Biography of tunku abdul rahman

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Biography of tunku abdul rahman

  1. 1. QUICK FACTS • NAME: Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah • OCCUPATION:Prime Minister • BIRTH DATE:February 08, 1903 • DEATH DATE:December 06, 1990 • PLACE OF BIRTH: Alor Setar, Malaysia • PLACE OF DEATH: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysiamore about Tunku BEST KNOWN FORTunku Abdul Rahman was chief minister of the Federation of Malaya (1955–1957),the first prime minister of an independent Malaya (1957–1963), and the primeminister of Malaysia (1963–1970).SynopsisA Malayan governmental figure since graduating from college, Tunku Abdul Rahmanbecame his country’s first prime minister and foreign minister after it gained itsindependence, continuing in that post when the federation of Malaysia was formed in1963. CONTENTS • Synopsis • Early Years • Professional Life • A Life In Politics • Malayan Independence
  2. 2. Early YearsTunku Abdul Rahman was born February 8, 1903, in Alor Setar, Kedah, in Malaya, acountry then under British control. He was the twentieth child of Sultan Abdul HamidHalim Shah and Che Manjalara, the sultan’s fourth wife. In 1913, he went to study atDebsurin School in Bangkok, and in 1919, he was awarded a scholarship to furtherhis studies at Cambridge University. After a lengthy trip from Singapore aboard acargo ship, during which he contracted malaria, Tunku disembarked in the village ofLittle Stukeley, England. He graduated from Cambridge in 1925 and returned in 1926for an honors degree in law. He sat for the bar exam in 1930 but failed to complete asection of the test and therefore did not pass on this first try.Professional LifeIn 1931, Tunku Abdul Rahman received an appointment as a cadet to the Kedah civilservice and was later an assistant district officer in Kulim. In 1933, he passed thecadets law exam on his first attempt, and finally, in 1939, he retook the English barexam he had failed nine years before and passed. In 1949, he was called to the barand was then named deputy public prosecutor in the Malayan Federal LegalDepartment, a position he left in 1951 to embark upon a political career.A Life In PoliticsAbdul Rahman became president of the United Malays National Organization(UMNO) and spearheaded the alliance between the UMNO and the MalayanChinese Association (1951) and that of the UMNO and the Malayan Indian Congress(1955). His Alliance Party won a sweeping majority in the election of 1955, andAbdul Rahman became the first chief minister of Malaya. In August, he used his firstbroadcast as chief minister to declare his determination in seeking independencefrom Britain without bloodshed.Malayan IndependenceIn January 1956, Abdul Rahman led a mission to London to negotiate for Malayanindependence, in the end securing immediate self-government for Malaya and thepromise of independence by August 1957. That promise was kept, and AbdulRahman became independent Malaya’s first prime minister (a post he would retainwhen the Federation of Malaysia, which consolidated the countries of Malaya,Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak under one umbrella, was formed in 1963). Atmidnight on August 30, he stood at the flagpole in Merdeka Square, in KualaLumpur, when the Union Jack was lowered for the last time and the new Federationflag was raised.In September 1970, with his power slipping and Singapore gone from the Federationfor five years, Abdul Rahman relinquished his post as prime minister. He died in1990 at the age of 87.
  3. 3. Abdul Rahman Tunku BiographyKnown as "the Tunku" in Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman (1903-1990) was the first primeminister of the Federation of Malaya, and later of Malaysia. He was considered the "father ofthe nation."For decades Malaysians have referred to their countrys first prime minister, Tunku AbdulRahman, simply as "the Tunku." The title, literally meaning "my lord, " is shared by severalother Malay aristocrats; but it is a clear indication of his stature as "father of the nation" thatonly Tunku Abdul Rahman is "the Tunku."Tunku Abdul Rahman was 54 years old when, on August 31, 1957, he accepted from theQueens representative documents which formally granted independence and sovereignty tothe Federation of Malaya. His life up to that point had prepared him well for a position ofnational leadership. His father was the Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, whose reign in AlorStar, capital of the state of Kedah, spanned a period of 61 years.Kedah is one of nine Malay states which Great Britain had controlled, along with the "Straitsof Settlements" of Singapore, Malacca, and Penang, since early in the 19th century. Infurtherance of their objective of developing tin mines and rubber plantations, the Britishencouraged immigration of laborers from China