Saturday, 15 June 2013

Tun Haji Yusof bin Ishak (1910-1970)

Tun Haji Yusof bin Ishak
Politician and journalist
Yang di-Pertua Negara Singapura 1959-1965
First President of the Republic of Singapore 1965-1970
Source: Wikipedia pic
  • Full name: Tun Haji Yusof bin Ishak
  • Born: 12 August 1910 at Padang Gajah in Trong, Taiping in Perak, Federated Malay States (FMS), British Malaya
  • He performed the Hajj in 1963 
  • Dr M.J. Che Lah was the Chief of the Malayan Medical Mission for the Hajj to Makkah in 1963 (Mak punya bapak). Nenek Inchek (Bapak punya mak) also went at this time.
  • He contracted TB during the Japanese occupation in 1942-1945.
  • His health deteriorated in 1968.
  • He had diabetes, asthma, TB and heart problems, but he continued to work.
  • He survived a collapsed lung and heart failure in 1968.
  • He was admitted to Intensive Care at Singapore General Hospital in 1970.
  • He died during his third term in office. He died of a heart attack in London, UK.
  • Deceased: 23 November 1970 ... and buried at Kranji State Cemetery
  • Attended schools in Taiping and Singapore
  • Malay school at Kuala Kurau, Perak
  • Malay School at Taiping
  • 1921 - English studies at the King Edward VII School, Taiping
  • Primary education at Victoria Bridge School (now Victoria School), Singapore
  • 1924 - Secondary education at Raffles Institution, Singapore - joined Singapore National Cadet Corps, and became first cadet officer
  • 1927 Cambridge School Certificate
  • Senior Cambridge Exams
  • good athlete and all-rounder
  • left school in 1929
Vocation and recreation
  • Initially his parents sent him to the Police Academy in Kuala Lumpur, but he left the training program and returned to Singapore. 
  • He became a journalist and joined the newspaper industry in Singapore instead and became actively involved.
  • He was a keen photographer 
  • He was an orchid enthusiast
Related videos and other links

Newspaper stints
  • He first joined the Alsagoff newspaper group in 1932. He became the Manager of Warta Malaya, which was owned by Alsagoff. Warta Malaya was the voice of the Singapore Arabs and focused on development in the Middle East
  • He and 20 Malay men helped to establish the Utusan Melayu Press Limited at 64 Queen Street, Singapore in 1938. He was resourceful and responsible for sourcing money to purchase necessary equipment for Utusan Melayu. He was the Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Utusan Melayu Press Limited. The first Malay newspaper, Utusan Melayu, was circulated on 29 May 1939. 
  • He was also the Sunday Times Staff Reporter
Senior appointments
  • Second Lieutenant, National Cadet Corps, 1933–
  • Writer, Editor, Rafflesian (Raffles Institution), 1933–
  • Founder, Sportsman (Magazine), 1933–
  • Managing Director, Accountant, Warta Malaya, 1933–
  • Founder, Managing Director, Utusan Melayu (first Malay newspaper), 1939–1959
  • Film Appeal Committee Member, 1948–1950
  • Malayanisation Commission Chief Patron, Singapore Arts Society, 1948-1950
  • Chairman, Public Service Commission (Singapore), July 1959–
  • Colonel, Singapore Infantry Regiment, August 1963–
  • Chancellor, National University of Singapore (NUS), 1965–1970
Presidential candidate
  • He replaced the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara and last Governor of Singapore, Sir William Goode, when he became the Yang di-Pertua Negara Singapura (Head of State of Singapore) on 3 December 1959-1965 - before and after Malaysia was formed in 1963.
  • He became the first President of the Republic of Singapore on 9 August 1965. He was the first and only Malay to become the President of the Republic of Singapore. President B.E. Sheares succeeded him (KE VII College of Medicine; O&G).
Awards and honours
  • Darjah Utama Temasek, 1st Class
  • Seri Maharaja Mangku Negara (Malaysia)
  • Darjah Kerabat Laila Utama Brunei, 1st Class
  • Hon. Doctor of Letters, (National University of Singapore)
Titles and namestyles
  • 10 August 1910 – 3 September 1959: Inche Yusof bin Ishak
  • 3 December 1959 – 16 September 1963: Paduka Yang Mulia Yang di-Pertuan Negara, Inche Yusof bin Ishak
  • 16 September 1963 – 9 August 1965: Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertuan Negera, Tun Yusof bin Ishak
  • 9 August 1965 – 23 November 1969: His Excellency, President of the Republic, Inche Yusof bin Ishak.
  • Yusof Ishak Secondary School
  • ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute
  • Singapore dollar notes issued from 1999 onward
  • Yusof wax figure at Madame Tussaaud in Singapore
  • Masjid Yusof Ishak in Woodlands (to be completed at the end of 2016)

