Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman

From Malaysia Factbook

Jump to: search
Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman was the second Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (1970-1973). He was also described as the best Home Minister that Malaysia ever had.[1]
Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman

Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman (19151973) was the second Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from 22 September 1970 to 2 August 1973. He has been called "the man who saved Malaysia" for his actions as Home Minister, after the May 13 Incident of 1969.[2] Tun Abdul Razak was then exploring the possibility of a benevolent dictatorship, but was reportedly dissuaded by Ismail, who wanted to restore power to Parliament as soon as possible.


2.  Brief biography: Tun Dr. Ismail was born in Johor Bahru into a well-connected and influential family in Johor. His father was Dato' Abdul Rahman bin Yassin, the first President of the Dewan Negara (Senate), as well as the first Chairman of Malayan Banking.[3] His maternal grandfather was Haji Mohamed Salleh bin Abdullah, an ethnic Chinese convert to Islam and the State Treasurer of Johor. Ismail's mother died in 1936, and his father subsequently married Kamariah, the sister of Dato' Onn Ja'afar, the Menteri Besar of Johor.

In 1945, then aged 30, Ismail became the first Malay to obtain an MBBS degree from University of Melbourne, Australia. He set up his own private practice, the Tawakkal (Trust in God) Clinic, which ran from 1947 until 1953. During this period, Ismail also co-founded the Malay Graduates' Association, a political discussion group for intellectuals.

in 1951, then aged 36, Ismail entered politics, when he was elected as Vice-President of UMNO. After independence in 1957, he was appointed as Malaya's first ambassador to the United States of America, as well as the United Nations.

Upon his return to Malaya in 1959, Ismail was appointed as External Affairs Minister. After he threatened to resign when Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman stated that Malaya would eventually have to recognize the communist People's Republic of China, he was made the new Internal Security Minister, a post which had been specifically created for him. In 1962, Ismail also took on the post of Home Affairs Minister, apart from his post as Internal Security Minister.

By 1966, a heart specialist had advised Ismail to retire from politics, due to him being "more sensitive to personality stresses than most people". Ismail said he would have ignored the specialist's advice, had it not been for his 5 young children. After retiring from politics in 1967, he went on to head the Guthrie Group of Companies, where he was paid 3 times the amount earned by a Cabinet minister.

In the 1969 general elections, the Alliance Party suffered substantial losses. After riots broke out in Kuala Lumpur on May 13, Ismail was persuaded to rejoin the government as Home Affairs Minister. Tun Abdul Razak was then exploring the possibility of a benevolent dictatorship, but was reportedly dissuaded by Ismail, who wanted to restore power to Parliament as soon as possible.

In 1970, then aged 55, Ismail was appointed as the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister, replacing Tun Abdul Razak, who had been elevated to Prime Minister, following the resignation of Tunku Abdul Rahman. Not long after, Ismail discovered a lump in his neck, while shaving. The lump was later confirmed to be cancerous. As a result, many within his family urged him to retire again. Ismail, however, considered it his duty to assist Tun Abdul Razak as Deputy Prime Minister, and thus refused to do so. Ismail was also reportedly worried about Razak's political plans, as he intended to rehabilitate Mahathir Mohamad — a move opposed by Ismail, who preferred Musa Hitam to Mahathir.

In July 1973, Ismail suffered 3 heart attacks over the course of 2 weeks — a secret he kept from his wife, who was expecting. Ismail told a friend that he planned to resign after Tun Abdul Razak returned from Ottawa in Canada, where he was attending the Commonwealth Summit. Eventually, fearing his impending death might keep him from providing for his family, Ismail decided to have his wife's pregnancy terminated.

On 2 August 1973, Ismail suffered a massive heart attack. Normally, Dr Stewart C. Macpherson — a neighbour of Ismail's and a personal doctor to him and Tun Razak — would have immediately attended to Ismail. However, Macpherson had accompanied Razak to the summit, forcing Ismail to phone Dr. Catterall, his other doctor, who lived in Petaling Jaya. Catterall labored for 5 hours to save Ismail, but to no avail. Ismail's official time of death was later pronounced as 10:00 pm.  more... at Chronology


External links