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1. I first met Tun Omar Ong Yoke Lin when I was the President of the Kedah Anti-Tuberculosis Association. He was distributing Government funds for various charitable organisations. He was at that time a Minister in Tunku’s Government. It was 1962. The little ceremony was held at his official residence.
2. Ong Yoke Lin was one of the leaders of the Kuala Lumpur branch of the MCA. Together with Tun H.S. Lee, he met Dato Yahya Abdul Razak the leader of UMNO Kuala Lumpur and they agreed that their parties would co-operate in the 1952 Kuala Lumpur Municipal Elections. They would not compete against each other but would support each other against the Independence of Malaya Party of Dato Onn, the Labour Party and a few Indian independents.
3. The UMNO/MCA co-operation in the Municipal Elections was a resounding success. It was this which led the Tunku to set up the Alliance Party, consisting of UMNO and MCA for the whole country. Later it was joined by the MIC for the 1955 elections.
4. Tun Omar went on to serve in the Tunku’s Cabinet and later became Ambassador to Washington. There I met him again when I was Malaysia’s delegate to the UN General Assembly in 1965.
5. Tun Omar is a humble person and mix easily with the young leaders of the Alliance. He embraced Islam and then married Toh Puan Aishah Ong, by whom he had two boys and a girl.
6. He retired gracefully from politics and went back into business where he did very well. Often I would meet him and his two sons at the National Mosque for Friday prayers.
7. Tun Omar was a fine man. He was always proper and polite. He never had a bad word for anyone. He and Toh Puan Aishah truly made a fine couple.
8. The country has lost a good leader and a true Malaysian. He was one of those architects of our country, one who made possible the close co-operation between MCA and UMNO, between Chinese and Malays. He contributed much to the principles under which the Alliance was formed.
9. I will always miss his greetings at the mosque on Friday. I and Hasmah will miss him.
10. My condolences to Toh Puan Aishah and to all Tun Omar’s children and grandchildren.
11. May he rest in peace. May Allah bless him. Innalillahi’wainnaillahirraji’un.