Dato Janaton married Tuan Gadih Ambun Suri Payakumbuh Kerabat Raja di Hulu Suku Pitopang and had 4 children - Abdullah, Mohamad, Fatimah and Halimah.
  1. Abdullah bin Janaton
  2. Mohamad bin Janaton (died young; mati muda)
  3. Fatimah bt Janaton. Husband Lebai Saat Melayu Minangkabau
  4. Halimah bt Janaton (she was known as Tuan Gadih Halimah bt Janaton)


Abdullah bin Janaton married Ummi Salamah Melayu Serumpun Pulau Pinang and had 8 children:
  1. Hajjah Aishah bt Abdullah. Husband Jamaludin @ Che' Din Klang. 86 Armenian Street, Penang.
  2. Samsiah bt Abdullah. Husband Haji Abdul Ghafar. Permatang Damat Laut, Bayan Lepas, Penang
  3. Ahmad bin Abdullah. Wife Siti Kechik Rokiah bt Shaikh Abdul Rahman. Batu Uban.
  4. Saadiah bt Abdullah. Husband Syed Alwi (Tengku Chik), younger brother of Syed Abdul Rahman. Sg Dua Seberang, Penang
  5. Haja Noor bt Abdullah. Husband Shaikh Mohamad. Batu Uban
  6. Hajjah Kalsom bt Abdullah. Died in Makkah
  7. Mohamad Fakir bin Abdullah. Wife Rahmah from Bandar Baru, Parit Buntar, Perak. Their children are Baharin and Chik Ramlah.
  8. __

Paternal grandparents
  • Paternal grandfather: Ahmad bin Abdullah (Abdullah's third child)
  • Paternal grandmother: Siti Kechik Rokiah bt Shaikh Abdul Rahman
Father's siblings:
  1. Haji Alias bin Ahmad. Wife Maimunah bt Awang. Taiping
  2. Harun bin Ahmad. Wife Bishah bt Pilus. Parit Buntar
  3. Mahmud/Mohamad bin Ahmad. Wife Saadiah bt Mohd Omar. Terong, Perak
  4. Ishak bin Ahmad. Wife Aishahtun bt Haji Aminuddin. Taiping.
  5. Kalsom bt Ahmad. Husband Ahmad bin Abdullah. Kuala Kangsar
  6. Rapiah bt Ahmad. Husband Darus Senawi.
  7. Sulaiman bin Ahmad. Wife Zainab. Singapore
  • Father: Encik Ishak bin Ahmad (Minangkabau). Clerk in Taiping. Moved to be Assistant Inspector of Fisheries Dept in Singapore in 1923, then became Director.
  • Mother: Aishahtun bt Haji Aminuddin (Malay) from Langkat region in Indonesia
Yusof's siblings: 9
  1. Yusof bin Ishak - Managing Director of Utusan Melayu in Singapore
  2. Laili Zubaidah bt Ishak (married Tengku Ibrahim bin Tengku Yunus) - Taiping, Gerik. Her children are Tengku Kulsom and Tengku Idris.
  3. Abdul Aziz bin Ishak (married Wan Shamsiah bt Pawanteh) - Pengurus Utusan Melayu in KL. His children are Rahmah, Zakaria, Zabidah, Zulkifli and Zahrah.
  4. Laila Latifah/Halifah/Hanifah bt Ishak (married Mohd Izuddin - Bagan Serai). Her children are Zaidah Faridah, Putih, Rozita, Rosna and Asmara.
  5. Salbiah bt Ishak (married Abdul Wahid - Headmaster of Trade School in JB). Her children are Ahmad Seth, Anuar, Ayub, Ilham and Salmiah.
  6. Ramli bin Ishak - Special Branch Customs, Maxwell Road, Singapore
  7. Zohara bt Ishak (1927-2008)(married Yusof) - Asst. Lady Supervisor, Sekolah Melayu Perempuan, Perak Utara. Her sons are Zainal and Ismail. 
  8. Abdul Rahim bin Ishak - Schoolteacher of the King Edward School. Taiping
  9. Alma Azizah bt Ishak- student of the Girls' English School (Sekolah Perempuan Inggeris), Taiping
  • He married Toh Puan Hajjah Noor Aishah bt Mohd Salim in 1948, by arranged marriage, after WWII.
  • She was born in 1932.
  • He was 39 and she was 16 at the time of marriage.
  • They have 3 children - a son and two daughters.
Family in 2010
  1. Orkid Kamariah bt Yusof (eldest child; elder daughter, born 1948; 62). Housewife. Married an immigration officer and lives in Malaysia.
  2. Dr Imran bin Yusof (only son; born 1949; 61). Married Zarinah Mohamad. Works in Brunei.
  3. Zuriana bt Yusof (younger sister, born 1952; 58). Married a diplomat. Lives in Brunei.
  • Grandchildren: 10
  • Eldest grandchild is Fatimah bt Imran (33 in 2010; born 1977). Married a Dutch on 12 November __ . Re-locate to the Netherlands.
  • Toh Puan Hajjah Noor Aishah is 78 in 2010
Family in 2014

