Malaysia's post-colonial history began with optimism and a grand hope in 1957. When Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first prime minister of Malaysia, proclaimed our Independence at the Merdeka Stadium in the unforgettable words that "Malaysia is a parliamentary democracy with an independent judiciary," he had a vision of a happy people in spite of the formidable economic problems we needed to solve.
After that dawn of independence, there was a search of how we could achieve this happy society, fulfilling the needs and aspirations of all Malaysians which was to continue for the generations to come. He symbolised the concept and conviction of generational responsibility in his vision.
Tunku Abdul Rahman and his generation were dedicated leaders, not for power but a sense of duty to the present and the future. They were not in politics for the money or for themselves. Indeed, even after they had assumed power, they never used their position to benefit themselves or their families, nor did they build loyal cronies who would act as their financiers or hold any wealth unlawfully earned at the expense of the people.
The guiding philosophy was responsibility of public office. Public office was seen as a duty, not as an opportunity. The public office was also part of their sense of political commitment to create a Malaysia that was fair, just, cohesive, and balanced. This was combined by a deep conviction of generational responsibility for those who would come after them...