Age is just a number

MY boss is 73, my mum is 83 and our new prime minister at 93, I now truly believe that age is just a number. There are many more septos, octos and nonagenarians around us who are doing much more than we think they could do and yet we get too hung up on age.

What keeps these people going? They defy the odds, they carry others' dreams, they want to keep going with every cell in their bodies screaming with passion for action.

In the saga that unfolded, gripping the young and the old, the lame and the fit, just about every living being in the country praying so feverishly, summoning every God there might be to help us regain the glory of our country, her beauty, the harmony and shedding tears during the last few gripping hours, we now know we have a nation of Malaysians who can be depended upon.

We must thank the great man who proved that age is indeed just a number.

We stand proud as a family, much to the envy of the world, the power of people having achieved the impossible, doing the unthinkable, staking lives and livelihood so that we will leave a future generation who will habitually do the right thing, fighting the wrongs without fear or favour, who will know wealth not earned is not theirs to enjoy and who will speak-up against abuse of power.

We owe our gratitude to many but topping the list would be Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who did what he needn't have done.

Sleepless nights, long tiring days, humiliations, threats to his life and yet he knew he alone had the power to achieve what he just did.

Notwithstanding that politics is a dirty vocation anyway, there is the authority of the extraordinary and personal gift of grace and charisma, the personal devotion and personal confidence in revelation, heroism, or other qualities of individual leadership. Mahathir alone has all of these. This is "charismatic" domination, as exercised by a leader.

This is present in the octogenarian and tributes and accolades have not stopped since the tsunami of change presented us the grand finale.

Our prime minister is a true statesman and he who had a choice of remaining "retired" and stashed away in the comfort of his family and home decided that he will be different, he chose the path and set himself on a "rescue mission".

If he made mistakes in the past, he has been given a chance to redeem, if he had faulted in the past, he can now make amends, if he didn't grasp in the past, he is able to see now what needs to be done and if he did not listen to the voices of the rakyat, he is all ears now.

He has become a hero, a sensation greater than any Malaysian might have been. A great speech can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It can rouse you to aspire to greatness. Our prime minister is different; his words of wisdom are peppered with cynicism and we laugh at his wit, even at the most anxious moments and that makes him the seasoned politician he always will be.

There are leaders and there are great leaders and then there are heroic leaders and the best of the best will have courage, selflessness, humility, patience and is caring and we know who fits into this mould.

Now that we have made the impossible possible, the new government has loads to do and with due respect all those who worked tirelessly for months now, please spare some time to replenish yourselves before you start.

The young and old, the rich and poor have put a wager on you fulfilling your manifestos. Do not let us down.

The Opposition we have now has shored up enough experience and wisdom in politics to be an effective counter-ally to ensure checks and balances are in order.

As I write this, there are scores of pseudo-commentators who have taken liberty to shame the losers which I think is uncivilised.

We need to remember, in politics winning and losing are part of the treacherous game. We don't need to forget or forgive but we could move on without adding salt to the wound.

I also hope so fervently that the various parties which have come together to form the government will have the interest of the country and her people at heart. Which means, the elected representatives and the various heads of agencies need to work to prove that they had the power to fix the rots and more importantly, ensure we stay as Malaysians, removing the scar and stain of racism for good.

Happy Birthday to a New Malaysia!