The heart shall not stop

As I am prepared both for the surgery, and the possibility of meeting my Maker, I am encouraged by the song sung by legions of Liverpool fans: You Never Walk Alone.

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Published by Malaysiakini, New Straits Times and The Malay Mail, image from Malaysiakini.

For the longest time, I have been a big fan of Liverpool. For the longest time, Liverpool repaid my faith in it by winning trophy after trophy, the most recent one being the European Champion League.

But there is a part of Liverpool that has sputtered to a stop: since 1989/90, it hasn’t won the Premier League Championship. It has not been overshadowed by Everton, its perennial Merseyside Lesser Rival, but the likes of Manchester United and now Manchester City.

Growing up on Big League Soccer, with a huge collection of Shoot! and Match magazines, I grew up liking football, as much as I love the likes of Soh Chin Aun, R Arumugam, Mokhtar Dahari, Shukor Salleh, Santokh Singh, James Wong and Hassan Sani; not forgetting Zainal Abidin Hassan and his brother Khalid Salleh.

Lately, doctors have found a problem to my constant breathlessness: arterial blockages, which have now necessitated an open heart quadruple bypass surgery.

As I am prepared both for the surgery, and the possibility of meeting my Maker, I am encouraged by the song sung by legions of Liverpool fans: You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Malaysia is new, at least in terms of how Pakatan Harapan has wrested power from the hands of the kleptocracy of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Regardless of what will happen in the operating theatre or after, the Malaysia that I truly love – way more than Liverpool, to be frank – shall not be abandoned ever.

Teams of researchers at Emir Research would be at the fore, to ensure a regular flurry of analysis.

Malaysia, after all, is as good as the amalgamation of three ideas: Justice, Transparency and Accountability. To the degree we have all three, in constant motion and flow, Malaysia will remain the Tiger of Asia as it will always be.

Be that as it may, there is no full stop to excellence. 

Author Malcolm Gladwell, in The Tipping Point, affirmed that practice does make perfect. 

When a cobbler or shoemaker has been at it for more than 10,000 times, epiphany is bound to make him better and stronger. This is what the Japanese refer to as “kaizen”, the art of constant innovation, every living moment.

Like it or not, I have been writing non-stop since 2015, fighting a battle to save Malaysia. I was even arrested, interrogated and released on police bail under the previous regime simply for social media writings and engagements on fighting then kleptomaniacs.

However, with a quadruple bypass open heart surgery to undergo early next week, I feel the mind must also be stronger than the body. Without that inner courage to go through with it, I won’t be strong enough to come back stronger too!

To be sure, I have done my part for Malaysia and hope to do more. Now I need and hope for all Malaysian prayers that I will go through it successfully and come back sturdier and firmer to continuously push for reforms, God Willing, for a better Malaysia without any distinction to race, creed and colour.

This may be a sign-off, hopefully a temporaneous one. If not, I am more than convinced this nation will continue to rebuild itself, to regain what was lost.

I enjoyed every minute of the time that I worked to save Malaysia, even the hardest minutes there were. I have made peace with many, if not with all. 

Never give up on this great nation of ours, and treasure the diversity therein. Thank you, Malaysia.

Rais Hussin is President & CEO of EMIR Research, a think tank focused on data-driven policy research, centered around principles of Engagement, Moderation, Innovation and Rigour.

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