KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18, 2016:

Forty years have passed but the pain of losing one of the most respected leader still lingers, says former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Reminiscing about the second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Dr Mahathir said that Razak’s demise was a personal loss and a painful one.

“It is difficult to think that 40 years have passed since the demise of Tun Razak, the much respected and beloved second Prime Minister of independent Malaysia.

“Watching the TV documentary on his life and times, I could not help but feeling sad.

“It is sad that he should be taken away from us so early. For me the loss is personal,” he wrote today in his blog, Chedet, as he paid tribute to one of Malaysia’s forefathers.

Praising the previous efforts made to develop the country, Dr Mahathir wrote that it was Razak who introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP).

“Leaders then were dedicated, bent on developing the country and tackling the disparities in Malaysian society. It was Tun Razak who introduced the New Economic Policy.

“He broke away from the apron strings of the British Commonwealth past, and visited Russia and China. The winds of change blew strongly,” he wrote.

In 1969, Dr Mahathir was ousted from Umno after having a disagreement with the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Following the incident, Dr Mahathir said that it was Razak who accepted and allowed him to return to the party and even appointed him a full minister.

“I was expelled from Umno and people who were expelled before me never returned. Their political career was blighted.

“But he not only allowed me to return to the fold but subsequently appointed me a full minister.

“I was described as Tun’s blue-eyed boy, which angered many Umno stalwarts,” wrote Dr Mahathir.

He also said that Malaysia “truly lost a great leader” when Razak passed away on Jan 14, 1976, due to leukaemia.

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