Nation Before Self

This blog is greatly honored by a comment made by Dato Seri Yuen Yuet Leng  someone whom I personally admire and respect greatly. Dato Seri Yuen’s great insight is republished in the posting below:

nation-before-self

As a locally born Malaysian of historical China antecedence I had seen comforting inter-racial relations pre-war, during the Japanese Occupation, the turbulent “Liberation” post-war years and the notable surge in integrated unity of all communities to fight and win the war against communist terrorism during the Emergency years. There were the occasional racial incidents which were resolved or pre-empted by impartial police action and supported by non-racial community leaders.


We won the war against communist terrorism but we had lost the peace because we had allowed anti-national extreme racism to replace the spirit of equivocal constitutional multiracialism in the name of singular community. Within this developed dilemma have emerged more with extreme bigotry all round.


Left to politicians this mess have little chance of being resolved effectively even as the few with better national conscience try. The real answer must come from the police, judiciary and the MACC who must, whatever their deficiencies, inconsistensies or delerictions rise to the occasion so that this nation may be salvaged for decent and circumspective Malaysians.

I was almost persuaded in 1970 to migrate because so many feared that the necessary NEP would not be properly implemented and would be abused. I trusted that with time enlightenment would come. In 1984 when the IGP arranged for me to migrate because the CPM still wished to assassinate me for doing my duty to nation I changed my mind because I still believed that enlightenment would still come, even as I knew in 1978 that the degeneration of political and moral values with increasing racism continued. I bled inside for the nation I was twice shot for.


Today when I read the increasing number of Malaysians like courageous Azmi Sharom, Farish Noor and Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir who just cannot take despotic extremism anymore. I can see that enlightenment has indeed come. However, they are likely to be called traitors as Tun MAHATHIR once said would happen. Tun’s great compassion for his community will not ever change. I am certain he can see what unbridled compassion can and has led us into. I trust he will come out even more to deflect the so negative extremism in some who may in the name of racial protectionism destruct race itself and by themselves and nation as well. Not all Malaysians who shout purist equality expect its immediate substance but they definitely want much less inequality until or as inter-communal relations, perceptions and prejudices improve for the better all round. However, until then the principles of fair justice and basic universal values common to every religion must hold us together – not dictated by demagogues in any community.


Yuen Yuet Leng
Nation Before Self (MPH)

And a short review of Dato Seri’s book, ‘Nation Before Self’

This book recently published by Dato Seri himself is written in 5 distinct parts.  It covers his developing years at King Edward VII school in Taiping, his memories of the Japanese occupation of Malaya and after the war a brief spell as a teacher.  This is followed by detailed descriptions of his struggles against the Communist Terrorists first from 1950 to 1960 as a young policeman and member of the Special Branch in Perak and then, after the assassination of Datuk Koo Chong Kong, CPO Perak, as the new CPO Perak and later, Police Commissioner, Sarawak. In these roles he was continually a new target for the Communists and there are many stories of ambushes and attempted assassinations that very few Malaysians have ever heard of.  Indeed if you were not aware of the background you might believe that this is a novel rather than a true account of the anti-communist struggles that took place in Perak and beyond over more than 30 years.

The book continues with thoughts on the Nation as it is today, sometimes controversial and ’straight from the shoulder’.  This is a fascinating review of the thoughts of one man, and a national hero at that!

The last two parts include firstly more thoughts about where we are today as a nation and where we are going. The last section provides a range of press cuttings of Dato Seri’s letters to the press which make fascinating reading.

The book is available at MPH at RM39.90 and in my view, recommended reading for all Malaysians.  If you have already read it then we would be pleased to see your view on these pages as well.

3 Responses to Nation Before Self

  1. jesselane says:

    I bought this book and have already read half of it. what an amazing journey Datuk Seri Yuen had. I have personally met him last Sunday, I personally think that we have a living legend here. Would love to do a documentary about him.🙂

  2. Nora says:

    I’m from Brunei. Where Can i buy this book?

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