Chapter 5 : The Visit
During Dr Mahathir’s visit, there were already 4 Malaysian companies who had invested and were operating business already. Telekom Malaysia had joint-ventured Sotelgui, being the largest Malaysian investor at the time. The others were Bernas, International Commercial Bank and also Business Focus whom I was working for.
I can’t explain what happened at the other place during Dr Mahathir’s visit, but I can certainly tell you what happened during Dr Mahathir’s visit to our hotel. Busy, busy, busy 3 months prior his arrival. I didn’t sleep the night before his arrival. After all the efforts that I had put in during the 3 months… For the first time in my life, I learnt that politic is dirty. My superior just put me aside the morning when Dr Mahathir due to arrive. I was not allowed to receive our Prime Minister. Instead, he placed himself to greet our PM. The table was turned around when our big boss, Dato’ Amin Shah came. He looked for me and asked me to stand by the door to receive Dr Mahathir. He made a short rehearsal on what I had to do… I truly admired what he did for me.. I had the chance to walk side by side with Dr Mahathir, the man I admire the most in this world.. It was a Great Experience!! The staff were partying like a festival.. everyone seemed so happy..
Unfortunately.. among the 300 businessmen.. not even a single company decided to invest. I had no idea why. So, the original 4 remained in The Republique of Guinea. During Dr Mahathir’s visit, strangely I was invited by a Malaysian Minister to his Villa. Hmm.. and I thought.. wow.. I wouldn’t get this kind of treatment back home. It was just a normal visit.. of course, that’s what I thought. Little that I knew, I was surrounded by a few intelligents who questioned me about many things.. The way they asked me was so innocent that I just gave innocent answers too!! Oooopsss.. My big boss got angry with me after that.. perhaps some of the answers given reflected back to him.. I had no idea until today.. what I had done. Perhaps the joke that I made. I was asked how much profit can the hotel make a year. So, I said.. at this moment.. about 1 million USD. Then I was asked how much did the company want to invest? And I said.. Our boss made an announcement during his speech infront of our Prime Minister that he would spend 100 Million USD to refurbish the hotel. The following Q&A perhaps got me into trouble. “So, how long would the company recover the money?” And I said “Hmmmmm….100 years!” A lot of laughters then.. but a lot of trouble thereafter too!!!
To be continued… DjRay