Review Book: ” The Challenge”

Mahathir Mohammad, The Challenge, Kula Lumpur: Pelanduk Publisher, 1998.

the challenge

Mahathir Mohammad felt a problem with words. Words are meant for communication, but too often they are used for miscommunication. Words likes freedom, democracy, socialism, communism, materialism, secularism, spirituality and many more that can be  confusion and make the relevant decisions, unclouded by illusions, distortions and misinterpretations, is a challenge facing modern world in general , and the Malay community of Malaysia in particular. The community are being confused by idea. They are confused equate Islam, socialism, justice, democracy equality, wealthy, and brotherhood. Misunderstandings  about interpretation can make conflicting force, some of which seek undo whatever progress has been made and plunge the entire  community back into the Dark Age. This is a challenge the Malays today. This book tried clear up these misunderstandings, using dual evidence in the study of Islam – rational argument and excerpts from Quran and Hadith.

He urged the three most basic elements of Malays Challenge – modernization, adat (traditional system), and Islam . First problem, Modernization. Modernization can make ‘Polemics’ . It is so much part of Malay tradition. Polemics can make conflicting opinions expressed during the debate. When the criticism and polemics are studied found not only unproductive but also to add to the difficulty of overcoming challenges faced by Malay society in particular.

Malaysia using democratic system, but Malaysia have a problem with government power, majority, and minority. Government often do lobbies of legislative assemblies. Lobbying is an integral part of democracy. Lobbying using a consensus of majority to pressure group is a minority.

Second problem, Adat. There are problems into Malays likes language and attire. Now some people do not like using kopiah or the woman seldom using kurung. They likes using western mode. Educational system using two language English and Malay. English is more important than Malay. Youth people do not interesting for studying Malay.

Third Problem, Islam. There are debate about materialism, communism and spiritualism of Islam. Materialism as the very foundation of human happiness with wealthy. Communism wants the society does not have a class structure, Spiritualism of Islam hold poverty in high esteem or disprove of wealth. Moderation is dependent on rational control of extremist values and attitude, be these on materialism or spiritualism.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s Prime Minister since 1981, is well known for his original ideas and incisive plain-speaking. Both traits are grippingly evident in this book, where he takes a hard and honest look at certain modes of thinking and living that vervying for spremacy in the modern world, in general, and within the Malay community in Malaysia, in particular.

Dr Mahathir explodes fallacies and exposes distortions concerning religiosity, education, role models, democracy, communism, freedom and dicipline, and the concerns of this world and the next. Only by striking an equilibrium between an interest in things spiritual and secular, can the Malays hope ro face and overcome the conflicting forces and challenges of the modern world.

The Challenge’ is thought provoking and is of special interest today as Dr Mahathir is at the help of a nation striving for racial balance and religious sanity. He expounds the need for a new system of values, ethics and attitudes which the Malays must adopt in the country’s quest to become a developed nation by the year 2020.

This book is difficult to understanding because the model is essay. We must to look for the coherency and the same topic. This is important to know what writer means. He write per chapter with a problem then he giving solution. The last chapter can help a reader to having conclusion.

The readers can know about the problem of Malaysia in the modern world. The problem can adapt to development country  and how to solve the same problem.  The most important is readers know the fallacies about –ism/ideology. This is a good book to read. This is red by genius leader in Malaysia who known about problems in Malaysia. He have experienced in government and big party (UMNO).


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