At Double 7–My Thoughts


May 21, 2016

At  Double 7–My Thoughts

In two days I turn 77 on May 23. Yes, it has been a long and difficult journey for me with more than my share of ups and downs.  I did life my way. Of course, there are stories I could tell you, but I would spare you all the agony of my rantings which are often about the good old times, and there seems to be nothing great about the present. Most people have no time for grandfather stories, so I shall spare them the jarring pain of putting up with mine.

Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican (77)

Yesterday, one of my students at The University of Cambodia asked me. “How does it feel to be Double 7?”. My answer to him is also a one liner. “I don’t feel a thing.” Like Poet Robert Frost, I say I have miles and miles to keep before I sleep.

Senator John Glenn once remarked: “Too many people, when they get old, think that they have to live by the calendar.” I don’t. So my life goes on and I lead a life of many possibilities, with occasional missed opportunities, although I may feel nasty towards former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for his legacy of kleptocratic governance,  and Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and his bunch of corrupt, incompetent, and irresponsible cabinet ministers for making life difficult to  us.

Senator John Glenn of Ohio–My Hero and Role Model

You may remember that John Glenn, this well known astronaut from Ohio turned politician, became the oldest person at 77 to board a U.S. Space Shuttle. He is my role model for exemplifying the ethos that  we shouldn’t let age define and cripple us. The calendar is a useful way to let you know the date, but if you let yourself  to be hemmed in by your chronological age, you may lock yourself out of potentially valuable opportunities. You can bet I do not intend to remain static and come my remaining days.–Din Merican

24 thoughts on “At Double 7–My Thoughts

  1. Many happy returns of the day, Dato. All the best, you will definitely live beyond 88.
    The fascinating about life is that it is unpredictable; that is why I believe one should live a life of purpose to the fullest every day.Thanks for your good B-D wishes.–Din Merican

  2. Yes, another caring Malaysian going for 77. Keep going for 88 n 99. Everyday people can hear barang naik, barang mahal, duit kecik, perniagaan kurang etc. So chatting about the good old times can make one mood different before going home.

  3. Happy Birthday, my friend.! Keep up the good work. Wishing you many,many happy returns of the day.
    Thanks, Dato. How are you? Let us keep trying to make Malaysia a better place for all. –Din Merican

  4. MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY, DATO! May your life be happy and keep yourself occupied to give us more using your blog.

    Life has to move on to make your body active to carry out our daily task. Today the life cycle is definitely different from that of those years. In the yesteryear, people when reached 55, they thought to be too old to perform any physical activity and set to take rest after retiring which led them to short life span. To die today at 55 is too young one expresses his sympathy.

    Our life today is making miserable with the political situation in our beloved country which can cause us sick to read of the thieves robbing the nation. A pack of wolves running our country.
    Thanks Somu. Just stick around. Change is painfully slow but it is coming.–Din Merican

  5. Very true, Dato. Too many ups and downs, particularly for us with principles. Be that as it may, those very same rough shods had made us whom we are today. Our internship in BMN in our younger days, I believe, would remain DEAR, whatever happens.. Cheers, and happy double seven to you in two days, Dato. Alias.
    Kita ni kaya bukan dengan duit. Thanks, Alias. Bank Negara, Tun Ismail Ali, Gordon Menzies, Halim Rejab, Tan Sri Aziz Taha, Basir Ahmad, Ismail Lambat Dato Abdullah, Taib Hamid, Howe Say Lam, Ramli Kushairi, Abdullah Ismail (Mint), Tunku Abdul Aziz, Raja Lope, Syed Adam Al Jafri, Choi Siew Hong, Hooi Kam Sooi, Phang Kon Hee, Choe Kok Tim, Robert Wong Kin Thong, Teoh Chye Keat, C. Rajendram, M. Murugapan, Halim Taib, and others will always be remembered. We were a special team of central bankers.–Din Merican

  6. Wah so glad to hear you going 77. Your friend, my brotherinlaw, Dato Dali is 75 and I am 72. So happy to live this long. THANK GOD.
    Yes, Dali is a great friend from Second Residential College, UM days. We were at Wisma Putra under the great King Ghaz. Say hello for me. He, you and I are septuagenarians. Thanks, Alias, for your good wishes. –Din Merican

  7. Me just turn double 55 another 22 to get to your level. Happy 77 dato.
    Well, Vic. You have plenty of time to be better than me. Thanks for your good wishes.

  8. “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”

    Thank you for providing us with a space to rage against the machine. Thank you for offering us your perspective while sometimes disagreeing with ours. Most of all thank you for reminding us of the great tunes from the past while looking ahead.

    Happy birthday Mr. Merican. Cheers.
    Thanks for your warm wishes. It is men like you who make my blog. What is a blog without the company it attracts and learns from. I appreciate that we are individuals who never give up the good fight and never flinch from any challenge.

