A Tribute to Tunku Abdul Rahman

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Merdeka!.. Merdeka!.. Merdeka!”, circa August 1957.

Those were the words chanted by a crowd of 20,000 spectators when Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj announced the Proclamation of Independence – after finally taking over what was ravaged from the British. Wars after wars, negotiations after negotiations, Malaysia has finally become independent from being colonized.

This is Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, our nation-founder, the Father of Independence, and the Father of Malaysia. The birth of the newly-formed nation was under his hands to form the fundamental cores of the country. He believed that it was only through diversity that unity could be found. In his days, Tunku was seen as the “Man of the People”, wearing different hats every other day, leaving the leading figure that he was to fit in with the people. As a matter of fact, Tunku managed to bring all people together not only during 1957, but also 1963 when the Federation of Malaysia was formed.

The legacy and good values that he portrayed during his time should be something for every Malaysian to remember, and carry deep into the meanings of their heart. He was the figure of peace, doing all that was within his power to shape a tolerant, multiracial society. Determined to rise forward, Tunku was active in a lot of regional and global initiatives, playing vital roles in advocating solidarity among Muslim-majority countries, through the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation as well as mooting the idea of forming the Association of Southeast Asia (ASSA), the forerunner of ASEAN.

It was from the start that could dictate how the rest of the days would be.

To quote, the legend himself has once said:

Let us never allow disunity to divide or disrupt us, for if we do, we fail. Let us always remember that with each passing year, we must ensure that the bonds of unity and goodwill, of tolerance and harmony, grow stronger and stronger.

Today, he left us with strength and evergreen values that we aspire to lead. Let us all carry forward his legacies in our everyday lives, for the betterment of the society and nation.

This piece is written by Nisa Marsilla, People & Change Associate at PUTRA.

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