Wednesday, February 11, 2015

M 082 TUN DR ISMAIL BIN ABD RAHMAN

SPECIAL TRIBUTE
TO
TUN DR ISMAIL BIN ABD RAHMAN

 
almarhum
TUN DR ISMAIL BIN ABD RAHMAN
(4 Nov 1915 - 2 Ogos 1973)



Prior to this, I had wrote 'a short appreciation' about Almarhum Tun Dr Ismail in the early topics namely, TAJUK 41 (MY IDOL) and TAJUK 44 (ANAK JOHOR TERSOHOR 1).

Tun Dr Ismail bin Dato Abd Rahman is the second Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.  He was appointed to that position after Tun Razak became the (second) Prime Minister succeeded Tunku Abd Rahman Putra Alhaj in September 1970. Tun Dr Ismail (Almarhum) was a figure who was my IDOL when I was in primary and secondary school.  

When i was in primary school (1966-1971), one of my favourite was collecting ministers' pictures from newspaper. At that time, the only papers available in my house was UTUSAN MELAYU in Jawi. My mother cannot read Roman, she read only Jawi. My father can read both but he preferred Jawi. The price of the paper at that time was only 25 cents!.

At that time I could remember all the ministers' name. Tunku, Tun Razak, Tun Dr Ismail, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun Sambanthan, Tan Sri Sardon, Tan Sri Fatimah Hashim, En Khir Johari, Rahman Yaakub, Lee Siok Yew etc. My favourite everlasting leader cum idola was Tun Dr Ismail (allahyarham, he died on 2nd Aug 73- i was in Form 2).




Almarhum Tun Dr. Ismail dilahirkan di Parit Bakar, Muar, Johor pada 4 November 1915 dan mendapat pendidikan awal di Sekolah Bukit Zaharah, Johor Bahru, dan seterusnya melanjutkan pelajaran di English college (kini maktab Sultan Abu Bakar), Johor Bahru. Beliau kemudian melanjutkan pengajian ke King Edward Medical College, Singapura. Pada tahun 1943, beliau melanjutkan pengajian ke dalam bidang perubatan di Universiti Melbourne Australia. Beliau memperolehi Ijazah doktor perubatan tahun 1945 dan merupakan anak Melayu pertama yang memperolehi ijazah doktor perubatan dari universiti Melbourne. 

Almarhum Tun Dr. Ismail dilantik menjadi Duta Persekutuan Tanah Melayu yang pertama ke Amerika Syarikat pada tahun 1957 dan juga diberikan tauliah menjadi Duta negara ke Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu. Kedua-dua jawatan ini dipegang oleh beliau sehingga tahun 1959. Merupakan individu pertama dibenarkan membawa senjata ke dalam dewan perhimpunan PBB atas dasar memakai pakaian rasmi, baju Melayu bertanjak dan berkeris. 


  


 

Sekembalinya dari New York, almarhum dilantik menjadi Menteri Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri pada 1 Sep 1960 hingga Mei 1967, apabila beliau meninggalkan kabinet atas sebab-sebab kesihatan. Jawatan Menteri Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri yang dikosongkannya diisi oleh Tun Abdul Razak. Selepas peristiwa13 Mei 1969, beliau kembali ke dalam kabinet dan dilantik sekali lagi menjadi Menteri Dalam Negeri , Menteri Perdagangan dan Perusahaan seterusnya Timbalan Perdana Menteri sehingga meninggal dunia pada 2 Ogos 1973. 



    

Almarhum terdorong menceburi politik selepas perletakan jawatan Dato' Onn Jaafar sebagai Presiden UMNO dan diganti oleh Tunku. Beliau menceburkan arena politik setelah dilantik sebagai Naib Presiden UMNO pada tahun 1951.




Jasa paling besar Almarhum adalah mengembalikan keyakinan rakyat Malaysia terhadap Kerajaan Malaysia. Menurut Tun Suffian:

"it was during the agonising days that his outstanding qualities came to the fore. Perhaps it can be said that more than anybody else the Tun contributed substantially to the restoration of public confidence in the Government's determination to restore law and order after the May 13th incidents"



Pada 2 Ogos 1973, Tun Dr Ismail meninggal dunia dan dimakamkan di Makam Pahlawan Masjid Negara dan menjadi pemimpin pertama yang disemadikan di situ. Tun Dr Ismail telah mendirikan rumahtangga dengan Toh Puan Norashikin binti Mohd Seth pada tahun 1950 dan dikurniakan 6 orang anak; Mohd Tawfik, Zailah, Badriah, Zamaqshari, Mohd Tarmizi dan Mohd Ariff.



 


Setelah 33 tahun Tun meninggalkan dunia ini, pada 2 Julai 2010, Toh Puan Norashikin pula menurutinya pulang ke rahmatullah.  Jenazah almarhumha juga dikebumikan di perkarangan Makam Pahlawan, Masjid Negara, menjadikan juga wanita bukan negarawan/negarawati (hanya seorang isteri) yang disemadikan di Makam Pahlawan.



SEMOGA ALLAH RAHMATI RUH ALMARHUM DAN ALMARHUMAH
AL FATIHAH


Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman was a Malaysian politician from them UMNO. He held several Malaysian ministerial posts and was appointed as the second Deputy Prime Minister in 1970 by then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak. Three years later, Tun Dr Ismail died in office due to a heart attack. Ismail has been called "the man who saved Malaysia" for his actions as Home Minister after the May 13 Incident of racial rioting in 1969"


At my age of my primary and secondary school,  I did not know why i like and appreciate him. At that age i knew nothing about integrity, incorruptible or what not. May be because of I am Johorean, and he is from Johore (semangat kenegerian), and he was the potential first PM from Johore. Anyway, later, i found out that i did choose the right person to be my idol. HOWEVER I never-never like the reality program 'Malaysian Idol'.

 

"Generally, almarhum Tun Dr Ismail has been regarded as reliable and incorruptible, remembered for his deep dislike of incompetence and bigotry, his strict adherence to the virtues of hard work and honesty, and his belief in the principles of national independence and multi-racialism".

I bought and always willing to buy any book about him. The latest and most comprehensive' is The Reluctant Politician (Bukan Kerana Pangkat), written by Ooi Kee Beng  (2009).

 
 

Walaupun menyertai politik perjuangan kemerdekaan Malaysia sejak seawal tahun 1951 dan seterusnya menyertai barisan kepimpinan negara yang baru merdeka dan membangun, usianya yang pendek meninggalkan jasa dan bakti yang tidak ternilai harganya untuk diwarisi oleh bangsa Malaysia.

Sehingga hari ini, aku tak pernah terjumpa atau 'cross in my mind' ada mana-mana pemimpin politik Malaysia yang mempunyai integrity setanding dengan atau menghampiri Almarhum Tun Dr Ismail. Kalaulah markah penuh 10.00 dan almarhum Tun saya bagi 9.00, mana-mana pemimpin politik hari ini paling tinggi aku boleh bagi 3.00 (dari aspek integrity). Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat dan mengampunkan dosanya. Amin.



