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By Country, Featured Work, Science and engineering, Sport, Travel, UK, USA - Jun 1, 2015 18:04 - 0 Comments

So You Landed On The Moon Or Saved Hundreds Of Lives In A Plane Crash – What Next?

Australian Financial Review, May 2015nomoreworlds

It was in the town of Dora, Oregon, population 10, in a room lined with bookshelves with a combined length equal to that of the Bismarck – and not by coincidence – that the question first arose.

I had been interviewing Don Walsh, who at the time was the only man alive to have been to the deepest point in the world’s oceans, a feat he had accomplished fully 50 years earlier when he piloted a wonky steel-and-glue contraption called a bathyscaphe to Challenger Deep, on the floor of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. For an hour he had been patiently narrating the story of the voyage to the bottom – the very, very bottom, a place less frequently visited by man than the moon. Though polite, he had told his story many times before, and his tone was automatic.

It was time to change the subject. What happened next, I asked? What was the next step in life after the voyage?

His face brightened and lightened. It lost five years in an instant.

“Well,” he said, “a lot of people think I died.”

 To read this article as it ran in the AFR, click here

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Big Interviews, Economics, Malaysia, Politics - Jun 1, 2015 20:05 - 0 Comments

Why Mahathir Mohamad Can’t Keep Out of Malaysian Politics

The Australian and the South China Morning Post, June 2015mahathir

When Mahathir Mohamed stepped down as Malaysia’s Prime Minister on October 31 2003, it represented much more than a changing of the guard. That day marked the departure of someone who had led Malaysia for 22 years, more than half of its modern history at the time, whose identity was stamped on the country from its institutions to its architecture, its media to its throttled political debate. When he dutifully handed over a file to his successor Abdullah Badawi – it was, with a symbolism that would become clear in later years, completely empty – and walked down the front steps of the ministerial building to say goodbye, a flawed but vital part of Malaysia went with him.

But what about November 1? What happens the day after relinquishing two decades of absolute power? And the next day, and the next, and the next?

“It was very unsettling, I would say,” he says, with a sad smile. “Because you move away from a position of power to being just an ordinary person.

“I thought I would spend more time, relax, write my memoirs, things like that.”

He pauses. “It was a little bit depressing.”

To see this article in The Australian click here, and the South China Morning Post here

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Big Interviews, Economics, Featured Work, Foreign Exchange, From the Vault, Malaysia, Politics - Oct 1, 2007 9:52 - 0 Comments

Mahathir Mohamad, Emerging Markets, October 2007

With MahathirEmerging Markets, October 2007

Putrajaya is a curious place. Though few outside of Malaysia have heard of it, it is the country’s federal administrative centre, founded in 1995 to take the government departments out of nearby Kuala Lumpur. It’s a place of resplendent architectural daring: mosques, palaces, convention centres, and five extraordinary bridges over a 650-hectare man-made lake. But the most striking thing about it is this: there’s no-one there.

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