Keeping father’s memory alive

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 18 Aug 2007

KUALA TERENGGANU: There was a time when prominent lawyer Datuk Victor Isaacs was asked sarcastically “Ini jalang ayah mu ke?” (“Is this your father’s road?” in the Terengganu dialect) when he double-parked in front of his office. 

He could not help but give a smile as the road was indeed named after his father Datuk P.C. Isaacs. 

Heavy heart: Victor standing along the road which used to be named afterhis late father. He has been working hard to get his father’s name restored.

However, Jalan Datuk P.C. Isaacs disappeared from the map after PAS took over the state government in 1999. The road was renamed Jalan Sultan Sulaiman. 

Victor said neither was his family consulted nor the views of other local leaders obtained over the name change. 

“PAS leaders carelessly removed my father’s name without having any regard to his immense contributions to the development of Kuala Terengganu,” he said. 

He added that most PAS leaders were not born at that time and considered him an unimportant figure. 

The senior Isaacs was a philanthropist and a pioneer educationist here. 

It would surprise many that he was instrumental in introducing religious classes for Muslim students at the private English Grammar School back in the 1950s when there were not many institutions offering religious lessons. 

The school was a privately run institution and the late Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah was among its alumni.  

In 1953, a top Terengganu government official, Che Puteh Haji Arshad, commended Isaacs’ efforts in holding religious classes and asked the state Religious Department to send more teachers to the school. 

Isaacs also had a hand in drafting the Federal Constitution under the Reid Commission. He was also the first Indian in the state legislative assembly, being an appointed member from 1948 to 1956. 

He played a pivotal role in the development of Kuala Terengganu and during the Japanese Occupation, joined the anti-Japanese Force 136. 

He continued to play an important role in the development of the town after the British returned to power until his death in a road accident in 1974.  

For all that he had done, the Sultan named a street after him. 

Victor has been tirelessly working to get his father's name restored or at least get another road named after his father. 

He suggested that two roads could be named after his father, one is currently named Jalan Air Jernih and the other, Jalan Petani. 

“The only wish in this 50th year of Merdeka is that my family and I get to see my father’s name reinstated as a street name, in the true spirit of muhibbah,” said Victor. 

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