Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Haji Zainul Abidin bin Sultan Mydin (1898-1969)

Haji Zainul Abidin bin Sultan Mydin, BA, JMN, JP (1898-1969)

He was also known as:
SM Zainal Abidin
SM Zainal Abidin, BA
Zainal Abidin b. Sutan Maidin
Haji S.M. Zainul Abidin
Tuan SM Zainal Abidin
Sutan Maidin is sometimes written as Sultan Mydin in different accounts
SM Zainul Abidin is sometimes written as SM Zainal Abidin in different accounts

Born: 3 October 1898, 167 Cakela Lane (renamed Argyll Road)
Deceased: 8 December 1969
Where died? Penang
Place of burial? Penang

- father: A.P. Sultan Mydin
- mother: Meeracha Ammal bt Kadir Sultan
- # of children (sibs): 7
  1. Haniff bin Sultan Mydin (SM Haniff) - elder brother of SM Zainal Abidin
  2. Yusof bin Sultan Mydin (SM Yusof) - office assistant, Education Office, Penang
  3. Hussein bin Sultan Mydin (SM Hussein)
  4. Zainul Abidin bin Sultan Mydin (SM Zainul Abidin) - he was #4 son
  5. Isahak bin Sultan Mydin (SM Isahak)
  6. Hajah Fatimah Bee bt Sultan Myin
  7. Shaharom Bee bt Sultan Mydin (youngest sister)
Zainul Abidin’s youngest sister, Shaharom Bee married to S. Mohamed Ismail who set up Ismalia Bakery (now renamed Maliia Bakery) on Transfer Road, Penang. It is famous for roti Benggali (a misnomer for the actual roti penggalis or sharecropper's bread).

He lived 2 doors down from the Jewish Cemetery at No. 35, Jalan Zainal Abidin (formerly Jalan Yahudi).
Zainul Abidin’s home was situated just behind the present UMNO building, at the junction of Macalister Road and Jalan Zainal Abidin.
He was 31 years old when he came to live here.
He lived here from 1929 till his demise in 1969 (40 years).

Zainul Abidin passed away peacefully on 8 December 1969.
He was 71 years old.

SM Zainul Abidin married Hajjah Che Wan Rashidah Merican bt Hamid Sultan Merican
(her parents are Hamid Sultan Merican and Wan Teh)

Children: 11
  1. Zainal Ariffin (eldest son)
  2. Datuk Haji Zainul Alam (5 March 1926-12 December 1991) - senior RTM broadcaster. He was better known as an entertainer, singer and stand-up comedian.
  3. Datuk Azizan
  4. Wan Chik married Aziz Ibrahim
  5. Datu' Haji Zainul Aziz (15 December 1928)
  6. Zainal Aminuddin
  7. Zainul Akbar
  8. Zainal Alauddin (9 June 1932-9 May 1990) married Fatimah Sham (31 Aug 1940-14 June 2007)
  9. _______ ?
  10. Wan Majmin
  11. Zainul Arshad (youngest son)

Zainul Abidin’s fifth son put together a book to record the family history and contributions of his late father. — ‘Pengkisahan Riwayat Hidup Haji S.M. Zainul Abidin’

  1. 1903 Chowrasta School, Penang
  2. 1914 Penang Free School (PFS); passed Senior Cambridge in 1914 (aged 16)
  3. 1915-1918 Trainee teacher at PFS
  4. Zainul Abidin was head prefect for 2 years and was awarded the Medal of Merit by his principal Ralph Henry Pinhorn. 
  5. In 1918, the then school head Harold Robinson Cheeseman offered him a job as a school teacher at PFS.
  6. He taught geography (Ilmu Alam) and Literature (Sastera) and languages (Latin and French)
  7. 1933 University of London (off campus course); obtained B.A. (Hon) London 1933
  8. Zainul Abidin was the first Malay to obtain a B.A. degree (externally) from London University in 1933.

