Ungku Aziz dies at 98

He was one of Malaysia’s notable economists who contributed ideas in religions, races and economic development

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by BERNAMA

ROYAL Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz Ungku Abdul Hamid (picture) died at the age of 98 at Prince Court Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur around 4.30pm yesterday.

The body of the former academician and economist was taken to the At-Taqwa Mosque in Taman Tun Dr Ismail before burial rites.

Local daily Kosmo! reported that Ungku Aziz had been in the hospital for the past two months due to old age and had been in a critical condition since a week ago.

He was the father of former governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

The renowned scholar was born in London, UK, on Jan 28, 1922, and was a respected figure in many fields.

Among his accolades included the National Cooperative Figure in conjunction with the National Cooperative Day 2002 and the title of Royal Professor of Economics in 1978.

He was one of the principal figures behind the establishment of the Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) and Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Bhd (Angkasa).

Ungku Aziz graduated from the English College in Johor Baru and the Malay School in Batu Pahat before receiving his higher education at Raffles College in Singapore in 1951.

He received his doctoral dissertation at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, in 1964.

After serving the Johor administration until 1961, he became a lecturer at the University of Malaya in Singapore and headed the Council on Language and Literature of Malaysia during a one-year break.

He served as a professor and the dean of the Economics Faculty of Universiti Malaya in Malaysia from 1962 to 1965 before being appointed as the vice-chancellor of the institution.

Ungku Aziz was the first Malaysian to become the longest-serving vice-chancellor of Universiti Malaya.

He was also the first Malay economist and the only individual to have been awarded as a royal professor in the country.

Ungku Aziz was recognised as one of Malaysia’s notable economists who contributed ideas in religions, races and economic development, and won the Fukuoka IV Asian Cultural Prize in 1993.

He wrote more than 50 books and monographs on the social and economic problems in the country and was appointed as a consultant to various United Nations agencies.


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Royal Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz dies