Sri Mohamed Khir Johari left us this morning.
Fellow blogger and journalist Rocky
aptly eulogised him as one of the last real
Malaysian gentlemen. Pak Khir as he was
fondly known, was not only our nation's
founding father but a father to all. I knew
him as a kid as he was one of my Dad's Coliseum
ever jovial Pak Khir had so many friends;
he was invited to endless kenduris,
wedding dinners and corporate functions,
even after he had long retired. While he
is frequently remembered as a former Education
Minister, vice-chairman of a gaming-based
establishment and BAM President, my fondest
memories of him are that of an effervescent
At almost every function he was invited
to, he would rise to the occasion as everyone's
favourite (impromptu) stand-up comic. He
would take center stage and tell a barrage
of colourful jokes and funny anecdotes that
left all the guests -- including ministers
and royalty -- in stitches.
One of his oft-told jokes (though adapted)
was the tale of the Malaysian who visited
Madrid for the first time. He went to a
Spanish restaurant and ordered the house
specialty which was fried bull testicles.
They were big, crunchy and delicious. On
the last day of his trip, he went back to
the restaurant and ordered the same. This
time, he was served two tiny testicles instead.
He complained to the head waiter who explained:
Sometimes the Matador wins, sometimes
the bull wins...
favourite joke from him is this one which
I paraphrased (slightly) here;
2006 TV SMITH
Right after Merdeka, the spanking new cabinet
led by The Tunku was discussing ways to
localised the British reward system of handing
out honorific titles. It was decided that
there should be a title Tan
(the stillborn forerunner of Tan Sri).
Fellow cabinet member (Tun) Tan Siew Sin
protested as he would become Tan Tan
if he was ever accorded the title. The idea
was finally dropped when Khir Johari asked
what would happen if an Indian named Das
becomes the recipient?
For me, his most endearing legacy may be
his life-long message; be able to laugh
at ourselves, and to live and let live.
Link to this article: http://www.tvsmith.net.my/duasen/191106_johari.html