The Tunku Revisited

Many would vote Tunku Abdul Rahman because Malaysia’s most much loved prime minister because of his endearing ways. His wit, sharpness of mind, accord and compassion for that common people have been legendary.

But numerous of his fans may not become conscious of his vibrant early career in addition to his enduring link with Thailand’s Muslim minority.

pemakaman muslim Much have been written about their political development plus achievements. Robert MacNamara, then-president of the World Bank, mentioned in his starting address at typically the first Tun Abdul Razak Memorial spiel that he has been envious of typically the Malaysians in the audience who strolled with the starting father of the particular nation, whereas he had to discover the Tunku from the background books.

I used to be ten years old inside 1957 when the particular Tunku proclaimed self-reliance from Britain in addition to became the nation’s first prime minister. I had the favorable fortune of meeting him several times in his later many years. Watching him within action, listening in order to his wise words, I became one of his several admiring fans.

I first came face-to-face with the Tunku at his home in Ayer Rajadura Road, Penang, in May 1978. He got long retired and had chosen Penang as his old age home.

Why experienced he chosen Penang and not Kuala Lumpur? The individuals of Penang were honoured and joyful that such a new great man got chosen this island then since his home. This was evident that he loved the tropical isle just as the islanders loved him.

Holding out for the Tunku

It was regarding 10 in the particular morning. I was almost all waiting for the Tunku in typically the reception room ejaculate office, staked together with expensive souvenirs, trophies, walking sticks plus memorabilia.

In the corner his Chinese secretary was beating on a typewriter. Samad the motorist and Owen Chung his ADC stood around chatting. I was seated beside a humble Malay lad of approximately eighteen. Facing us had been three distinguished-looking males – two Chinese and an Native indian Muslim. Obviously a few rich tycoons, We thought.

As typically the Tunku came lower the winding stairs, before I could endure up, the 3 big-shots went forward and greeted typically the old man with gusto. “Tunku Tunku! I just purchased a 300-dollar shirt through Hong Kong with regard to you. Are you able to play golf this Thurs? We’ve book the golf course, inches one of the Chinese said loudly.

Tunku, with barely a glance, waved him aside. The other Chinese man cheerfully came forward and said, “Tunku, we’ve formed a Bumiputra company – 51% Malay and 49 percent Chinese. Can you sign for us all? We have a item of land in Balik Pulau, we would like to develop into a holiday resort. inches

Tunku retorted, “Where did the Malays get the funds to form the company to perform big business? inch

The particular tycoon confessed, “Actually we placed typically the money for them. “

“I know the Malays have got no money. A person Chinese have typically the money but nevertheless I just can’t basically sign the application to suit your needs. You possess to tell me personally who are these folks, what is their own background? ” Tunku admonished.

“OK, OK! I’ll do of which Tunku, ” typically the guy said in addition to quietly sat straight down.

Then your Indian Islamic man happily announced that he had confident a friend in Sungei Pattani to take Islam.

Tunku nodded happily and asked him to take a seat. He then arrived straight to the Malay lad and me and warmly shook our hands plus taken care of us, enquiring whether we experienced our coffee and how he may help us.

We all said yes plus thanked him with regard to the coffee. The Malay boy and I felt ten feet tall the way Tunku treated us in front associated with the three rich and powerful guests.