Actually, it was both. But it was also a simple statement of my personal belief.
To back this up, I can relate a personal experience of the events that led to the resignation of Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Said Mohamed as Negri Sembilan menteri besar in 1969.
He served the state government for 10 years, from 1959 to 1969. He was also my father. Dr Said was never a career politician as many are these days.
He joined politics late in life when he was persuaded by Tun Abdul Razak Hussein to stand as the Umno/Alliance candidate in the first general election.
He became the Linggi assemblyman and then the state’s first elected menteri besar. Being from the Bugis enclave of Linggi, Dr Said was never popular with the majority Minangkabau Umno members from Sungei Ujong, Kuala Pilah, Rembau, Jelebu, Johol and Tampin.
Neither did he endear himself to the Minangkabau chieftains of Negri Sembilan. However, his non-Malay MCA, MIC and even DAP colleagues had the highest regard for him, not only because he was a well-known doctor in Seremban but also because he was known as a well-educated, fair and honest man.
As political greed and ambition would have it, his rivals in Umno conspired against him, reporting to the then prime minister that Dr Said was not an effective Umno leader.
One of the reasons given was that he had not built a state Umno building. In fact, he had built an Umno building for Seremban. Dr Said knew that his time was up when his compatriots turned against him at a hurried meeting with the prime minister.
He did not have the desire or inclination to rebut the accusations. He turned down Tunku Abdul Rahman’s kind gesture of offering him the post of health minister.
The mundane reason cited was that he did not like the socio-political life of a federal minister and the fact that he would have to travel throughout the country at his age. He was 62 in 1969.
The real reason was that he wanted to continue serving Linggi constituency, not having developed his backward kampung much for fear of being thought biased towards his kampung relatives or having vested interests.
As a daughter, I am proud that my father resigned on principle and is remembered by many today for having done so. I am thankful it is not said of my father that he overstayed his welcome. I hope that my recent resignation from an important post will be seen in the same light. Datuk Halimah Mohd Said, Kuala Lumpur NST Opinion You Write 29 JULY 2016 @ 11:00 AM