Abdul Razak Hussein

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Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun
Abdul Razak Hussein
TunAbdulRazak.jpg
2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia
In office
22 September 1970 – 14 January 1976
Monarch Abdul Halim
Yahya Petra
Deputy Ismail Abdul Rahman
Hussein Onn
Preceded by Tunku Abdul Rahman
Succeeded by Hussein Onn
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
In office
31 August 1957 – 22 September 1970
Monarch Abdul Rahman
Hisamuddin
Putra
Ismail Nasiruddin
Prime Minister Abdul Rahman
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Ismail Abdul Rahman
Personal details
Born (1922-03-11)11 March 1922[1]
Pekan, Pahang, FMS (now Malaysia)
Died 14 January 1976(1976-01-14) (aged 53)[1]
London, United Kingdom
Political party United Malays National Organisation (1953–1976)
Other political
affiliations
Labour Party (Before 1953)
Spouse(s) Rahah Noah
Children 5
Alma mater Raffles College
Lincoln's Inn
Profession Lawyer
Religion Sunni Islam

Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein Al-Haj (11 March 1922 – 14 January 1976) was the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, ruling from 1970 to 1976.

Tun Razak was the Prime Minister responsible in setting up Barisan Nasional, which is the ruling coalition of political parties that have held power in Malaysia till today, taking over from its predecessor, the Alliance. He is also renowned for launching the Malaysian New Economic Policy (MNEP).

Background[edit]

Born in Pekan, Pahang on 11 March 1922,[1] Tun Razak is the first of two children to Dato' Hussein bin Mohd Taib and Datin Hajah Teh Fatimah bt Daud. Of aristocratic descent, Abdul Razak studied at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.

After joining the Malay Administrative Service in 1939, he was awarded a scholarship to study at Raffles College in Singapore in 1940. His studies at the college ceased with the onset of the Second World War. During the war he helped organise the Wataniah resistance movement in Pahang.[2]

After World War II, Tun Razak left for Britain in 1947 to study law. In 1950 he received a law degree and qualified as barrister at Lincoln's Inn in London. During his student days in England, Tun Razak was a member of the British Labour Party and a prominent student leader of the Kesatuan Melayu Great Britain (Malay Association of Great Britain). He also formed the Malayan Forum, an organisation for Malayan students to discuss their country's political issues.

Political Involvement[edit]

Upon his return from the United Kingdom, in 1950, Tun Razak joined the Malayan Civil Service.[1] Owing to his political calibre, he became the youth chief for United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Two years later, he worked as the Assistant State Secretary of Pahang and in February 1955, at just 33 years of age, became Pahang's Chief Minister.

Razak stood in and won a seat in Malaysia's first general elections in July 1955 and was appointed as the Education Minister. He was instrumental in the drafting of the Razak Report which formed the basis of the Malayan education system. Tun Razak was also a key member of the February 1956 mission to London to seek the independence of Malaya from the British.[1]

After the general elections in 1959, he became the Minister of Rural Development in addition to holding the portfolios of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, which he held from 1957.[1] His achievements include formulating the development policy known as the Red Book.

Infusing Young Blood[edit]

At the time of Separation of Singapore from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965, Tun Razak realised that UMNO needed more young leaders in the party. Faced with, amongst other things Lee Kuan Yew's considerable rhetorical skills, Razak wanted young Malay leaders – grounded in their own faith and culture – who would be able to speak and if necessary debate both in the Malay language and English language.

Razak understood that power resided in the Malay community and that for this power to be wielded effectively, the elite among the Malays had to be an elite determined by ability, aptitude and commitment to the nation as a whole. Class, birth and money were secondary in his calculations.

As a consequence of this initiative, the then young leaders of mixed heritage in UMNO, such as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, were drafted into higher echelons of the political establishment.

In 1967 he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership.

Prime Ministership[edit]

After the 13 May Incident in 1969, his faction in UMNO overthrew Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra and imposed a State of Emergency, ruling by decree as the National Operations Council until 1970.[1] On September 1970, Tun Razak succeeded Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Tun Razak set up the Barisan Nasional or National Front on 1 January 1973 to replace the ruling Alliance Party. He increased the membership of its parties and coalitions in an effort to establish "Ketahanan Nasional" (National Strength) through political stability.

Tun Razak is also renowned for launching the Malaysian New Economic Policy (MNEP) in 1971. He and the "second generation" of Malay politicians saw the need to tackle vigorously the economic and social disparities which fuelled racial antagonism. The MNEP set two basics goals – to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty, and to reduce and eventually eradicate identification of economic function with race.

Death[edit]

Due in part to leukaemia, Abdul Razak died on 14 January 1976 while seeking medical treatment in London. He was posthumously granted the soubriquet Bapa Pembangunan (Father of Development). He is laid to rest in Heroes Mausoleum near Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur.

Family[edit]

Tun Abdul Razak was descended from a long line of Pahang chieftains of Bugis descent.[3][4] He was married to Tun Rahah Mohammad Noah; daughter of Tan Sri Haji Mohamad Noah Omar, the former Minister of Home Affairs and first Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat. He was the brother in law of Tun Hussein Onn, his successor as Prime Minister, who also married another Tan Sri Haji Mohamad Noah Omar's daughter, Tun Suhaila Mohamad Noah.

Abdul Razak's eldest son, Najib Razak, became the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia on 3 April 2009, succeeding Abdullah Badawi. He has four other sons, Datuk Ahmad Johari Razak, Mohamed Nizam, Mohamed Nazim and Mohamed Nazir.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak with US President John F. Kennedy at the White House in 1963

Honors[edit]

  •  Malaysia  Malaya
    • MY Darjah Yang Mulia Pangkuan Negara (Defender of the Realm) - SMN.svg Seri Maharaja Mangku Negara (1959)[1]
  • Tun Razak was posthumously granted the soubriquet Bapa Pembangunan (Father of Development).

Places after him[edit]

Several places were named after him, including:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abdul Razak bin Hussein, Tun Haji". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8. 
  2. ^ 1967 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership – Tun Abdul Razak
  3. ^ Anak Gemilang Malaysia
  4. ^ M'SIAN DEPUTY PM TO ATTEND BUGIS MAKASSAR BIZMEN'S MEETING.

External links[edit]

Political offices
New office Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
1957–1970
Succeeded by
Ismail Abdul Rahman
Preceded by
Abdul Rahman
Prime Minister of Malaysia
1970–1976
Succeeded by
Hussein Onn