petikan dari akhbar KOSMO, 13 Jan 2011

Momen Indah Bersama Ayah






PETANG itu, laluan di Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar tiba-tiba sesak dengan kenderaan di kedua-dua bahu jalan. Kawasan kediaman di lokasi yang aman tenteram itu bertukar meriah.
Lebih ketara, sebuah restoran Itali, Opus Bistro menjadi tumpuan. Dalam sekelip mata, ruang kecil di restoran itu dipenuhi pengunjung. Semuanya cuba mendapatkan kedudukan terbaik.
Tumpuan segera beralih kepada sebuah pentas kecil di depan mata. Dua orang pengacara majlis diapit oleh tujuh individu yang menjadi tetamu istimewa pada petang itu. Mereka bukan pelakon drama ataupun penyanyi terkenal.
Sebaliknya, ketujuh-tujuh individu dari pelbagai peringkat usia itu merupakan keturunan kepada pemimpin-pemimpin yang bertanggungjawab mengasas Malaysia pada suatu ketika dahulu.
Mereka terdiri daripada anak, cucu dan cicit tokoh-tokoh pengasas Malaysia seperti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman, Tun V. T. Sambanthan, Tun Tan Cheng Lock dan Tun Fuad Stephens.
Membawa tema Malaysiaku: Meraikan Hari Malaysia, sesi temu bual anjuran Institut Hal Ehwal Demokrasi dan Ekonomi (IDEAS) bersama agensi berita Bernama TV itu bermula tepat pada pukul 5 petang.
Anak kepada tokoh politik, Tun Dr. Ismail, Tarmizi, 50, menyifatkan pertemuan sempena Hari Malaysia itu sebagai sangat signifikan. Sejujurnya, beliau tidak teragak-agak untuk menghadiri sesi pertemuan itu selepas menerima jemputan daripada pengasas IDEAS, Tunku Zain Al-abidin Muhriz.
Sebagai seorang peminat tegar sejarah, Tarmizi menyatakan Malaysia terbentuk daripada situasi yang sangat kompleks. Baginya, asas perpaduan yang telah dibina oleh tokoh-tokoh terdahulu akan musnah sekiranya rakyat Malaysia tidak berhati-hati dan terus fokus kepada perbezaan kaum.
Membahasakan Ismail sebagai ayah, bapa kepada tiga orang anak itu bersyukur dan menyifatkan dirinya bertuah. Bertuah kerana merupakan sebahagian daripada mereka yang pernah hidup bersama tokoh-tokoh pengasas Malaysia itu.
“Sebenarnya, hidup dalam bayang-bayang seorang tokoh yang disegani dan dihormati adalah satu pengalaman yang membuatkan saya berasa rendah diri.
“Mereka yang pernah bekerja atau mengenali ayah melalui pembacaan buku sejarah akan memberitahu saya perkara baik-baik tentangnya,” kata Tarmizi kepada Kosmo! dalam satu temu bual berasingan di ibu negara baru-baru ini.

Taufik Ismail


DARI kiri : Zamakshari, Ariff dan Tarmizi menghargai sumbangan dan legasi yang ditinggalkan oleh bapa mereka, Ismail.

Malangnya, pujian-pujian itu membuatkan beliau berasa segan. Segan kerana beliau sebenarnya tidak tahu bagaimana untuk membalas pujian-pujian tersebut. Maklumlah, ketika kematian Timbalan Perdana Menteri yang kedua itu pada 2 Ogos 1973, Tarmizi baru berusia 12 tahun. Anak kecil itu nyata belum cukup matang untuk memahami atau menghargai sumbangan serta legasi yang ditinggalkan oleh bapanya.
Namun, seingat Tarmizi, beliau mula sedar keistimewaan bapanya apabila terpaksa duduk berjauhan dengan Ismail setiap kali menghadiri majlis rasmi.
“Kami tidak pernah duduk bersebelahan ayah. Mak dan ayah akan selalu berada di kawasan khas untuk orang kenamaan (VVIP). Jadi, dari situ, saya sedar mak dan ayah adalah milik rakyat,” tambahnya.
Keprihatinan ayah
Lebih menarik, setiap kali bercuti di Mersing, Johor, Tarmizi memberitahu, ayahnya akan berhenti di setiap balai polis di sepanjang jalan-jalan lama dari Kuala Lumpur ke Johor.
“Kami sudah tentu mengeluh kerana ini akan menyebabkan tempoh perjalanan berlarutan lebih lapan jam. Tetapi, oleh sebab ayah ialah Menteri Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri dan pasukan polis di bawah tanggungjawabnya, jadi dia menunaikan tugasnya,” ungkap Tarmizi.
Berikut adalah jawapan Ismail yang masih diingati Tarmizi mengenai pasukan polis : “Inilah orang yang ada keluarga dan tidak mengeluh walaupun terpaksa meninggalkan keselesaan hidup di bandar untuk berkhidmat di kawasan pedalaman di negara ini.”
Apa yang pasti, keprihatinan ayahnya itu secara tidak langsung membuahkan banyak perkara positif.
Buktinya, setiap pegawai polis dan keluarga mereka sanggup mengecat balai polis dan menghiasi taman demi menyambut kehadiran Ismail. Bukan setakat itu, kunjungan Tarmizi dan keluarganya juga akan disajikan dengan kuih dan air kopi. Jika tiba musim durian, mereka dikehendaki menghabiskan sedulang durian.
“Agaknya semua makanan manis itu telah meragut nyawa ayah,” katanya berseloroh tentang kematian bapanya akibat serangan penyakit jantung.
Tiada penyalahgunaan kuasa
Sepanjang tempoh kehidupan remajanya selama 12 tahun, Tarmizi mengakui sukar untuk melalui zaman kanak-kanak yang normal. Setiap kali beliau menjemput rakan-rakan ke rumah, mereka kelihatan lebih cenderung untuk menurut arahannya.
“Agaknya, peluang untuk bertemu dengan ibu bapa saya adalah satu pengalaman luar biasa kepada mereka. Sebabnya saya selalu diberitahu mereka akan menceritakan pengalaman itu kepada keluarga mereka selepas itu,” tambah Tarmizi.
Terkenal dengan sikap adil dan kekuatan, Ismail tidak hanya mempraktikkan kedua-dua kualiti tersebut dalam lingkup dunia politik. Sebagai bapa kepada enam orang anak, Ismail memastikan tiada penyalahgunaan kuasa dan statusnya untuk kepentingan ahli keluarga.
Buktinya, ketika kakak Tarmizi ingin memohon untuk mendapatkan biasiswa, beliau menegaskan tidak akan menggunakan status sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri bagi membantu merealisasikan impiannya.

TUN DR. ISMAIL (empat dari kiri) selepas majlis beliau dilantik sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri pada tahun 1970.


“Ayah kata, menjadi anak menteri tidak menafikan hak individu kakak sebagai seorang rakyat. Tetapi, kakak juga perlu bergantung kepada usaha dan kelayakannya untuk memiliki biasiswa itu,” katanya sambil menekankan ketegasan Ismail untuk menegakkan keadilan.
Menyifatkan kehidupan bersama ibu bapanya sebagai satu sedutan pelajaran sejarah yang hidup, satu-satunya kekesalan dalam hidup Tarmizi adalah kehilangan Ismail pada usia yang muda.
Namun, beliau turut mengingatkan generasi muda hari ini agar mengenali sejarah kerana ia masih relevan untuk mereka.
“Sejarah bukan subjek yang statik atau mati. Ia terus berkembang dan sentiasa ditagih untuk didengar,” kata anak keempat dalam keluarga tersebut. Ibu Tarmizi, Toh Puan Norashikin binti Dato' Mohd. Seth, meninggal dunia awal Julai 2010 di Hospital Pakar Damansara, Damansara Kuala Lumpur kerana sakit tua pada usia 80 tahun.
Allahyarham merupakan wanita kedua negara yang disemadikan di Makam Pahlawan selepas menteri wanita pertama Malaysia, bekas Menteri Kebajikan Am Tun Fatimah Hashim.
Pesanan ayah
Dalam satu temu bual berasingan bersama dua orang adik Tarmizi di Taman Tun Dr. Ismail pula, Kosmo! memperoleh gambaran lebih jelas tentang sifat kebapaan Ismail di rumah. Biarpun sibuk dengan tugasan negara, beliau juga amat mementingkan keluarga.
“Saya masih ingat lagi bahawa ayah akan balik ke rumah untuk makan tengah hari hampir setiap hari. Sambil menjamu selera, tepat pukul 1.30 petang, beliau pasti akan mendengar saluran BBC dan kami tidak dibenarkan membuat bising. Telan makanan pun perlu perlahan tanpa mengeluarkan sebarang bunyi,” cerita Zamakhari, 46, yang berusia sembilan tahun ketika Ismail meninggal dunia.
Anak bongsu Ismail, Mohamed Ariff, 43, pula memberitahu, walaupun terlalu mentah untuk mengingati kehidupan bersama bapanya, dia tetap menghargai momen-momen indah ketika Ismail masih hidup.

