Prominent Ceylonese in Penang: Past & Present


The State of Penang had its fair share of these employees although not to the same extent as the Federated Malay States. A good percentage of the early arrivals were also professionals either direct from Colombo or from Singapore, having been transferred to Penang.

One of the early arrivals direct from Jaffna, Ceylon was the Late Mr. Kanaga Sabapathy Vanniasingham who came in 1904 in response to the call for teachers. He died in office as a teacher ofthe Anglo Chinese School in 1930. Other early arrivals were the Late Mr.’Brown’ C.Cathiravelu, a well known Ceylon Tamil entrepreneur who bought over Penang’s famous E&O Hotel just to prove a point and his son-in-law, the Late Mr. ‘Tanjong Bungah’ K.Sinnatamby who was the owner of 100 acres of land in Tanjong Bungah which he later developed. One of the colourful personalities was prominent journalist, diplomat and fine sportsman, the Late Mr. Manicasothy Saravanamuthu who was the Managing Editor of the daily, Straits Echo from 1932 until his retirement; the Late Mr.K.K.Pillai, one of the early Advocates & Solicitors to set up practice in Penang; the Late Professor Dr. Chinniah Subramaniam, a Consultant Pathologist; the Late Dr.V.K.Thambypillai, a V.D.Specialist; the Late Dr.Ponniah, the Health Officer of the State of Penang; the Late Dr.H.R.S.Saravanamuthu, the Port Health Officer; the Late Mr.J.S.Appudoray of the Survey Department, Penang; the Late Mr. D.S.Ramanathan, an educationist turned politician, to become the second Mayor of the City of Georgetown; the Late Mr.G.S.Thillaimuthu, the first Asian Certified Public Accountant in Malaya; the Late Mr.Nicholas Ponnudurai, a renowned public figure; the Late Mr. W.M.Underwood, the first Asian Civil Engineer to be in the service of the Public Works Department, Penang; the Late Mr.Balage Porolis de Silva of Silva fame as a ‘royal’ jeweller; the Late Dr.K.Muthukumuru, an early active member of the Hindu Endownment Board and probably the first Ceylonese to set up general practice in Penang; the Late Mr. K.Arumugam of the Survey Department; the Late Mr.M. Arulampalam of Malayan Railways; the Late Dr.A.Somasundaram, who served the government in the early years; the Late Mr.N.S.Kandiah who retired as Deputy Commissioner of Estate Duty, Penang who was a supporter of Tamil Writers and a contributor to Hindu Temples and many others. Most of these personalities started their careers before the war and are considered the pre-war “giants” in the history of the Ceylonese Community of Penang.

The same cannot be said to have been the situation after the war because new Ceylonese arrivals were mostly from Singapore or mainland Malaya and others born and educated in Penang.

Amongst them we have many prominent Advocates & Solicitors, namely the Late Mr.S.Thillaimuthu Jr; the Late Mr. Arumugam Jeyadeva; Mr. N.Patkunam, a teacher and former Deputy Mayor of the City of Georgetown; Mr.R.Rajasingam, a Surveyor before becoming a Member of the Bar, a former Member of Parliament and the present Chairman of the Bar Committee. Penang; Mr.K.Kumarendran, an enthusiast for hockey and vintage cars and Past Chairman, Temple Committee of the Mariamman, Vinayagar and Murugan Temples; Mr.Bala Mahesan, the former President of the Penang Club; Mr.Balasundram, a former State Assemblyman; former teacher, Mr.N.Nadajajah and Mr.Navaratnam Ponnampalam. There are many up and coming Advocates & Solicitors amongst the younger generation not mentioned just now.In the Judiciary we had the Late Mr.K.Somasundram and Mr.W.Satchithanandhan, who were Senior Presidents of the Sessions Court, Penang.

In the field of education we have Emeritus Professor Dato’ K.J.Ratnam, the Foundation Professor of Social Science and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of U.S.M., Dato’ Dr. R.Ratnalingam, the Former Dean and Professor, School of Physics, USM, the Foundation Principal of the Penang Medical College, the first Malaysian Rhodes Scholar and fine Cricketer; Professor (Dr.) V.Navaratnam, Senior Professor in Clinical Pharmacology and Addiction Studies, at the National Center for Drug Research, University Science Malaysia, Mr.R.Padmanathan, the former Registrar of U.S.M. and the present Principal of the Disted Stamford College, Penang,; Professor Johan Saravanamuthu, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and subsequently Professor of Political Science; Mr. Colin Abraham, School of Social Sciences, Associate Professor Dr.Sivamani Kandaiya,; Dr.M.Sivasothy, of the School of Physics; Dr.Noel John Monerasinghe, Associate Professor, School of Housing, Building and Planning, all from the University Science Malaysia; Mr. C.Ganasalingam, retired Principal of the Malaysian Teachers’ Training College, Penang; Mr.K.G.Yogam, the first Ceylonese Principal of the Penang Free School; Mr.Sam Abraham, Mrs.Joy Abraham, Mrs.Christin Ramanathan, Miss. Ruth Thillaimuthu, Mr.Lionel Chellappah and many others in the education service.

Amongst the personalities in the Medical Profession we have, Consultants, Dato’ Dr.P.C.Vanniasingham, General Surgeon, Dato’ Dr.R.Thuraisingham, Physician, Dato’ Dr.A.Tharmaratnam, Gynaecologist, Dato’ N.Kunanayagam, General Surgeon, Dato’M.Kanagalingam, Gynaecologist, Dr.K.Ragupathy, Diagnostic Radiologist, Dr.M.Shanmugam, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr.D.Jeyendran,Cancer Specalist, Dr.Premnath, General Surgeon, Dr.S.Velaiutham, former Director of Health of the M.P.P.P., Dr.S.Sivasundram, Dr.S.Kanagalingam, Dr.A.Selvarajah, Dr. K.Thirugnanam, and Dr. K.Arulgnanam, General Practitioners and the Late Dr. T.Ramanathan , a voluntary worker of the Temple of Fine Arts and many others about whom we have insufficient information at present.

