Eena Houzyama,The Malay Mail, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
YOU might imagine that your opinion is vital and powerful and it could change minds, and that others could use it in making decisions, but if you do not know what you’re talking about, it’s wiser to just keep your mouth shut.
However, if you happen to be Tunku ‘Abidin who has gained experience working at various London-based think tanks and the House of Parliament, before moving to Washington DC to join the World Bank as a Public Sector Consultant, then most probably what you have to say would carry a whole lot of weight.
Tunku Abidin is also the President of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS). He is a writer, public policy wonk and a classical liberal who is inspired by Ibn Khaldun and John Locke. He recently published Abiding Times, a book that compiles articles selected mainly from the author’s column in a local newspaper, as well as those written with Tengku Zatashah Idris, Syed Haizam Jamalullail, Sharyn Shufiyan and Quek Sue Yian.
The book covers a broad range of topics and is written in a style easy for readers to grasp and understand. However, be prepared, some words written may just be “too hot” to handle as the author does have a wry sense of humour.
The book was launched last week during a fundraising event organised by The Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).At the launch, Tunku Abidin said that IDEAS is an independent think tank that he co-founded to promote the values of Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, especially the former premier’s love for freedom and liberty.
“There are many other concepts that are not given due recognition. That is what IDEAS is trying to do – reminding Malaysians that there is an indigenous narrative of freedom and democracy. The classical liberal principles of individual liberty, rule of law, limited government and free markets are not merely virtues that any country should aspire to, but they are also rooted in our own history,” shared Tunku Abidin. IDEAS chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan commented that the book outlines many of Tunku Abidin’s thoughts and vision for the country.
“He is not afraid to voice his opinion in a frank and honest manner, which makes the book a really enjoyable read,” Wan added.
One of Tunku Abidin’s recent entries focused on International Women’s Day, and his provocative thoughts on how issues involving women are dealt with here in Malaysia might just spark some new emotions with readers.
Just by reading this entry, one would be able to gauge his style of writing as he explores ideas that many might just keep to themselves. Tunku Abidin is surely one writer who believes in thinking wisely, while exploring ideas freely and liberally.