Hot on the heels of the success of the Proton (National Car) project and the conquest of Mount Everest, Mahathir decided to mount the mother of all challenges - to send Malaysians to the sun. In true JFK style, he announced that Malaysia will send some buminauts to the sun by the year 2020.
All Malaysians will duly impressed with their far-sighted and ambitious Great and Beloved Leader. All except one. A little boy, who was ignorant and naive, innocently asked "Datuk Seri, but won't our Buminauts be fried like goreng pisang long before they reach the sun?"
"Not to worry", intoned the Supreme Leader, "we will only approach the sun during the night."
And so the mother of all challenge was on. First, to manufacture a Made-in-Malaysia rocket - the Proton Challenger. It was completed in the year 2018. The next challenge was to select the first Malaysian Buminaut to be shot into space. There were three worthy candidates shortlisted, consisting of an Indian, a Malay and a Chinese.
The Indian candidate has an impressive CV and the Paramount Leader was impressed and so he asked how much is his fee for undertaking this mission. The Indian wanted RM1 million. The Supreme Leader was astonished, "why so much?", he asked. "Venerated Leader, you see, I have a wife and four kids and if I die in the mission, they have to be well-taken care of." The Revered Leader though that was a reasonable sum for the high risks.
The Malay candidate was even more impressive and the Beloved Leader was duly impressed. However, he wanted to know why his fees was so high at RM2 million. "Doctor, you see, I have two wives and eight kids, and should I die in the mission, at least they will be taken care of."
Doctor M was convinced that it was a good deal.
Then it was the Chinese Buminaut's turn. He was a bachelor but wanted RM3 million for the job.
When questioned, he replied "Datuk, you see, the first million is for me, the second million is for you and with the third million, we can send the Indian to the sun."
Contributed by Chee Wee