YBhg. Dato' Harun Ariffin was born on 13 July 1924 in Butterworth but grew up and attended school in Alor Setar, Kedah. He then passed the Senior Cambridge Certificate in 1941.
Dato' Harun began his Public Service career in 1956 when he served for the Kedah Civil Service. He was then appointed as Assistant District Officer, Ipoh in 1957 and a few other areas such as Parit and Grik in the following years. The duties and responsibilities assigned to him were carried out dutifully and perfectly; enough to attract the attention of Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak. In 1961, Dato' Harun was then given the position as the ‘Principal Assistant Secretary' at the Ministry of Rural Development.
Dato' Harun then served as Selangor State Development Officer and later in Perak. In 1965, Dato' Harun was sent to Sarawak as Sarawak State Development Officer which was at the time held by Dato' Abu Hassan Abdullah, the third Federal Secretary of Sarawak.
In 1967, Dato' Harun was appointed as the Federal Secretary of Sarawak when Dato' Abu Hassan ended his service as Federal Secretary of Sarawak. Upon completion of his duties in Sarawak, Dato' Harun returned to the Peninsula, and was appointed as Secretary General of the Ministry of National and Rural Development in 1970.
He was then transferred to the Ministry of Land and Regional Development as the Secretary General when the ministry was established in 1973, with YB Datuk Asri Hj. Muda as the minister. This position was held by him until 1979, the year of his retirement.
The duties and contributions made by Dato' Harun towards the development of the nation did not stop after his retirement. He had been appointed as chairman for some Corporations and Authorities including FELDA, RISDA, KESEDAR, and Committee of Determination and Measurement of Malaysia-Indonesia Border.
Apart from these positions, in 1980 he was given the honour once again to be the co-chairman of the Thai-Malaysian Consultative Committee for the overlapping Continental Area of the Malaysia South China Sea. The position was held by contract until 1989. After ending his service, he turned his focus towards business.
Federal Secretary of Sarawak History Narration Ceremony
17 September 1996
National Archives of Malaysia