Tan Sri Murad bin Mohd. Noor Tan Sri Murad bin Mohd. Noor

Tan Sri Murad bin Mohd. Noor was born on 10 April 1930 in Kepala Batas, Seberang Perai. His early education began at Sekolah Ibrahim, Sungai Petani, Kedah before going on to Maktab Sultan Abdul Hamid in Alor Setar. In 1956, Tan Sri Murad successfully pursued his studies at Universiti Malaya in Singapore and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and continued his studies until 1957 with a Diploma in Education.

Upon graduation from Universiti Malaya Tan Sri Murad started his career as a teacher at his alma mater Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Setar. He was later appointed as Principal of Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Ipoh Perak. This is a boarding school established after the country gained independence. This school was established to provide an opportunity for selected students from rural areas to pursue higher education. It is part of the national education policy outcomes initiated by the Razak Education Report in 1956. A rise in the number of primary and secondary schools that emphasised on comprehensive education was implemented rapidly through the Rahman Talib Education Report in 1960.

To gain further understanding on education, Tan Sri Murad furthered his studies in that field at the University of Reading, England. Upon his return in 1963, he was appointed as Chief Education Officer in Pahang until 1964. He was then transferred to Kelantan until 1966. He took the effort to launch the Awareness Campaign to encourage parents to send their children to school to increase the number of children attending schools in the state. Due to this successful campaign and inability of the government to provide adequate schools, private schools were established to meet the needs. Subsequently, in 1967 he was appointed Controller of Examinations in the Ministry of Education. In 1970, Tan Sri Murad was promoted to Director of Planning and Research, Ministry of Education. His career in which he ventured into this field reached its peak when he was appointed as Director General of Education at the Ministry of Education in 1985. Although presently retired, he is engaged in the business of managing Syarikat I.J.M. Sdn Bhd., a construction company owned by him.

During Tan Sri Murad's tenure as the Director of Planning and Research and the Director General of Education in 1970 after the events of 13 May 1969, the Ministry of Education embarked on formulating national education policies to achieve the goal and objectives of the New Economic Policy to enhance and balance the skilled workforce (professional) in the country in terms of quantity and composition. This means that the important task of the Ministry of Education in the early 70s was to improve the quality of the results and increase the number of the Bumiputera students in science streams. Under the direction of Datuk Hussein Onn, the then Education Minister, Tan Sri Murad as Director of Planning and Research, had designed the concept and established the Sekolah Menengah Sains. As a result these schools managed to annually produce more than 2,500 Bumiputera students specialised in science to enter the Universities within this decade.

The problem of dropouts amongst students is a complex matter that requires serious attention. Dropout is defined as dropping out due to the inability to continue their schooling caused by failing in exams and dropout of students in rural areas who lagged far behind in science subjects and facilities compared with students from premiere schools in large cities. For this, Tan Sri Murad had established a committee to study dropouts and as Chairman of the Committee he produced a dropout report. Most of the recommendations contained in the report were already implemented in stages since 1973.

During Tan Sri Murad's tenure as the Director General of Education, a major problem to be solved was to increase the number of Bumiputera students attending courses at overseas universities. At that time, many Bumiputera students furthered their studies at local universities compared to large number of non- Bumiputeras studying in universities sufficient to meet demand. To overcome this problem, a massive plan was created to provide scholarships for Bumiputera students studying abroad. This plan had resulted in thousands of qualified graduates in various fields.   

The development of education also created problems. The increasing number of students in schools leads to overcrowding especially in urban schools. Overcrowding in classrooms affect the quality of education. There are a number of students who are still illiterate even though they have completed primary school. To improve this situation the Ministry of Education made careful planning by providing adequate funding to provide complete equipments. Each school is provided with a library, science labs and other facilities. Educational TV and radio broadcasts were intensified. Free text books aids had facilitated the students, especially in rural areas. At the same time the Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah (KBSR) was introduced.

Currently the Ministry of Education had implemented a number of strategies to ensure the national education policy goals are achieved. Therefore, the concept of integrated development from all education streams began with the following plans: -

  1. 1. Updating primary education curriculum based on the concept of 3M core competencies (KBSR);
    2. Combining academic, vocational and technical in secondary schools;
    3. Incorporating religious, moral educations and others;
    4. Improving the achievement of students from rural areas;
    5. Increasing the slots for students in Form VI, Pre-University, preparatory classes and others, and
    6. Improving the achievement of Institutions of Higher Learning.

In short, commencing from the Razak Report in 1956 followed by the Rahman Talib Report in 1960 to 1968, the development of the National Education Policy was a policy designed to meet the needs of the newly independent country. But after the 13 May 1969 incident, situations were desperate and it forced the Government to formulate educational policies aimed at forging unity among the people as well as restructuring the society. In times like these Y. Bhg Tan Sri Murad began his career as a teacher until his appointment as the Director of Education and he carried out the duties and responsibilities entrusted to him with dedication and distinction.

In addition to carrying out his official duties during his tenure with the Government, Tan Sri Murad had also been appointed to key positions as follows: -

  1. 1. Chairman of the Council of Universiti Sains Malaysia;
    2. Deputy President of the International Islamic University;
    3. Chairman of the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board;
    4. Regional Institute of Higher Education and Development (RIHED) Board Member and Executive Committee;
    5. Council member of the 'Student Mobility in the Commonwealth' in London;
    6. Chairman of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and
    7. Chairman of Taylor's College.

Good deeds will always be remembered. Such was the service by YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Murad to the education sector of this country. In 1969, the Federal Government awarded the Bintang Kesatrian Mangku Negara (KMN). In 1974 the Kelantan State Government awarded the title of Paduka Mahkota Kelantan (PMK). In the same year, the Federal Government had awarded the Johan Mangku Negara (JMN). Then in 1975, the Kedah State Government awarded the Setia Mahkota Kedah (SMK). Once again in 1976 the Kedah State Government awarded the Darjah Dato' Setia DiRaja Kedah (DSDK) which carries the title Datuk. In 1979 the Federal Government awarded the Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) which carries the title Tan Sri to him.

Historical Narrative on Malaysian Administration-Civil Service in 1957-1970
21 January 1988
National Archives of Malaysia