From left: Prime Minister LSL, Hajjah Noor Aishah (82), daughter-in-law Zarina and son Dr Imran Yusof (65).
Hajjah Noor Aishah (82) at the Prime Minister's address at Singapore's National Rally 2014. Acknowledgement of Singapore's Pioneer Generation (PG) at SG50.
She was interviewed on Bicara and videos were uploaded on 29 Nov 2015:
Puan Noor Aishah Akan Berkongsi Kehidupan Presiden Melayu Pertama Singapura Yusof Ishak 

Family in 2016
  • Toh Puan Hajjah Noor Aishah is 84
  • Orkid Kamariah Yusof is 68
  • Dr Imran Yusof is 67
  • Zuriana Yusof is 64
  • Fatimah Imran is 39

Roots, family tree and early settlers of Penang
  • Yusof ialah saudara sebelah Bapak.
  • Refer to the book by Prof Ahmad Murad Merican for details of his family tree.
  • There is a flowchart of his family tree, but it is lacking information at many branches.
  • Yusof was of Sumatran Minangkabau royal descent ... of the ill-fated Pagaruyung Palace which burnt to the ground in the shape of a horse after a lightning strike.
  • Yusof bin Ishak is from the Datuk Jannatun (Dato' Jenaton) clan.
  • He was descended from Datuk Jannatun of West Sumatra. Datuk Jannatun and his brother Datuk Setia came to Penang in 1879, when given the bounty of a hilly area (Bukit Jannatun) by the Sultan of Kedah, for defeating Siamese advancement on Kedah. At the time, Penang was under the Kedah Sultanate.
  • Datuk Jannatun was the brother-in-law of Nakhoda nan Intan. 
  • Nakhoda nan Intan was a Sunni imam, Sufi master, religious community leader and a ship captain. Nakhoda nan Intan sailed to Penang and opened a Malay-Arab village at Batu Uban. He built Masjid Batu Uban in 1734, the first and oldest mosque on Penang island, well before the British East India Company arrived in Penang. 
  • Nakhoda nan Intan's brother, Nakhoda Kecil went to invite Captain Francis Light to Penang's shore at Tanjong Penaga - now George Town.
  • Nakhoda nan Intan had married four wives - one in Sumatra, one in Singapore, one in Tengkera in Malacca, and one at Kg Batu Uban in Penang. 
  • Nakhoda nan Intan built a mosque at every port of call. The one in Singapore is the more recent Masjid Haji Muhammad Salleh of 1894. Nakhoda nan Intan was a close friend of Habib Noh Alhabshi. Their descendants married and can be found in Malaysia. Nakhoda nan Intan built Masjid Tengkera in 1728. He last built Masjid Batu Uban in 1734. He died in Penang and is buried in the Muslim-Arab graveyard of Masjid Batu Uban in Penang. I don't have his date of birth and demise.

Zohara's children:
  1. Zainal Yusof married Dr Norimah (UPM)
  2. Ismail Yusof
Yusof's nephews will produce their mother's book (Yusof's sister) entitled, The House of My Dreams. The book is expected to come out at the end of 2013.

Dr Norimah and husband Zainal Yusof.
Ismail Yusof
Brothers, Zainal Yusof and Ismail Yusof.
Author, Zohara Ishak @ Wan Teh (1927-2008)
The House of My Dreams.
Autobiography of Ishak's family in Singapore and Malaya from 1928.

Ismail Yusof

Zainal Yusof


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