Saturday, May 01, 2010

With Deng Xiaoping - a page from my archive....

The happening was in 1981. I was among the four officers selected to accompany the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Malaysia to go on a diplomatic mission to the Republic of China. The visit in the spring of that year was among the first visit of Malaysian to that country. I was indeed lucky to be selected to accompany the Minister on this visit to China where then not many Malaysian visits or allow to visit China. China was just opening up and this visit by a Malaysian Minister was given an official status by the government of China. We got to China by means of Hong Kong where we took the train to Guangzhou. At Guangzhou we flew to Beijing where we were welcome warmly by a Chinese Minister and Diplomats. While in Beijing we were put up at a VIP Guesthouse in Beijing and were taken to visit various historic sites which include the Great Wall of China. One of the most important aspects of this visit was the opportunity to meet Deng Xiaoping, the leader of modern China after the death of Chairman Mao. As usual in a visit of this nature we were just expecting a short visit; to just meet and shake the hand of the great leader and exchange greeting. But instead the meeting with Deng Xiaoping in an atmosphere of friendship lasted for an hour. Before we left the meeting The Minister of CYS Malaysia presented a gift of a Malaysian Silver craft to Deng Xiaoping. Above is a group photo of that historic visit.

22 comments:

Rahman Hariri said...

Pak Idrus, nice pic. I am sure Beijing in 1981 would be totally different from Beijing today. Would love to see the difference if you had taken the pics of Beijing then.

Traveling in those days with no Air Asia connection would be a great adventure.

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
It was historic indeed! congratulations to you. Not many people can claim to such an opportunity.

Pak Idrus said...

Comment by Lias via Buzz:-

lias y - I wasn't that lucky, though I was in China in about 198Os ..... thousands of blue ants riding on thousands of bicycle ....9:25 am

Pak Idrus said...

Comments made at Facebook on this posting:-

Abdul Mutalib Saifuddin, Thamrong สมชาย ธำรง and Immanuel Mathio like this.

Thamrong สมชาย ธำรง

This is history...and an honor to be among the giant who made history..Mao managed to instilled order and cohesiveness among the Chinese and Deng showed them the way forward.
6 hours ago ·

Lias My

many have to learn from the Chinese, even from Overseas Chinese ...
5 hours ago ·

Zaharan Razak said...

1. thousands in blue cycling by ... unfortunate? Cor! Are you a climate change conscript?
2. The guy in white ... his sleeves are short, his pants are long ... third guy from right is just the opposite ... hehe ...

Pak Idrus said...

Rahman Hariri, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

It was not possible to take picture as one would like. It is still a communist country and even our group our own SB officer follow us all the times. There are things that we are not allow to do and as not to rock the boat we just follow instructions and behave ourselves. Remember not many folks got to be in China at that time. Anyway I manage to take a few snap here and there and would post it some other time.

Getting to China was another problem at that time. There was no direct flight. We had to get to Hong Kong and from there get into China on a train that is packed like sardine. It was when the train arrived at the Chinese Boarder that there was discipline in the train. Well time has changed and now it is that easy to get to China.

BTW should visit the expo in Shanghai, sound interesting!

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Pak Zawi, thanks for the visit and the good words on my visit to China.

It was indeed an historic visit and I do treasure it very much. Meeting Deng Xiaoping was special in that not even all the Chinese get the chance to shake the hand of the great man.

Well indeed it was a very important episode in the story of my life.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Zaharan Razak, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

At that time China has yet to open up. It is still a communist country and there was hardly any cars. Except for some buses there was million of bicycles on the road. You would surely love to be there at that time in the Chinese history.

As for the photo, that guy in white is the TKSU and it is not possible for us to advice him on dressing. I think Deng Xiaoping look smart in this picture.

Have a nice day.

LC Teh said...

Sometimes it's little guys like the one in the center that cast such a long shadow in history...

Look forward to seeing more pictures of historical value.

Pak Idrus said...

LC Teh, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting. Agreed it take just one special person to made the difference.

In the case of China after Mao clean the slate, Deng took the challenges of the new millennium and move forward. Because of his decision to open up China, that country has progress very fast indeed. Where the western countries took 2000 years, it take China just thirty years to be what it is now, a modern country at par with the west.

Would try to post other images in the future. Have a nice day.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

What a memorable visit, Pak Idrus! Still, I feel no affinity with the Chinese. I do not consider myself a Chinese. My great-grandparents fled poverty and hardship in China to come to Malaysia a hundred years ago, hence I am Malaysian, this is 'tanah tumpahnya darahku'. I have more in commmon with the Giant Panda than with the people of China. The only thing with 4 legs that they don't eat is a table, and the only thing they can't export is their human rights violations, thank goodness. Poisoning their own population and others all around the world with tainted powdered milk, pet food and toys -- I don't consider that progress.

louis said...