In the public sector we have Mr. Sonni Pillai who was the City Secretary of the earstwhile City Council of Georgetown and now a practicing Advocate & Solicitor, the Late Mr.P.Rajendra, who was the Director of the Engineer’s Department and Ag. Secretary of MPPP, Dato’ K.Ponnampalam, the former Director of the Social Welfare Department, Penang. Mr. N.Vamathavan, the former Financial Controller of the Penang Development Corporation, Mr. K.Nithyanantham, Mr. E. Jayadevan, Mr. V.Mahesan and the Late Mr. P.Thiruarul, who were Engineers in the service of the TNB, the Late Mr. M.Rajaratnam, Manager of Penang Airport,

Mr.Nithiahnanthan Raja, a former Senior Officer of the Royal Customs & Excise Department, Mr.Sam Nalliah, former the Legal Adviser to the Seberang Perai Municipal Council, and former Trade Unionists, Mr.S.Karthigesu, the retired President of the Penang Municipal Services Union, Mr. R,Sivarajah, retired President of the Penang Water Authority Staff Union and Mr. N.Loganathan , retired President of the Penang Port Officer’s Union.

In the private sector, we had the Late Mr.S.Elaguppillay, an entrepreneur, politician, and founder of the Ipoh Lane Hindu Temple. We then have retired planter, Mr.Harold Vernon Speldewinde, Mr. S.T. Sritharan, Senior Manager of Robert Bosch (M) Sdn. Bhd., Mr. S.S. Balashanmugan , an entrepreneur and Mr.A.S.Seevaratnam a Group General Manager of an Insurance Company.

Although a small community, its members also played a significant part in Sports. They either represented the State or Country in sporting events. Some of the prominent sportsmen were Manicasothy Saravanamuthu, an Oxford Blue, who still played the game in Malaya, the LaBrooy Brothers in Cricket, Noel John Monerasinghe in Cricket and Hockey, R.Ratnalingam in Cricket, Nihal Monerasinghe in Cricket, V.Vijiaratnam in Athletics, K.S.P.Sundram in Hockey, R.Kularasa in Tennis, Late V.Selvarajah in Cricket, Vigneswaran in Cricket, Dr. Rishya Ratnalingam in Cricket and C.Ramanathan ,a prominent National Coach of Athletes.

The following biographies of personalities will commence with those who came directly from Ceylon:-

The Vanniasinghams and their contribution to the State of Penang 1904 to date.
Mr. Kanaga Sabapathy Vanniasingham came to Penang directly from Jaffna in 1904 in response to the call by the then British Government for teachers to educate children in English schools in Malaya. Soon after his arrival he became a teacher in the Anglo Chinese School, then located in Maxwell Road, Penang, later to become Li Tek School.When he arrived in Penang, he was a Hindu but not for long because his mentor then was Rev.G.F.Pykett who influenced him to convert to Christianity. He continued to teach in Penang except for a short break when he was sent to Parit Buntar, Perak. He subsequently returned to teach in the Anglo Chinese School. After converting to Christianity he became a staunch member of the Methodist Church and was appointed a Lay Preacher. Further, he was one of the Founding Fathers of the Tamil Methodist Church, then located at Dato Kramat Road, which later became the Lutheran Church when the new Church was built in Kebun Nyor Road. He passed away in 1930 while serving as a teacher, which was the noble part of his life.His wife, Lucy Nallamah also came from Jaffna and was soon involved in assisting the American Missionaries in their work in Patani Road. She was very active in Church and Social work till she passed away in 1960.

They had nine children, five boys and four girls. The boys were pupils of either the Anglo Chinese School or the Penang Free School but the girls were all pupils of the Anglo Chinese Girls School, Penang. Everyone of the nine children attained excellence in their respective fields in life either in Malaysia or overseas. Fortunately, two of the children, the fifth son, Dr.Peter.C.Vanniasingham and the eldest amongst the daughters, Miss. Ruth Vanniasingham remained in the Island and became well known for their contribution to the State of Penang.

Dr.Peter.C.Vanniasingham, an Old Free, completed medical studies in Singapore and was trained in Surgery in England. He served in Hospitals in Kota Bharu, Ipoh and Penang as a Consultant when he returned from England to serve the government. After a meritorious career in government service he together with a few other Consultants set up the Penang Medical Centre which is now known as the Gleneagles Medical Centre. He was also a Navel Reserve Officer and served as Surgeon Commander RMNVR. For his contribution in the field of medicine he was conferred the D.S.P.N. in 1984. Dato’Peter.C.Vanniasingham is still in active practice at the Gleneagles Medical Centre.

Miss. Ruth Vanniasingham married Mr.D.S.Ramanathan who later became the second Mayor of George Town. She was the first person in Penang to obtain the Licentiate of the Trinety College of Music in 1936. She was the person who initially taught Penang’s renowned pianist Dennis Lee before he went for further training to U.K.

G.S. Thillaimuthu

George Sinnathamber Thillaimuthu J.P. – 1887 – 1961
Sinnathamber Thillaimuthu came to Malaya in 1905 from Ceylon and worked in the field of commerce and accounting with a large rubber plantation agency in Johore.

