Remembering Tun Dr Ismail

Second Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman (1971-1973)

This hour thirty nine years ago, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Industry Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman passed away. He was fifty eight.

He had a massive heart attack at home.

At the time, Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein was attending Commonweath Head of Government Meetings in Ottawa, Canada. It came to a shock to the nation, still fragile from the bloody racial riots four years ago. Tun Razak flew back immediately on a special plane provided by the Canadian government to Copenhagen and took commercial there on.

Dr Ismail was an important personality when Parliament was suspended and National Operations Council (NOC) was formed to manage the country. Order was quickly restored and bit by bit, Dr Ismail was one of those who painstakingly detailed the new elements in Malaysia post 13 May.

One of his pivot contribution during the NOC days is to restore  public confidence to the Federal Government. According to former Lord President Tun Mohd Suffian  “It was during the agonising days that his outstanding qualities came to the fore. Perhaps it can be said that more than anybody else the Tun (Dr Ismail) contributed substantially to the restoration of public confidence in the Government’s determination to restore law and order after the 13 May incidents.”

Tunku Abdul Rahman’s team on the London mission to negotiate for Independence in 1956

He was a towering Johor Malay. In the days of UMNO’s infancy and upon the summary resignation of Dato’ Onn Jaafar as UMNO President in 1951, then newly appointed President Tunku Abdul Rahman requested his involvement into mainstream politics, to maintain strength from Johor. After Tunku Abdul Rahman won the mandate of Malayans in the 1955, Dr Ismail was part of the London mission to negotiate Malaya’s independence in 1956.

Tunku Abdul Rahman appointed Dr Ismail as Malaya’s Ambassador to United States of America upon the independence of the Federation of Malaya. He also represented Malaya in the United Nations. In the first general elections in 1959, Dr Ismail contested as Alliance Party candidate for East Johor Bahru and appointed as Home Minister. He retired in 1967 for health reasons.

Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman officially launching the Malaysian Airlines System on the afternoon of 1 October 1972

He had an illustrious career as the Home Minister and introduced the Internal Security Act in 1960  as a tool for internal security upon the end of Emergency, which include to deal with subversive elements and communist terrorism. Amongst the major challenge that he managed was the Confrontation with Indonesia, upon the formation of Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963.

The chaos as the outcome of the third general elections in May 1969 got Tun Razak to invite the firm and no-nonsense Dr. Ismail back into the Cabinet. He was asked to take up the Foreign Affairs portfolio.

The Melbourne trained doctor was also instrumental in the Tun Razak’s administration to deal with the roots of the problem how and why the 13 May incidence happened. One of the factor was the Malays’ economic position was so behind and more than 36% were living below poverty line. Dr. Ismail’s stern response to this problem was to deal with it and “Don’t sweep things under the carpet”. When the had the national consultative committee that were represented by all parties (with the exception of DAP, which vehemently refused), the New Economic Policy (NEP) was born.

Whilst still in Ottawa, Tun Razak instructed that Dr Ismail’s remains was to be interned in the National Mausoleum in Masjid Negara. He was the first statesman to be interned in the purposed built mausoleum for nation’s greatest statesman.

Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman and Toh Puan Norasyikin Mohd Seth

Dr. Ismail was survived by Toh Puan Norasyikin Dato’ Mohd Seth and six children. His first born Mohd Tawfik later was elected as Benut MP during Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure.

*Updated Monday 3 August 0100hrs

Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 21:32  Comments (9)  

Kelulusan Sek. Men. Chong Hwa untuk sukatan KBSM

Dalam memenangi hati masyarakat tertentu dalam Malaysia yang plural dan majmuk ini perlu kepada ketelusan dan keikhlasan, walaupun isu isu tertentu seperti pelajaran sering menjadi bahan yang dipolitikkan dan senjata politik, terutama oleh golongan minoriti yang tegar dengan agenda chauvinis mereka. Isu Sekolah Menengah Chong Hwa Kuantan sebenarnya tidak dijelaskan dengan tepat.

Laporan NST:

29 July 2012 | last updated at 12:58AM

RM30m Chinese high school in Kuantan

APPROVED: School will be built on 6.07ha site near the city

 The Education Ministry has approved the building of a  new independent Chinese high school in Kuantan.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek made the announcement on Friday together with Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

“We have informed the prime minister and deputy prime minister of the application by Chong Hwa Independent High School.