    Men of my generation and yours are realists who had to fight to earn our keep. Life was difficult during WW II. Every year on my Birthday since the passing of my mother in 1989, I never cease to remember her for her sacrifices and her compassion. I inherited some soft skills from her that balanced the hardness I acquired growing up.

    I am unbending in my quest for meaning and the purposeful life. Double 7 has special meaning before (and if) I reach another turning point in life’s exciting point 3 years to come. –Din Merican

  9. Makes one wonder where the country went wrong producing such a revolting bunch of leaders and how they got to where they are.
    It can’t be pure greed that motivates them but a sense entitlement to the trough just because they can and to hell with the rest. Once in power its their right to step on and steal from the people. Not provide leadership that enables and enhances.
    Maybe times have changed when leaders were genuinely interested and committed to their people. Rather than seeing them as resources to be exploited and bullied.
    Happy 77th Dato.
    Thanks, Bo. Keep reading and commenting. Sharing ideas and expressing views benefits us all.–Din Merican

  10. Happy Birthday to the youngest 77-year old I know ! Congratulations, DIn !!
    When one is trained in the United States and imbued with a positive mental attitude like John Glenn’s, then everything is possible with a little bit of effort and lots of luck. Thanks, Ambassador Malott. See you soon in DC. Maybe we should do something at Lamaye’s place and at Boeing. –Din Merican

  11. I don’t know you personally but have never failed to read your posting. For sure you must be a man of principle, integrity of varied interest and of high intelligence and wisdom. Must say you look so much younger than your age , and with a beautiful wife make both of you an ideal couple.Many happy returns on your birthday Dato and looking fit and healthy at 77, as a doctor I cannot offer you any advice.
    Thanks, Dr. Zainal. All Praise to Allah, The Most Merciful and Most Compassionate. Please continue to read this blog and comment. Salams. –Din Merican

  12. Have a blessed life and many more birthdays to come.
    No one can stop the Morning from coming.
    Here’s to you, my friend.

    First “My Way”, Mireille Mathieu’s version of Claude Francoise’s original before being translated into English by Paul Anka:

    And Dan Fogelberg’s “To the Morning” – for Life’s about new beginnings:

    Thanks, buddy. –Din Merican

  13. DDM guess you found the fountain of youth that many of us are still searching for. Best wishes on your double seven birthday and more to come.
    Thanks. I understand from my sources that you are no longer in LA. In Ohio? Is that true?–Din Merican

  14. Dato, your resolute to name those who were so dear to us adequately explains the man you really were. Those names do not merely rekindle sweet memories of each and everyone of them, but also bring back to life, how much I personally owed a number of them for having made me to re-write the ABC, for piercing my ears with the need to double-check my facts and figures, and for getting my grammar re-drawn on the drawing boards to meet BNM standards. Am pleased to assure them, that none had gone to waste.
    BNM remains a special place to you and me. I hope the new Governor will not let the institution down.Thanks. We must meet when I am next in Kuala Lumpur. Salams, Din

  15. Happy Birthday. Once you reach 70 a new life begins. You will be seven soon and get ready to make a formal entry into Standard One in the School of politics.

  16. A very happy birthday Dato. The narrative for clean and ethical governance will continue to be expressed and expanded here courtesy of one who loves this country – for many years to come.

    Continue to share your great life with your beloved Datin Kamsiah.
    Thanks. Keep writing and fighting for a better Malaysia. You can count on my support. Damn to our politicians on both sides.–Din Merican.

  17. Happy 77th Dato. Maybe you are now ready to take on the role of 007 in Malaysia. We sure need someone of that stature and capability. You can now order your teh tarik shaken but not stirred, 007.

  18. You remind me ever so often that courageous men do not need to chest thump. After all you have proven as a true gentleman, that courage is the quiet little voice that says at the end of each day ” I will articulate again and again for a better Malaysia. LONG LIFE AND MANY HAPPY RETURNS.
    Thanks. Let each of us do our duty for our country, families and ourselves. Allowing politicians to act with impunity is not one of them. If the Malays don’t wake up, they will end up being left far behind. –Din Merican

  19. Hi Din,

    Here’s wishing you a Happy Double 7 Birthday!!!

    I thought you were kidding or forwarding a blog by someone else when I first saw the email, as from your picture I have always assumed you were more like 47!

    I would love to know more about the ‘ups and downs’ you have experienced in your life. Have you ever written anything biographical, or do you intend to?

    I’m sure it would be a fascinating and inspirational story.

    But whatever, here’s wishing you many, many more joyous years and

    Best regards,


    PS. Hope you don’t mind, but am attaching to this FYI a piece I wrote back in my 60s (I’m 73 now) called ‘Age Rage’.

    Please send me your Age Rage piece. I have yet to write my magnum opus.Thanks for BD wishes. –Din

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