Ahmad bin Ibrahim
Ahmad bin Ibrahim (b. 1927, Penang–d. 21 August 1962, Singapore) was a unionist, Malay political leader, elected member of the 1955 Legislative Assembly and the minister for health in the first cabinet of the People’s Action Party (PAP) government in 1959. Ahmad died in office on 21 August 1962 while serving as the minister for labour, at the age of 35.1
Life and career
Born in Penang, Ahmad was educated at the Penang Free School. In 1955, he stood as an independent candidate in Singapore’s Legislative Assembly general election. He won the election and became the assemblyman for Sembawang.2
A former first branch secretary of the All-Singapore Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and vice-president of the Naval Base Labour Union, Ahmad was co-opted into the PAP Central Executive Committee in 1956. Under the PAP banner in the 1959 general election, he was re-elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly. When the PAP government formed its first cabinet that year, Ahmad served in the first cabinet as the minister for health, and was also appointed as the assistant secretary-general of the PAP’s Central Executive Committee. During a September 1961 cabinet reshuffle, Ahmad was appointed the minister for labour.3
On 21 August 1962, at the age of 35, Ahmad died at the Singapore General Hospital after a prolonged illness while serving as the minister for labour. He was accorded a state funeral, attended by Singapore’s head of state Yusof Ishak, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, other cabinet ministers, and thousands of people who paid respects at his home and at the lying-in-state ceremony in the main hall of the Istana. As a mark of respect, all government offices closed at noon that day.4
1. Sam, J. (1962, August 22). Minister Ahmad Ibrahim dies, 35. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore days of old. (1992). Hong Kong: Illustrated Magazine, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
2. Sam, J. (1962, August 22). Minister Ahmad Ibrahim dies, 35. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Sam, J. (1962, August 22). Minister Ahmad Ibrahim dies, 35. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Sam, J. (1962, August 22). Minister Ahmad Ibrahim dies, 35. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 1997 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for further reading materials on the topic.
Law and government>>Political process>>Leadership
Ahmad Ibrahim, 1927-1962
Law and government>>Public administration>>Cabinet (Government Councils)