Tun Dr. Mahathir officially launched “The Loaf” at Pavilion




Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad officially launched his gourmet bakery and pastry restaurant, The Loaf, at The Pavilion in Jalan Bukit Bintang, this afternoon.



The restaurant, is operated under M & M Consolidated Resources Sdn. Bhd., was a venture with the son of a long time Japanese friend. He was inspired to open this bakery as he was fond of gourmet Japanese breads and pastries, whilst on visits to Japan, since 25 years ago. Since there was no such product nor restaurant here, he took the opportunity after retired from Government.


The first restaurant was opened at the foot of Gunung Mat Cincang in Langkawi and this one, commenced operations on 2 October 2007. his partner and long time friend, Jiro Suzuki will run the business. They expect to open more outlets, which include Singapore.

During the media conference, Jiro said the investment for this was RM 3 million and they expected to recover the investment just after a year. They also anticipated that the outlet would bring in RM 1 million per month sales.


Many of his old friends were there, which include former Transport Minister Tun Ling Liong Sik, former Chief Secretary to the Government and EPF Chairman Tan Sri Halim Ali, Emkay Chairman Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal, Naza Motor Chairman Tan Sri Sheikh Nasimuddin S M Amin, The Pavilion Chairman Tan Sri Ismail Aziz, Berjaya Chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan, Ekran Chairman Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing, Country Heights Chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew and wife of former Finance Minister, Toh Puan Mahani Daim. Celebrities like Dato’ Khalid Mohd. Jiwa and songstress Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza were present too, seen socialising along with Tun’s children and one of his in laws.


During his last quarter of his 22 1/4 years tenure in office, Tun Dr. Mahathir focused and took personal interests on the development of middle-class Bumiputra entrepreneurs and retail businesses. He personally chaired the TEKUN committee and stressed on small and medium scale industries, especially fast-moving-consumer-goods businesses, such as bakery and food preparations/processing. So The Loaf is the testimony of him, “Putting the money where the mouth is”.

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is now a full-fledge middle-class Bumiputra businessman and retailer. It shall be the inspiration, for other aspiring Bumiputra retailers.

Published in: on January 22, 2008 at 18:37  Comments (2)  

Muslims in India

E mailed by Matthias Chang

The largest Muslim country in the world is Indonesia and the second
largest is not
Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, or Pakistan. It is India.
With some 150 million Muslims,
India has more Muslims than Pakistan.
But here is an interesting statistic from 9/11: There are no Indian
Muslims that we know of in al-Qaeda and there are no Indian Muslims
America‘s Guantanamo Bay post-9/11 prison camp. And no Indian
Muslims have been found fighting alongside the jihadists in
Why is that? Why do we not read about Indian Muslims, who are a
minority in a vast Hindu-dominated land, blaming
America for all
their problems and wanting to fly airplanes into the Taj Mahal or
the British embassy?

Lord knows, Indian Muslims have their grievances about access to capital and political representation. And interreligious violence has occasionally flared up in India, with  disastrous consequences. I am certain that out of 150 million  Muslims in India, a few will one day find their way to al-Qaeda, if   it can happen with some American Muslims, it can happen with Indian Muslims. But this is not the norm. Why?

The answer is context and in particular the secular, free-market,
democratic context of India, heavily influenced by a tradition of
nonviolence  and Hindu tolerance. M. J. Akbar, the Muslim editor of
the Asian Age, a national Indian English-language daily primarily
funded by non-muslim Indians, put it to me this way: “I’ll give you
a quiz question: Which is the only large Muslim community to enjoy
sustained democracy for the last fifty years?

The Muslims of India.

I am not going to exaggerate Muslim good fortune in
India. There are
tensions, economic discrimination, and provocations, like the
destruction of the mosque at Ayodhya [by Hindu nationalists in
1992]. But the fact is, the Indian Constitution is secular and
provides a real opportunity for economic advancement of any
community that can offer talent. That’s why a growing Muslim middle
class here is moving up and generally doesn’t manifest the strands
of deep anger you find in many nondemocratic Muslim states.”

Where Islam is embedded in authoritarian societies, it tends to
be­come the vehicle of angry protest Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia,
Pakistan. But where Islam is embedded in a pluralistic democratic
society Turkey or India, for instance those with a more progressive
outlook have a chance to get a better hearing for their
interpretation and a democratic forum where they can fight for
their ideas on a more equal footing. On
November 15, 2003, the two
main synagogues of
Istanbul were hit by some fringe suicide bombers.
I happened to be in
Istanbul a few months later, when they were
reopened. Several things struck me. To be­gin with, the chief rabbi
appeared at the ceremony, hand in hand with the top Muslim cleric of
Istanbul and the local mayor, while crowds in the street threw red
carnations on them both. Second, the prime minis­ter of Turkey,
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who comes from an Islamic party, paid a visit
to the chief rabbi in his office the first time a Turkish prime
minister had ever called on the chief rabbi. Lastly, the father of
one of the suicide bombers told the Turkish newspaper Zaman, “We
cannot under­stand why this child had done the thing he had done .
.. First let us meet with the chief rabbi of our Jewish brothers.
Let me hug him. Let me kiss his hands and flowing robe. Let me
apologize in the name of my son and offer my condolences for the
deaths . . . We will be damned if we do not reconcile with them.”

Different context, different narrative, different imagination.

I am keenly aware of the imperfections of Indian democracy,
starting  with the oppressive caste system. Nevertheless, to have
sustained a functioning democracy with all its flaws for more than
fifty years in a country of over one billion people, who speak
scores of different languages, is something of a miracle and a great
source of stability for the world.  Two of  India‘s presidents have
been Muslims, and its current president, A.P.J.  Abdul Kalam, is
both a Muslim and the father of the Indian nuclear missile program.
While a Muslim woman sits on
India‘s Supreme Court, no Muslim woman is allowed even to drive a car in Saudi Arabia. Indian Muslims, including women, have been governors of many Indian States and  the wealthiest man in India today, high on the Forbes list of global billionaires, is an Indian Muslim: Azim Premji, the chairman of  Wipro, one of India’s most important technology companies. I was in
India shortly after the United States invaded Afghanistan in late
2001, when Indian television carried a debate between the country’s
leading female movie star and parliamentarian  Shabana Azmi, a      Muslim woman– and the im am of
New Delhi‘s biggest mosque. The imam
had called on Indian Muslims to go to
Afghanistan and join the jihad
America and Azmi ripped into him, live on Indian TV,
basically telling the cleric to go take a hike. She told him to go
Kandahar and join the Taliban and leave the rest of India‘s
Muslims alone. How did she get away with that?  Easy. As a Muslim
woman she lived in a context that empowered and protected her to
speak her mind even to a leading cleric.

Different context, different narrative, different imagination.

This is not all that complicated: Give young people a context where
they can translate a positive imagination into reality, give them a
context in which someone with a grievance can have it adjudicated in a court of law without having to bribe the judge with a goat, give
them a context in which they can pursue an entrepreneurial idea and
become the richest or the most creative or most respected people in
their own country, no matter what their background, give them a
context in which any complaint or idea can be published in the
newspaper, give them a context in which anyone can run for office
and guess what? They usually don’t want to blow up the world. They
usually want to be part of it.

A South Asian Muslim friend of mine once told me this story: His
Indian Muslim family split in 1948, with half going to Pakistan and
half Staying in Mumbai. When he got older, he asked his father one

Published in: on January 22, 2008 at 02:38  Comments (2)