Sunday, April 15, 2007

Kirkby saw first announcement on Malaya's independence

I read with interest an article in the NST today, 15 April 2007, entitled "He was there when Tunku said it".

The article was about one Zainul Arshad Zainul Abidin who was there at the Malayan Teachers’ Training College in Kirkby, England, when Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj first announced, on 7 February 1956, that the British government had agreed for Malaya to gain her independence on August 31, 1957.

Zainul Arshad Zainul Abidin, 19 years old then, was training to be a teacher at the Kirkby College.

He was quoted: "Tunku said that he wanted us to receive the news first because he felt that as teachers, we would be spearheading the development of education in the ‘new Malaya’."

The Malayan Teachers’ Training College in Kirkby was set up by the Malayan Government in 1952 to train young Malayans to become teachers. It produced about 1,500 graduates. I have written an article about the College on this blog earlier. That article can be viewed here.

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