Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Perdana Menteri Malaysia dan Yang Amat Berbahagia Datin Seri Dr Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohd Ali,
Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ramli Ngah Talib, Menteri Besar Perak dan Yang Mulia Puan Sri Datin Sri Raja Nora Ashikin binti Raja Abdullah,
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato' (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay, Executive Chairman of the YTL Group, and Puan Sri,
Our very distinguished Guests and Friends, and all members of the YTL extended family.
Before tonight many of you have shared with me the awesome beauty of this island, and I am extremely encouraged and grateful for your kind remarks. I cannot help but see the fingerprints of God everywhere I turn to look, both in the day, and also this very night.
I see His fingerprints today on the 2 million year-old forest, the beautiful Emerald Bay, the hornbills, all radiant in the sun. Tonight again I see God's fingerprints on the moon and the stars, reminding us ever so gently that light can bring forth beauty to dark and cool objects.
I also see God's fingerprints in the form of such talented composers, soprano, tenor, flautist, conductor and all the musicians present here tonight.
I am also reminded of His fingerprints when so many travellers have come from afar in the past to enjoy this beautiful island, including my good friend Luciano Pavarotti, who said he almost cried when he saw how beautiful God had made this island.
I see His fingerprints in the beautiful people that are present here with us
tonight, and I also see the fingerprints in the harmony, peace, joy, tolerance, respect and co-existence amongst the various ethnic races of this country.
Most of all I see His fingerprints in blessing this beautiful country with the leadership of Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a leader endowed with a compassionate and indefatigable spirit to see the well-being not only of his own people but also those of his neighbours.
I am convinced that these fingerprints are trying gently to remind us of how precious we all are, that God will want to share the awesome beauty of His creation with all of us.
Therefore amidst our celebrations and joy tonight we must in deference to God reflect on the events in the last 18 months, that have brought so much devastation and pain to the peoples around this region –and threaten to do the same to our own people -in fact threaten to wipe out these fingerprints which we are still so blessed tonight to see and be reminded of.
It seems that there is misperception from people around the region and the world and, that is pervasive, caused by what they see and read, spun by the international media, both electronic and written. They portrait this beautiful country is if in a state of chaos and anarchy, with many unhappy people vociferously demanding their so-called democratic freedom and justice, and resorting to violence and anarchy as if together they are the only choice on offer.
I do not believe anybody who is reasonably decent and civilised will choose violence as a means to get to the end, no matter how justified that end may be. Since the creation of the human race the real wars have never really been between races, between cultures or between philosophies. The real war has always been a civil war, a civil war between the good and the evil, between God and the devil.
You see, powerful and intimidating forces, whatever their hue may be, will win obedience, but humility and sacrifice win hearts. These intimidating forces, I assure you, won't make me obsequious, but humility and sacrifice certainly win my heart.
Mr Prime Minister, Sir, tonight I am sure I speak for many -you have won our hearts through your humility and sacrifice. May we urge you to plough on, to lead this country out of this darkness -and we assure you, Sir, that our hands are also on the plough together with you, and even more importantly we will never look back!
Therefore I pray that God in his infinite mercy and grace will continue to bless this beautiful country, her leaders and her people.
Thank you very, very much.
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SPEECH BY YBHG TAN SRI DATO' FRANCIS YEOH AT YTL CONCERT OF CELEBRATION '98 AT PANGKOR LAUT RESORT, 21ST NOVEMBER 1998
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