Tunku Abdul Rahman – Early career

Upon his return home, Abdul Rahman worked in the Kedah public service and was appointed as District Officer of Kulim and Sungai Petani. In colonial Malaya, almost all the District Officers were British. Abdul Rahman who was the only Malay District Officer at that time had the people’s interest at heart. This made him cross swords with the British Administration many times.

However, the British Administration in Kedah could not do anything as he was a prince and the son of the Sultan. However, him angering the colonial administration cost him many chances of promotion to higher offices.

Some time later, he returned to England to complete his law studies at the Inner Temple but was forced to stop in 1938. At the outbreak of World War II, he returned to Malaya.

During the Japanese Occupation of Kedah, the Tunku was responsible for saving many lives, both Malay and Chinese. He being of royal blood was highly revered by the Japanese and could not be touched by them, and he used this to his advantage. Many people from Kulim today lay claim to owing their lives to the Tunku.

He resumed his studies at the Inner Temple in 1947. And in 1949, he qualified for the Bar. During this period, Abdul Rahman met Abdul Razak Hussein (later known as Datuk and Tun). He was elected president of the Malay Society of Great Britain, and Abdul Razak, who was twenty-six, was his secretary.


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