor of Okinawa and his family members escaped the humid summer in town.
That meeting was 15 years ago. I had thought the Tun would retire peacefully into mature old age.

But just 10 days ago, 10 May 2018. He was elected again as the PM of Malaysia at age 92.
I wish him healthy and strong to perform the hopes of his people and success in making his country "clean" again.


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