In 1916 Thillaimuthu gained a Fellowship Diploma of the Institute of Commerce , Birmingham. In 1923 he obtained the degree of Bachelor of Commercial Science from the London-Jefferson University, USA. He was admitted as a member of the London Association of Certified Accountants, later known as the Association of Certified and Corporate Assountants (ACCA) and subsequently elected as a Fellow of ACCA.

He was the first Asian Certified Public Accountant in Malaya. In 1932 he went into private practice as a Certified Public Accountant in Penang and maintained offices in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok. The Penang office bears his name till today.

He was one of the Founding Members of the Malayan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), which was established in 1958, later to be known as the Malaysian Association of Certified Public Accountants. It was the first professional regulatory body of accountants in Malaysia.

He was a Life Member of the Indian Association Penang and the President of the Penang Ceylon Association. Thillaimuthu was an Honorary Auditor of several charitable organisations for many years and appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1955.

Balage Porolis de Silva

Balage Porolis de Silva – 1850 – 1926
Balage Porolis de Silva popularly known as BP de Silva opened the first jewellery outlet in Penang at Pitt Street in 1916. In 1922 BP moved to Bishop Street where he personally opened the shop known as B.P. De Silva. Although the company name is now known as De Silva (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. this outlet still remains at No.1, Bishop Street with its pre-war facade. Its present other outlets are at Rasa Sayang shopping arcade, Penang Plaza and at Gurney Plaza, all in Penang Island.

The Penang-based company has carved a niche for itself by promoting exclusivity and well-crafted jewellery from the best factories around the world. However for the record, B.P. De Silva commenced business in Singapore with the establishment on High Street, the De Silva Jewellery Museum combining it with a large jewellery factory in 1872.

The greatest recognition for De Silva came in 1890 when he was appointed the ‘royal’ jeweller to the Duke of Connaught, In 1900, the Sultan of Johore conferred upon the jeweller the same distinction. The legacy he left behind was his good reputation for honesty and integrity. The name De Silva is trusted by royalty.

Although the company began as a jewellery business, its watch and tea distribution businesses contribute the most in revenue. In year 2000, the group posted a revenue of S$110 million.

Its present Managing Director of De Silva Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (which is a separate company) is Mr. Sonny De Silva, the great grand son of B.P. De Silva who is also at present the Hon. Consul for Sri Lanka in Penang.

W W.M.Underwood

Muthiah Underwood – 1877 – 1960
William Muthiah Underwood was a qualified Civil Engineer in Ceylon. He was the son of Rev. A. Underwood, the first Anglican Pastor of the Anglican Church in Singapore.

He worked in Johore and later took up appointment as Assistant Engineer in the Public Works Department, Penang. He was the first Asian Engineer in P.W.D. Penang. He was involved with the building of the funicular railway in Penang Hill; the first ‘multi-storey’ building in Penang; the ‘A’ Block of the General Hospital and the first landing strip then known as the Aerodrome in Bayan Lepas. All these works stand as memorials of his long dedicated service to the government. He remained in the service of P.W.D. until he retired.

He was known to be outspoken and kind to the disadvantaged. For some time he maintained a hostel for students in Singapore and showed great interest in the education and development of young people. He was a disciplinarian says his son, Datuk Sam Underwood, a plastic surgeon.

K. Sinnatamby J.P. (1887 – 1971)


Mr. ‘Brown’ Cathiravelu J.P.

K. Sinnatamby J.P
Mr. K.Sinnatamby was mainly associated with the social and economic development of Tanjong Bungah and the Ceylon Tamil Community of Penang and Province Wellesley between 1928 and 1955.

He arrived from Jaffna, Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, during the First World War and as a young man he started work with the Federated Malay States Railways. He soon left the Railway Service and joined his father-in-law, Mr.C.Cathiravelu in the fast growing rubber plantation and property development sector. Popularly known as Mr. ‘Brown’ Cathiravelu he was a well-known Ceylon Tamil entrepreneur who among other properties bought over the E&O Hotel in Penang for special reasons: He demonstrated to the White Rulers then that Asians should not be looked down upon and that there can be men with substantial wealth and grit to buy over the leading hotel in Penang. The special reason why he did this was because he was treated shabbily by the management on one of his rare visits to the hotel.

Mr. Sinnatamby and family moved from Kuala Kangsar in Perak to Tanjong Bungah in 1927 and bought over and stayed in the estate till 1955. When the family purchased the 100 acre estate, there were only the owner’s bungalow, workers’ quarters. a small shop, and houses of malay fishermen on the beach front. The major part of the estate consisted of traditional low yielding rubber trees. But there was the potential for development as the best part was the sea coast and its frontage. This coastal area later in the 1950s was developed into a highly-prized residential suburb. This was only possible with great effort and close co-operation of Mr. Sinnatamby and the State Government of Penang.

In recognition of his efforts in co-operation, doing a great deal of voluntary social work and being a community leader, he was honoured with the title of Justice of Peace (J.P.) and became a Member of the State Rural Council of Penang in the post-war years.

When Mr. Sinnatamby and family first occupied the estate, Tanjong Bungah was isolated with hardly any public service infrastructure such as transport facilities, electricity, water supply, telephone, etc. Sending the children to English schools, the Anglo-Chinese Girls School and the Penang Free School, located ten miles away from the house was a problem.

With the outbreak of the Japanese War on December 8, 1941, Malaya had to adapt and accept the new system of Japanese Government. Top priority was for food production, and by the order of the sword of the Japanese Government, some of the rubber trees were rooted out for the growing of food crops.

