When we decided to create this edition, it was a week after the elections. May 9 had come and gone and we were still reeling in the aftermath of a historical milestone, unlike any Malaysia has ever had. What could we do to capture this moment, freeze it forever through the annals of time, immortalise the legacy…and record the promises, the feel, the fervour, the triumph and well, even the tears? Well, this. This is what we could think of. So very quickly the plan was organised. Time was of essence – we wanted this out by August, in time for our New Merdeka. But as with all big things, we had big challenges.
When the plan was concocted, we only knew of 5 Ministers – The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Defence.
We had to wait another month to gather the second round of ministerial line-ups. And yet another month to finally have the full list. From struggling to get interviews, to working around the Minister’s times, engagements and travel – this was one of the most difficult projects that we had to coordinate. We wanted them all – to gather a full dossier of plans, ambitions, and resolutions and ways and means of executing them all in one book. We wanted the entire country to be able to read the mind of the new Cabinet in one book. We wanted the diplomatic corp to know the new Malaysia and where we were going . And we hope, now that you have the book in your hands, we have been able to bring the trees together so that you can see the forest.
There have been some tireless and dedicated press secretaries we must thank, who despite their tight schedule and maddening pace, (and we being such persistent and probably annoying bugs) kept pushing for slots so we could get our jobs done. Firstly to Sufi Yusof, YAB Tun Mahathir’s special assistant. He never forgot us, and kept trying so very hard to get us Tun’s time, for that we are eternally grateful. And he still remembered us from more,than10 years ago when we did our first two interviews with Tun. He is incredible.
Sonia Ramachandran for YAB Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah, who never gave up trying to get us time, Ramlah Ghazali or YB Lim Guan Eng, who was so excited with the project but unfortunately left before we could conclude, the vivacious Lynette for YB Baru Bian, the elegant Alyaa for YB Datuk Salahuddin, the efficient Michael Murthy for YB Kula Segaran, the power team of Amin Shah, Major Masrina and Lt.Col Salawati for YB Mat Sabu, the wonderfully quick on his feet Abdul Kadir for YB Datuk Saifuddin Nasution, the smart, dynamic Tan Sian Hoo for YB Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, the diligent Surach for YB Dr. Xavier Jayakumar, the effable Ms Pang for YB Yeo Bee Yin, the experienced wisdom of Zulkilfli for YB Khalid Abdul Samad, the man of action Sabri Salleh for YB Ignatius Dorell Leiking… their patience, grace and eagerness to work together with us was such a great example of a new country ready to roll up its sleeves and impress.
From the corporate side this edition, we have an esteemed group of men and women working side by side with the government to make the collective vision, a collective reality. They come from a cross section of many industries but they have one trait that binds them all together – integrity, capability, ambition and the ability to see the big picture. These men and women are the ones to execute any vision the government has, as a country cannot be run on policies alone, but on its ability to work with its doers and leaders and execute that vision with panache and to stellar commercial success.
Special mention should also go to the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan for recognising the opportunity that this Special Edition presented and agreeing to participate in it. Its enthusiastic support, which was expedited by their dedicated Embassy staff in Kuala Lumpur, is reflected in a 6 page showcase of how Malaysian and Kazakh businesses can tap into one another as part of a more dynamic trade and investment environment brought about by the New Malaysia.
International Business Review is grateful for the opportunity to work with the builders of Malaysia’s future and we hope to continue to do more justice to the nation through our stories, our ability to connect and our passion for it all.
Datuk Beatrice Nirmala,
International Business Review Malaysia