I would like to sincerely thank Zainah Anwar & Yayasan Mohamed Noah for taking the time to write such a wonderful book, Legacy of Honour. The book covers three men that had served this nation with honour and integrity. The three related men are Dato Jaafar, Dato Onn & Tun Hussein.
The book reveals many things about the three men that even I as a family member was not privy to. Zainah’s comprehensive work and attention to detail has made reading the book a breathtaking experience and definitely makes a reader feel he or she is re-living that era.
However, after reading the book, I feel a great desire to highlight matters pertaining to my late grandfather arwah Tun Hussein Onn who passed away 22 years ago. I think that there has been a great injustice done to the memory of Tun Hussein. I feel compelled to share the characteristics of the man that he was and his true Perjuangan or fight in bringing Malaysian politics on a dignified track.
Thanks or more appropriately no thanks, to certain quarters, Tun Hussein Onn was labeled a weak and slow leader. Many questioned his leadership style and capabilities to lead this country. His health was also in question as he had a heart condition.
On the 14th of January 1976, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia’s second Prime Minister passed away. Tun Hussein could not have taken over the helm of the country and UMNO at a worst time. There was the corruption case of Dato Harun, the old UMNO Guards who felt marginalized by the party and the government, the NEP and also the communist insurgents.
For two years Tun Hussein battled these issues with great perseverance, bravery and integrity and going against the tide of the view from populist leaders around him then. After resolving these issues, he then welcomed 1978 with confidence and announced the general elections. He worked extremely hard travelling the country and meeting as many people during campaigns. The results were beyond expectations. BN won 82% of the parliamentary seats. UMNO recorded its best showing ever, winning 70 of the 75 seats contested.
Tun Hussein once said “I would rather be politically unpopular than fail in my duty. What is one’s political future compared to one’s responsibility? Its better they curse me now than urinate on my grave later”
I urge readers of this blog to read the book, Legacy of Honour to understand him in greater depth.
May these three great leaders of this Nation rest in peace. Alfatihah.