At 61, looking back to a full life

08 November 1998

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I believe I have earned my friends' approval.

What happened to Abdullah Majid, Syed Hussein Ali Samani, Samad Ismail, Kassim Ahmad and I and others was an aberration which gave our democratic tradition a bad name. I am grateful to Allah S. W.T that those violators of human rights are no longer around or in power and as a result Malaysian democratic processes, up to a point, have been bolstered.

I have come a long way and I am thankful for it even if I feel I was barred from reaching my potential. The most important blessing: I am in good health as far as my doctors - both Malaysian. and American - can determine and even more importantly I have a loving family and a small circle of friends who are very supportive.

I have always believed in living life to the fullest and in the spirit of live and let live. Life is so short so make hay:-while the sun shines albeit with due consideration to the disadvantaged groups in our society.

Two of nature's real good men were Tun Abdul Razak and Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra. The Tunku gave us Merdeka and Razak consolidated it whilst Mahathir struggles to preserve what we have.

I know the three leaders well, though Razak more intimately than Tunku or Mahathir. Each had done me favours for which I shall always cherish. I do not make friends easily but once friendship is found it will be for keeps.

I continue to live by the day I spend as rapidly as I earn it and goodness knows what will become of me when I stop work.

When that day comes God will take care of me as He did when McCarthyite "Ghulam" sent me to goal for five years.

Actually, the detention made me develop many precious interests, the main being a greater love for books.

McCarthy or "Ghulam", the latter, in particular, was as believable as a scam operator. I will write on this again, with delight, because I am just being frank.

My constant prayer is: may He grant me time to finish my books before my 63rd birthday in 2000. I am no "sage" at my age but I do hope to produce magnum opus of sorts.

Dato' Abdullah Ahmad is Malaysia's Special Envoy to the United Nations

(This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of Sun )