Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey
By Hannah Yeoh
111 pages, Strategic Research and Information Development Center
Goodreads rating: 4.24 out of 5
As the church moves in theme of The Cost of Discipleship this year, we look at the personal testimony of a public figure who has truly counted the cost of following Christ.
In the events following the monumental GE14, many former opposition politicians and leaders have emerged to be ministers and deputy ministers, with a degree of authority, respect and autonomy that was once alien to them. The new government has also done well to put forward young and energetic leaders that represent the new generation of Malaysia, with the likes of Yeo Bee Yin and Syed Saddiq.
But less known are the struggles of those who sacrificed and toiled long before May 2018. Many unsung heroes have struggled for decades since independence for a Better Malaysia, often in silence in the face of discrimination, prejudice and ridicule. One of them is, of course YB Hannah Yeoh. In this book, written just after GE13, Hannah shares her personal journey from an young girl growing up in Subang Jaya (who was not interested in politics), to her journey into public service (an euphemism for politics popularised by the Kennedys) and to her rise to being the first woman Speaker of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly.
Reading the book, we learn how YB Hannah very nearly gave up everything to move to Australia, but more importantly for us, she uses this book as a personal testimony to speak about how Jesus Christ has guided and changed her life. She also attributes her faith and church for helping her through her dark times in her career. The case of a politician accusing her of proselyting the masses through her book has only served to bring more attention to her testimony, proof of the adage that any publicity is good publicity. But in all seriousness, this exemplifies how we should be living testimonies for Christ.
The book is an easy read, aptly suitable for all age groups. but of course what goes without saying is there are many struggles and persecution that she endured not mentioned in her book. That is the cost of discipleship – we often only see that triumphant victories – in this case the momentous victory in GE14 and becoming a deputy minister, but the journey there is hard and full of struggles, just as God said it would be. But the payoff is rewarding. Maybe not in this lifetime, but surely in the ever after.
MONTHLY BOOK REVIEW – FEBRUARY 2019