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“There is no doubt that we (Malaysia) are on a slippery slope.
Intolerance is growing and there is no firm guiding hand, no leadership to lead us back to the right path.”
…so begins Dato’ Seri Kalimullah Hassan in the introduction to this compilation of columns written over the years and published in the New
Sunday Times in Malaysia. In them, he fondly reminisces the Malaysia of yesteryear when ordinary Malaysians lived modestly and armoniously together. He also bemoans the decline in ethnic and religious tolerance in recent times, amidst a rise
of rhetoric of racism and bigotry.
Having been friends with former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi since 1980, and part of the team who helped with
Abdullah’s speeches at the annual Umno General Assembly, Kalimullah also gives an insider’s view of Abdullah’s years in power and the events
which led to his resignation.
The Malaysia That Could Be tells of one man’s belief in his country – and how it can be so much more than what it is today. It also reflects the
stories and sentiments of many who care deeply about the country.
“When I read [Kalimullah’s] newly published collection of columns and recollections, many of those earnest discussions and arguments we had
over steaming cups of teh tarik in the 1990s came flooding back to me. There is his great pride in Malaysia’s ethnic diversity, his deep concern
about the divisive racist rhetoric of contested politics and the corrosive impact of patronage and corruption in high places.”
– Michael Vatikiotis,
former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review
About the Author | Kalimullah Hassan’s career in journalism has spanned close to 20 years, during which he worked for organisations
including Time, Reuters, Singapore Press Holdings and the New Straits Times Press, where he was editor-in-chief and deputy chairman. Currently, he is chairman of the ECM Libra Financial Group and the Board of Trustees of the ECM Libra Foundation, which has helped thousands of disadvantaged Malaysians achieve an education with interest-free loans and scholarships. He is also one of the original investors and founding board members of AirAsia X, Tune Hotels Group and Tune Money.