Bermain golf dan menonton wayang antara dua hobi yang dikongsi oleh pengasas Malaysia tersebut bersama Allahyarham isterinya, Norashikin. Masih segar dalam ingatan Mohamed Ariff apabila dia dan abangnya sering dibawa untuk menemani kedua-dua orang tuanya di padang golf.
“Awal pagi sebelum pergi bekerja, ayah dan ibu akan membawa kami bersama untuk bermain golf. Masa itu, kami pun masih pakai baju tidur lagi!” katanya sambil ketawa mengingati momen tersebut.
Sebagai seorang yang bijak berfesyen dengan pemakaian tali-tali leher berwarna-warni, Ismail cukup mementingkan kejujuran.
Kepada anak-anaknya, lelaki yang terkenal dengan cermin mata berbingkai tebal hitam dan paip itu, beliau ingin melihat mereka berjaya dan memegang kejujuran sebagai tonggaknya.
“Ayah tidak pernah suka dengan orang pembohong dan beliau ingin kami sentiasa jujur terhadap diri dan berani menghadapi sebarang masalah,” tambah Zamakhari.

Hilangnya Seorang Patriot oleh Abdul Majid Yusuff (1974) dan
Tun Dr Ismail: Kejora Timur Yang Mengerdip oleh Thajunnisa Mohamed Ibrahim (2004)

  
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Remembering Tun Dr Ismail

By Ron CK Sim

Almost two years ago, I asked a group of friends during one of our mamak stall sessions whether they know a man by the name of Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman. I received some weird stares. And quite expectedly, none of these three friends of mine actually had a clue of who this man was. – Who would you have preferred?

This is a clear proof of the failure of our education system, so I thought. Or was there a deliberate policy not to publicly acknowledge Tun Dr Ismail’s contribution to nation building – simply because his ideals, principles and sense of fairness were not in sync with our former PM of 22 years?

It is a shame to our country that Tun Dr Ismail’s biography titled “The Reluctant Politician” was only published 33 long years after his eventful passing, and by Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) which is based in Singapore! Why not a Malaysian publisher? Why the long wait?

The story goes that no Malaysian publishers dared to venture into the project lest it be seen that they were going against a certain Almighty PM! At least, Malaysians should be grateful that the long-awaited biography was authored by a fellow Malaysian, the renowned Dr Ooi Kee Beng, with Tun Dr Ismail’s eldest son, Tawfik, as consultant and adviser to the project.

To put it in historical perspective, Malaysia as a nation changed forever on that “fateful” night of 2nd August 1973. That night, Malaysia lost its most faithful and dependable son, DPM Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, because of a fatal heart attack. He was Malaya’s third man throughout the negotiation for independence and nationhood, the formative years after independence, the communist insurgency, the formation of a new country called Malaysia and the Indonesian aggression thereafter, the eventual separation with Singapore, and the formation of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Up till then, he had held the posts of independent Malaya’s first Permanent Representative to the United Nations cum the Ambassador to the USA, as well as the ministerial portfolios of external affairs, internal security and home affairs – the latter portfolios seeing him put in charge of detaining people under the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA). He defended the necessity of the Act at that time of communist insurgency, stating that “abuse of the Act can be prevented by vigilant public opinion via elections, a free Press and above all, the Parliament.”

Tun Dr Ismail retired in May 1967 as Malaysia’s respected and powerful Home Minister due to his worsening health. However, he was being hauled back (hence “The Reluctant Politician”) by Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, again as Home Minister and later as DPM, to restore stability to Malaysia during the aftermath of the May 13 racial riots. He was called “the man who saved Malaysia”.

Robert Kuok, a close friend of Tun Dr Ismail describes him: “He was a lovely man with strength of character, high principles, and a great sense of fairness. In my opinion, he was probably the most non-racial, non-racist Malay I have met in my life. And I have met a very wide range of Malays from all parts of Malaysia. Doc was a stickler for total fair play, for correctness; total anathema to him to be anything else. Every Malay colleague feared him because of this, including MAHATHIR.”

I recall that in March 2008, I read in NST Online that the then Selangor UMNO Information Chief said that “those who want the New Economic Policy scrapped are historically blind” and that “the NEP is a time-tested policy”. I was furious. I would denounce him as the actual one who is historically blind! 

Tun Dr Ismail, being the most influential racial policy-maker of his time, to the extent that Razak seldom disagreed with him, realised the danger of the preferential treatment in favour of the Malays but thought it necessary at that time of uneven competition caused by colonial policy. He, a passionate golfer, often liked to describe the NEP using a golfing metaphor.

Quoting from his biography, he likened the NEP to a handicap which “will enable them to be good players, as in golf, and in time the handicap will be removed. The Malays must not think of these privileges as permanent: for then, they will not put effort into their tasks. In fact, it is an insult for the Malays to be getting these privileges.”

I was told that in the early 70’s, many Malaysians believed that Malaysia would one day have a medically-trained PM in the name of Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman (following on after our first two English-trained Barrister PMs). Never had they thought that it turned out not to be him but another medical doctor by the name of Mahathir Mohamad – the author of the infamous book “The Malay Dilemma”.

Although I had yet to be born in the early 70s but after having learned about the man, I now feel a real sense of “how it would have been” if Tun Dr Ismail were to helm the country during the years I innocently grew up. Given Tun Dr Ismail’s distrust towards Dr Mahathir’s extremist Malay nationalism, the latter would never become the PM who ruled Malaysia with an iron fist for 22 years!

As fate would have it, Tun Dr Mahathir was indeed a very lucky man, just as Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was, albeit with no happy ending for the latter!

That’s why I call 2nd August 1973 a “fateful date that changed Malaysia forever”.

To play an active role in shaping the destiny of our beloved country, one needs to know its history during those crucial years. History “in fact”, not the history as presented by the ruling government. I have no doubt that we had been systematically put through those sweet (but mind-poisoning) school days to think the way UMNO wanted us to think.

To the young people among my countrymen, while we learned and remember fondly about our founding fathers like Tunku and Tun Razak, there is another man who held the nation together during its most crucial times, and by doing that lost his life for the nation. 

Forget him not.

**********************************************************************************

Quote of the Day: “I will do for the country what I will not do for myself and my family.” ~ Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (1970-1973)

https://themalaysiandream.wordpress.com/2009/11/15/remembering-tun-dr-ismail/




Tun Ismail: No Ordinary Politician
Review by Bakri Musa

Reading Ooi Kee Beng’s biography of the late Tun Ismail is akin to eating at a buffet in a cheap Chinese restaurant. The offering was generous and you gorged yourself. However, an hour later you were hungry again; worse you could not even recall what was so special about the menu. Then it dawned on you that the food tasted good simply because you were so darn hungry.

With the present pathetic state of leadership in Malaysia, there is a yearning for the kind of leaders like the late Tun Ismail, men of
strong convictions and who did not hesitate acting on them. Ooi quoted Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman who bore the wrath of Ismail’s anger over Tunku’s sudden policy change towards China. Ismail was so incensed that he tendered his resignation immediately. You would never see that kind of bravery among today’s leaders; they are more adept at toadying and ingratiating themselves.

