Acceptance Speech at The 20th Asian Association of Management Organisations (AAMO) Triennial Gala Dinner and Awards Night

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY TUN DR MAHATHIR MOHAMAD, PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA
ON THE 20TH ASIAN ASSOCIATION OF MANAGEMENT ORGANISATIONS (AAMO) TRIENNIAL GALA DINNER AND AWARDS NIGHT
ON 29 APRIL 2019 (MONDAY) AT 9.30PM
AT HOTEL ISTANA KUALA LUMPUR CITY CENTRE

  1. It is indeed a pleasure to be here. Thank you very much for the warm welcome and all the kind words. My heartiest congratulations to the recipients of the Asian Association of Management Organisations’ Asian Leadership Award.
  2. On my part, it is indeed an honour to receive the Visionary Leader and Nation Builder Award. I thank the Asian Association of Management Organisations or simply AAMO, for finding me deserving to receive such an honour.
  3. Since I am receiving this award from an association of management organisations, I will try to share some of my experience in managing the nation.
  4. When I was the Prime Minister the first round, I was frequently asked what were my secrets in being able to manage a nation which is so diverse that almost each segment has a different set of demands and priorities.
  5. There are no secrets other than the most basic and logical concept when we are dealing with a diverse group of people – we first find what are the common grounds and common purposes.
  6. Once we have established what are the common grounds and purposes, we can build on them and after that, these common grounds and purposes will become the rallying point which we can claim to have achieved unity in diversity.
  7. It sounds easy but I am sure, you are all aware of how difficult it is. Herein lies the actual secrets to it – hard work, determination, purposefulness, drive, focus and giving everyone a hearing among others.
  8. Beneath this, equally important if not more is why do we want to work so hard. It has to come from a sincere belief that what we want to do is for the betterment of our people and our nation. It must also be based on the principle that we are duty bound to defend our nation and our sovereignty. Helping our own people to come together and agree in developing and building our country is our duty and it is an act of selflessness since we too will and have reaped the benefits of living in a successful nation.
  9. In case you’re not aware, I am a doctor by training. I spend some good years practising medicine and some of my professional experience were applied to my management of the nation.
  10. As a doctor, it is incumbent for us to diagnose what afflicts our patient. Once we are able to do that we can then make our prescription and we will monitor the patient to determine the efficacy of our prescription. If after a reasonable period of time it doesn’t work we come up with another prescription which may be stronger or of higher doses.
  11. If these efforts are ineffective, then we would have to think out of the box and work on other options possible. In some cases, amputations and surgeries are required.
  12. In a lot of ways, managing a nation requires similar processes as those of a doctor, and where and when necessary, leaders have to make drastic and decisive decisions so as to save the nation.
  13. Most times, the people, like most patients, do not like having to swallow the bitter pill. But a responsible leader, like any responsible doctor, may have to force their people and patients to accept the prescription for the good of the nation in the long run.
  14. Malaysia as a nation, has come a long way since its independence. I’ve been beside it since it received its sovereignty. I witnessed how it struggled to find its footing and how its people through sheer grit, determination, sweat and tears, dragged the nation from a small, former bullied colony, into a modern, proud and confident nation.
  15. For as long as I live I will try not to allow this nation of ours to flounder and fall, to lose its dignity and sense of purpose.
  16. I am aware the challenges seem insurmountable at times. We have prevailed in the past and we will hopefully prevail now and, in the future. In Sya Allah.
  17. On that note, I humbly accept this Award presented to me by the Association of Management Organisations. I am truly grateful for this recognition.
    Thank you.

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