Tunku Osman Tunku Mohammad Jewa
|General Tunku Tan Sri Osman Jewa|
Kedah, British Malaya
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
|Buried at||Kedah Royal Mausoleum|
|Rank||General, Chiet-of-Armed Forces|
General Tunku Tan Sri Osman Tunku Mohammad Jewa (1919 – 1994) was the first Malaysian Armed Forces Chief of Staff. He is a nephew of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister. General Tunku Osman was known for his strong principles and self-discipline as well as highly respected by the ranks and files of the army.
Tunku Osman received his early education at the Hutchin School, Penang and later enrolled into the Sultan Abdul Hamid College (SAHC), Alor Star, Kedah. On March 1935, he furthered his studies at the Bristol Grammar School, England. There, he was taken care of and guided by Reginald James MacGregor. When the war broke in Europe, Tunku Osman showed his interest in joining the armed forces when R.J. McGregor's sons joined the Royal Air Force.
From April to August 1942, Tunku Osman trained with the Gloucester Regiment as a recruit and later joined the 80th Reconnaissance Regiment. He was then sent undergo cadet training at the Highland Fieldcraff Centre in Scotland. He underwent further training at Bovington and was seconded to the Royal Armoured Car Regiment. In 1944, he entered the OCTU at Barmouth, Wales on December 1944 to undergo training as a cadet officer.
In 1945, Tunku Osman joined the Force 136 and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant (May 1945) and was absorbed into the General List. He continued parachute training and investigations at Calcutta, India. He spearheaded the Malay Guerrilla Group when Force 136 was abolished after surrender of Japan.
In 1946, Tunku Osman joined the British Military Administration (BMA) in Malaya and served in the British Army in Malaya. In 1947 Tunku Osman joined the Royal Malay Regiment (1 February 1947) and was commissioned as Lieutenant and assigned to the 2nd Battalion Malay Regiment. He was promoted to Captain in February 1951 and later to the rank of Major in 1955. The same year, Tunku Osman was sent to attend a Senior Officers course at Devizes, Wiltshire. In 1958, Tunku Osman was assigned to the 6th Battalion and the 7th Malay Regiment as Assistant Commanding Officer.
In July 1958, Tunku Osman was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and took command of the 2nd Battalion Malay Regiment. He was the first Malay Commanding Officer of the battalion. In May 1960, Tunku Osman was promoted to the rank of Colonel while he was attending the Joint Services Staff College and in June 1960 was promoted to Brigadier General and took command of 2nd Malayan Infantry Brigade. In July 1961, Tunku Osman was made "Brigadier of The Army" at the Ministry of Defense.
Appointment as Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces
When General Tan Sri Sir Rodney Moore retired as the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Tunku Osman was promoted to Major General and appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. He was the first Malay to hold the highest rank in the Malaysian Armed Forces. Tunku Osman retired from his position on 24 November 1969.
For his many services and contributions, he was conferred various medals and honours:
- the 'Vietnam National Order' (2nd Class),
- the 'Order of Distinguished Diplomatic Service II' (Korea),
- the 'Datu Sikana' (the Philippines),
- the 'Order of Grand Tadj' (Iran), the 'Knight of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia' (Ethiopia) and
- the 'Knight Grand Cross of the Exalted Order of the White Elephant (Thailand)'.
He was also bestowed the Malaysian order of chivalry which carries the title 'Tan Sri'.