Healing the Nation

Perak Academy hosted the much-awaited dinner talk by Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Zain Al‑’Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz at Syeun Hotel, Ipoh recently. The title of Tunku’s thought-provoking talk was “Healing the Nation”.

Guest of honour HRH Raja DiHilir Perak, Raja Iskandar Dzulkarnain ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris A’fifullah Shah graced the occasion. Dato’ Dr Ramanathan Ramiah, the master of ceremonies, kept the 150-odd diners delighted by his witty comments and wisecracks throughout the evening.

The event began with the welcome address by the Acting Chairman of Perak Academy Dr Adib Vincent Tung bin Abdullah who conveyed the academy’s gratitude to the speaker for consenting to deliver his lecture despite his heavy schedule.

As the co-founder of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), columnist, author and trustee in many foundations, the affable and dashing prince from the Negeri Sembilan royal house displayed such eloquence and good play of words in delivering his lecture.

He began by expressing his affection for the silver state and shared his enduring recollections of his past. Tunku defined the word “nation” and what it means for a nation to be in “good health”.

He elaborated at length on the intentions of our founding fathers and the framers of the nation’s Constitution. Tunku highlighted one key feature that the healing process requires – leadership.

“I hope and pray that eventually we’ll have enough morally-upright believers in the spirit of Merdeka in our institutions,” he surmised.

His talk stirred up some meaningful responses from the floor during the question and answer session. Tunku’s answers, however, were pretty measured. It was obvious that he did not want to ruffle feathers, as the questions were rather sensitive and also ill-timed. He qualified by politely saying, “I’ll discuss that with you later.”

Mei Kuan

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