Ahmad bin Ibrahim

Ahmad bin Ibrahim (b. 1927, Penang - d. 21 August 1962), active unionist, Malay political leader, elected Independent member of the 1955 Legislative Assembly, Minister for Health in the first cabinet of the People's Action Party government in 1959. As Minister of Labour, died in office on 21 August 1962, aged 35 years old.

Ahmad Ibrahim was born in Penang and was also educated there at the Penang Free School. In 1955, he stood for the Legislative Assembly elections and won as an independent candidate, representing Sembawang. A former first branch secretary of All-Singapore Fire Brigade Employees Union, and vice-president of the Naval Base Labour Union, he was co-opted into the PAP Central Executive Committee in 1956; and under the PAP banner in 1959 he was re-elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly. When the PAP government formed its first Cabinet that year, Ahmad Ibrahim served in the cabinet as the Minister of Health, and was also appointed Assistant Secretary-General of the PAP's Central Executive Committee.

In a September 1961 Cabinet reshuffle, he was made Minister of Labour. He died at the Singapore General Hospital after a prolonged illness, on 21 August 1962, at the age of 35, while serving as the Minister of Labour. He was accorded a state funeral, attended by Singapore's Head-of-State Inche Yusof Ishak, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, other Cabinet Ministers, and many thousand people who paid respects at his home, and at the 'lying-in-state' ceremony at the main hall, Istana Negara. As a mark of respect, all government offices closed at noon that day.

Vernon Cornelius

Singapore days of old: A special commemorative history of Singapore published on the 10th anniversary of Singapore Tatler (p. 183). (1992). Hong Kong: Illustrated Magazine.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN)

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)
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