Kuala Lumpur, 2 Aug 2023 – Today marked the 50th anniversary of Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman’s passing. At the time of his death in 1973, he was Malaysia’s second Deputy Prime Minister and was serving as Acting Prime Minister as Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein was abroad for an official duty.
In appreciation of his past contributions and to educate the young generation on his role in developing the nation, the government has organised the ‘Memperingati Negarawan Tun Dr Ismail Al-Haj – Tonggak Perpaduan Negara’ (Commemoration of Statesman Tun Dr Ismail Al-Haj – the Pillar of National Unity) ceremony. The event was held today at Dataran Merdeka in conjunction with the 2023 National Month celebration.
In media reports and books including his autobiography ‘The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr Ismail and His Time’, Tun Dr Ismail has been described by his contemporaries and those who had come across him professionally or personally as a man who stood by principles.
Tun Dr Ismail was among the important figures who conceived the five principles of Rukun Negara when Malaysia faced its darkest episode of racial riots on May 13, 1969. Rukun Negara, which was declared on Aug 31, 1970 by the fourth Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah when Tun Dr Ismail held the position of Home Affairs Minister, was timely as it became a source of unity.
Tun Dr Ismail was also seen as an icon of unity because he often reminded Malaysians regardless of race and religion to get along with each other to create mutual understanding. The three elements that he emphasised in strengthening unity were inter-ethnic relations, getting to know each other and understanding each other’s cultures. (Source: Bernama)
In the late 1950s, while holding the position of Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Nations, Tun Dr Ismail wrote to the then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj to urge the government to establish a Central Bank to increase the confidence of foreign investors towards the level of economic stability in then Malaya. In his letter to Tunku, Tun Dr Ismail stated that the Central Bank was one of the symbols of independence. As long as the Bank has not been established, this meant that nation was still not independent financially. (Source: eJournal UM)
With our campus located along a street named after such an illustrious historical figure, let’s aspire to live up to Tun Dr Ismail’s legacy of unity, principled steadfastness and giving your best, always.