Tun Dr Ismail

Kee Beng Ooi, Tawfik Ismail, Ooi Kee Beng

Re-reading these 2 books on Tun Dr Ismail reveal a lifestyle and an innocent 1915 to 1973 era long gone.

[To illustrate, as a boy he and his parents travelled on a bullock cart pulled by an animal when in Singapore visiting a Chinese friend. The causeway was not built yet.]

A lifestyle and ethical beliefs that would appear foreign to politicians and the public of present days.

The Reluctant Politician (2006 published) is a gripping biography. Credit to Ooi Kee Beng who wrote this biography in super quick time. He has also given us a useful Bibliography and Index.

Drafting in Politics is an unfinished memoir of Tun Dr Ismail. As it’s a raw first drafts, it is an unvarnished and contains frank views of his peers like Onn Jaafar, Harun and Tunku etc.

These views would surely have been tempered (by him?) and the editors had it come to publication.

We will never know. But because it’s a raw draft it contains honest views for historians and lay readers to ponder on.

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