To maintain peace and order, one aspect of Japanese administration in those war years was to divide the population in the smaller villages into racial groups (Malays, Chinese and Indians). Mr. Sinnatamby was the head of the Indian Community of Tanjong Bungah. In spite of hunger and food shortages, the three communities maintained reasonable peace, order and harmony until the British returned in 1945. It was during these hard years of Japanese occupation that the leadership, impartiality and philanthropic ways of Mr. Sinnatamby were clearly brought out in helping the poor and needy.

In the post-war years of 1945 there was turbulence with threats from the Communist Party of Malaya retarding rapid growth after attaining Independence of from the British. However, with the surrender of the Communists, Malaysia became a progressive nation with a demand for quality houses. Mr. Sinnatamby converted his agriculture land to meet this demand and this involved a great deal of work.

With the development of the estate almost completed and his children grown-up and settled in life, Mr. Sinnatamby “retired” from the Tanjong Bungah Estate to live in the quite part of Georgetown in Clove Hall Road in 1952.This is the story of the pioneering work of a Ceylon immigrant in the development of Penang. This is also the story of Penang’s rich heritage in providing sound education to the next generation in order to live a healthy and prosperous lifestyle in the rapidly changing Malaysia.

Manicasothy Saravanamuthu, popularly known as Uncle Sara was born in 1895 in Colombo, Ceylon and educated at the St. Thomas College, Colombo and St.John’s College, Oxford. He returned to Ceylon in 1922 to take up his first appointment as Sports Editor of “The Ceylon Observer” from 1922 to 1925 and Editor of the Sunday Observer from 1925 to 1928 – himself a acknowledged cricketer and it was here when he gained the spurs for journalism,

In 1930 he came to Penang as Sub-Editor of the Straits Echo and the following year through “fortuitous circumstances” became its Managing Editor. The daily became a success story soon after he took office.

He was President of the Ceylon Association of Penang from 1934 to 1947 and President if the Penang Rotary Club in 1947.

In 1941, with the war, and daily bombing of Penang from 11th. December with most British having absconded from Penang and the rest of Malaya, Sara rose to leadership as Chairman of the Penang Public Service

In the post-war years of 1945 there was turbulence with threats from the Communist Party of Malaya retarding rapid growth after attaining Independence of from the British. However, with the surrender of the Communists, Malaysia became a progressive nation with a demand for quality houses. Mr. Sinnatamby converted his agriculture land to meet this demand and this involved a great deal of work.

With the development of the estate almost completed and his children grown-up and settled in life, Mr. Sinnatamby “retired” from the Tanjong Bungah Estate to live in the quite part of Georgetown in Clove Hall Road in 1952.This is the story of the pioneering work of a Ceylon immigrant in the development of Penang. This is also the story of Penang’s rich heritage in providing sound education to the next generation in order to live a healthy and prosperous lifestyle in the rapidly changing Malaysia.

Mr M.Saravanamuthu – ‘Uncle Sara’

UNCLE SARA – 1895 – 1974
Manicasothy Saravanamuthu, popularly known as Uncle Sara was born in 1895 in Colombo, Ceylon and educated at the St. Thomas College, Colombo and St.John’s College, Oxford. He returned to Ceylon in 1922 to take up his first appointment as Sports Editor of “The Ceylon Observer” from 1922 to 1925 and Editor of the Sunday Observer from 1925 to 1928 – himself a acknowledged cricketer and it was here when he gained the spurs for journalism,

In 1930 he came to Penang as Sub-Editor of the Straits Echo and the following year through “fortuitous circumstances” became its Managing Editor. The daily became a success story soon after he took office.

He was President of the Ceylon Association of Penang from 1934 to 1947 and President if the Penang Rotary Club in 1947.

In 1941, with the war, and daily bombing of Penang from 11th. December with most British having absconded from Penang and the rest of Malaya, Sara rose to leadership as Chairman of the Penang Public Service Committee. The Committee was instrumental in bringing a quick end to the bombing and other atrocities of the war. Through his diplomacy the entry of the Japanese into Penang was made “peaceful”.Nine days later he was taken to prison by the Japanese and released only after nine months. This war time story made him a legend in the eyes of the people of Penang.

He was appointed High Commissioner for Ceylon in Singapore and Malaya for the years 1950 to 1957, Ceylon Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to Indonesia from 1954 to 1957 and Honorary Consul-General for Ceylon in Bangkok from 1958 to 1961.

Other positions held by him were, Committee Member of the Penang Turf Club from 1945 to 1950. Member of Court, University of Malaya in 1949. Patron of Ranji Sports Club, Jakarta in 1954, Honorary Member of the British Cricket Club, Jakarta, President of Penang Cricket Association and Patron of Malayan Cricket Association.

He was elected the most popular personality in Malaya in a contest organised by the ‘Singapore Standard’. a daily in 1953 which won him a world tour.

The Sara Scholarship was established by public subscription at the Penang Free School and the Bukit Mertajam High School.

He presented the Sara Shield to the Malayan Ceylonese Cricket Association for inter State cricket competition amongst the Ceylonese.He was a fine sportsman, journalist and diplomat. He passed away in Penang in 1974. May his soul rest in peace.

Mr. Nicholas Ponnudurai J.P.

Nicholas Ponnudurai, J.P.-1894-1967
Nicholas Ponnudurai served as a member of the Settlement Council, Industrial Court, Employees Provident Fund Board, Kuala Lumpur, Income Tax Revenue Board, Penang Pardon’s Board and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Kuala Lumpur.

He was Vice-President and founder member of the Mercantile Employees’ Co-operative Society and YMCA.

He was subsequently the President of YMCA and a member on the Board of Governors of the Residency Girls School and Methodist Girls School.

