Tan Sri Tengku Abdul Hamid Jumat P.M.N. preparing to present his credentials to the German Head of State
In my family, the title Tengku was to be used only three times in our entire lives; in birth, wedding and death. This was a directive from my late grandfather, whom I was named after.
That would explain why my late father was only known as Inche Abdul Hamid Jumat (Datuk in 1958 and later Tan Sri when it was changed bearing the same Order of Panglima Mangku Negara) although it was Tengku Abdul Hamid Jumat in his official documents.
After coming to terms with his sudden demise due to cardiac arrest in 1978, I looked into the file and saw letters that are now more than 50 years old. Though I’ve seen the Merdeka photos before, it didn’t make much sense until I coupled them with the letters from the Tunku, some directly relating to the events like the Baling Talks with Chin Peng, and matters relating to Singapore and its imminent leader Lee Kuan Yew.
Front row L-R, Abdul Hamid Jumat, Tunku Abdul Rahman, David Marshall, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Dr Ismail.
Following that, he was appointed Malaysian ambassador to Germany 1963; The Philippines 1965; Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco in 1968; and Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg until 1973.
He was offered London as his last posting but respectfully asked Razak’s permission to return to Malaysia to enter the business fraternity.
Tan Sri Tengku Abdul Hamid Jumat and a German official after presenting his credentials to the then West German Head of State.
I found one letter dated November 9 1957 from the Tunku about the impending meeting with Chin Peng then. In the letter, he thanked my late father for supporting his action to meet with Chin Peng after reading from a report in the newspapers on the same day.
He asked that my father appreciate the sensitivity of the situation and understand if he nor Lim Yew Hock (Singapore second chief minister from 1956 to 1959) were invited to join in the Baling Talks with Chin Peng. The Tunku eventually did invite him along with Mr David Marshall from Singapore.
Members, had during the November 10 1965 sitting, questioned the Prime Minister on the rationale of having foreigners serving as diplomats for Malaysia. They had failed to realise then that when the two men were appointed to head the respective missions abroad, they were both Malaysian citizens.
Tun Abdul Razak's remains arrive from London on MAS.
It was indeed my sister bearing unpleasant news. Razak had passed away. My father slumped on the steps of the staircase next to the telephone table and that was the first and only time I ever saw him cry, sobbing like a child.
My father and I on the grounds of the Malaysian Residence in Manila.
The writer, a party loyalist and a servant of the people of Pulai, Johor Bahru.
I made my way up in the division the hard way without the blessings of my division leader then, but made peace with him after I won against all odds, in the name of party unity. I also constantly beg forgiveness from my mother’s soul for going against her wish for her children to avoid politics.
NB: Click on the title to get the published version in the New Sunday Times.