The first time I saw Tun Mahathir in person was when I was 9 years old, at a Disney On Ice Malaysian Premiere. He was still the Prime Minister at that time. Then, just a few years ago I saw him again at Isetan KLCC. He was shopping alone with one of his bodyguard, smiling at me and every other people who caught the sight of him. Very humbling, if you ask me.
Then there's Pak Lah, which I met when I was in Standard 3. He came for Friday prayers at a mosque near my house. He was just a minister at the time, with no one having the slightest idea he'd be the Prime Minister one day. I rushed to him straight after he left the mosque and went 'Pak Cik, nak tanda tangan boleh?'. He smiled, and signed an autograph on my mathematics exercise book. I swear I called him Pak Cik because one of my seniors was there too and called me an idiot afterwards for calling a minister Pak Cik. But well, what do kids know about titles and reputations? For them, as long as u look old, we'll call you Pak Cik. If you look terribly old, then we'll call you Atok. Simple as that. People call him Pak Lah anyway, so what's the difference?
Then when I was 15, I met our current Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak after tarawikh prayers in Masjid Wilayah. He was a minister at the time. My dad happens to treat his ear problem once, and so after the prayers my dad met him to ask how's his ear now. They talked for awhile and I did had the chance to shake his hands.
I respect the people who lead our nation. As long as they work for a better future for our country, I don't care what's their party, their ideology, or their type of leadership is. Someone entrusted to be a the leader of the country must have fought a long battle to gain the support of the Malaysian citizens. I may not be a politician or a minister one day, but I do hope I'd be a doctor who treats the most important leaders in our country.
Now, now, I guess I left someone here. There's a leader that I respected the most in my life. Even the Kings and Prime Ministers are low key in comparison towards my respect of him. The first time I met him was 22 years ago. Yup, on the day I was born. A leader of the house, the family, the hospital, the university, the medical faculty: Dato' Dr. Lokman Saim... my dear dad. Once he told me to be a better person than him when I grow up. At that time, I thougt that was the craziest idea, I thought I'll never be as good as him. But I hold on to his words until today, and I'm still working on that idea. As your one and only son, I hope I'll never disappoint you, ayah.