SECTION B: CONTINUOUS WRITING: 50 MARKS
CONTINOUS: ARTICLE: Description on a Person
A Prominent Malaysian Leader
As the fourth and most dynamic Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad will indelible impression on the sands of Malaysia for many years to come. He held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia's longest-serving Prime Minister, and one of the longest-serving leaders in Asia.
Born on 20th December, 1925 in Alor Setar, Dr. Mahathir is the son of a teacher. He is the youngest of nine children of a school teacher and a housewife. His father, Mohamad Iskandar, was of Indian descent, being the son of a Muslim and a Malay mother, while Mahathir's own mother, Datin Wan Tempawan Wan Hanafi, was Malay. He is married to Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali, they have seven children, four sons and three daughters. From an early age, Tun Mahathir had the importance of educationdrummed into him by his father, who was also a strict disciplinarian.
After his early education at the Maktab Sultan Abdul Hamid in Alor Setar, he enrolled at the King Edward VII College of Medicine in the University of Singapore. Armed with a MBBS degree in medicine, he set up his own clinic, the Maha Clinic in Alor Setar. As a doctor, Tun Mahathir came into close contact with people from variety of social strataand enjoyed a close rapport with them. He understood their problems. Thus, when he was thrust into the politic limelight, he strove to fulfil the needs of the people.
He was first catapulted into the world of politics when he became the Member of Parliement for Alor Setar in 1964. After holding a number of portfolios, including Minister of Education, Minister of Trade and Industry and Deputy Prime Minister, he finally became the Prime Minister on 16th July, 1981. The country flourished with Dr. Mahathir at the helm of the government. His contributions to the nation are so immense and par excellence. He has left his mark in every aspect – in politics, economy or education.
Realizing that government-owned enterprises are neither efficient nor profitable, he initiated the privation policy in 1983. This had immediate effect of cutting down bureaucraticineptitude and operational cost while at the same time generating more revenue.
With collapse of the prices of agricultural commodities in the eighties, Tun Mahathir decided that it was time to shift the nation’s focus to more profitable areas. Thus, he started the industrialization programme. Reputed as the country’s top salesman, he showcased Malaysia to investors abroad in a bid to woo them. As a result of the heavy industrialization drive, major projects like national car project or PROTON and the steel company, PERWAJA, together with other mega project were launched one after another. Next, realizing that industrialization would require a good infrastructure, he set about improving it. The Mahathir era saw a successful completion of the North-South Highway, the East-West Highway, the Multimedia Super Corridor, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang and many more.
An astute politician, he charted the growth of the country’s progress from the day he took office. He envisages that Malaysia can only attain the status of a fully developed country if it becomes an industrialization one and this ambition has been his main agenda during his tenure. With this in mind, he announced Vision 2020, his most ambitious vision.
Frank and outspoken by nature, Tun Mahathir speak without fear nor favour. This has been the hallmark of thus much respected statesman. The inefficiency of local and international organizations has always come under his scrutiny and critism.
It has been almost two decades since Tun Mahathir took over reins of the government. It has undoubtedly been the golden era for Malaysia with many notable achievements.
CONTINOUS: ARTICLE: Description on Places
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is one of Asia's major aviation hubs and is a destination in itself. It is located at the top of the southern corridor of Peninsular Malaysia, bordering the states of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. It is situated in the Sepang district, approximately 50 km from the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. This RM 9 billion airport was opened by his majesty, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Jaafar on June 27, 1998. The airport which covers 10 000 hectares of land took less than 5 years to build. It has a capacity to handle 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo annually.
Despite its mammoth size, it is user-friendly and as our former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad pointed out, it is not just an airport but a piece of art delicates to beauty as well as the environment. It is often described as the “airport in the forest, forest in the airport” because it is a futuristic structure set in rainforest landscaping. Lush tropical forests, with its diverse and exotic flora, skirt the entire airport structure.
The control tower, standing at 130 metres, is one the tallest in the world. The colourful flora and the cascading waterfalls are part of spectacular and breathtaking sight which can be viewed from the Super View Corridor. Moving through the airport complex provides the visitor with glimpses of different forest – highlands, swamp, bamboo and multicoloured flora.
The five-level Main Terminal building which is 241 000 squares metres, is located right at the heart of the airport complex. The building with its futuristic design of glass and steel is both the entry and exit point of passengers. On the top of the building is the departure concourse, and other facilities such as foreign exchange counters and international telephone facilities.
The Satellite Building where passengers make connections to other international flights is linked to the Main International Building by an automated train shuttle. The Satellite Building houses lounges, prayers rooms, duty free shops and a 80-room hotel for transit passengers.
The KLIA will be the country’s nucleus that will spearhead business and trade. It is expected to provide 30 000 jobs and reap economic benefits for the country. The successful completion of the airport well ahead of schedule reflects the ability of Malaysians to build a world-class airport that has become the pride of the country.