Tun Razak, Catalyst of People / National Development Tun Razak, Catalyst of People / National Development

   On 14 January 1976 history was created when Malaysia lost a prominent statesman who has dedicated every second of his life to fulfil and provide meaning to independence. The whole country was shocked as they suffered a great lost of a prominent national warrior who was respected and revered not only for his great contributions towards national development but also being a dynamic irreplaceable leader. People were shocked by the news of the demise of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak bin Dato' Hussein due to leukaemia.

   Tun Abdul Razak was appointed as the Education Minister in the Cabinet which was headed by Tunku Abdul Rahman as well as the Chief Whip in the Federal Legislative Council on 9 August 1955 following the Alliance Party's landslide victory in the general elections of 1955. The Alliance's huge victory was based upon non-race based votes, many non-Malay candidates won in the Malay areas.

   This was where Tun Abdul Razak's leadership calibre became more apparent. His leadership quality as a nationalist provided strength by his firmness in introducing several bold steps in the Razak Report to fulfil the expectation of a large number of people to form an independent race with the Malayan identity. During this point in time most of the Chinese schools in large towns have been infiltrated by communist elements. He took action to prevent this infiltration by temporarily closing schools that failed to heed the government's warning. To successfully execute such actions, he formed a committee to study existing education policy and established the National Education Policy which was acceptable to all federal citizens. This policy must also fulfil the aspirations to enhance the cultural, social, economic and political development as one nation by making the Malay language as the national language without marginalising the language and cultural growth of other races.

   The 1956 Razak Report was quite a radical policy in the effort to bring big changes to the schools with the ultimate goal of uniting the people. Among the main items contained in this Report was to establish two types of primary schools; they were the National Primary School (SRK) with the Malay language as the medium of instruction and the National Type Primary School (SRJK) using Mandarin, Tamil and English as the mediums of instruction. However, it was the first time that the Malay language was taught in all the National Type Schools. This was a process to transform it into the National Language. The Razak Report also proposed a secondary education system with the Malay language as the medium of instruction. This policy that supported the Malay language as the national language also standardised the same educational contents at all levels of schooling to inculcate the spirit of unity and cooperation among the students from different races. The spirit of this education policy became the foundation to create a healthy and educated young generation as the human resource to in developing the nation.

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