He retired from Borneo Company after 43 years of service as Administrative Assistant. For his many services to the community he was appointed a Justice of the Peace by the State Government of Penang.

Prof.Dr.Chinniah Subramaniam

Professor Dr. Chinniah Subramaniam – 1898 – 1976
Chinniah Subramaniam came to Penang as a Consultant Pathologist. He was a gold medalist from Singapore King Edward VII College of Medicine.

His notable service to Penang was serving the Japanese Prisoners of War quietly with medicines. He had also done much research in tropical medicine for publication in Medical Journals; one of them being “Endemicity of Cholera in Alor Setar.

He was an activist in the Tamil Congress during the war and a vibrant speaker.

After the war he was appointed Professor of Pathology at the University of Singapore.

He was a founder member of PAP and took an active part in the concerns of people.

His son was the late Dr. Puvan Subramaniam, a renowned specalist in the country for his work who unfortunately died in an air disaster after a MAS flight took off from Penang Bayan Lepas airport and was high-jacked on its way to Kuala Lumpur.


David Sabapathy Ramanathan J.P. – (1908 – 1973)
D.S. Ramanathan was born on December 23rd. 1908. Early in his career he was a school teacher, first in Perak and then in Penang, finally retiring as Principal of the Pykett Methodist School, Penang.

Mr. Ramanathan was always an ardent educationalist. He was the President of the National Union of Teachers from 1959 – 1962 as well as Vice – President of the Malayan Teachers National Congress from 1961 – 1962. During that period, he was also an active member of the National Joint Council of Teachers.

Mr. Ramanathan’s keen interest in education was further reflected in his pioneering efforts to establish a university in Penang. The idea of a university in Penang was first mooted by him in 1959 in the State Assembly and later crystalised when he was nominated Chairman of the Penang University Project Committee. The University Sains Pulau Pinang opened in 1969 and today is one of the leading tertiary institutions of learning in Malaysia.

D.S. Ramanathan also made his mark in politics. He was a founder member of the Pan Malayan Labour Party and led the socialist movement as Chairman fromits inception through its many years of active service. Mr. Ramanathan was elected the Mayor of Georgetown for two terms – 1958 and 1959 and was responsible for dynamic and innovative leadership of the City Council during his term of office.

Despite a hectic schedule, Mr. Ramanathan found time for community activities. He was the Chairman of the Penang Library from 1958 – 1962 and took a keen interest in the literary activities of Penang State.

David Sabapathy Ramanathan will long be remembered for his outstanding contribution in the field of education and in politics especially at a critical period when the country was going through the throes of becoming a self – governing, independent nation.

Mr. N.S Kandiah

Mr. N.S. Kandiah – 1902 – 1991
In 1950, Mr. Kandiah arrived in Penang to assume the post of Deputy Commissioner of Estate Duty, Penang and held the post until his retirement in 1957.

After retirement he made Penang his permanent residence and became actively involved in the management of Hindu temples, the Ramakrishna Ashrama – a school and orphanage and other religious institutions and welfare work.

He was closely associated with the building of the Sri Vinayagar Temple at Fetters Road. He donated the main temple deity at that time. To this day, the “Ubayam” held on the second day annually is conducted in his name, the first being in the name of the deity.

He was the Chairman of the Penang Divine Life Society for six years from 1978 to 1984 and was conferred the title “Guru Bakthi Ratna” for his services on 16th. March 1980 by the World President of the Society.

He had also worked closely with “Senthamil Kala Nilayam” founded by poet and writer Sri Ramadasar. He helped the Tamil writers and authors of Tamil books. The Senthamil Kala Nilayam in South India bestowed on him the title “Thiru Thondar” for the services he rendered to the movement.

In his life time he gave donations to religious, cultural and charitable organisations.He left a family Trust Fund naming his three sons as Trustees known as “Thiruthondar Kandiah Family Trust”. This Trust Fund makes periodical donations to temples, religious, cultural organisations, the under privileged, the handicapped and the poor.

He passed away in Penang on 28th. July 1991.

Mr. N. Patkunam

Mr. N. Patkunam
Born in August 1929 in Penang, Mr.N.Patkunam was educated in the St. Xavier’s Institution and subsequently became a teacher in the same school in 1950. Whilst being a teacher he was actively involved in politics and trade unionism. He was one of the Founder Members of the Labour Party of Malaya and a Member of the Central Executive Committee of the party for several years.

In December 1958, he contested and won a seat in the City Council of George Town and served for a period of 30 months during which period he was appointed the Party’s whip and elected Deputy Mayor of the Council in 1960.

When the next elections were held in 1961, Mr.Patkunam was returned as a Councillor and was once again elected as the Deputy Mayor for the years 1961 and 1962.

As a trade unionist, Mr.Patkunam was a Member of the General Council of the Malayan Trades Union Congress. In June 1960, he was nominated by the Honourable the Minister for Labour to be a Member of a Commission of Inquiry established under the Wages Council Ordinance to investigate the working conditions of the workers in the Port of Penang and to make recommendations whether a Wages Council should be set up for cargo-handlers, lightermen, stevedores and their employers. Mr.Patkunam made valuable contribution to the report which was subsequently published by the Commission in that while he agreed entirely to the recommendations of the other Members of the Commission, he made a further recommendation that a Dock Labour Board be established. As a result of this recommendation the Port Labour Board, Penang was established by the government.

In July 1962, Mr.Patkunam went abroad as the Federation of Malaya Worker’s delegate to the International Labour Conference, at Geneva and he also represented the Malayan Workers at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions Conference in Berlin at the same time.

