I love reading letters. I grew up with letters from BingXin in her series “Letters to young readers”. BingXin (1900 – 1999) is a Chinese writer of 20th century. Her letters to young readers have stimulated and is still stimulating and educating generations of young readers.
Other book of letters in my collections includes one on friendship titled “84 Charing Cross Road”. This books is an exchange of letters between the author, Helene Haniff and an English bookstore, Marks & Co. The exchange of thoughts and feelings between the two persons are very heartwarming.
Earlier last month, I read in the news that Tun Dr Mahathir has launched his book on selected letters to world leaders. That I have marked in my “Palm Treo” as a must-buy book. Marking it in my Palm Treo because it means a book shopping list in my next trip to bookstores in Kuala Lumpur!
Yes, I got it when I went to KL last week. And I finished reading it in the airport. What other better thing I can do in airport?
I love Dr M’s clarity of thoughts and his being very vocal in various issues. In issue related to terrorism, he classifies it as “Winning Hearts and Minds”. Issues related to Globalization, he classifies as “Between Power and Powerlessness”. In issues of War and Conflict, it is classified as “Then Peace (As Always)” and for Economic and Diplomatic relations, he terms it “Raw Power (not skill) is real diplomacy”.
I am not a “book reviewer”. But, I always borrow wisdom from authors. Here is one from Dr M in his Prologue for the book –
Whether I was a good or a bad Prime Minister is, of course, not for me to say. When I am dead and gone, the judgement would be more accurate. Since I will not be around then, it would be quite meaningless to me. My children and friends would be the ones to savour the truth or bear the pain of whatever I am condemned for.
Ending with another borrowed wisdom from King David for the candidates in the nation’s General Election engaging in the war of words –
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.