I was reading this during the month of the WSJ and Sarawak Report barrage of damning articles about 1MDB and Najib Razak. This makes for a thoughtful read.
I wonder if the politicians then or now had failed us.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the biography of the late Tun Dr Ismail.
I was mostly interested in this book because Tun Ismail was my distant relative. His grandmother is my great grandmother. So yes, personally I had listened to the family story ( not much to tell as I say... distant) so it feels like I should know more what he did.
However even without all the family ties that draws me to the book, I have to say I enjoyed it immensely. We don't know much about Tun Ismail in the history books. It is particularly interesting because this is the collection of men, Tun Abd Rahman, Tun Ismail, Tun Abd Razak that shaped Malaysia. All those policy that we are still debating today.. the ISA act, the education segregation (lets face it, it is segregation), bumiputera .. this all happened because of this group of men who at the time believed this is the best for us. (There are some I believes that was not good for us, but a necessary evil . A means to an end which forged a path to a highly corrupt system later on)
When I am reading this book, I kept on thinking, whatever he would say of Mahathir and Najib if he were still around. He certainly do not have a high opinion of Mahathir. No mention of Najib because during his lifetime Najib is still some green kid.
As for the narrative, it is written somewhat dully where some statements felt like it is being lifted from somewhere and put in the book. Tun Ismail life is presented in a very matter of fact kinda way and that shaped my thinking that he is a very matter of fact kinda person. There is no frills in this book but that does not deter us from enjoying it. It was not boring, but it is a bit dull. I wonder if there is a memoir personally written by the man himself it would be make a nice contrast read.
You might not learn Tun Ismail insight on the making of Malaysia, you will learn his contribution and development into making our country.