He survived 2 World Wars
WWI 1913-1918  -- he was 15-20 years old
WWII 1941-1945 -- he was 43-47 years old

Government Civil Service

During WWI:
- 1915 trainee teacher at Penang Free School
- 1917-1918 School Captain of Penang Free School
- 1918-1938 (20 years) teacher at Penang Free School; strict disciplinarian
- S.M. Zainul Abidin was one of Penang’s pioneer educationists
- Among his former students were Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail
  (Raja of Perlis), Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu and Tuan Yusoff Rawa.
- He taught at the Penang Free School for 20 years before becoming headmaster of
   the Francis Light School in 1938.

- 1938 Headmaster of Francis Light School in Penang

During WWII:
During the Japanese occupation he was appointed as the radio station supervisor for Radio Penang.

- 1945 School Inspectorate in Prai
- Inspector of Malay Schools, Penang
He retired as Inspector of Schools in Penang.

He retired from the Goverment Civil Service as Inspector of Schools in Penang in 1953.

Political Involvement
- Penang politician 1946; 1953-1964 (11 years)
- he was a founder member of UMNO Penang
- he set up UMNO Penang with a few friends
- 1946 fought against Malayan Union
- but civil servants could not be involved in politics; 7 years in limbo?
- he retired in 1953 and rejoined politics
- he was active in politics and headed UMNO Penang
- he was UMNO Penang Chairman
- He won the parliamentary seat in Balik Pulau in the 1955 election (he was 57 years old).
  This was the first Malayan Parliamentary election.
- He was offered the post of Education Minister but he declined as he did not want to leave Penang.
- He was responsible for getting a piece of land from his good friend, the late Hamid Khan,
   to build the UMNO building in Penang.
- He managed to build the UMNO building in Macalister Road.
- The UMNO building is near the Jewish cemetery

Contributions to Society

1. Scout
-- Scout Master
-- Assistant Commissioner of Scout

2. Persaudaraan Sahabat Pena Malaya (PASPAM)
-- a pen-pal club
-- involved literary figures and Kaum Muda Islamic reformist leaders
-- The first national conference was held at Sunlight Muslim Association, 212 Kota Road, Taiping
    on 11 Nov 1934.
-- Setiausaha Agong (General Secretary):
    Syed Alwi bin Syed Sheikh al-Hadi (father of Dr Syed Mohamed bin Alwi al-Hadi)
-- Yang Dipertua (President):
    S.M. Zainul Abidin (he wrote many books; a close friend of Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos,
    an early Malay doctor)
-- Penasihat Umum (General Advisor):
    Sheikh Abdullah al-Maghribi al-Ghadamshi (publisher, printer, writer, educationist;
    born 1892, Ghadamis, Libya-died 1974, Libya;
    taught Arabic, Arabic literature, Fekah and Balaghah at Madrasah al-Mashoor;
    Headmaster of al-Mashoor (1919); taught at Madrasah Idrisiah, Perak;
    opened his own Madrasah al-Huda al-Diniyyah;
    owned a printing company, Al-Huda Press;
    published his writings Kitab Munir al-Ifham and Kitab Ilmu Balaghah; printed religious
    reading materials and newspaper, Sahabat)

-- member of Alliance Council
-- member of the 1955 Federation Legislative Assembly
-- UMNO Penang Chairman
-- MP Balik Pulau 1955
-- build UMNO building in MacAlister Road, Penang

4. University of Malaya (UM)
-- member of University Court for several years

5.  Department of Education, Federation of Malaya
-- committee member of Razak Report and Rahman Talib Report
-- He was also involved in the setting of Bahasa Baku Melayu/Indonesia
    (also read about Dato' Lokman Musa in 1967-69)
-- Published his book:
    Kitab Ilmu Bumi dikarang dan diatur oleh S.M. ZAINUL-‘ABIDIN, B.A. (LONDON),
    Ketua Guru Ilmu Bumi dan Ilmu Alam di Penang Free School (1920-1938).
    Diterbitkan dalam siri The Malay School Series, No.24,
    Publishing for The Department of Education Federation of Malaya.
    Dikeluarkan oleh Jabatan Pelajaran dan dicetak di Singapore oleh
    Malayan Publishing House, Limited, 1948.