Ooi worked hard for his book, interviewing scores of people and reviewing many documents locally and abroad. There is no shortage of quotes and anecdotes from those who knew Ismail, and Ooi added many details of Tun’s life. Therein lies the problem. The essence of the man gets buried in the avalanche of factoid overload. It does not enlighten us to know that he was awarded the National Order of Vietnam, or that he was president of the American Malaysian Society.

Ooi did not have to quote every interview. The book could do without the many “He was tough, brilliant, blunt, … ” type of general comments. They added nothing and took up valuable space.

Two interviewees, Lee Kuan Yew and Ghaffar Baba, stood out; they illuminated well Ismail’s character. Lee was expounding in his usual erudite and logical manner on a particular issue. At the end he asked Ismail what he thought about it, and the Tun simply replied, “I disagree!” Flabbergasted, Lee asked Ismail for his reasons, at which point Ismail remarked that since Lee had so brilliantly enumerated all the salient points there was nothing more for him (Ismail) to add. That reflected supreme self-confidence. By not trying to “out lawyer” the lawyerly Lee, Ismail stumped him.

Handling Failure Well

Ismail demonstrated his self-confidence early. He flunked his medical school in Singapore. Medicine is tough, consequently only the smartest and well motivated would be attracted. Unfortunately these are also the types who do not handle failure well.

Ismail was the exception. After being rejected by Hong Kong, he was accepted and succeeded at Melbourne. He attributed his success there to the superior teaching, as compared to the obviously sloppy style in Singapore. Interestingly, Ismail let it be known that he bombed his anatomy test in Singapore because on the evening before the examination, he had cut off a man on the cabaret floor. Unfortunately, that man turned out to be his anatomy instructor!

You have to hand it to Ismail for being on the dance floor instead of the library or the lab before an important examination!

Ismail spent his student life in Australia fully, venturing well beyond the campus, again rather atypical. Most Malaysians would rather congregate among themselves or rush home during vacations. In his frequent letters to his father, Ismail would note how conscious Australians were at exercising themselves. He wondered how much better it would be for Malay girls if they would be similarly involved. Alas, his observations merely reflected how far detached he was from the lives of ordinary Malays, being a member of the aristocracy. The girls and women of my life in the kampong did not have to exercise, they spent their waking hours hauling water and firewood, as well as toiling the padi fields.

The second anecdote was from Ghaffar Baba. He had arranged for Ismail to meet some religious leaders for the purpose of blunting Ismail’s deserved reputation for being aloof as well as to connect him with the grassroots. At the appointed event, Ismail briskly walked in and headed straight for the podium and began his speech, and then just as briskly walked out after he was finished. There was no shaking of hands, friendly eye contact, or enquiring about the attendees’ loved ones! No, Ismail was not a reluctant politician, more a politically tone-deaf one. It was remarkable that he was so successful.

Ismail was trained as a physician; we are supposed to be sensitive to the human side of things, unlike the engineers. No wonder Ismail’s private practice in Johore Baru was, in Ooi’s words, “moderately successful.” This at a time when the country was desperately short of doctors!

Ghaffar Baba and Lee Kuan Yew’s observations are the rare gems in this book. What impresses (or more correctly, intrigues) me is not the long list of people Ooi interviewed, rather those he did not, most notably Mahathir. Tawfik, Ismail’s son, recalled an unpleasant encounter with Mahathir when the latter was Prime Minister. As Ooi noted, Ismail was the one person most opposed to bringing Mahathir back into UMNO’s fold.

I would also love to hear what Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang have to say about Ismail. Both bore the brunt of Ismail’s toughness, having been incarcerated under the ISA while Ismail was in charge of it. Another would be Harun Idris, Selangor’s Chief Minister during the May 1969 riot. Ismail wanted him arrested on charges of murder!

Pivotal Player in the Nation’s History

Tun Ismail was a pivotal player in the seminal events of the nation’s history, but it would be difficult to discern from this volume what exactly were his contributions. He talked passionately about improving the economic plight of Malays, but there was hardly any specificity to his ideas, at least as can be gleaned from this book. He rightly forewarned of the dangers of being dependent with unrestrained special privileges, but again we do not know at what level or passion he pursued that argument.

The best parts of Ooi’s book are the beginning and ending chapters. The book begins with Ismail’s fatal heart attack on August 2, 1973 while he was acting Prime Minister. Ooi describes the chaotic situation during the medical emergency as well as at the subsequent state funeral. There was the poignant detail about Tun Razak ordering the body not be buried, as the intended grave was outside the Heroes Tomb. With the corpse still on the ground, Tun Razak ordered the army to dig a new grave right away.

As an aside, the book carries a picture of the soldiers chiseling the cement floor. To my clinical eye, none were wearing gloves or safety glasses! As Tun Razak would remark, you can’t have anything done right!

Ooi packs many details in his first chapter; consequently he could deal with them only superficially. A few scream out for amplification. For example, on the day of his death, Tun Ismail’s wife was in the hospital recovering from an abortion and sterilization procedure. She was not notified of her husband’s death till the next morning.

Having an abortion is not like having your tonsils out; it is emotionally charged, especially for a Muslim. I would like to know
(from interviewing his widow) whether this was the couple’s joint decision or one where the husband (and in this instance, also the
doctor) knows best. You do not have to be a psychoanalyst to recognize that how one reacts to stress (especially personal tragedies) can be very revealing.

Tun Ismail was rightly worried about the future of his many young children in view of his ill health and limited financial resources. If economics were the reason for the abortion, that would be troubling. Only in Russia are the doctors poor. As a physician, I find it unsettling that a doctor’s wife would have an abortion. This was the 1970s when birth control pills were already readily available.

This is a highly sensitive matter, and I am not sure the writer could handle such a delicate discussion with Ismail’s widow. But it would be highly illuminating.

The last chapter carries an extensive excerpt from Ismail’s unpublished autobiography. The entry was written less than a year before his death. He was remarkably introspective, unhesitatingly baring himself. He let it be known how grateful he was that Tun Razak publicly acknowledged his (Ismail’s) many contributions to the nation, and lamented that the Tunku never once did that to Ismail. Ismail had passionately and tirelessly defended Tunku, especially in the dark days following the 1969 riot when many in UMNO vilified Tunku. Ismail was not all gruff and emotionless after all; he, like all of us, hungered for and appreciated public praises.

It is clear from the excerpt that Ismail was quite capable of expressing himself well. He had already written 16 chapters of his
autobiography. This together with all his letters and speeches could be compiled into a book. I even have a ready title: Tun Ismail In His Own Words! This great patriot does not need a writer to tell his story. As the custodian of Ismail’s papers, ISEAS needs an editor to organize and publish them.

While waiting for that, ISEAS could digitize those documents and put them on the Web to make them readily accessible. ISEAS did not pay for them, thus it should be willing to put them in the public domain. That would also be the best way to preserve and archive those documents. I agree with Ooi that Tun Ismail’s legacy has yet to be discovered. Putting those documents out would be an excellent beginning.

In his will, Ismail specified that these papers not be released until some thirty years after his death, presumably to protect those for whom Ismail had some unkind words. I do not find anything harsh or offensive in this volume except for the observation Ismail had of his assistant when he was our Ambassador in Washington, DC. Ismail was greatly relieved when Tuanku Jaafar was transferred out. Of course no one knew then that he would later be King!

I am surprised that Ismail’s papers ended up in Singapore, considering our prickly relations with that republic. Looked at another way, that of course is a rousing endorsement of the integrity and professionalism of ISEAS.

In a recent interview, Tawfik remarked that he tried to interest Malaysian institutions and academics but there were no takers. This speaks volumes on the capability of our institutions and the intellectual curiosity of our scholars. It is an observation worth
emphasizing. Tun Ismail may be buried in the Heroes Tomb, but if he knew of the terrible downslide of our nation since his death, he would crawl out of his grave to reprimand those responsible.

https://blog.limkitsiang.com/2007/03/26/tun-ismail-no-ordinary-politician/



Tun Dr. Ismail A. Rahman– A Malaysian Patriot


by R B Bhattacharjee



Tun Dr. Ismail – A Man of Integrity


On November 4, 1915 Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, the much respected second Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, was born. The public’s liking for him, according to numerous accounts of his life and times, was based on certain traits in his character that made him stand out as a public figure.

