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Title Conversations with Tunku Abdul Rahman  
ISBN 9789814634144
Imprint Marshall Cavendish Editions
Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad
Specifications 227 x 152 mm / 220 pp / paperback with flaps
Publication Date Apr-2016
Target Audience General
Price (SGD) SGD 32.00 BUY NOW
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About the Book

The small, newly independent multi-racial country of Malaya had defied pundits’ predictions that it would go down in flames. The Tunku declared himself “the happiest prime minister in the world, leading the happiest people in the world”. The gracious, popular and charming former playboy aristocrat had pulled it off: the postcolonial
experiment, Malaya, was a success story for the world.

He would lead his country to defeat a communist insurgency, face down big neighbours Indonesia and the Philippines, and enlarge the country to include Singapore and the vast, resource-rich, former colonial states of British Borneo, Sabah and Sarawak.

Then, the bloody race riots of May 13, 1969—a palace coup gone awry?—erupted in Kuala Lumpur and forced the Tunku from power. Among its dramatis personae was Abdullah Ahmad, long-time aide and political secretary to the Tunku’s successor, Tun Razak. Two others, the ‘ultra’ Malays Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Musa Hitam, became prime minister and deputy prime minister of Malaysia in 1981. And yet the Tunku granted the author privileged access to himself between 1982 and 1984, the honeymoon years of the vaunted Mahathir-Musa administration.

That period was to prove the prelude to Malaysia’s political climate change. In these free-flowing, frank and surprisingly revealing conversations, taped but never before published, the Tunku takes on the challenge of being interrogated by the author on
Tun Razak, May 13, Lee Kuan Yew, Sukarno, the Malay sultans, and the myriad seekers of the throne in the country and region. He reveals the identity of the man he had really wanted to succeed him, but could not.

The sophistication of the Tunku’s personable, cosmopolitan ways is apparent in how his prescient observations ring true today. Presented here as when it was first written, and judiciously updated, this book serves as a unique and invaluable guide to the ever-evolving social, cultural, political and economic forces buffeting

“Yes, I was a playboy; a man of the world. But deep in my heart I have
always been a religious man. I pray, I fast, I pay zakat fitrah and
I have been on a pilgrimage to Makkah... People can say anything
about me but none will accuse me of ever having been a hypocrite.”  
—Tunku Abdul Rahman

About the Author

Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad is a former member of parliament for Kok Lanas in Kelantan and a former deputy minister. He was political secretary to Tun Razak, Malaysia’s second prime minister, from 1963 to 1974, the first appointment of its kind in the country. He was also a Malaysian Special Envoy to the United Nations (1996–2000)
and editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times until he was removed by the government in 2003. He most recently compiled and authored the best-selling Dr Mahathir’s Letters to World Leaders, Vols 1 and 2.

Tan Sri Abdullah was educated in Malay College Kuala Kangsar and attended Cambridge and Harvard University. He lives in Kok Lanas, Kuala Lumpur and London with his wife, Puan Sri Fauzah Darus.
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