Sunday, 21 November 2010

Must Read: Up close with Rafidah Aziz

I always like to keep track of what our very own Iron Lady Rafidah Aziz has to say, even in "retirement" she never seemed to stop. I hope she does not retire completely, her words of advise are still in need. I am still wondering how Wanita UMNO could choose the uninspiring Sharizat over this formidable Wanita for their leader. Just look at Wanita UMNO now, its just a shell of what it used to be under Rafidah.

These are excerpts from the interview by the The Star's Cecilia Kok on 20th November 2010:

From day one that I joined the Government, I've always reminded myself that politics is of no definite tenure. It's not a contract, so one must be prepared as and when one gets dropped, Rafidah explains.The only regret (and one that had been widely reported before) for her, though, is that she was not informed earlier of such intention. If she had known earlier, she says she would have made way for someone else to contest the Kuala Kangsar constituency. It's no joke going through elections, she says of the gruelling work involved in the process.

Politics is a vocation. It is about service, not about making speeches. And it involves hard work. So unless one is prepared to sacrifice, one doesn't enter politics, she says. And for that reason too, Rafidah says she has never encouraged nor discouraged her children from joining politics. It's not something that people can encourage you to join. You must have it in you, otherwise it won't work, she says.

I don't like to be compared with anybody because I am what I am. Maybe we do share the same faade of exterior sternness or aggressiveness, but for me it's not just a facade, it's really me, she says. International leaders know too well that it's never easy to move this tough cookie, or to convince her to change her stance. My basic principle is this: I'm working for my country and its people, and I won't compromise my country's interest for anything, Rafidah explains.

Rafidah maintains that no matter how significant one's career is, it is important to maintain a balance between work responsibilities and the needs of one's family. It's a very simple thing to do, actually. When you are in the office, you devote wholeheartedly to your career. When you return home, you should just drop everything else and focus on your responsibilities and role in the family, Rafidah says.

She laments the fact that there is a lack of discipline and a rising social problem among the youths nowadays. Not meaning to sound rhetoric, but merely to emphasise the truth, Rafidah says: The young is our future... nations can go haywire' or into basket-case situations if their young do not lend support to nation-building. We have to grill into the minds of the young and find ways to guide them to the right path, she says.

Says Rafidah: I believe that as Malaysians, we all share the same destiny, so to me 1Malaysia is not just a concept, it's a reality. In that respect, it is understandable that she gets so upset when she talks about people who are just echoing 1Malaysia without explaining and understanding its true meaning. We won't get 1Malaysia by echoing what the PM (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) says. Neither will we get 1Malaysia by having logos printed on our t-shirts, Rafidah explains.

The PM has set the direction. The rest of us, please roll up our sleeves and do our bid to realise that vision, she adds, while voicing her concern over the rising number of politicians playing up racial issues to gain political mileage.

It also pains her heart to see some Malaysians criticising and condemning the Government to the foreigners. Our country is practically heaven. I know because I've travelled all over the world, she says.

Rafidah reckons that allegiance to the country and the semangat muhibbah are values that must be cultivated from young, but she stresses the importance of feeding the people the right information the truth about what the Government has done and what it has not done to prevent misunderstanding.

and the best comment yet from my favourite Iron Lady:

Look, we are a country (made up) of human beings, so do not expect 100% perfection. If anyone wants perfection, then please, die and go to heaven that's where perfection is, she jibes.

read the whole article here.

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