6. Penang Malays' Co-operative Society (PMCS)
-- President of the Penang Malays' Co-operative Society
-- This co-operative built the first flat in Taman Abidin, Perak Road, Penang in 1973,
    4 years after his demise.

7. Dar-Es-Salam Harmonian Party
-- a musical band which he set up with his children
-- headed by him

8. Penang Wireless Party
-- HQ at Penang Radio Station
-- he was a member and the radio announcer for the Malay section, managing the news and song

9. Penang Malay Association (PMA) or Persatuan Melayu Pulau Pinang (PEMENANG)
-- History 1927:
    PMA began as an afternoon gathering at the home of a local Malay millionaire, Mohamad Ariff
    Tajuddin (popularly known as Mohamad Ariff) at Hutton Lane on Sunday, 27 March 1927.
    Mohamad Ariff's house was across the road from Masjid Jamek Jalan Hutton (Hutton Lane).
    The gathering was attended by Malay intellectuals and property owners.
    The members discussed the setting up of an organisation to look after the interest of the Malays
    in Penang, and to protect their religion under British administration.
-- HQ at 60, Jalan Pemenang (formerly part of Cantonment Road)
-- Tuan SM Zainul Abidin was Pengerusi Tetap Persidangan Agung UMNO Malaya when UMNO
    held its annual conferences at Francis Light School, Penang in 1946 and 1948.
-- Tuan SM Zainal Abidin was the President of PMA between 1948 - 1951.
-- Tuan SM Aidid was Economic & Treasury Officer (Pegawai Ekonomi dan Kewangan), and
    eventually become Treasurer (Bendahari) UMNO Malaya in 1948.
-- Captain Mohamed Noor Bin Mohamed was appointed as Treasurer (Bendahari) UMNO Malaya
    and succeeded Tuan SM Aidid in 1950.
    Captain Mohamed Noor was a teacher at Penang Free School (PFS) and the elder brother of
    Dr Abdul Ghani bin Muhammad, an early Malay doctor.
-- In the 1970's, the State Government under Dr Lim Chong Eu granted PMA a plot of land at the
    junction of Anson Road and Macalister Road,
   where Bangunan Persatuan Melayu Pulau Pinang was built. The four-storey shoplot building at
   117 Jalan Macalister today houses a car showroom on the ground floor.

Merits and Awards
- He was the first Malay student with a B.A (Hon) London in 1933.
- Johan Mangku Negara (JMN)
- Justice of the Peace (JP) or Jaksa Pendamai

Languages - he mastered and taught 7 languages: Tamil, Arabic, Malay, English, Latin, French, and Japanese. He was a multi-lingual legend.
Recreation: tennis, billiard, chess, draught, judo, cooking, reading and traditional medicine, music.
He was a judo instructor.
He wrote the country’s first Undilah song to encourage the people to vote in the 1955 election campaign.

- Yahudi Road near the Jewish Cemetery was renamed Jalan Zainal Abidin (misspelling: it should be
   Jalan Zainul Abidin)
- SMK Haji Zainul Abidin, Scotland Road, Penang 1965 became Haji Zainul Abidin School in 1972
- Sekolah Haji Zainul Abidin, Jalan Scotland officially transferred to Sekolah Menengah Agama
  Lelaki Al-Mashoor in 2009
- SHZA then relocated to Jalan Hamilton, Jelutong and is known as SMKHZA
  (SMK Haji Zainul Abidin).


External links:
by Ahmad Muaz
Source: Victor J. Morais (Ed.) (1959). The Leaders of Malaya and Who’s Who 1959-1960. Singapore: Fisher (pic of book front cover)
by Faqirullah
Kitab Ilmu Bumi dikarang dan diatur oleh S.M. ZAINUL-‘ABIDIN, B.A. (LONDON),
Ketua Guru Ilmu Bumi dan Ilmu Alam di Penang Free School (1920-1938).
Diterbitkan dalam siri The Malay School Series, No.24,
Publishing for The Department of Education Federation of Malaya.
Dikeluarkan oleh Jabatan Pelajaran dan dicetak di Singapore oleh Malayan Publishing House Limited, 1948.
The Star Online
Saturday, 24 August 2013