In 1964 he left for U.K. to study Law and has been a practicing Advocate & Solicitor in Penang from when he was admitted as a Member of the Bar.

Sonni Pillai
Son of Mr. K.K. Pillai who was one of the earliest to set up practice in Penang as a Advocate & Solicitor, Mr.Sonni Pillai was appointed City Secretary (Chief Administrative Officer) of the City Council of George Town in 1962 at the age of 39 years, a relatively young age during the days of popularly elected Local Authority Councils. He continued to serve as City Secretary when the State Government took over the administration of the Council. He however resigned in 1970 to travel and study further in the United States of America.

Born on 14th. May 1923 in Burma he received early schooling in Burma and in the St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang. He completed schooling by passing the matriculation examination of London University in 1940. During the period 1941 to 1946 he was with the University of Ceylon during which period he was also on the Editorial staff of “The Times of Ceylon”. He read law at Grays Inn, London during 1946 to 1950 and was Called to the English Bar in January 1950.

In 1951 he came back to Penang and was admitted as an Advocate & Solicitor in the High Court. He entered private law practice in Penang until 1956 when he ceased private law practice and joined the public service as Assistant City Secretary and Legal Adviser in the then City Council of George Town. In 1962 he was appointed City Secretary.

In 1965 the Netherlands Government awarded him a Fellowship to do a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Administration at the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, Netherlands.

In 1969 he was awarded a second Fellowship by the Netherlands Government to obtain the Master of Public Administration at the Institute if Social Studies in the Hague.

From 1972 to 1974 he was appointed (gazetted) Crown Counsel at the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Government of Hong Kong on contract, as Law Draftsman.

In 1975 he returned to Malaysia and resumed private law practice as Managing Partner if a law firm in Kuala Lumpur. In 1978 he was appointed General Council, Head of Legal Department and Group Company Secretary, Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank, Kuala Lumpur. In 1983 he resumed private practice in Kuala Lumpur and is in private practice to date.

Dato’ K.Ponnampalam J.P.
In 1960, Mr. Ponnampalam assumed duties as the Director of the Social Welfare Department, Penang and served in that position until he retired in 1975. He was bestowed the title Dato’ by the Penang State Government in 1996, well after he retired from government service in recognition of the many voluntary services rendered by him in the State of Penang, some of which are:-

Representative of the Ministry of Education, Malaysia on the Board of Governors, Convent Secondary School, Light Street, Penang.

Ahli Tribunal, Pejabat Pendaftaran Negeri.
Adviser, Juvenile Court, North East District, Penang.

Chairman. After-care Committee, Pemadam, Penang.
Committee Member, Silver Jubilee Home for the Aged, Sungai Dua, Penang.
Trustee, Ramakrishna Ashrama, Penang.
Adviser, Hindu Youth Organisation, Penang.
Vice-Chairman, Discharged Prisoners Aid Society, Penang.

Born in Kuala Lumpur and schooled in Victoria Institution he has been a resident of Penang for the last 40 years and has no intention of moving elsewhere.

After school he became a teacher and an Assistant Librarian before joining the service of the Social Welfare Department in Kuala Lumpur. While in service, he was awarded a UNIcef Scholarship in 1950 for two years, at the end of which he graduated in Social Science and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London.

Upon his return to Malaya he was posted as Social Welfare Officer, Kedah.In 1955 he was promoted as the Principal of the Taiping Boy’s School and in 1959 was posted as the Principal of Camp School in Butterworth.

During his tenure of service as Director of Social Welfare, the Department was also responsible for Youth Services in the State including the training of members of Youth Clubs on Leadership Qualities.

Upon retirement as Director of Social Welfare, Penang he served as Counselor in the University Science Malaysia from 1975 to 1980, on contract and subsequently as Field – Work Supervisor of Social Work Students from 1980 to 1985.

Over the years, he received several awards; namely, War Medal & Pacific Star, 1939 – 1945 by the War Office, London, Scout Jamboree Medal – 1966, P.J.K. – 1968, P.B.M. – 1971, J.P. – 1987, Tokok Warga Tua, Daerah Timor Laut – 1995 and the D.S.P.N. in 1966.

He is still actively involved in voluntary work in Penang and God Willing hopes to go on doing so to the best of his ability.

Mr. P.Rajendra

Mr. P.Rajendra
Mr. P.Rajendra, following his successful completion of studies at the Raffles College in Singapore and the University of Southampton, joined the Public Works Department in Singapore in 1953. His move to serve the City Council of Georgetown in 1961 coincided with the period when local government played an important and significant role in the lives of the citizens of Georgetown.

His initial responsibilities upon assuming the position in the Engineering Department were principally in planning for the implementation of the Prangin Canal Pumping Scheme and preparing the draft scheme for the alleviation of flooding in Georgetown. The mid-Sixties was a period of rapid urbanisation and the requirements to cater for the needs of the many new development housing estates was a demanding Task. The constraints imposed by the limitation in the drainage bye-laws called upon his intellectual and technical capacities to meet the challenge.

In his role as a senior staff member of the Engineering Department, he not only carried out his duties and fulfilled the expectations of his superiors but also took on other areas of civil, municipal engineering, traffic, public health and hydraulic engineering. His ability to grasp the technical and associated details with such deep insight, coupled with his intimate familiarity with the administrative, legal and financial matters made him an outstanding candidate to fill the post of City Engineer.

In undertaking the duties associated with this post, he provided the leadership to the Department and all those who worked with him. He was always conscious of the need to consider and appreciate the views of others without necessarily imposing his own will.

