Inche Yusof bin Ishak

18 10 2011

By Marsita Omar written on 27-Jul-2006

National Library Board Singapore

Comments on article: InfopediaTalk

Inche Yusof bin Ishak (b. 12 August 1910, Padang Gajah, Trong, Perak – d. 23 November 1970, Singapore) was Singapore’s first president when Singapore became a republic on 9 August 1965. The presidency was a natural transition as Inche Yusof had been the Yang di Pertuan Negara or the Head of State of Singapore since 3 December 1959, after Singapore achieved self-rule.  Inche Yusof became Singapore’s Head of State six months after the PAP won the first election in self-government Singapore on 30 May 1959. He replaced the first Yang di Pertuan Negara and last Governor of Singapore, Sir William Goode.

Early life
Yusof Ishak was of Minangkabau descent. His ancestor was a Minangkabau nobleman, Datok Janaton, who together with his brother, Datok Setia, and 80 followers, migrated to Kedah in 1789 and swore allegiance to the Sultan of Kedah.

Yusof’s father was Ishak bin Ahmad, the eldest of nine children. Being English-educated, Ishak found work in the Malayan Administrative Service, serving as clerk in the District office in Taiping and later in the Fisheries Department.  In 1923, Ishak was transferred to Singapore to assume the position of Assistant Inspector of Fisheries.  He was the first non-European to be a Director of the Fisheries Department.

Yusof’s education started in the Malay school in Kuala Kurau, Perak, and later at the Malay School at Taiping. In 1921 he began his English studies at King Edward VII School, Taiping.  In Singapore, Yusof attended Victoria Bridge School (now Victoria School) for his primary education and Raffles Institution (RI) for his secondary education. He excelled both in the academic and extra-curricular fields.  He scored Distinctions in both the 1927 Cambridge School Certificate and in the Senior Cambridge Exams. Yusof was admitted into the prestigious Queen’s Scholarship Class at RI, a group of only 13 and Yusof was the only Malay. He missed the Queen’s Scholarship by a few points.

Outside the classroom, Yusof was a school athlete, representing RI in many games including hockey, cricket, swimming, water polo, basketball, boxing and weightlifting.  He emerged champion in boxing, winning the Aw Boon Par cup in 1932, and weightlifting, becoming the national lightweight champion in 1933.  Away from the court, Yusof was the co-editor of Rafflesian, a prefect, and the first student in the history of the National Cadet Corps to be made a Second Lieutenant. His years in RI exposed him to a multi-cultural environment where he learnt to appreciate the aspirations and hopes of the other communities.

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Prof Dr Hasjim Djalal

8 03 2010

Pejuang Negara Kepulauan

Prof Dr Hasjim Djalal sebagai seorang diplomat senior dan tokoh hukum laut internasional punya andil besar dalam proses mewujudkan pengakuan dunia atas Indonesia sebagai suatu negara kepulauan (archipelagic state). Pria kelahiran Ampat Angkat, Bukittinggi, Sumatera Barat, 25 Februari 1934, itu berprofesi sebagai diplomat karier sejak masa Orde Lama, Orde Baru, hingga Reformasi.

Penulis buku Indonesian Struggle for the Law of the Sea (1979) dan Indonesia and the Law of the Sea (1995) serta Preventive Diplomacy in Southeast Asia: Lesson Learned (2003), itu pernah menjabat Duta Besar Indonesia untuk PBB (1981-1983), Dubes di Kanada (1983-1985), dan Dubes di Jerman (1990-1993) serta Dubes Keliling hingga masa pemerintahan Presiden BJ Habibie.

Sampai setelah dia pensiun, 1994, dia masih aktif menulis buku dan artikel di berbagai media serta berbicara di berbagai forum tentang masalah hukum laut internasional. Juga masih sibuk melayani kontak dari kolega-kolega internasionalnya. Pemikiran dan gagasannya tentang kelautan masih dibutuhkan bangsa ini, sehingga dia masih dipercaya duduk sebagai Anggota Dewan Martim Indonesia, Penasehat Senior Menteri Kelautan dan Perikanan, dan Penasehat Kepala Staf TNI Angkatan Laut serta di Kantor Menteri Percepatan Pembangunan Indonesia Timur.

Suami dari Ny Jurni Hasjim Djalal dan ayah dari tiga anak: Iwan Djalal, eksekutif perusahaan swasta; Dino Pati Djalal, Jubir Luar Negeri Presiden SBY, Direktur Urusan Amerika Utara dan Tengah Departemen Luar Negeri RI; dan Dini Djalal, wartawan, tinggal di Amerika, itu juga di masa tuanya masih aktif sebagai anggota Komisi Konstitusi yang mengkaji amandemen UUD 45.

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