Background of Haji S.M. Zainul Abidin

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Haji S.M. Zainul Abidin was born  on 3rd October 1898 at 167, Argyll Road (Formally known as Cakela Lane), Penang. He was the fourth son of Puan Tangcima and Tuan A.P. Sultan Mydin.

He had his early education in Chowrasta School, Penang in 1903 and then he continued his education to Penang Free School till he passed the Senior Cambridge at the age of 16.

Due to his vast interest in the teaching profession, he became a trainee teacher  at Penang Free School in 1915. After normal training, he served in the same school. As a teacher, he was a strict  disciplinarian but popular among the students.

Tuan Haji Zainul Abidin was also a dedicated scout master. He was bestowed"Medal of Merit" and was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Scout. He used the rules and regulation of scouting as his guidance.

One very special attribute of Haji Zainul Abidin was his prowess in mastering many languages such as Malay, English, Latin, Tamil, French, Japanese and Arabic.

Due to his enthusiasm to succeed in education, he enrolled in an out-campus programme with  the University of London. He was the first Malay student to be honoured with B.A (Hon) Londonin 1935. In line with his success, he was appointed as the headmaster of Francis Light School in Penang in 1938. In 1945, he became the school inspectorate in Prai.

Tuan Haji Zainul Abidin became well-known in the political arena when he went against the Malayan Union in 1946. With a few friends he set up UMNO Penang. Unfortunately, as a civil servant he was not allowed  to be active in politics. After retiring in 1953, he became active again in politics until he headed UMNO Penang. He won the parliamentary seat in Balik Pulau in the 1955 election. He was offered the post of Education Minister but he declined as he did not want to leave Penang. In his 11 years tenure in Penang, he managed to build UMNO house in Macalister Road.

Due to his vast experience and qualification, Tuan Haji Zainul Abidin was appointed as a member of University Court (Universiti Malaya) for several years. He was also a committee member of Razak Report and Rahman Talib Report and also a member of Alliance Council.He was also involved in the setting of Bahasa Baku Melayu/Indonesia.

In economics, he was active in Penang Malays' Co-operative Society as the president. This co-operative managed to build the first flat in Taman Abidin, Perak Road, Penang in 1973.

Despite is challenging career, he could find time for his interest. He was good in tennis,billiard, chess and draught. He was also a judo exponent until he got a black belt and became an instructor. He also wrote many books. In his free time he indulged in cooking,reading and concorted traditional medicines. His interest in music could be seen through his composition and setting up of 'Dar-Es-Salam Harmonian Party' band headed by him together with his children. He was also a member of Penang Wireless Society which used Penang Radio Station as the headquarter. He became the announcer for the Malay section managing the news and song request. During the Japanese Occupation he was appointed as the station supervisor for Radio Penang.

As appreciation for his contribution, he was bestowed the "Darjat Johan Mangku Negara and Jaksa Pendamai' medals.

Tuan Haji Zainul Abidin, Taman Abidin and Jalan Zainul Abidin became the toast and pride of the people of Penang.

Posted by Kolej T6 Haji Zainul Abidin at 10:09 PM  

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