|Tun Mahathir and Mandela were very close friends.|
|Tun Mahathir, personal representative of Prime Minster Najib Razak, at Mandela's funeral.|
A great man has passed away, I am talking about Nelson Mandela, and he is so great even his death has to be treated with dignity and respect.
I am glad Malaysia had Tun Mahathir Mohamad, the father of modern Malaysia, attend the funeral of Mandela also as the personal representative of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Anyone else would not do proper justice to Mandela in terms of giving him final respect.
We all know the great history of Mandela, but not many of the younger generation are really aware of the special bond between these two men, and the two countries under Mahathir and Mandela were very close and helped each other.
If I were an adviser to the current prime minister of Malaysia, I would have advised him to ask Tun Mahathir to attend the ceremony, thus to represent Malaysia at the funeral.
Granted Najib is the prime minister and as head of state that would have warranted his presence at Mandela's funeral. I am sure he wanted the former prime minister, Tun Mahathir to be at Mandela's funeral because of their special bond.
The timing was such Najib then could attend a scheduled meeting in Japan with other Asean leaders and Malaysia was represented by a respected former prime minister whose name was also well known in Mandela's South Africa.
Just ask anyone in South Africa and any leader in Africa and they will mention Mahathir's name with love and respect. He was ardently anti- apartheid and a friend of South Africa.
I believe Najib did not attend the funeral simply because he wanted the father of modern Malaysia to be in South Africa to attend to his very dear friend's funeral. It is also nice to know that Tun Mahathir was a personal representative for the prime minister of Malaysia at the funeral, making Najib well represented.
I love the personal and finer touch involving the arrangement for Malaysia to be at the funeral of Nelson Mandela, a great man who defied the odds and gained the respect of the world.