3 UMNO VETERANS
They are recognised for their struggles and sacrifices in serving party
THREE veteran Umno members were given recognition for their struggles and sacrifices in serving the party when they were bestowed with the “Tokoh Melayu Terbilang”.
The three received the award in conjunction with Umno’s 71st anniversary at Bukit Jalil National Stadium last night.
They include the first Malay to become a chartered accountant, Tan Sri Hanafiah Hussain; Wanita permanent chairman Tan Sri Napsiah Omar; and Tan Sri Mohd Yussof Latiff from Penang.
The three received the award from Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Yussof, political secretary to Penang’s first chief minister Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee between 1964 and 1969, said he did not expect to receive such a recognition as there were other outstanding candidates.
The 86-year-old began his involvement in politics in 1947.
“This is the highest recognition I have received in my 70 years with Umno.
“I want to dedicate this award to my late wife, family and comrades, who shared my ups and downs in my journey with Umno, many of whom have since left this world,” the Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Malaysia (Peyatim) deputy president said.
Hanafiah, who turned 90 last month, is also the founder of the first Bumiputera accounting firm — Hanafiah, Raslan, Mohamad & Partner — as well as the first managing director of the Haj Fund and the first chairman of Fama.
He was a member of parliament for Jerai, Kedah (1964 to 1974), and secretary of Umno and its Supreme Council member between 1965 and 1970.
“To all young Malays, I urge you to contribute to the development of Malaysia.”
Napsiah, who began her career in 1967 as an administration officer at Felda, went on to become an associate professor at (then) Universiti Pertanian Malaysia in 1981.
In 1982, she entered politics by successfully contesting the Kuala Pilah parliamentary seat, a feat she maintained until 1995.
She was appointed deputy housing and local government minister (1982-1987), public enterprise minister (1987-1990) and national unity and social development minister (1990-1995).
She said Malaysians should be thankful that Umno had survived for 71 years.
“In other countries, parties which had fought for Independence have fallen and some don’t even exist anymore.”
Napsiah said she was thankful to Umno for remembering those who had contributed to the party, adding that this recognition was also a form of respect to all former Umno leaders who had left the world.
Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi congratulating award recipients Tan Sri Hanafiah Hussain (fourth from left) and Tan Sri Mohd Yussof Latiff (second from right) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.