KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — Datuk Seri Nazir Razak is making his debut as a writer with his book What’s in a Name: Family, career and the heart of Malaysia which will be sold at major bookstores and online booksellers from tomorrow.
In it, the former top banker shares his life growing up in one of the country’s most prominent political families to the initial career years at CIMB Group towards building the financial institution into one of the region’s most successful banks.
“The book is a reflection about what I witnessed, the key events that defined me and my life, how I rationalised all of it and my ideas on the way forwards for our nation. It spans family, career, business, and politics in Malaysia.
“Several important threads run through the book including the importance of context in decision making and how we understand what others did. It is also about the hard choices that one has to make, not just as a country but as individuals.
“I recount for instance my anxieties in relation to many events that unfolded such as the tough first few years of my career at CIMB, banking mergers and the 1MDB crisis.
“At the end of the book, I provide a critical analysis of the workings of the Malaysian political economy, discuss what ails us as a nation and suggest that we need to engage our collective imaginations to create a better Malaysia for all,” he said in a statement accompanying the book release announcement.
Nazir, who was former CIMB Group chairman and chief executive, is also the son and brother of former prime ministers Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Datuk Seri Najib Razak respectively.
“Tun Razak left us when I was 9 years old, and this book-writing project gave me the opportunity to understand my father; the person and the leader.
“It made me realise that his most important legacy lies in the more intangible set of values, principles, and methods he applied, whereas the tangible institutions, policies, or programmes he had established may or may not be suited for different times,” he added.
In his statement, Nazir noted that early copies of his book have already been read and endorsed by Malaysians of various backgrounds such as former deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam, former Khazanah Nasional Berhad chief executive Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and co-founder of UNDI18 Tharma Pillai.
Other prominent individuals who have similarly endorsed his book were founding dean of National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Kishore Mahbubani and University of Oxford’s director of the Middle East Centre Professor Eugene Rogan.
According to Nazir, the UK edition of the book will go on sale on November 18 while a Bahasa Malaysia version of the book is in the final stages of translation and will be available next year.