Hi Idrus,

It's curious to think that our paths may have crossed in Hong Kong in 1981, for that was the year i first visited Asia, spending a few days in HK and venturing into China, a big adventure for Americans at that time. I wasn't taken far into China, just the new economic zone then being established around Shenzen but simply crossing the border at Macau was itself quite an experience.

The issues raised by CO'78 in her comment concerning emigration and the emigrant's identity in his/her new home and his/her real or imagined picture of the country left behind are very pertinent.

Zaharan Razak said...

CO78 put things in perspective ... and to think I'll be stepping on the soil of my ancestors this autumn ... the issue of emigration, identification and alienation is a recurrent among writers such as Salman Rushdie, VS Naipaul and whatshisname the Chinese Nobel prize winner ...

CK Ng said...

How lucky you are to visit China behind closed door! It should be a big contrast between the China today and then in 1980s.

Pak Idrus said...

~Covert_Operations'78~, Ee Lynn thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting. Thanks as well for the good words on my visit to China and met with the man himself in 1981. Indeed a memorable visit to me.

As for for all of us, to me we all are pendatang one way or the other and now we all are Malaysian.

You sound very pessimistic on China, never mind you are still young and over times you would see the reality of this great country on our doorstep. As for me I see China differently for China has never conquer any countries nor it has bombed any. It does try to influence other countries but which countries dose not. The west colonized us and say it was the white man burden to civilize us. They forgot that we are already civilized before them. We had built the Borobudur, the Angkor watt when the west was still in the dark age. And China had never went out to colonized Asia like the Western power did although they could if they wanted to do it but they did not. And that's what made them different from the west. I believe our future is with China and because of their charm diplomacy they are gaining more friends all over the world whereas some countries from the West are loosing ground.

I am happy that I had contribute in a small way in making friend with China and from the look of it Tun Razak was right in establishing tie with China when it was still a communist country. Now we have more to gain by been their friend. It is the reality of the present world and I think we all have to accept that China is a giant that we have to be reckon with.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

louis, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Interesting that when I was in Germany in 1976 you was there too and that in 1981 we cross path again but did meet, not until 2008. Maybe that was you siping beer at the other end of the bar at the Merlin Hotel that evening in Hong Kong and I was rather busy myself with those folks trying to get us drunk. It would have been great had we met at the Beer Garden in Germany. History would have taken a different course, what if we had also met Zaharan who was at that time a hero in Europe. All of us love the watering hole but somehow did not met. Well that is life.

As to getting into China at that time, we had to travel by train into China, the only way to get there and the train on the Hong Kong side was packaged like sardine. And because our trip was an official diplomatic mission we were give first class treatment while there and saw communism at it best in China at that time. Well things has changed a lot and we all must make another trip there to compare. Asmah my spouse with Lin visited Beijing a few years ago and I did not join her. Maybe I should go and see the Expo in Shanghai that has just started.

Have a nice day.l

Pak Idrus said...

Zaharan Razak, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Well it would be a great visit to your ancestor home come September when you sat foot on China soil. At least you admit that you have Chinese DNA in you where some folks would not want to tell even though they look more Chinese than Malay. I know that many Malay in Terengganu have Chinese blood in them and they are shy to tell but if ever they have a drop of Arab blood, they would shout at the top of their voice to the world and put a syed or a sheik before their name.

By the way have you trace your roots! It would be interesting and advantage to you on you cycling visit to China as planned.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

CK Ng, thanks for the visit and the good words on this posting. Yes I consider myself lucky to have been selected to be in that visit and get to meet the great man himself.

China at that time was still a communist country and Malaysian are not allow to visit it and our group was special it that it was among the first group to be be allow to visit China after we open diplomatic mission in Beijing.

Beijing was very different than it is now. There was no hotels and shops and we were put up at a guest house and the only shop was that own by the government. Now it is almost a capitalist country like any in the west.

Well time has changed and Tun Razak was right to have a diplomatic relation with China when other country was still considering at that time.

Have a nice day..

Zaharan Razak said...

So, PI, my invitation to you to join me in September is always open! You only cycle as much as you want ... not all the way or all the time ... we can separate for a few days - me cycling you taking an aircon coach with stewardess - and then meet up again at an agreed destination and then stories - you breaking the heart of a stewardess, I with my broken bicycle ... all the way thru Vietnam and finally Malaysia or you can chicken out and take a direct flight from Ho Chi Minh or wherever!

Pak Idrus said...

Zaharan Razak, thanks for the return visit.

Well for now I would just take the plane and enjoy the trip like most folks in the golden age do. You are still young and I think the trip would be good for you. So how many months are you going to be one the road.

Have a nice day

Martin Lee said...

Deng Xiao Peng was a great man. He did sacrificed a lot because of his political career. He left home young at the age of 15 and never had a chance to return to his home village! Many still trying to speculate the reasons why he did not return!

I wonder how a human being could ever do that, it is almost imposing a self-exile! Banishing a person from returning to his/her home is the biggest punishment, it is worst than going to jail!

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