TUN HUSSEIN ONN – Rise to power

Tun Hussein returned to politics in1968 after being persuaded by the then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak to rejoin UMNO. He stood and won the general elections in 1969 and was appointed as the education minister. Tun Hussein’s meteoric rise continued when on August 13, 1973 he succeeded the late Tun Dr Ismail as the Deputy Prime Minister. On January 15, 1976 he was appointed as Prime Minister of Malaysia after the death of Tun Razak.

Tun Hussein was renowned for stressing on the issue of unity through policies aimed at retrifying economic imbalances between the communities. For instance, April 20, 1981 saw the National Unit Trust Scheme being launched. He also gave serious consideration to the concept of Rukun Tetangga (a neighbourhood watch scheme) and the fight against the drug menace.

Tun Hussein, who was married to Toh Puan Suhaila Tan Sri Haji Mohd Noah, for 42 years underwent a coronary bypass in early 1981. On July 17 the same year, he retired from active politics and relinquished his prime minister post due to health concerns. He was succeeded by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.


About this entry