Last of the Merdeka Cabinet

YABhg Tun Omar Ong Yoke Lin

The last surviving member of the Merdeka Cabinet Tun Omar Ong Yoke Lin 92 passed away this morning.

Kuala Lumpur born Ong was one of the founder of MCA in 1949 and appointed by the British High Commission as a member of the Federal Legislative Council after the 1955 first Federal elections. He was one of the Chinese leaders who were part of the ‘social contract’, which became the fundamental principle of ‘give and take’ between the stake holders, which was translated into a formidable work formula of governing and macro planning until present day.

Upon achieving Merdeka, he was appointed into Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra’s Cabinet as Minister of Labour and Social Services. In 1959 he was made Minsiter of  Health. Upon leaving Cabnet, Omar served as Dewan Negara President from 1973 to 1980.

He embraced Islam and was instrumental in the Muslim converts organisation Perkim, together with Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj. Ong is survived by Toh Puan Dr Aishah Ong.

The passing of Ong marks the last of the original members that were instrumental and architects of the nation. Ong was a great example of a minority leader gaining respect of the majority and together with others, despite his urban and more developed background, managed to formulate and agreed with social reform programs to develop the majority who have been deprived from development such as the New Economic Policy.

Published in: on July 1, 2010 at 11:32  Comments (3)