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Prime Minister of Malaya / Malaysia 31st August 1957 - 22nd September 1970 stated that, Tunku Abdul Rahman was born on 8 February 1903 in Istana Pelamin, Alor Star in Kedah to the 24 th Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah and his sixth wife Cik Manjalara. He was the fourteenth son and twentieth child of his father. As a child, Tunku Abdul Rahman was raised in Isatan, the Palace, which was built by a Chinese contractor and had royal childhood with a number of servants around him. Tunku Abdul Rahman was sent to a Malay Primary School Jalan Baharu in 1909 and was later moved to the Government English School in Alor Star, which eventually became known as the Sultan Abdul Hamid College. In 1911, Tunku Abdul Rahman was sent to Debsirin School in Bangkok to study with his three brothers.
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After that, Tunku Abdul Rahman returned to Malaya in 1915 and resumed his studies at Penang Free School. In 1918, he enrolled St. Catherines College in Cambridge University with the Kedah State Scholarship and graduated with a bachelor degree of Arts in law and history in 1925. At that time, Tunku Abdul Rahman drew national attention and was praised as the first student to receive a scholarship from Kedah State for studying in the United Kingdom. (

According to (2010), Tunku Abdul Rahman worked in the Kedah public service and was appointed as District Officer of Kulim and Sungai Petani after returning home. In colonial Malaya, almost all the District Officer was British and Tunku Abdul Rahman was the only Malay District Officer at that time had the peoples interest at heart. This made him cross paths with the administration many times. However, (2010) further stated that, the British Administration in Kedah could not do anything as he was a prince and the son of the Sultan.

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Later on, Tunku Abdul Rahman returned to England to complete his law studies at the Inner Temple but was force to stop in 1938 and, on outbreak of World War II, he returned to Malaya. ( 2010)

About his family and children, Tunku Abdul Rahman believed to have at least four marriages in which only three are officially confirmed. His first wife was Meriam Ching, a Chinese woman who gave birth to two children that are Tunku Khadijah and Tunku Ahmad Nerang. After her death, Tunku Abdul Rahman married Voilet Coulson, his former landlady in England. He divorces her and married with Sharifah Rodziah Syed Alwi Barakbah and the couple adopted four children which is Sulaiman, Mariam, Sharifah Hanizah and Faridah. (



According to (2010), Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra AlHaj has always been a revered Malaysian leader who had made immense contribution to the country. He is Malaysian charismatic and

transformational leader because of his success in convincing British to give Malaya Independence and also for his sacrifices in bringing Malaysia
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from colonialism to Independence. It is self-explanatory why Tunku Abdul Rahman is known as the Father of Independence. Tunku Abdul Rahman had become the first prime minister of the Federation Malaya from 1957 to 1963 and of Malaysia from 1963 to 1970.



According to (2010), Tunku Abdul Rahman leadership skills were unveiled in England. He realized that the number of Malay students had increased but they were not represented by any

organization. He showed initiative, leadership qualities and a nascent nationalism in the way he got them together to established the Malay Association of Great Britain (Kesatuan Melayu Great Britain). He was then elected as a secretary of the association.

When Tunku Abdul Rahman left England to continue his studies at St. Catherines College, Cambridge University, Tunku Abdul Rahman were then first taste of racial discrimination. His application to stay in the college was rejected because of color. Later, when it was learnt that he came from a royal family, he was offered a place, but Tunku declined on principle and stayed in rented rooms throughout his university course. The experience deepened his faith in the equality of man as an ideal to be
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fought for. At the same time, it kindled a desire in him to free his people from British rule. (

Here, we can see how ambitious and visionary he is in ensuring Malaya get independence from British by setting his vision from the beginning starting during his study time. Tunku Abdul Rahman also is a high integrity leader. In this situation, when his application to stay in the hostel is being rejected due to discrimination, he takes other alternative by staying in the rented rooms and not accepts the offer from the college after they know Tunku status. Its also show how firm Tunku Abdul Rahman is when he makes a decision. In addition, Tunku Abdul Rahman is a person who has high emotional Intelligence where he has the ability to manage himself and the relationship with people effectively which consists of four fundamentals capabilities that are self awareness, self management, social awareness and social skills. There is one situation where Tunku Abdul Rahman use his emotional intelligence when he dealing and handle with the problem towards the process of achieving independence for Malaya.

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In 1942, the Japanese transported thousands of young Malaysians male, the majority of them is Malays, to work on the construction of a railway from North Siam to Burma. The railway was to provide the Japanese with land access to South Burma where they were fighting the British. The morality rate among these Malaysian laborers, due to disease and malnutrition was very high. Cholera was common and lethal. In early 1943, some Malay laborers escaped from the construction camp in North Siam and began to make their way painfully and slowly. If they were captures by the Japanese, they were executed. Late 1943, the first few living skeleton arrived in Alor Setar. Their body and in particular legs, they were covered with ulcers which gave out a repulsive stench.

