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My golf playing days were abruptly and rudely ended when I was detained under ISA on Nov 2, 1976. I made no serious attempt to play golf again. Frazer's Hill was an exception because I had taken two Japanese and other friends for a breather or break during a long weekend holiday.

It was a relaxing retreat but golf never recaptured me. I bade farewell to the fairway that Monday afternoon with little emotion.

Was I a good golfer? Heavens above, no I played it for "social and political reasons" and did benefit from it as Razak said I would. I played an erratic game, most of the time flat golf!

Even if I say it I was always a good loser, always sporting. I learnt it well at MCKK that the most important thing in any sport is not winning but to take part. Something the maxim I wish the Malaysian national soccer team and our national hockey team would not take to heart and literally!

One day, sometime, in late 1965, as Musa, Ahmad Mustapha and I were about to tee off at the old Subang Golf Club (the club house was still the estate manager's bungalow), Razak and the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, arrived.

Razak told the Tunku: "We have made progress, haven't we? The socialists have accepted the capitalist pastime and feudalist social values"' The Tunku smiled broadly, satisfied and as if saying to Razak , "Didn't I tell you so?"

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Musa, Ahmad Mustapha and the scribe and several others were then known as "young Turks" in Umno because we were eager for radical change to the established order which came five years later with Razak's ascent.

At the office the next morning, Razak said to me: "Tunku was amazed you had the time to stretch your legs ... . Dollah I am happy you took up my I advice. Don't worry, Lee Kuan Yew plays golf though I never enjoy playing with him (the reasons are interesting) so does soldier-socialist,
General Ne Win."

Adding and beaming before we sat down to discuss Kelantan and Perak Umno: ... You, Musa and Ahmad (Mustapha) are in good company. Anyway, does Mahathir play any game?"

I told him not that I know of However, I added that he built sampan and perahu (small boats) as a hobby Razak was surprised: "Betul?" That was his only reaction.

Perhaps, I will play golf again, though the thought of carrying around a heavy bag, filled with irons, woods and balls and I don't particularly like making a caddy do it - is a bit off putting. One happy note: my daughter, Didi, and youngest son, Fuad are learning to play the game. I have also advised my daughter-in-law Yati to start taking golf lessons.

It will be nice to play again and in different situations and enjoy myself. I have actually decided what brand of electric (or nuclear powered) golf cart to take home.

Who knows I may, like Arnold Plamer did in the Senior Professional Golfers (PGA) tour in late June, shot 1under 71, his first round under par since last year.

(Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad is our Special Envoy to the United Nations.)

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