In all the years of his service, there was never any question about sense of duty, dedication and integrity. These qualities served him admirably when he was called to act in the post of City Secretary towards the later part of the 1960’s. The late Sixties was a period of social and political ferment and Rajendra’s chief characteristics of steadiness and even handed dealings of events and people saw him and the City Council through these challenging times. The early Seventies was a period of increasing economic development. The senior officers of the City Council contributed greatly to the changes taking place in the development of the Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone and the traffic arrangements to the Penang Bridge. Rajendra’s leadership of the City Council and the City Engineering Department were much appreciated.

His uncanny ability to deal with people of all ranks and manner allowed him to develop warm, personal as well as official relationships with his colleagues, friends and others. Therefore, his death at the age of 58 meant a loss to all who recognised his contributions in all fields of endeavours during the entire period of his service of local government in the State of Penang in general and the City of Georgetown in particular.

Mr.Harold Vernon Speldewinde

Harold Vernon Speldewinde
Born in 1924, known as Harold to his friends, is a second generation Dutch Burgher, educated in Penang Free School is the current President of the Penang Veterans Association. He was a Founder Member and Adviser of Persatuan Veteran Keselamatan Negara Malaysia 1955. Further, he has been Chairman of the Persatuan Bekas Pasukan Keselamatan Negara Malaysia, Sungai Gelugor Branch from 1996 todate.

He is the son of Mr. Clair Alexander John Speldewinde, an original Dutch Burgher from Ceylon joined the Malayan Forest Department in 1907 as Senior Forest Ranger and retired in 1942 as Senior Assistant Conservator of Forest, Taiping, Perak. He was a State and Federation of Malaya Cricketer. During the war years he was attached to the South East Asia Command, Ceylon (SEAC, Earl Mountbatten’s Head Quarters) for training R.A.F. and American Pilots for Jungle Survival Course. His mother, Adeline Alice Siebel Speldewinde was awarded the Medal of Merit for Service with the Girl Guides and was an active Committee Member of the Y.W.C.A.

As a student in Penang Free School he played an active part being the School Assistant Head Prefect, School Champion Athlete, School Rugger Captain, School Hockey Captain, School Athletic Captain, 2nd, Lt. Of the School Cadet Corps and School Boxing Captain.

During the Japanese Occupation (1941 – 1944) he was branded as a Third National by the Japanese.He joined the Anti-Japanese Guerillas in the Tapah / Cameron Highland Sector to escape detention and came out at the end of the war to take up Planting as a career by becoming a member of the planting profession.

He had a illustrious career as a Planter commencing as an Assistant Planter in 1946 and by 1957 became the Manager of Sungei Bernam Estate. There was nothing to stop him after that from serving in several rubber, oil palm, coconut and cocoa plantations as either Senior Manager of General Manager.

His experience as a Planter has been well respected and he has presented several papers on the industry. He has visited research stations in Sabah, Sarawak, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Senegal, South Africa, Egypt, Denmark, Spain, Canary Islands, Germany, Italy, England U.S.A., Australia and Holland.

He has also served in Planting Councils & Research Committees, namely Malaysian Agricultural Producers Association (MAPA), Malaysian Estates Owners Association (MEDA), Malaysian Oil Palm Growers Council (MOPGC), United Planting Association of Malaysia (UPAM).He is a Member of the Incorporated Society of Planters and the Malaysian Institute of Management.

Mr. S.Karthigesu

Mr. S.Karthigesu – P.J.M. – A Trade Unionist
In the year 1992 when the Penang Municipal Services Union (founded on 24th.January 1947) celebrated its 45th. Anniversary, its serving President for 20 continuous years, Brother S.Karthigesu retired from the service of the Penang Island Municipal Council and the Union upon reaching the compulsory retirement age of 55 years on 4th.February 1992. During his tenure of office from 1972 to 1992 the Union went through many trials and tribulations which were however overcome with the strong support given to him and the Union by its members. The PMSU achieved a record 100% success with regard to all cases taken up and presented by the President (without legal assistance) before the Public Services Commission related to anomalies in the Suffian and Huran Reports implemented by the Council.During the years when the staff of the Water Department were transferred to the service of the newly established Penang Water Authority, staff of the Electricity Supply Department to the National Electricity Board, the staff of the Fire Department to the Federal Fire Service and when the Transport Department was privatized, he fought for and obtained favourable terms and conditions for the staff affected.

He was the Chairman of the Departmental Joint Council (Staff Side ) from its inception in 1973 until his retirement. In May 1984, Brother Karthigesu represented the Council Unions in the ‘People to People Exchange Programme’ with Twin City, Adelaide. He was also the Chairman of the National Joint Council (Staff Side) for Local Authorities, Malaysia from its inception in 1977 until 1989, Chairman of the MTUC (Penang Branch) for two terms – 1979 and 1978 and Vice – President of MTUC at national level from 1985 to 1987. During this period he helped avert an impending division of the movement when the Late Brother P.P.Narayanan, the founder President of the MTUC, was challenged for the Presidency by Brother Zainal Rampah. Brother Karthigesu came out with a solution before the elections (which was accepted by both contestants) and thus averted a possible split in the movement.In 1985 he attended the Public Services International Conferences held in Caracas, Venezuela and Tokyo, Japan and in 1986 the International Labour Conference in Geneva as a member of the Malaysian Delegation.

While in office, he was instrumental in introducing a Group Insurance Scheme for members, a scholarship scheme for member’s children and the launching of ‘Suara PMSU’, a publication of the Union. He was still in office when PMSU became an affiliate of CUEPACS on 1st.January 1992 and was elected one of the its Vice-Presidents. When he retired from Union activities he was bestowed the title BAPA PMSU by the Union. For his contribution to the trade union movement he was awarded the State title, P.J.M. in 1985. He is currently a Life Member of the Indian Association Penang, Life Member of the Technological Association of Malaysia, Hon.Secretary, MCC (Penang Branch) and Vice-President of Malaysian Ceylonese Congress at national level.