These qualities included a non-racial outlook, a tough but fair approach towards the rules, and a principled stand on issues affecting the nation’s future.

As former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said in an interview with the New Straits Times daily on Dr Ismail’s role following the May 13, 1969 racial riots:

“The Chinese did not have much confidence in (second Prime Minister Tun Abdul) Razak (Hussein), but they did in Ismail. Razak was always associated with Malay and rural affairs, et cetera. Ismail was a principled man – and was seen that way by the different races. He was the Rock of Gibraltar. Once he decided on something you could be sure that he had gone through the relevant details and studied them. What is confidence unless it is based on the people’s belief in the leader?”

Indeed, Dr Ismail’s steadfast character and penchant for correctness was such that Razak seldom disagreed with him, including when the country was run by the National Operations Council during the Emergency rule following the 1969 riots.
Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was quoted in the New Straits Times article as recalling that Razak often took pains to accommodate Dr Ismail’s views, extending meetings whenever there was a clash of opinions so as to satisfy Dr Ismail.
The independence of mind that Dr Ismail displayed allowed him to articulate a moderate vision of nationhood that was reassuring to the different races in the country, while retaining the special position of the Malays as a central pillar.

That vision was evident, for instance, in a statement that Dr Ismail issued as the Home Minister in the heated period before the riots broke out. Ultra Malay leaders including Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Musa Hitam had called for Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s resignation in favour of a leader who would restore “Malay sovereignty”.

The Tunku responded by forcing Dr Mahathir and Musa out of Umno, at which Dr Ismail issued a statement that: “These ultras believe in the wild and fantastic theory of absolute dominion by one race over the other communities, regardless of the Constitution… Polarisation has taken place in Malaysian politics and the extreme racialists among the ruling party are making a desperate bid to topple the present leadership.”

The moderation that Dr Ismail espoused strikes an especially meaningful chord in the current times, when inter-racial harmony is repeatedly being tested by inflammatory statements from right wing groups.

Dr Ismail’s views on the multi-racial nature of Malaysia’s politics are a far cry from the intolerant and extremist opinions being aired today. They tell us that the inclusive vision of our founding fathers has been supplanted by a narrow, regressive version of what Malaysian stands for.

Contrast Dr Ismail’s views with the oft-repeated call to extend the New Economic Policy (NEP) on the grounds that the Bumiputeras are still unable to compete on a level playing field.

An avid golfer, Dr Ismail likened the NEP to a handicap for the Malays which “will enable them to be good players, as in golf, and in time the handicap will be removed,” he was quoted as saying, in a retrospective article on his contributions to the nation, carried in the Sun daily.

“The Malays must not think of these privileges as permanent: for then, they will not put effort into their tasks. In fact, it is an insult for the Malays to be getting these privileges,” he said.

Dr Ismail’s courage in laying bare the reality behind affirmative action makes him a rare commodity in a field where development policy has been misdirected for political advantage.

It is time that we draw strength from Dr Ismail’s honesty to realign our efforts towards the original goals of the NEP, namely the eradication of poverty and restructuring of society, weaning the able off its life support system.

Oxford educated Tawfik Ismail


Even concerning the question of the special position of the Malays, which was a core issue in the Independence negotiations, Dr Ismail is quoted in his biography ‘The Reluctant Politician’ (2007) as having written that “the leaders of the Alliance realised the practical necessity of giving the Malays a handicap if they were to compete on equal terms with the other races. The only point of controversy was the duration of the ‘special position’ – should there be a time limit or should it be permanent?

“I made a suggestion which was accepted, that the question be left to the Malays themselves, because I felt that as more and more Malays became educated and gained self-confidence, they themselves would do away with this ‘special position’ because in itself this ‘special position’ is a slur on the ability of the Malays and only to be tolerated because it is necessary as a temporary measure to ensure their survival in modern competitive world: a world to which only those in the urban areas had been exposed.”
Expressing concern over racial polarisation in the country, he once asked:

“Why did we fight for Merdeka? So that the different races can be divided? That can’t be the way, right? That can’t be why all these great Malay and UMNO leaders fought for this… Something is wrong…

“I hope the new discussions will start. Why are we building Malaysia? What Malaysia are we building? What kind of symbol is Malaysia supposed to be?”
It is telling that over 40 years after Dr Ismail’s passing, the questions that he had posed then continue to trouble us. It is left for the people today to draw inspiration from Dr Ismail’s clarity of vision about the relations among Malaysia’s diverse communities in order to forge a common future.

His untimely death at 58 has truly made him “the best Prime Minister Malaysia never had”.



14 THOUGHTS ON “TUN DR. ISMAIL A. RAHMAN– A MALAYSIAN PATRIOT

chungtatlim



A good article on the late Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman, Din. Unlike you, as Registrar of UM in the 1960s, I only had one opportunity to meet the late Tun Dr. Ismail, for whom I had the highest regard and respect. I did not know that you worked under YM Tan Sri Raja Azam bin Raja Hj. Ahmad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A good man then from Taiping, my hometown, same school (King Edward VII School) and the same University of Malaya in Singapore (now NUS) at about the same time in the early 1950s. Those were the years when many good and illustrious high Malay government officials came from Taiping and the said school and university, with personalities like Tun Abdullah Ayub (Che Lah) and Tan Sri Jamil Jan (JJ) [later 1950s]. It is nice to read about the good old days.



Prince Chan 

It is unfortunate to have lost such an illustrious personality at 58. Had he been PM, after Tunku, the nation would have taken different dimensional wave length. The thought of multi-racialism in Tun at that time when our nation was newly declared independence in itself praise worthy of his intellectuals as was the right person to lead this nation but God disposed when man proposed at an early age.

Today mad people are governing the country where money is about everything at any cost for power.

Dino 

Agreed, a true politician beyond comparison and during one of my brief encounters with Badariah n Toh Puan, I mentioned that Malaysia would certainly have been different if Tun was still around. A very good article Dato.

Dino,

Without Tun Dr.Ismail, Tun Razak would not have been able to restore order after May 13, 1969.And if Tun Dr. Ismail were alive and had become PM after Razak’s death, Mahathir would not have been readmitted into UMNO. But fate played a different game.–Din Merican

Phua Kai Lit 

Din,
November 4 , 2015 , is the 100 th anniversary of the birth of Tun Dr. Ismail A Rahman. Let us all Malaysians, particularly Umno leaders, be reminded and celebrate, that there are still great old values to be drawn from the impeccable character and integrity from this great man, besides being intelligent and foresightedly for a multi-racial Malaysia and the respective role of the Umno leaders should be engaging and building, truly, a Malaysia for the benefits of all Malaysians, regardless.

‘’Something’’ was ‘’wrong’’ THEN, as Ismail lamented.


Something is very wrong NOW, as his Great Values are not being upheld and revisited, but instead, disgracefully degraded and insulted by, largely, the leaders of Umno Baru and their rogue culture of MACCP, now deeply embedded.

Here on , ‘’I hope’’ the Malays and all the people and Media of Malaysia will and should start ‘’the new discussions’’ on why this country had been brought to the present dire state of affairs in order to take swift and decisive steps for remedial actions, before being dragged into a failed state.

Sumpitan Emas 

Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Dr Ismail, Tun Ismail Mohammad Ali and many of their contemporaries all had that powerful, basic quality — gravitas — so vital to nation building, and now so clearly absent from the crowd inhabiting Putrajaya and the various state assemblies.

