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Sunday March 11, 2012

We should not forget Sambanthan’s contributions

TUN V.T. Sambanthan was a great leader who played an important role in the nation’s efforts for independence. His contributions as one of our founding fathers should not be forgotten.

He was responsible for developing then Malaya with Tunku Abdul Rahman, our first prime minister.

Numerous developments were made during Sambanthan’s time. He held various ministerial positions, including labour minister (1955-1957), works minister (1957-1959), posts and telecommunications minister (1959-1971) and national unity minister (1972-1974).

Many may not know that Sambanthan was acting prime minister for one day when both the prime minister and his deputy were out of the country at the same time.

There would be insufficient space to list all of Sambanthan’s contributions to our nation, but we must remember that he was a rare politician who spent his own money for the people.

He did not even own a house when he died.

Sambanthan resided and spent most of his life at the Guilamard Road government house (now Jalan Ledang, near Parliament) during his political days from 1957 to 1979. It was the house in which he lived until his last days.

Sadly, the house has been left abandoned for many years now. How can this happen to the home of one of our founding fathers?

I propose that the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry refurbish and turn this house into a memorial. It can serve as a centre for information on Sambanthan’s life for future generations.