Omar Yoke Lin Ong
|Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Haji
Omar Ong Yoke Lin
|President of the Dewan Negara|
23 February 1973 – 31 December 1980
|Preceded by||Abdul Hamid Khan Sakhawat Ali Khan|
|Succeeded by||Ismail Khan|
23 July 1917|
Kuala Lumpur, Federated Malay States
|Died||1 July 2010(aged 92)|
|Resting place||Makam Pahlawan, Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|Political party||Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA)|
|Spouse(s)||Toh Puan Dr. Aishah Ong|
|Hanyu Pinyin||Wēng Yùlín|
|Hokkien POJ||Ong Io̍klîn|
Tun Haji Omar Ong Yoke Lin (翁毓麟; 23 July 1917 – 1 July 2010) was a Malaysian politician, diplomat and businessman. He was a founding member of the Malaysian Chinese Association, and was a key figure in the country's road to independence. Ong served various positions in the government of Malaya and Malaysia, as a Cabinet minister and ambassador.
He was a Chinese Muslim convert.
Early life and education
Born Ong Yoke Lin on 23 July 1917 in Kuala Lumpur, he attended Pudu Girls' English School and later Victoria Institution, where he was contemporaries of, among others, Yahya Abdul Razak, Lee Siew Choh, Yaacob Latiff and Mahmood Ambak, the father-in-law of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia. He passed the London Matriculation in 1935 and trained as a chartered accountant. He intended to read law, but his studies were put on hold by the Japanese occupation of Malaya.
Omar helped found and joined the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) in 1949. As a prominent Chinese leader, Ong was selected by the British High Commissioner as a member of the then fully appointed Selangor State Council and Federal Legislative Council.
In 1952, he and Yahya Abdul Razak mooted the idea of an alliance between MCA and the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) for the Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council elections. This was the precursor to the formal Alliance Party. He contested and won a seat in that election, and was chosen as leader of the Alliance Party in the Municipal Council.
In 1955, the Alliance Party won the first ever elections to the Federal Legislative Council under the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman. Omar was appointed Minister for Post and Telecoms in the Tunku's first Cabinet. Following the overwhelming support shown for the Alliance Party during the elections and the forming of the government, the Tunku led the Merdeka Delegation to London which successfully negotiated independence from the British. Omar joined the Tunku on his second trip to London in April 1957 to finalise the newly drafted Constitution of Malaya.
Independence and the formation of Malaysia
During negotiations to unite Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and British North Borneo (later known as Sabah), Ong was Ambassador to the United Nations as Malaya focused on diplomacy amid regional tensions with Indonesia (Konfrontasi).
Following the proclamation of the Federation of Malaysia, Ong continued to serve in the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio until 1973. He served concurrently as High Commissioner to Canada in 1966 and as Ambassador to Brazil from 1967 to 1972.
In 1973, he was elected President of the Dewan Negara and served until 1980.
Honour of Malaysia
- Tun Dato' Haji Omar Ong Yoke Lin. arkib.gov.my
- "Omar Ong Yoke Lin: the passing of an era". The Malaysian Insider. 1 July 2010.
- "Tun Omar Yoke Lin Ong dies of old age". The Star. Star Publications. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
- "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1979." (PDF).
- Tun Omar Yoke-Lin Ong The Last Independence Fighter (1999 interview), and "First step to independence", The Star, 2 April 2001. Online at The Victoria Institution
- Catching up with... The Patriot with the golden heart, 17 December 2006, The Victoria Institution