In Alor Setar, there was open sided marked building known as Pasar Yaacob where the villagers come to sell their fruits and vegetables. The refugees strayed into this market to beg for food. Since the market also provided them with shelther, the refugees were reluctant to leave. But men with skin desease were not welcome even for a single night. Marker officials applied to the State Secretariat, the District Officer and the Medical Department for help, but no one was willing to take any official notice of the problem.

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When Tunku Abdul Rahman, who was famous for his sympathy for the distressed, heard about this problem, he visited the market, talked to some of the refugees and called a meeting at his house. As a problem solver, Tunku Abdul Rahman decided to locate a shelter where the refugees could be housed, isolated from them. Tunku located a vacant space near a house belonging to Religious Affairs Department and commissioned a carpenter to erect a shed with a long sleeping platform and could accommodate a hundred persons. Tunku paid for the building with his on money and called it Rumah Miskin- a poor Mans House.

Looking at the road to independence of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman applies many skills that the leader must have in order to become a good leader. They are delegating, listening, negotiation, decision making, persuasive skill, communication skill as well as critical thinking. Tunku Abdul Rahman also applies most of managerial skills that is technical skill, interpersonal skill and conceptual skill in his work. He starts with planning the strategy on how to achieve the Independence, organize the plan, leading it and organize it until he successfully get the Independence for Malaysia on 31st August 1957. In 1940, Tunku Abdul Rahman was appointed as Deputy Director of Civil Defense, Southern Kedah. When the Japanese handed Kedah over to Thailand in1941, Tunku Abdul Rahman was made Supervisor of Education,
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a post he held until the British took over Kedah and the rest of the country. Determined to complete his law studies, Tunku Abdul Rahman joined the Inns of Court in England in 1947 and he received his legal qualification in 1949 and returned to Kedah with spirit to transform Malaya from Colonial to Independence. (Sulaiman Zakaria, 2007)

In 1954, Tunku Abdul Rahman led a delegation to London to seek independence for Malaya, but the trip proved to be unfruitful. The British were reluctant to grant independence using excuse that there needed to be evidence that the different races in Malaya were able to work together and cooperate before independence could be obtain. This not breaking the spirit of Tunku Abdul Rahman but inspire him to plan on how to make sure that all races in Malaya at that time can work together.

A Race relation was the cause of Dato Onn Jaafar stepping down. He wanted UMNO to be open to the Chinese and Indians but UMNO members were not ready to accept this. Malayas large Chinese and Indian populations were not assimilated into Malay culture and the uneasy relations among Malays, Chinese and Indians have been a fundamental and persistent societal problem. Here, Tunku Abdul Rahman apply his
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conceptual skill by applying all knowledge that his have and his ability to utilize cues to make distinctions and develop categories for classifying things as well as the ability to indentify complex relationships and develop creative solution to a problem. Tunku Abdul Rahman been credited with devising the formula whereby political organization

representing the Chinese and Indian communities joined with UMNO to constitute the Alliance Party. (Gale Encyclopedia of Biography)

On 26th August 1951, a delegation asked Tunku Abdul Rahman to accept the leadership of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and became the president of UMNO after Dato Onn bin Jaafar resigned. In the next few years, Tunku Abdul Rahman worked towards unity, travelling all over the country to speak to the people. He uses his communication skill to communicate on how important people with all the races in Malaya need to be work together as one entity. His simplicity and warmth won him the respect and affection of people from all communities and all walks of life.

As the president of UMNO, Tunku Abdul Rahman uses his diplomatic skill and has managed to solve numerous political problems in the
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Federation of Malaya, with the cooperation of various races. As a result, he succeeded in forging an alliance between the UMNO, the Malayan Chinese Assosiation (MCA) in 1952 and the Malayan Indian Congress (MIC) in 1955 and this known as the Alliance Party. The people of Malaya, as the country was called then, were sufficiently united to push for selfgovernment in their progress towards independence. In July 1955, the first election was held. The Alliance won 51 out of the 52 seats contested and then Tunku Abdul Rahman was appointed as Chief Minister and Minister of Home Affairs. (Sulaiman Zakaria, 2007)

As chief Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman made a big effort to end communist terrorism in a peaceful way. On the 9 th September 1955, Tunku Abdul Rahman declared an amnesty for communist terrorist who surrendered. As a follow-up, the Baling Talks were held on the 28th 29th December 1955 between the Malayan Communist Party, represented by Chin Peng, Chen Tien and Rashid Maidin and the Government represented by Too Joo Hing, David Marshall, Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tunku Abdul Rahman. Here, Tunku use his negotiation skill to negotiate with Chin Peng and propose to him that the communists lay down their arms unconditionally. However, tis negotiation was failed when Chin Peng reject the proposal. Tunku Abdul Rahman was more determined than ever to
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vanquish the terrorists. Five years later, the concerted effort of Malayans seceded in ending the Emergency caused by communist terrorism. (Abdul Aziz Ishak, 1983)

In 1956, Tunku Abdul Rahman led a delegation to London to hold talks with the British Government Concerning for Malaya. Against, Tunku use his negotiation skill and persuasive skill to make sure that the Independence was achieved. The negotiation covered various problems which include the position of the Malay Ruler, the status of British civil servants currently serving in Malaya States and the various steps that need to be taken during the transitional period prior to independence including the independence date.

