Senu Abdul Rahman

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Tan Sri Senu Abdul Rahman (10 October 1919 – 16 June 1995)[1] was a Malaysian politician and former federal minister and diplomat.

Born in Jitra, Kedah, Senu was trained as a teacher at the Sultan Idris Education University in southern Perak. After graduating, he taught at Sekolah Sungai Korok Tinggi in Alor Setar from 1939 to 1941.

When Kedah state was placed under Siamese rule during the Japanese occupation, he was an officer at the Alor Setar Education Department (1942-1943). He also worked as an illustrator and producer at the Japanese Information Department. In 1943, together with Ahmad Nordin, Mohd Jamil, Mohamed Khir Johari and Wan Din, he formed the Syarikat Bekerjasama Am Saiburi (SABERKAS) with the objectives of improving social and economic welfare for Kedahan Malays and served as its secretary general (1945-1947).

After the war, he was determined to further his studies abroad. He signed up as a sailor and set off on a ship to Los Angeles in 1948 without his family knowledge. He worked as a dishwasher, waiter and cook to finance his high school diploma and degree at the University of California (UCLA). He graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Prior to the 1957 independence, Senu was the secretary general of UMNO and joint secretary of the Alliance party. He worked with the Indonesian embassy at the United Nations the same year he was appointed Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia and served as ambassador from 1957 to 1962.[2]

He elected to the Parliament of Malaysia as member of Kubang Pasu Barat in the 1964 election and became Malaysia's first Minister for Information and Broadcasting then Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports (1964-1969) before losing his seat in the 1969 election.[3] He re-entered Parliament in 1972 as the member for the seat of Kuala Kedah Langkawi but resigned after the 1978 election.[3]

Senu was married to Sri Fatimah bte Abdullah and have seven children.[4] He died in 1995, at the age of 75.[5]


  1. ^ Jeshurun, Chandran (2007). Malaysia: fifty years of diplomacy, 1957-2007. The Other Press. p. 40. ISBN 983-9541-58-7. 
  2. ^ Kuala Lumpur Street Names: A Guide to Their Meanings and Histories. Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd. 15 September 2015. ISBN 978-9-814-72144-8. 
  3. ^ a b Marzuki, Nora (23 October 1988). "Success despite the odds". New Straits Times. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  4. ^ New Malaysian Who's who, Volume 2 (2nd ed.). Kasuya Publishing Sdn. Bhd. 1995. p. 1006. ISBN 978-9-839-62402-1. 
  5. ^ "It all adds up". New Straits Times. 25 December 1999. Retrieved 27 January 2010.