Tawfik Ismail, you had a great father, and I must add a great mother too, and we, a great Deputy Prime Minister.

chungtatlim 

True, the late Tun Ismail Mohd. Ali, the first Governor of Bank Negara and Tun Mahathir’s brother-in-law and close friend of YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, our First PM, was a fine gentleman who contributed so much to nation building. I worked closely with him for many years in the 1960s as he was a member of the University of Malaya (UM) Court and Council. We must also not forget others, including the following who also contributed to nation building and with whom I had the honour to work with in UM (and as friends) : YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Mohd Suffian bin Hashim, Tuan Hj. Mustapha Albakri, Tuan Haji Dr. Megat Khas bin Omar, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd. Din bin Ahmad, Dr.Mohd. Said bin Mohd, Datuk Dr. SMA Alhady, Tan Sri Dr. Abdul Majid bin Ismail (Coco Majid), Tan Sri Jamil Rais, Dato’ Dr. Syed Mahmood bin Syed Hussain, Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Shamsudin, Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, Tun Sheikh Hamdan bin Sheikh Tahir, and many more. I know that these Malay gentlemen contributed a lot of their time towards natoin building and where I am concerned, in building universities and promoting higher education then.

looes74 

When Singapore was kicked out of Malaysia, the relationship between Malaysia and Singapore. No leaders paid any attention in fostering good relationship. Not even Tun Razak himself. I begin to suspect it’s Tun Razak’s intention to punish Singapore. Razak is bent in showing who boss is. Remember it was Razak who orchestrated the destruction of Tun Mustapha in Sabah just as Tunku did to Donalad Stephen and most kadazan leaders. I hold both leaders responsible for the total political mess in Sabah and dire situtation of kadazans in Sabah. The True BUMIPUTRAs in Sabah!

It’s Tun Ismail who truly believes in fair play visited Singapore and cultivate good relationship with Singapore. Perhaps, if Tun Ismail were the PM, Islamisation may not even take root in Sabah!!! Sabah situation is similar to Northern Ireland. Kadazan leaders are damn docile. If we have Gerry Adam and Martin Mcguiness among Kadazan leaders, Malaysia will surely mampus. Martin Mcguiness had shown that people can took up arms against the mighty britain and WON!

In any case, one got to be ruthless in order to climb to the top…………


Sumpitan Emas 

CTL, exactly, and in the words of Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad in response to Farish Noor in a 2009 interview, gravitas was conveyed as solid people. Allow me to repeat:

“FN: When you look back at how things were so contingent then, do you think it was just a case of sheer luck or fate that saved us from becoming like the Philippines under Marcos, or Indonesia under Suharto or, worst still, Uganda under Idi Amin?”

“AA: No, no, I don’t think it was luck. I think it was due very much to the maturity of the people who ran the country at that time: the politicians, headed by Tun Razak, Tun Ismail, Tun Tan Siew Sin. These people, compared to what you have now … These people were solid people — you could not bribe them. Tun Razak had only three bush jackets — three. That’s what he used to wear … Now, everyday(sic) is like Bollywood: morning different shirt; afternoon, different shirt. Tun Razak wore one.” [emphasis in bold, mine] [extracted from OFF the EDGE August 2009 issue]

chungtatlim 

Although personalities had a hand in deterrmining and making Malaysia what it is to-day, ultimately I still believe that everything is predestined (di-takdir).



https://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/tun-dr-ismail-a-rahman-a-malaysian-patriot/




Tun Dr. Ismail Bin Dato' Abdul Rahman 
Wira Negara
Contoh Pemimpin Tegas & Jujur Ke arah Perpaduan & Keharmonian

Oleh Tun Sheikh Engku Bendahara

Tun Dr. Ismail bin Dato’ Abdul Rahman ialah Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia Kedua. Beliau telah dilantik sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia Kedua oleh YAB Tun Abdul Razak pada 22 September 1970. Semasa MAGERAN melaksanakan dasar pentadbiran dan pemerintahan negara ketika darurat pada Mei 1969-Februari 1971, Tun Dr. Ismail menjawat Timbalan Pengarah MAGERAN. Beliau juga merupakan seorang tokoh profesional dan politik Melayu yang turut serta dalam perjuangan menuntut kemerdekaan Tanah Melayu daripada British.

Tun Dr. Ismail ialah anak watan negeri Johor. Beliau dilahirkan pada 4 November 1915 di Johor Bahru dari sebuah keluarga elit, berpendidikan tinggi dan mempunyai banyak harta. Bapanya, Dato’ Abdul Rahman bin Mohd Yassin telah bermastautin di Johor Bahru kerana menjawat jawatan tinggi Kerajaan Negeri Johor. Antara jawatan yang pernah disandang oleh bapanya ialah sebagai kerani, pesuruhjaya daerah, majistret dan bendahari negeri. Di peringkat kebangsaan, bapanya ialah Speaker Dewan Negara yang pertama. Dato’ Abdul Rahman terkenal sebagai seorang tokoh Melayu Johor yang telah menubuhkan Persatuan Melayu Johor menentang Malayan Union. Beliau juga ialah ketua Orang Tujuh yang menuntut Sultan Ibrahim meletak jawatan sebagai Sultan Johor kerana menandatangani persetujuan penubuhan Malayan Union 1946 yang bertentangan dengan Undang-Undang Tubuh Kerajaan Johor 1895.

Dato’ Abdul Rahman dan bapanya Mohd Yassin berasal dari Parit Bakar Muar Johor. Parit Bakar terletak dalam kawasan yang dulunya terkenal sebagai Padang sebelum Bandar Maharani dibuka pada 1884. Padang diperintah oleh ketua tradisional Melayu bergelar Orangkaya yang terdiri dari kaum karabat Mohd Yassin. Mohd Yassin ialah anak kepada Orangkaya Abdul Rahman, Orangkaya Setia Minyak Beku III. Keluarga beliau berasal dari keturunan Raja Melayu Bugis Campa yang terkenal di Padang Muar sejak dari Kesultanan Melayu Melaka. Mereka merupakan keluarga pentadbir yang menyara hidup daripada sumber perkebunan dan perdagangan dan sangat menitikberatkan pelajaran.

Datuk nenek moyang Tun Dr Ismail di Padang dan di Batu Pahat adalah pembesar daerah atas titah atau pelantikan Sultan. Moyang Tun Dr. Ismail di Batu Pahat iaitu Abdul Rahman bin Ismail bergelar Orangkaya Setia Minyak Beku III, Batu Pahat pada 1862-1881. Bapa kepada Abdul Rahman iaitu Orangkaya Ismail bin Orangkaya Ahmad pula ialah Orangkaya Setia Minyak Beku II pada 1855-1862 dan bapa Orangkaya Ismail iaitu Ahmad bin Daing Abdul Rahman menjadi Orangkaya Setia Minyak Beku I pada 1811-1855. Daing Ahmad adalah daripada keturunan Daing Indera Perma Paso berasal dari Sulewasi. Banyak saudara beliau menjadi Orangkaya Muar atau Padang. Daing Abdul Rahman telah dihantar dan disaran oleh saudaranya, Orangkaya Muar mengetuai masyarakat Melayu Bugis dan orang-orang Selat atau Seletar di Minyak Beku setelah berjaya melumpuhkan kegiatan lanun di perairan Batu Pahat. Pada mulanya mereka menjunjung kedaulatan Sultan Melaka kemudian Sultan Johor Pahang dan terakhir kepada Temenggong Johor yang kemudiannya menjadi sultan pada tahun 1885.

Keturunan Tun Dr. Ismail mempunyai hubungan rapat dan bercantum dengan nenek moyang Tan Sri Noah, Tun Dr. Awang Hassan dan Orangkaya-Orangkaya Muar. Mengikut sejarah, pusat pemerintahan datuk nenek moyang mereka yang telah dikurniakan oleh Sultan Melaka kepada anak raja Melayu keturunan Bugis Campa ialah di Bukit Makmur atau Bukit Mor, Muar. Sejak itu, keluarga ini turun-temurun memerintah kawasan bernama Padang dan sekitarnya.

