Monday, April 23, 2007

Tun Dr.Ismail... the Book.. a forum

Wow!!! What a day to end the week. It was Friday the 20th of April. Here I am in the heart of Bangsar, a suburban of Kuala Lumpur where the young and the expatriates hangout for the evening, having their drinks or dinner with friends. Enjoying life after a hard day works. I am here today not for that but for a different reason. I was invited to be a panel of a discussion group on a book that was out recently. I posted in this blog a write up of that book. A biography of the late Tun Dr. Ismail, the then Deputy PM of Malaysia. Following that posting, I was invited to attend this forum. Here am I at the Valentine Willey, an Art Gallery in the heart of the buzzling nightlife spot of Bangsar. Bangsar indeed glitter with its neon by night. Cars are parked double side by side like sardine, a norm at Bangsar come evening. Bangsar a different world altogether come nights. Eh!! What a wonderful world we live in.

The Forum is an evening event and started at just after seven in the evening. Rocky was the organising man as well as the chairperson of this event. Four of us as seen in the image above are from right, Ron, Tawfik Tun Dr. Ismail, Dr. Ooi Kee Beng [the author] and Me. The image was snap by my good friend Zorro-unmasked. The room was packed with blogger and others who has read the book. You would notice that Sheih, Jeff, Nuraina was there together with the other blogger whom I met for the first time. There was also a young student from the University of Malaya who is doing a thesis on blogging for her Master. So as you can see blogging do create waves in the Malaysian society.

After having read the book many had wondered as to why the former Prime Minister Tun Dr.Mahathir was not interviewed. So the first question from the floor as voiced by the chairperson. Why is this so since TDM is one of the leader of UMNO at that period of time. The author replied that he did tried many times to get in touch with TDM but did not succeed in getting an interview with him. Well knowing the fact of the matter, the forum proceed with many more questions from the floor. The forum was indeed a serious exchange of thoughts, yet lively. Since the late Tun son's Tawfik was there and was able to explain in detail about why the biography was written that way, the audience got more then they came for. Indeed a bonus point for we get to hear of the other aspects of the life of the late Tun. As for me, I told the audience among other things that it is time that such a book is made available and like any written history it is as the saying goes " History is the product of the victor ". As a person who live throughout that period of our history, I found the book do give factual account of the role of this famous son of Malaysia in the history of this country. And I hope that this book could be made a textbook for our school, so that our young would know what this leader did for the country. At present most Malaysian of the Merdeka generation did not know much about this great leader of ours except that there is a housing estate call Taman Tun Dr. Ismail and a road Jalan Tun Dr.Ismail.

To me the gathering gave me the opportunity to meet the other blogger whom I had known only in cybersphere. Meeting the real person!! from an image in cyberspace to the real world. It was indeed great to get to talk to these blogger, mostly from my children's generation. Nuriana has been very helpful indeed in introducing me to the other blogger. As usual when blogger meet the talking never ceased, for like their writing blogger also love to talk. I suppose it is part of the blogger culture. They have so much thoughts and as such makes interesting exchanges of ideas.

This meeting also a first for me in meeting the author of the book. At the same time get to meet Tawfik the eldest son of the late Tun Dr. Ismail. I was given a complimentary copy of the book by Nuriana. Got the author to endorsed it, thus it became a special copy. A Bahasa Malaysia version of the book was shown to me by the author and would be out on sale by the end of the week. The BM version is title " Bukan Kerana Pangkat ". I thought indeed it is an appropriate title of the book in Bahasa Malaysia. A direct translation would not give the true meaning of the book.

Well, it has been fun as well, an evening with many well known Malaysian blogger, the author of the book, as well as meeting Tawfik, the eldest son of the Late Tun Dr. Ismail. What an evening!!!. In Bangsar!!! Friends, have a nice day.

12 comments:

Hi&Lo said...

Pak Idrus,

A portrait of Tun Dr Ismail whose shadow loomed large in the Malaysian landscape during our country's formative years deserves more than one book.

This one by Ooi Kee Beng was largely from Tun's personal diary and filling in the blanks.

I read some critics which were not very fair to expect the book to be complete.

A Voice (of Another Brick in the Wall) said...

Pak Idrus

Its great to meet you although I've been rather expressive at our second meet. I do not mince my words and unmalayfully straight forward at times. Apology seek.

AN authobiography shd have captured all the real essence of the man or at least try to capture every important aspect of the man and not expressed explicitly the irrelevent asopect of the man.

In my view, it choose to pick what it wants to potray in accordance with the flavour of the time. The back part cover of the book was very disturbing.

I feel the author does not know sufficient Malaysian history to give justice to the man. As I said to the two children of TDI, the man is greater than the descried by the book.

My review will be forthcoming, after I do some rechecking with some historian and a second read.

Liza said...

Pak Idrus,

Allahyarham Tun Dr. Ismail; I've been wondering about who he was and his contributions for the longest time. TTDI is my favourite neighbourhood and hanging out place for the past 7 years, the reason why his name facinates me so.

I used to asked my father candidly about him one day when we were passing by One Utama and TTDI. It seemed that my father remembered him as the Home Affairs Minister as well as the Deputy Prime Minister. I remember he mentioned it very shortly and nothing else.

It's great that there is a book of reference about this great character who were an important figure during the process of independence. Recently I had a discussion with my dear friend (an Indian) about their rights in being Malaysian in comparison with the Malays. It's kind of sensitive (it makes me heartsick to think of it) but I do feel that we need to change our system to accommodate other races than the Malays fairly as real Malaysian. Now is the time after 50 years of independence.

Well, I would love to read the book soon.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Pak Idrus
Work and the rain kept me in the office or else I would have been there. I got the invite from Rocky, who said it would be good for me to meet the other bloggers.
Next time, hopefully, I would be able to make it for a bloggers' meet, formally or informally.

elviza said...

a'kum Pak Idrus,

It was really nice meeting you as well. I hope we meet again, in a less formal environment that is.

The only thing I regret is not having so much time to talk to you longer. Well, as you said, bloggers also love to talk :-)

Pak Idrus said...

Friends, thanks for the visit and the kind words with thoughtful comments.

hi&lo - No one book is perfect. Lets hope that there are more books to come.

a voice - Great meeting you. With a great mind like that you would surely go far indeed. Well sometime the slip of the tongue is not the fault of the mind. As for the book at least it wake us to the know the Man who is one of our greatest leader. Hope more books to come.

Liza - that is the real world we live in. Sad but true. We have to make the changes, a step a time and hopefully we would succeed. Read the book and I believe you would know more about this great leader.

Fauziah - one of those things in life, hope to see you sometimes in the not too distance future.

Elviza, great meeting you, hope that we would meet again and talk, talk....

Everyone.. have a nice day and take care.

meesh said...

Am currently reading the book Pak Idrus, and I think its a great time for it to come out especially since we're celebrating our 50th anniversary. It is an interesting account to say the least and I am reading it voraciously. Unfortunately, parts of me are sort of depressed and sad because I think we have strayed so far off the track from what Tunku and Tun Dr. Ismail had hoped for us. Also, kicking myself for not going for the forum, didn't know about it!

Pak Idrus said...

meesh, thanks for the visit and the comments. As I had said before this book is indeed timely. I even suggest at the forum that we do away with Hang Tuah and replace it with this book in our school.

We must know our history and by knowing we would appreciate what our founding father had plan for this country, that we must stay as secular country. Only with a secular constitution would our country stay united. Have a nice day.

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Pak Idrus said...

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Pak Idrus said...

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