and India while protecting the indigenousMalay culture and institutions. This paternalistic policy made it possible for Tunku AbdulRahman to study at Cambridge for the better part of 12 years, beginning when he was 16years old.While in England the Tunku helped establish and became secretary of the Malay Society ofGreat Britain. This experience, and his subsequent tenure with the Kedah state civil service,foretold his participation in the slowly developing and moderate Malayan nationalistmovement. Upon returning in 1949 from another stay in England, during which he completedhis legal studies, Tunku Abdul Rahman became chairman of the Kedah Branch of the UnitedMalays National Organization (UMNO), the political party which served as the major vehicleof anti-colonial sentiment. When the Tunku accepted the national presidency of the UMNOin 1951 he became the leading exponent of Malayan nationalism.Communal Tensions a Persistent ProblemMalayas large Chinese and Indian populations were not assimilated into Malay culture, andthe uneasy relations among Malays, Chinese, and Indians have been a fundamental andpersistent societal problem. The Tunku is credited with devising the formula wherebypolitical organizations representing the Chinese and Indian communities joined with UMNOto constitute the Alliance Party. The Alliance, or, as it came to be called after other partieswere invited to join it in the early 1970s, the National Front, was the government party after
  4. 4. independence. Its most one-sided electoral victory occurred in 1955 in the first federalelections, when 51 of 52 elected representatives were Alliance candidates.In the years leading up to independence the Tunku was involved in government efforts tosuppress a Communist insurgency known as "the emergency." The fact that the MalayanCommunist Party, which abandoned guerrilla tactics in the early 1960s, had a predominantlyChinese membership aggravated interethnic tensions. In 1969 the simmering communalconflict boiled over when, in the aftermath of parliamentary elections, bands of armedMalays and Chinese attacked one another and generally caused considerable property damageand some loss of life. It was the most severe crisis of the Tunkus tenure as prime minister,and he described the anguish it caused him in his book May 13: Before and After. Althoughneither he nor any other person could engineer racial harmony and prevent violence, TunkuAbdul Rahman strove for conciliation. As one authoritative account put it, he was "liked andrespected by members of all communities and considered honest, fair, and tolerant."Foreign Affairs a Major ActivityOnce Malaya became independent the British sought to disengage from other colonialterritories in the region. By 1963 it had been determined that this would be achieved throughthe concept of Malaysia, which by then was strongly supported by Tunku Abdul Rahman. InSeptember 1963 Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah were joined together in the newnation-state of Malaysia. In that form it was short-lived, for the UMNO leadership felt thatSingapores well-organized political elite was excessively ambitious. In August 1965 theTunku informed first Lee Kuan Yew, prime minister of Singapore, and then the MalaysianParliament that Singapore was being separated from Malaysia and would become anindependent nation-state.Neither the separation of Singapore nor the bitterly anti-Malaysia position adopted byIndonesias President Sukarno prevented Tunku Abdul Rahman from pursuing a policy ofregional cooperation. Having participated in the establishment of the Association ofSoutheast Asia in 1961, the Tunku supported the expansion of the association in 1967 toinclude Singapore and Indonesia. The organization thus formed, the Association of SoutheastAsian Nations, joined those two countries with Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and,later, Brunei in a vigorous and durable regional grouping. In addition, the Tunkuscommitment to constructive participation in the British Commonwealth as well as his activeinterest in international Islamic affairs established the basic parameters of Malaysian foreignpolicy.In 1970 Tunku Abdul Rahman relinquished the leadership of UMNO, and with it the positionof prime minister, to his close associate, Tun Abdul Razak. After his retirement the Tunkusability to enjoy certain of his favorite forms of recreation, such as golf and travel, wasimpaired by physical problems, but he took conspicuous pleasure in time spent with hisfamily. As the "grand old man" of Malaysian public affairs, he also made occasional publicappearances, such as his speech dedicating the new Malaysian Chinese Associationheadquarters building in early 1983. He also wrote a weekly newspaper column under thetitle "As I See It" and thus continued to add to his enormous influence on political and sociallife in Malaysia.