Tun Dr. Ismail mendapat pendidikan awalnya di Sekolah Bukit Zaharah, Johor Bahru. Seterusnya beliau menuntut di English College, (Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar). Kemudian, beliau dihantar oleh bapanya melanjutkan pelajaran di bidang perubatan di Kolej King Edward VII, Singapura pada tahun 1935-1937, tetapi beliau tidak berjaya menamatkan pengajian kerana kurang meminati bidang perubatan yang ditentukan oleh bapanya.

Bapanya, Dato’ Abdul Rahman merupakan seorang yang sangat menitikberatkan pelajaran keluarga hingga ke peringkat tertinggi. Beliau menghendaki anak-anaknya berkelulusan daripada pelbagai bidang profesional selain peguam. Ketika itu, kerjaya peguam merupakan trend dan kebanggaan keluarga elit. Dato’ Abdul Rahman memilih anaknya Tun Dr. Ismail mempelajari ilmu perubatan kerana bersesuaian dengan sikap beliau yang agak pendiam , tegas, cekap dan cepat membuat keputusan dan tindakan. Dr. Ismail pula meminati bidang perundangan dan bercita-cita untuk menjadi peguam seperti bapa dan abangnya, Sulaiman.
Adik-beradik Tun Dr. Ismail selain Dato’ Sulaiman ialah Khadijah, Abdullah, Aishah, Md Yassin, Rafiah, Zubaidah dan Fatimah. Semua adik-beradik beliau berpelajaran tinggi dan menyumbangkan perkhidmatan kepada masyarakat awam. Abangnya, Sulaiman ialah salah seorang anggota Kumpulan Tujuh dan pemimpin UMNO berijazah undang-undang dari Universiti Cambridge dan pernah menjadi Menteri Kabinet dan Persuruhjaya Malaysia ke Australia. Begitu juga dengan yang lain seperti Senator Abdullah, Dr. Zubaidah, YB. Md Yassin dan Fatimah.

Walaupun gagal untuk menamatkan pengajian dalam bidang perubatan di Singapura, Tun Dr. Ismail tetap berkobar-kobar untuk melanjutkan pelajaran dalam bidang perundangan di England, tetapi tidak mendapat biasiswa kerana beliau daripada keluarga berada. Bapanya pula tidak bersetuju beliau melanjutkan pelajaran dalam bidang ini. Bapanya hanya bersetuju membiayai pelajaran Tun Dr. Ismail sekiranya beliau sanggup melanjutkan pelajaran dalam bidang perubatan di Australia. Beliau akur dengan kehendak bapanya. Beliau berjaya malah menjadi pelajar yang sangat tekun dan gigih. Tun Dr. Ismail merupakan pelajar Melayu pertama yang lulus dalam bidang perubatan di Australia.
Penglibatan Tun Dr. Ismail dalam persatuan pelajar ketika di Singapura dan di Australia telah menampilkan ketokohan dan pemikiran beliau terutamanya terhadap kemajuan pendidikan dan perpaduan Melayu. Setelah tamat pengajiannya di Universiti Melbourne, Australia pada tahun 1945, beliau telah berkhidmat di Hospital Tentera Australia. Setelah perang tamat, beliau kembali ke tanah air pada 1947 dan berkhidmat dengan kerajaan Johor sebagai pembantu pegawai perubatan di Hospital Johor Bahru sehingga 1948. Beliau telah melepaskan jawatannya dan membuka klinik sendiri bernama Klinik Tawakal di Johor Bahru kerana aktif dalam persatuan dan tidak suka terikat dengan syarat-syarat yang ditetapkan oleh kerajaan Johor. Pada ketika itu beliau juga dipengaruhi oleh keadaan bapa dan keluarganya serta ahli Kumpulan Orang Tujuh yang telah dipecat oleh sultan.

Tun Dr. Ismail telah mendirikan rumah tangga dengan Toh Puan Norashikin binti Dato’ Mohd. Seth, anak salah seorang pembesar Johor pada tahun 1950. Mereka telah dikurniakan enam orang anak, empat orang lelaki dan dua orang perempuan iaitu Mohd. Taufik (1951), Zailah (1953), Badariah (1957), Mohd. Tarmizi (1960), Zamkhasari (1964) dan Mohd. Arif (1967). Dato’ Mohd. Seth, bapa Toh Puan Norashikin merupakan salah seorang daripada ahli rombongan yang menuntut kemerdekaan 1956 di London sebagai mewakili Sultan Johor.

Tun Dr. Ismail mewarisi sifat keyakinan diri yang tinggi dan suka berdikari. Beliau menjalankan perniagaan dengan membuka kelinik perubatan sendiri yang dinamakan Klinik Tawakal. Beliau suka membantu orang miskin dan yang kurang bernasib baik terutamanya dalam bidang pendidikan dan kesihatan. Penglibatan aktif beliau dalam persatuan bukan politik seperti Persatuan Bekas Mahasiswa Luar Negeri Johor atau Persatuan Siswazah Melayu Johor yang ditubuhkannya, mendorong beliau dilantik menganggotai Dewan Undangan Negeri Johor pada tahun 1948 dan seterusnya sebagai EXCO Kerajaan Negeri Johor. Beliau hanya menceburkan diri dalam parti politik atas permintaan bapanya. Beliau bersama-sama dengan bapa dan keluarga besarnya serta ahli-ahli Persatuan Melayu Johor yang diketuai oleh bapanya sendiri menganggotai UMNO pada 1951 setelah Dato’ Onn meninggalkan parti itu.

Pada tahun 1952, Tun Dr. Ismail dilantik menjadi Ahli Dewan Undangan Persekutuan yang bertanggungjawab terhadap tanah, lombong dan perhubungan. Pelantikannya selaku ahli kabinet kepada Tun General Templer adalah atas permintan YM Tunku Abdul Rahman. Pada Julai 1955 beliau telah bertanding dalam Pilihanraya Persekutuan Pertama dan menang di Kawasan Johor Timur. Berikutan dengan kemenangan itu, beliau dilantik menjadi Menteri Hasil Bumi dalam Pemerintahan Kerajaan Bersendiri dan pada 1956 menjadi Menteri Perdagangan dan Perusahaan Malaya yang pertama.

Tun Dr. Ismail ialah seorang tokoh pemimpin Melayu yang berprinsip dan setia. Beliau merupakan salah seorang pemimpin kepercayaan YM Tunku Abdul Rahman. Beliau dan Tun Abdul. Razak sentiasa bersama-sama dalam perbincangan untuk menuntut kemerdekaan negara sehingga berjaya diperoleh pada 31 Ogos 1957.

Pada September 1957, Tun Dr. Ismail dilantik menjadi Duta Persekutuan Tanah Melayu bertaraf menteri ke Amerika Syarikat di samping menjadi Ketua Tetap dan Wakil Persekutuan Tanah Melayu ke Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu hingga Februari 1959. Kemudian, beliau menjadi Menteri Hal Ehwal Luar Negeri pada bulan Ogos 1959 dan menjadi Menteri Kementerian Keselamatan Dalam Negeri pada November 1960.

Beliau telah menyumbangkan banyak jasa dan memainkan peranan penting ketika pembentukan Malaysia dan menjadi Menteri Keselamatan Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri dan Menteri Keadilan setelah Malaysia dibentuk pada 16 September 1963. Beliau juga bertangggongjawab menubuhkan ASEAN dan mewujudkan persefahaman Zon Bebas ASEAN dari segala pengaruh dan campurtangan kuasa tentera asing dan ideology. Beliau terus gigih berkerja meskipun kesihatannya kerap terganggu kerana mengidap barah dan sakit jantung. Kesihatannya bertambah parah apabila berlaku perpisahan Singapura dari Malaysia pada Ogos 1965. Beliau telah bersara awal pada 1 Jun 1967 kerana masalah kesihatan yang bertambah buruk dan memaksa beliau mengikuti rawatan dan berehat.