Achieving independence peacefully needed a great deal of wisdom and give and take. Tunku Abdul Rahman and other leaders like Tun Abdul Razak, Dato Sulaiman Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun H.S. Lee and Tun Sambanthan made invaluable contributions to the Independence cause. Tunku Abdul Rahman was 54 years old when on 31st August 1957, he accepted from the queens representative documents which formally granted independence and sovereignty to the Federation of Malaya. Hr

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life up to that point had prepared him well for a position of national leadership. (Gale Encyclopedia of Biography)

On the 30th of August 1957, at the Selangor Club Padang (now known as Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square), as the clock struck midnight, the Malayan flag was hoisted to take the place of the Union Jack. Early next morning, the 31st August 1957, at the Merdeka Stadium, Tunku Abdul Rahman read the Proclamation of Independence. On both occasions, Tunku Abdul Rahman shouts of Merdeka! were joyously echoed by thousands of Malayans who were there and the millions who followed the proceedings through the radio.



Every leader have their own strength and weaknesses. None of the successful leader had all of the strength and none of failure leader had all of the weaknesses. Sometimes, the reason for derailing was obvious, but other times it appeared to be just a matter of bad luck involving events beyond a managers control such as unfavorable economic conditions or political battles.

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Tunku Abdul Rahmans regime came to downfall in 1949, when the Alliance Party lost most of its support in the general election that year. Tunku Abdul Rahman lost its support from the people within UMNO who were highly critical of his headship and eventually, an emergency committee captures the country from Tunku Abdul Rahman and declared a state of emergency leaving him with no power.

Just as Malaysia seemed securely set on a course of peace and prosperity, the race riots of 13th May 1969 jolted everyone into realizing that there were imbalance and rifts in Malaysia society, which must be corrected. Emergency was declared, Parliament suspended and the country

governed by the National Operations Council chaired by the deputy Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak. On the 22nd September 1970, Tunku Abdul Rahman profoundly saddened by the 13th May 1969 tragedy, stepped down and Tun Abdul Razak became Malaysias second Prime Minister. (



The reason why I chose Tunku Abdul Rahman as a subject for this paper is due to the fact that as one of the political leader in the world, he was
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able to unite the people of Malaya who are different races and religions. Besides, Tunku Abdul Rahman was a brave man to fight against the British colonialism for national independence and was a wise man to be able to secure Malayas independence without bloodshed. All his action proved that he is a charismatic and transformational leader who manages to transform Malaysia from colonialism to Independence. Tunku manage to plan all his strategy perfectly before he starts his action and utilize all knowledge that he have toward achieving his mission.

In addition, he is an effective leader who apply most of the key to become an effective leader and also have interpersonal and conceptual skill that make the journey became fruitful even though it is though situation.

The summary of timeline of our Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj is as follows:

1903 - Tunku Abdul Rahman was born on 8th February 1903 1909 - Tunku Abdul Rahman was sent to a Malay Primary School 1911 - Tunku Abdul Rahman was sent to Debsirin School in Bangkok
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1918 - Tunku Abdul Rahmanenrolled at St. Catharines College in Cambridge University. 1925 - Tunku Abdul Rahman graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Arts 1949 - Tunku Abdul Rahman was admitted to Bar council. 1951 - Tunku Abdul Rahman was made the president of UMNO 1954 - Tunku Abdul Rahman began his campaign for Malayas independence. 1955 - Tunku Abdul Rahman became the first Chief Minister of Malaya
1957 - Tunku Abdul Rahman was declared independence on 31 st

August 1957 - Tunku Abdul Rahman started an international football tournament 1958 - Tunku Abdul Rahman was elected as the first president of Asian Football Confederation

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1960 - Tunku Abdul Rahman declared Islam the official religion of Malaysia 1963 - Malaya became Malaysia and Tunku Abdul Rahman became the first Prime Minister of Malaysia.
1965 - Singapore seceded and declared its independence on 9th

August. 1970 - Tunku Abdul Rahman resigned from the position of Prime Minister on 22th November
1971 - Tunku Abdul Rahman resigned from the presidency of

UMNO 1977 - Tunku Abdul Rahman became a chair of The Star 1982 - Tunku Abdul Rahman became the president of the Regional Islamic Dawah Council of South East Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP)
1987 The Star was banned. 1990 - Tunku Abdul Rahman died on 6th December 1990.

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Gale Encyclopedia of Biography Abdul Aziz Ishak,1983, Riwayat Hidup Tunku Abdul Rahman Sulaiman Zakaria,2007,Perdana-Perdana Menteri : Cahaya

Kesturi (M) Sdn Bhd

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