Encik Aminuddin Baki, who hailed from Chemor, Perak, was born on 26 January 1926. His school days began at the Sekolah Melayu Chemor. He then continued his study at the Anderson School, Ipoh, Perak. He went for his further studies at the University of Malaya Singapore in 1947. His excellence in his studies entitled him to receive the Queen's Scholarship award and later Queen's Fellow award at the University of London.
His career in education began when he became a teacher at the Sultan Yusof English School, in Batu Gajah Perak and the Anderson School Ipoh, Perak from 1951 to 1952. In 1953, he became a lecturer at Sultan Idris Training College, Tanjung Malim (now Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris). He was also a part-time lecturer at Kolej Islam Kelang in 1959.
His involvement in students' movement began since 1946 when he jointly established Persatuan Pelajar Melayu Insaf (PERMI) in Ipoh which later was expanded to the whole of Perak. Following this, with a few other friends from University Malaya Singapura, he sponsored the establishment of a bigger union known as Gabungan Pelajar-pelajar Melayu Semenanjung, or GPMS. This union was officiated in August 1948 in Kuala Lumpur with Abdul Wahab Ariff being appointed the first President. The late Aminuddin Baki also became the leader of GPMS when he was appointed the second and the fourth President in the following years. He was also made the GPMS Advisor for two terms between 1961-1962 and 1964-1965.
His charisma in the education field and his brilliant views relating to the field have led to him to being honoured to sit in a number of committees which formulated educational policies. Among them were Bernas Committee 1951, Razak Education Report Committee 1955, Rahman Talib Committee 1960 and Committee of Higher Education Planning. He was also a member of the Committee of Investigation For Students Riot at the Sultan Idris Training College 1950, the Chairman of Investigation Committee for Weaknesses of Malay Students in Entering Secondary School, Melayu-Indonesia Spelling Committee member, a member of DBP Board of Directors, the Chairman of Dewan Kebudayaan Tanah Melayu and a member of Fullbright Commission.
The late Aminuddin Baki was once appointed as the Principal Assistant Secretary to the Ministry and the Head of Education Control for Negeri Sembilan and Selangor before he resigned from his last post as the Head of Education Advisory now known as Director General of Education. He held the post for only 4 years when, as the destiny had it, he passed away on 24 December 1965.
His role in inspiring the idea of a National Education System bore many fruits of success There were committees he was involved in which gave due recognition for the Malay language as the medium of education at school and university levels thus upholding the national language to the desired level. The problem of Malay student drop-outs going from primary schools to the secondary schools was also among issues solved through proposals in Aminuddin Baki Report 1962. The more significant changes made were the introduction of Lower Certificate of Education, Senior Cambridge and later Higher School Certificate.
ll the blood, sweat and tears in upholding the Malay excellence and supremacy in all fields be it in the field of education, history, language and others drew admirations not only locally but also internationally, where UNESCO recognises him as a prominent education planner in Asia. Local writers acknowledged him as a warrior, hero and thinker of modern education.
He died at a very young age of 39 leaving three sons from his marriage with Puan Noraini bt Abu Bakar He may have left us long, but his deeds remain to be cherished until today.
Historical Narration Series and A Forum on "Sehari Mengenang Aminuddin Baki",
9 November 1987,
at the National Archives of Malaysia