Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Haji Abdul Mubin Sheppard was born on 21 June 1905 in Ireland. He obtained his early education at Marlborough College and later at Cambridge University. He enrolled in the Malaysian Civil Service (MCS) in 1928; a year after passing his qualification examination in London. Since the first time he set his foot into Malaya, he fell in love with the country and its people; deciding to stay on in the Civil Service until his retirement in 1963.
In his first 10-year of successful service in the MCS, Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard was very fond on the Malay culture and traditions, thus prompting him to focus more in the rural areas, which according to him is interesting and challenging. He quickly adapted to life among the rural villagers. He emerged as a clean and efficient government officer.
During the Second World War, he actively served in the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force (F.M.S.V.F) as a Company Commander from 8 December 1941 to 15 February 1942 before becoming a war prisoner from 1942 to 1945. He resigned from the Force when the war ended to again serve in M.C.S. In 1946, he was appointed as the first Public Relations Director in 1946 and the as the ‘First Keeper of Public Records' (Presently known as the National Archives of Malaysia) in 1958. In 1959, he was appointed as the first Museum Director until 1963.
His retirement from the Malaysian civil service did not mean the end of Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard's service to the public. He participated actively in various charitable works, such as becoming the Assistant Resident and Editor of M.B.R.A.S (Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society), Executive Committee Member of the Malaysian Historical Society, Executive Committee Member and Secretary General of Pusat Persatuan Kebajikan Islam Malaysia (PERKIM) from 1960 – 1964. In addition, he is also known as a writer of various books on the history, traditions, arts and handicrafts of Malaysia. Among his write-ups include ‘The Malay Regiment, 1933 – 1947, The Adventures of Hang Tuah', 1949, A Short History of Terengganu, 1949.
Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard died on 12 September 1994 at the age of 89 years old due to old age at Subang Medical Centre. His body was laid to rest at the Muslim Cemetary at Jalan Ampang and was given state and military farewell. His contributions towards national history are remembered to this day. The late Tan Sri Mubin was described by Tun Mohamed Suffian as ‘…..bukan hanya pekerja biasa yang puas hati semata-mata menerima perintah dari orang atas; beliau sentiasa menerima perintah dari orang atas; beliau sentiasa bersedia mengatasi apa juga masalah yang timbul meskipun di luar bidang tugasnya, dan beliau melakukanya dengan bersungguh-sungguh, bersemangat serta tabah; dan senang hati – yang digerak oleh perasaan tanggungjawab terhadap mereka yang di bawah jagaannya serta kepuasan yang dibawa oleh setiap pencapaian" (‘… not an everyday worker who is solely satisfied with accepting orders from the management; he always accepts orders from the top people; always prepared to overcome any problems arising even it is beyond his call of duty, and he performs it admirably, with spirit and dedication; with all gladness - driven by a sense of responsibility for those under his wing and the satisfaction he gains from each achievement")
Script prepared by: Documentation Section
National Archives of Malaysia/2011