Tan Sri Sulaiman Ninam Shah was born in Muar, Johore on 2 January 1920. He was actively involved in UMNO as early as 1946. Tan Sri Sulaiman played an important role in upholding UMNO and its struggle as a party representing the Malays.
After the World War II, the British Government returned to Malaya with a renewed determination to establish the Malayan Union. In their opinion, the Malays would accept the idea without any question. Instead, they were shocked by an open colossal opposition by the people of this country. Tan Sri Sulaiman was among the leaders elected to represent Muar, Batu Pahat and Johor Bahru to meet the Sultan of Johore to protest the agreement with Mac Michael.
Throughout his involvement in politics and UMNO in particular, Tan Sri Sulaiman represented the people in the Johore State Legislative Assembly, Johore State Executive Council and also acted as the Chairman of the Johore State Local Government. He held these positions from 1954 to 1964.
In 1979, Tan Sri Sulaiman was appointed as a senator, a position he held until 1985. He was also appointed as the Deputy President (Yang Dipertua) of the Senate between 1984 until 1985. Tan Sri Sulaiman had been with UMNO since its inception in 1946. He was one of the most senior personages in this movement. He had seen the development of UMNO from the time of Dato' Onn until to date (1996).
Apart from being active as an UMNO member, Tan Sri Sulaiman also held several positions in several statutory bodies, including as the Chairman of Bank Rakyat, the Director of Bank Bumiputera Malaysia Berhad, the Director of Pernas M.I.S.C., the Director of Pernas Trading and the Director of MARA. To date (1996), even at the age of 76 years old, he still holds several key positions, including the Chairman of Syarikat Perniagaan Perusahaan Melayu Muar, Board Member of Amanah Saham Johor and Dana Johor.
As a veteran in UMNO and the Government, Tan Sri Sulaiman has contributed enormously his services and deeds to the community, race, and the country. He was awarded with numerous titles by the Government such as Johan Mangku Negara (JMN), Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) and Panglima Mangku Negara (PMN). In addition, Tan Sri Sulaiman was also given due recognition from the Johore State Government where he was awarded with P.I.S., B.S.I., S.M.J., D.P.M.J., S.P.M.J., and S.S.I.J. Throughout his involvement in UMNO, Tan Sri Sulaiman has always been entrusted by the UMNO members to be the deputy and later as the Permanent Chairman of UMNO for 20 years from 1975 to 1995.
A Personage from the Struggles of UMNO Narration Series. 23 May 1996
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