KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 ― Popular actor Bront Palarae, top cop Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim and Malaysia's football coach have been given the honour of being part of their 110-year-old alma mater Sultan Abdul Hamid College's (SAHC) Hall of Fame.
The Sultan Abdul Hamid Old Collegians Association (Sahoca) last night inducted 10 new additions to its Hall of Fame, listing them by the year they graduated.
The new names include Malaysia's first Malay chartered accountant Tan Sri Hanafiah Hussain, a 1947 SAHC graduate who was also Umno treasurer from 1965 to 1970.
Former MP Hanafiah had also in 2017 received both the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) Lifetime Achievement Award and Umno's Tokoh Melayu Terbilang award.
The national football team Harimau Malaya's coach Tan Cheng Hoe (Class of '86), actor Nasrul Suhaimin Saifuddin or Bront Palarae as he is popularly known (Class of '95) were the youngest additions.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIGP) Noor Rashid (Class of '75) was inducted, along with the late former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Hashim (Class of '40) who was given the honour posthumously.
Others inducted are Impressive Communications CEO Tan Sri Abd Halim Karim (Class of '73), former Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh (Class of '76), Treasury secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Badri Zahir (Class of '78), Etiqa Insurance Berhad chairman Datuk Karunakaran Ramasamy (Class of '66) and Bank Rakyat managing director and president Datuk Zulkiflee Abbas Abdul Hamid (Class of '73).
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is himself a graduate of SAHC from the class of 1946 and the life president of Sahoca, was present onstage when the names were read out.
Kedah-born Dr Mahathir's father Mohamad Iskandar was the first principal of SAHC, when it was then known as the Government English School (GES).
The SAHC in Kedah is also the alma mater of various other prominent individuals such as Malaysia's first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, four former Kedah Mentri Besar, five who were the top judge as either Lord President or as Chief Justice of Malaysia, former ministers including Tun Daim Zainuddin and the late Tan Sri Mohamed Khir Johari.
Time to shine again
Yesterday was Sahoca KL's annual dinner, with its president Mirzan Mahathir noting that SAHC had became a top school in the past with many graduates playing important roles in the country's development.
“Our academic performance over the past few years have not been encouraging, our sports performance and prowess has only had few bright spots and overall our school looks worn and tired,” he said, encouraging the alumni to offer their ideas and efforts to help SAHC regain its previous status as a top school.
“I think this legacy is important, but we don't want to just see those that have done well up to this stage, we want that to continue, and therefore we should be looking at ways to improve the school,” he added.
In a separate speech at the same dinner, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia needs graduates of better quality for it to catch up with developed countries
“Malaysians have a role and certainly students in SAHC must pay attention to their studies, must do well, so that we can be proud again of the SAHC,” he said, also calling on the school's alumni to encourage the mastery of the English language.
In a video clip played during the dinner, Sahoca highlighted 2018 as “a year to remember” with two major events.
The video showed footage of Dr Mahathir being sworn in as the seventh prime minister at the age of 93.
Footage of the installation ceremony of the 29th Kedah ruler Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah (Class of '61) at the age of 76 was also shown.
In his speech, Mirzan alluded to the 14th general elections, which resulted in a change in government from being under the Umno-led Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Harapan.
“Every year is unique and different, this year has been one especially different, we all participated, witnessed the history of this country,” he said, adding that change happened through everyone's effort despite the little hope initially.
He said the change lifted the gloom in the country, adding: “Much hope and expectation arose and there's a way for us to look forward for ourselves and our children.”
* A previous version of this story contained errors which have since been corrected.