“After one month of continuous efforts and working to ensure all requirements were fulfilled, the ministry agreed to the application by Chong Hwa to build a school in Kuantan.

The school will offer both the United Examinations Certificate and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations,” Chua said at the ministry.

Wee also said the Education Ministry had “approved as per request” the proposal made by the Kuala Lumpur Chong Hwa Independent Chinese High School.

“A school building committee to discuss school issues will be established. It is hoped that in two years, the school will be in operation.”

The RM30 million school will be built on a 6.07ha piece of land, located 6km from the city.

Chua said MCA took up the issue as it concerned the people’s education.

“It is our obligation to the community and nation.”

At the ministry, Education director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud presented the approval letter to Chong Hwa Independent High School, Kuala Lumpur board of governors vice-chairman Lim Yew Jin.

Read more: RM30m Chinese high school in Kuantan – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/rm30m-chinese-high-school-in-kuantan-1.114634#ixzz22JSHrjkt

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Kelulusan permohonan Sekolah Menengah Chong Hwa Kuantan sebenarnya bukanlah sebagaimana yang diumumkan iaitu sekolah persendirian Cina (Independent Chinese School). Dipercayai kelulusan keatas permohonan yang dimajukan oleh Tan Sri Tong Yoke Kim pada Jun 2012 ialah untuk sebuah sekolah menengah swasta Cina.

Difahamkan, antara syarat syarat yang diluluskan untuk permohonan ini ialah Sekolah Menengah Chong Hwa Kuantan ini perlu melaksanakan sukatan pelajaran kurikullum baru sekolah menengah (KBSM) dan bahawa penghantar ialah Bahasa Melayu. Kelulusan ini sesuai dan sealiran sebagaimana peruntukan bawah  Akta Pelajaran (1996).

Kementerian Pelajaran memahami permintaan masyarakat Cina Malaysia agar sekolah vernakular atau jenis kebangsaan Cina dikekalkan, demi memenuhi keperluan masyarakat Cina agar anak anak mereka diberikan peluang untuk mempelajari budaya dan bahasa ibunda mereka memalui pendidikan formal. Namun, peruntukan Perlembagaan dan dasar kerajaan juga perlu dipelihara dan dilaksanakan, agar keadilan secara menyeluruh untuk semua golongan dalam kemajmukan Malaysia kekal tanpa mana mana pihak menimbulkan prejudis dan perasaan kurang senang.

Dianggarkan pembetulan maklumat ini akan menimbulkan kontroversi oleh NGO Chauvinis Cina Dong Zong dan terus mempolemikkan permohonan untuk Sekolah Menangah Chong Hwa Kuantan diberikan taraf sebagai sekolah persendirian Cina (independent Chinese school). Kementerian Pelajaran hendaklah tegas dalam isu seperti ini.

Untuk memenuhi kepentingan politik mereka, MCA mungkin akan terus memperjuangkan agar kelulusan diberikan sebagaimana yang dipohon dan bukan kehendak golongan Chauvinis Cina seperti Dong Zong. Dalam keghairahan untuk meraih undi masyarakat Cina, MCA perlu memainkan peranan untuk mempertahankan sebagaimana yang sedia diperuntukan dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia dan dasar Kerajaan Persekutuan.

MCA perlu menjelaskan kedudukan sebenar Sekolah Menengah Chong Hwa Kuantan, yang tertakluk bawah Akta Pelajaran (1996), termasuk perlaksanaan sukatan pelajaran KBSM.

Kematangan politikus dalam MCA sebagai rakan kongsi UMNO yang mewakili aspirasi majoriti orang Melayu, dalam Barisan Nasional semenjak enam puluh tahun lampau perlu menyerlah. Agenda untuk mengintegrasikan semua masyarakat demi kepentingan strategik Malaysia bergerak kehadapan, terutama dari bangku sekolah wajar dijadikan prioriti walaupun usaha mengekalkan kuasa dan sokongan masyarakat Cina juga penting.

Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 00:15  Comments (12)