  5. 5. Tunku, who led Malaysia in winning independence from Britain in 1957 and served 13 yearsas its first prime minister, died Dec. 6, 1990. He was 87.Further Reading on Abdul Rahman TunkuTwo biographical accounts provide information on the Tunkus early life and political career.They are Harry Miller, Prince and Premier (1959), and Willard Hanna, Eight Nation Makers:Southeast Asias Charismatic Statesmen (1964). Studies which describe the Malaysianpolitical scene more generally include Gordon Means, Malaysian Politics (1970), and R. S.Milne and Diane Mauzy, Malaysia: Tradition, Modernity, and Islam (1985). Pending acompilation of the Tunkus Star newspaper columns, the best glimpse of the Tunkus personalstyle and predispositions is provided by his book May 13-Before and After (1969). Hisobituary ran in several newspapers including the Los Angeles Times. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Copyright 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rightsreserved.Tunku Abdul Rahman Email thisIn Brief pagePMs of Malaysia - Tunku Abdul Rahman "Right from the moment when I became Prime Minister, my aim, my thinking, my planning and as a matter of fact my whole heart was set on building up a prosperous and happy Malayan society." Tunku Abdul RahmanTUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA AL-HAJ(1957-1970)Remembered as the "Father of Independence", Malaysia’s first PrimeMinister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, had recognised the vital importance offostering cooperation among Malaysia’s various ethnic groups as a way toovercome political problems. It was also Tunku who envisioned the idea ofMalaysia - a federation of Malaya, Singapore (which later seceded in
  6. 6. His leadership flair also unfolded in England. Realising the Malay studentsthere were not represented by any organisation, he established theKesatuan Melayu Great Britain (Malay Association of Great Britain) andbecame its first secretary.After returning home, he joined the Kedah CivilService as a cadet in the Legal Advisors Office, andthen as a district officer in several Kedah districts.He proved unpopular among some British officialsthanks to his outspokenness and tendency to introduce reforms in hisquest to improve the living standards of the people.His attempt at completing his law studies at the Inner Temple in Englandin 1938 came to a halt due the outbreak of the Second World War. Heresumed his studies eight years later and came home with his legalqualifications in 1949.The political awareness he gained while making friends with people fromvarious nations in England did not go to waste, when he was madechairman of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) soon afterhis return. On August 26, 1951, Tunku became the UMNO Presidentsucceeding Dato Onn Jaafar. He travelled all over the country meetingpeople from all walks of life to promote unity. His efforts in overcomingthe countrys political problems by way of cooperation among the variousethnic groups saw the birth of the Alliance Party in 1955. Under his leadership, the Alliance won the countrys first general election in July 1955. Tunku was then appointed the countrys Chief Minister and Minister
  7. 7. 1965), Sabah and Sarawak which was established in 1963. Tunku is alsorecognised for his elevation of Islam to the status of official religion and hewas instrumental in the setting up of the Organisation of IslamicConference in 1969, of which he was the first Secretary-General. PerhapsTunku Abdul Rahman’s greatest single achievement was in givingMalaysians a sense of pride and nationhood.Tunku Abdul Rahman Email thisFull Biography pagePMs of Malaysia - Tunku Abdul Rahman TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA AL-HAJ (1957-1970) Tunku was born on February 8, 1903 in Alor Setar, the capital of the State of Kedah. He is the seventh prince of Sultan Abdul Hamid Shah, the twenty fourth Sultan ofKedah, and Che Manjalara. Said to be a robust and bright boy with aparticular fondness for sports, Tunku received his early education at theDebsurin School, Bangkok and Penang Free School.On a Kedah Government scholarship, he went on to study at St.Catherines College, Cambridge University, where he received his Bachelorof Arts in law and history in 1925. A firsthand experience in racialdiscrimination with the colleges administration was said to haveintensified his conviction in fighting for equality and ignited his desire inmaking his homeland an independent state, free from British colonialism.
  8. 8. Tunku, who led Malaysia in winning independence from Britain in 1957 and served 13 yearsas its first prime minister, died Dec. 6, 1990. He was 87.Further Reading on Abdul Rahman TunkuTwo biographical accounts provide information on the Tunkus early life and political career.They are Harry Miller, Prince and Premier (1959), and Willard Hanna, Eight Nation Makers:Southeast Asias Charismatic Statesmen (1964). Studies which describe the Malaysianpolitical scene more generally include Gordon Means, Malaysian Politics (1970), and R. S.Milne and Diane Mauzy, Malaysia: Tradition, Modernity, and Islam (1985). Pending acompilation of the Tunkus Star newspaper columns, the best glimpse of the Tunkus personalstyle and predispositions is provided by his book May 13-Before and After (1969). Hisobituary ran in several newspapers including the Los Angeles Times. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Copyright 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rightsreserved.Tunku Abdul Rahman Email thisIn Brief pagePMs of Malaysia - Tunku Abdul Rahman "Right from the moment when I became Prime Minister, my aim, my thinking, my planning and as a matter of fact my whole heart was set on building up a prosperous and happy Malayan society." Tunku Abdul RahmanTUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA AL-HAJ(1957-1970)Remembered as the "Father of Independence", Malaysia’s first PrimeMinister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, had recognised the vital importance offostering cooperation among Malaysia’s various ethnic groups as a way toovercome political problems. It was also Tunku who envisioned the idea ofMalaysia - a federation of Malaya, Singapore (which later seceded in

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