Honorary awards

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj

At a small ceremony in the Senate Room on Wednesday 11 November 1959, the Chancellor Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn KCMG OBE conferred upon the Honourable Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya, the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). Tunku Abdul Rahman was presented for the degree by the Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Sir Stephen Henry Roberts CMG.


Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya since 1957, was educated at Alor Star, Bangkok, St Catherine's College, Cambridge and Inner Temple, London. He joined the Kedah State Civil Service in 1931. During the occupation of Malaya, when the Japanese returned Kedah to Siam, he served as Superintendent of Education and the Director of Passive Defence. He took a leading part in the formation of the United Malays National Organisation and when the Malayan Union gave way to the Federation of Malaya in 1949 he became Chairman of the United Malays National Organisation in Kedah. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Raj was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple and on his return to Kedah was seconded to the Federal Legal Department in 1949. After his resignation from the Civil Service he was appointed a member of the Federal Executive and Legislative Councils. He was elected to the Federal Legislative Council in 1955 and became Chief Minister and Minister of Home Affairs. In 1956 he also took the Portfolio of Minister for Internal Defence and Security and became Chairman of the Emergency Operations Council which decides on the policy in fighting the Malayan Communist Party. He headed the Alliance Delegation in London to discuss the future constitution of the Federation in 1959 and after the Federation of Malaya became independent in 1957 he became Prime Minister of his country and Minister of External Affairs.

From the Senate Report to the NSW Government for 1959