Father of Independence
Tunku Abdul Rahman (full name : Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Shah). He is to most of us malaysian the Father of Independence, our Bapa Kemerdekaan. With out his effort,we would still be under colonial rule. There fore in this post, serge will talk about the life of Tunku Abdul Rahman. (the information is taken from both wikipedia and answers).
Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah and Cik Menyalara ( daughter of Luang Naraborirak (Kleb), a Thai district officer during the reign of King Rama V of Thailand.) whom were happily married and had wanted to have another child. And so they did, 9 months later on the 8th of February,1903 , Abdul Rahman came into the world. He was the seventh son and twentieth child of Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah.
In his early years,Abdul Rahman began his education in 1909 at a Malay Primary School, Jalan Baharu, in Alor Setar and was later transferred to the Government English School, now the Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Setar, where he studied during the day and read the Quran in the afternoon. Two years later, when he was eight, he was sent to study at the Thebsirintrawat School (Debsirin School) in Bangkok along with his three brothers. In 1915, he returned and continued his studies at Penang Free School.
In 1918, Abdul Rahman was the first student from Kedah to study in the United Kingdom under the sponsorship of the Kedah State Government. With this sponsorship he went to St Catharine’s College in the University of Cambridge, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1925.
Independence of the home country wasn’t an easy task, it began like this. In 1954 Abdul Rahman led a delegation to London to seek independence for Malaya, but the trip proved to be unfruitful. In the following year, the first federal general election was held, and the Alliance Party, a coalition of UMNO, the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malayan Indian Congress (MIC) won fifty-one out of the fifty-two seats contested. Abdul Rahman was elected as Malaya’s first Chief Minister. The Alliance was later joined by the Malayan Indian Congress (MIC) in 1955, representing the Indian community.
Later in 1955 Abdul Rahman made another trip to London to negotiate Malayan independence, and 31 August 1957, was decided as the date for independence. When the British flag was lowered in Kuala Lumpur on indepence day, Abdul Rahman led the crowd in announcing “Merdeka!” (freedom!). Photographs of Abdul Rahman raising his hand, and recordings of his emotional but determined voice leading the cheers, have become familiar icons of Malaysian independence.
After that period he became Malaysia’s first Prime Minister. Abdul Rahman dominated the politics of independent Malaya (which became Malaysia in 1963), and led the Alliance to landslide wins in the 1959, and 1964 general elections.
The formation of Malaysia was one of Abdul Rahman’s greatest achievements. In 1961 he made a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Association of Southeast Asia in Singapore, proposing a federation Malaya, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei. On 16 September 1963, with the federation of all these states except Brunei, Abdul Rahman was formally restyled Prime Minister of Malaysia.
However, the racial factor was worsened with the inclusion of Singapore, which increased the Chinese proportion to close to 40%. Both UMNO and the MCA were nervous about the possible appeal of Lee Kwan Yew’s People’s Action Party (PAP, then seen as a radical socialist party) to voters in Malaya, and tried to organise a party in Singapore to challenge Lee’s position there. Lee in turn threatened to run PAP candidates in Malaya at the 1964 federal elections, despite an earlier agreement that he would not do so (see PAP-UMNO relations). This provoked Abdul Rahman to demand that Singapore withdraw from Malaysia. On 7 August 1965, Abdul Rahman announced to the Parliament of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur that the Parliament should vote yes on the resolution to have Singapore to leave the Federation, choosing to “sever all ties with a State Government that showed no measure of loyalty to its Central Government” as opposed to the undesirable method of repressing the PAP for its actions. Singapore’s secession and independence became official on 1965 August 9.
Abdul Rahman initiated the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA) in 1961, grouping Malaya, Thailand and the Philippines. This grouping was later replaced a larger grouping, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which was formed on 8 August 1967.
At the 1969 general election, the Alliance’s majority was greatly reduced. Demonstrations following the elections sparked the May 13 racial riots in Kuala Lumpur. Some UMNO leaders led by Tun Abdul Razak were critical of Abdul Rahman’s leadership during these events, and an emergency committee MAGERAN took power and declared a state of emergency. Abdul Rahman’s powers as Prime Minister were severely curtailed, and on 22 September 1970, he was forced to resigned as Prime Minister in favour of Abdul Razak. He subsequently resigned as UMNO President in June 1971.
In his later years, Abdul Rahman lived in his house in Penang. The Tunku died on 6 December 1990 at the age of eighty-seven, and was laid to rest at the Langgar Royal Mausoleum in Alor Star.