Apabila berlaku peristiwa 13 Mei 1969, beliau berasa amat bersemangat untuk menyumbangkan bakti semula tanpa menghiraukan masalah kesihatannya. YAB Tun Abdul Razak pula sangat mengharapkan kesediaan beliau menyambung tugas kerana beliau ialah seorang tokoh pemimpin Melayu yang sangat ikhlas, jujur, taat, serius dan tegas serta cekap dan mempunyai pandangan jauh yang sangat penting untuk perpaduan dan keharmonian sebuah negara bangsa. YAB Tun Abdul Razak telah memujuk beliau menganggotai Majlis Gerakan Negara (MAGERAN) berikutan dengan perisytiharan Darurat 1969. Di samping itu, beliau juga dilantik menjadi Penolong Pengarah dalam Majlis Perundingan Negara. Majlis ini berperanan untuk memberikan nasihat kepada MAGERAN tentang perkara-perkara yang berkaitan dengan perhubungan kaum. Bertitik tolak daripada hakikat tersebut, maka dicipta RUKUNEGARA. Satu lagi yang diputuskan oleh Majlis Perundingan Negara ialah Dasar Ekonomi Baru.

Sebagai Menteri Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri, Tun Dr. Ismail merupakan seorang yang tegas dalam membanteras gejala rasuah dalam kalangan kakitangan kerajaan. Pada 23 Februari 1970, beliau telah mengumumkan satu rang undang-undang tambahan bagi Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) iaitu Ordinan No. 23 Kuasa Perlu Darurat 1970 dikuatkuasakan. Selaku Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr. Ismail telah memberikan sokongan yang kuat terhadap Rang Undang-undang (Pindaan Perkara Sensitif) Perlembagaan di parlimen yang dikemukakan oleh Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak pada 23 Februari 1971.

Dalam susunan kabinet baharu yang diumumkan oleh Perdana Menteri, Tun Abdul Razak pada 1 Januari 1973, Tun Dr. Ismail terus diamanahkan jawatan sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Menteri Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri di samping Menteri Perdagangan dan Perusahaan. Dalam menghadapi sesuatu isu yang berkaitan dengan kepentingan negara, beliau sangat tegas menyebabkan beliau sangat dihormati oleh kawan dan pihak lawan.

Ketika menjawat jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr. Ismail telah beberapa kali menanggung kerja dan memangku tanggungjawab dan tugas Perdana Menteri ketika YAB Tun Abdul Razak ke luar negeri sama ada bercuti atau melakukan lawatan rasmi. Beliau telah berkhidmat dengan cemerlang sehingga ke akhir hayatnya.

Pada hari Khamis, 2 Ogos 1973, adalah merupakan hari terakhir beliau sebagai seorang negarawan. Beliau sempat merasmikan perayaan Jubli Perak Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS) pada pukul 4.22 petang. 

Pada pukul 10.00 malam, Tun Dr. Ismail telah menghembuskan nafas yang terakhir di rumahnya No. 22, Jalan Maxwell, Kuala Lumpur. Pada hari Jumaat, 3 Ogos 1973, jenazah beliau telah disembahyangkan di Masjid Negara selepas upacara sembahyang Jumaat. Jenazah Tun Dr. Ismail telah dimakamkan di Makam Pahlawan Masjid Negara pada pukul 6.30 petang. Kini, sudah tiga puluh lapan tahun perginya seorang tokoh negarawan yang amat berjasa. Negara amat merasa kehilangannya, seorang tokoh pemimpin yang sangat berdisiplin, tegas, berprinsip, ikhlas dan jujur.

Bibliografi:

Abu Bakar Hamid, Md. Ismail Zamzam (ed), Pejuang Terbilang Johor, Yayasan Warisan Johor, 2002.
Abu Bakar Hamid, Md. Ismail Zamzam (ed), Tokoh Ternama Johor, Yayasan Warisan Johor, 2003.
Abu Bakar Hamid, Md. Ismail Zamzam (ed), Johor Mengabdikan Baktimu, Yayasan Warisan Johor, 2005.
Abu Bakar Hamid, Md. Ismail Zamzam, Kamdi Kamil (ed), Johor Mengenang Sumbangsihmu, Yayasan Warisan Johor, 2006.
Ibrahim Mahmood, Sejarah Perjuangan Bangsa Melayu, Pustaka Antara : Kuala Lumpur, 1981.
Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia, Biographical Note of Tun Dr. Ismail bin Dato Haji Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur, 1971.
Mohd. Tajuddin Hj. Abd. Rahman, Tun Dr. Ismail Negarawan Bangsa, Pelanduk Publications : Kuala Lumpur, 1987.
P. Lim Pui Huen, 1855 – 1957 Local History, Local Landscapes, Straits Times Press: Singapore, 2009.
Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Samad Idris, 25 Tahun Merdeka, Pustaka Antara : Kuala Lumpur, 1981.
Rentetan Perjuangan Bangsa, MK Direct Sdn. Bhd. : Selangor, 2005.
Katalog Bahan-Bahan Sudut Wira Tun Dr. Ismail Dato’ Abdul Rahman Edisi II, Arkib Negara Malaysia : Kuala Lumpur, 2000.
Ramlah Adam, Biografi Politik Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka: Kuala Lumpur, 2004.
Yusof Harun, Tunku Idealisme Dalam Kenangan, Yayasan Bumiputera: Pulau Pinang, 1991.
50 Tahun Pengisytiharan Tarikh Kemerdekaan 1956-2006, Arkib Negara Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, 2007.

Responden

Hj. Mustapha Meon@Mus Onn –Lahir 9 April 1933
Bekas Wartawan Utusan Melayu 1957-1979. Beliau pernah bertugas mendampingi Tun Dr. Ismail untuk mendapat berita-berita langsung.
Ahli Jawatankuasa Penerbitan dan Penerangan Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Batu Pahat 2008/2009.
Tarikh dan Tempat Temubual: 10.00 pagi, 23 Mac 2009 di Pejabat Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Batu Pahat.
Hj. Abdullah Dato’ Mohd. Noor – Lahir 7 Februari 1933
Bekas pesara (1988) pegawai perkeranian kerajaan negeri Johor yang telah berkhidmat selama 31 tahun dan mengenali keluarga Dato’ Abdul Rahman di Batu Pahat.
Setiausaha Kehormat Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Batu Pahat 2008/2009
Tarikh dan Tempat Temubual: 10.00 pagi, 23 Mac 2009 di Pejabat Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Batu Pahat.
Tan Sri Ghazali Mohd. Seth – Lahir 1935
Bekas Panglima Angkatan Tentera Malaysia.
Anak kepada Dato. Mohd Seth dan adik ipar Tun Dr. Ismail
Tarikh dan Tempat Temubual: 9.00 pagi, 26 April 2009 di Pejabat Sekuriti KL Central.

Lain-lain Sumber

1. Siri Pengkisahan Sejarah Tokoh Wira Negara
Memorial Tun Hussein Onn
Arkib Negara Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
12 Ogos 2009
2. Bicara Tokoh Tun Dr. Ismail
Galeria Perdana Memorial Tun Hussein Onn
Arkib Negara Malaysia
28 Februari 2008
3. Koleksi Gambar-gambar Tun Dr. Ismail Dato’ Abdul Rahman
Kompass Arkib Negara Malaysia
Koleksi Ucapan dan Monograf Tun Dr. Ismail Dato’ Abdul Rahman

Arkib Negara Malaysia

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