Padmanathan Ramalingam

Padmanathan Ramalingam
Mr. Padmanathan has been a contributor to the State of Penang for the last 39 years and is a person who continues to so. He is at present the Principal of the Disted Stamford College, Penang. He started his career in the Public Service when he was appointed Assistant State Secretary (Private Secretary to the Honourable Chief Minister) in December 1963, which position he held until April 1968 when he was also the City Council Liaison Officer in the State Secretariat from July 1966 to April 1968.

In April 1968 he was moved to the City Council of Georgetown as Assistant Secretary (Establishment) until March 1972. While in the service of the City Council he was responsible for many improvements in the Establishment List in order to reduce expenditure on recurrent expenditure.

In April 1972 he moved from the service of a Local Authority to the service of a University. He assumed the duties of Assistant Registrar (Student Affairs) of the University Science Malaysia in April 1972 and has ever since been involved in the field of Education. From being Assistant Registrar (Senate) from 1972 to 1977, he moved on to become the Deputy Registrar in July 1982. He retired from this position in July 1993 to take on the post of Principal of the Disted College, now the Disted Stamford College of Penang. It can be seen that he has been the Principal of the College for the last nine years during which period the ownership of the College has undergone major changes.

During all these years, he is known to be a person who goes all out to help deserving cases of employees and students. He is one person who finds it difficulty to say ‘no’ when confronted with such cases. His stamina for work is well known by all persons who have had the pleasure of either working with or below him. His superiors have always acknowledged this.

He is a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney, Australia having graduated in the year 1961.During the years 1959/1960 he was the Honorary Secretary of the Malayan Students’ Association of Australia (New South Wales Branch), Executive Committee Member of the Australian and New Zealand Graduates Association (1969 – 1970), Committee Member of the Consumer’s Association of Penang (1970), Member of the Penang Library Establishment Sub-Committee (1970), Chairman, Penang City Council Labour Union Scholarship Board, Advisory Member, Malaysian Indian Scholarship Fund, besides other organisations.

His contributions at National / International levels has been, Research Associate – National Drug Research Center at USM., Member of Panel appointed by the Colombo Plan Bureau to look into the Administrative aspects of Drug Abuse Control in Sri Lanka, Member of Panel appointed by the United Nations Division of Narcotic Drugs to undertake an evaluation of the Regional Co-ordination Office at Bangkok.

Dato’ Dr. R.Ratnalingam

Dato’ Dr. R. Ratnalingam
Ratnalingam has been involved in research in Solid State and Low Temperature Physics and has published more than 40 papers in International Journals.

He was responsible in establishing the Innovation and Consultancy Centre in University Science Malaysia. Penang – the first in the country. The Government of Malaysia through the Minister of Science appointed him as one of the 50 Foundation Fellows of the Malaysian Academy of Science when it was established in 1995. He has also served in numerous Committees of the Ministry of Science, Malaysia and the State Government of Penang.

Recently he has been involved, as the foundation Principal, in setting up the Penang Medical College in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons and the Medical School of the University College Dublin in 1997.

Born on 13th. February 1942 his academic background is difficult to match. He studied in University of Malaya on a Federal Scholarship to obtain his first degree – B.Sc. (Hons.) from 1962 to 1965. Next he graduated with M.Sc. (Phys.) from the University of Malaya in 1966.

He was the first Malaysian to be awarded the Rhodes Scholarship to obtain his D.Phil. (Phys.) from the University of Oxford – 1966 to 1969.

He started an illustrious career when he joined the University of Science, as a Lecturer in 1970 – Associate Professor in 1974 and Professor from 1984 to 1996.

He was the Deputy Dean of the School of Physics at U.S.M. from 1975 to 1977 and Dean from 1977 to 1985 and the Director of Innovation and Consultancy Centre of the University from 1990 to 1995 retiring from the University on March 1, 1996.

He was a visiting Professor at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 1981. He was also a Fullbright Scholar in 1995 at Ohio University in U.S.A.

He was equally good in sports having been awarded Cricketer of the Year – 1979 by His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong on the National Sportsman of the Year Award. He Captained the Malaysian Cricket Team in the World Cup (1979) in Birmingham, England.

His Professional Association Membership is Fellow of the Institute of Physics (U.K.) and the Institute of Physics (Malaysia) and Foundation Fellow of the Academy of Science, Malaysia.

Prof. (Dr.) V. Navaratnam

Professor (Dr.) V. Navaratnam

Professor (Dr.) V.Navaratnam is the Senior Professor in Clinical Pharmacology and Addiction Studies, at the National Center for Drug Research, University of Science Malaysia (USM). He was the Foundation Director of the National Center for Drug Research from 1978 to 1999. He received his basic medical training at the University of London graduating in 1969. He received his initial post-graduate training in clinical neuroscience at the Institute of Neurology, University of London and then went on to train in Clinical Neuropharmacology under Professors R.J.Ancill and P.H.Redfern at the Royal Infirmary Bath, University of Bath, England. He was awarded a Ph.D degree for his work on Circadian Sleep Rhythms and Benzodiazepine Receptor stimulation. Subsequently. he was Post-Doctoral Fellow working on Benzodiazepine receptor activity and drug tolerance development. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) for his outstanding research contributions in experimental therapeutics.In 1976, he returned to Malaysia to head the Clinical Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at USM. In 1977 he established the Clinical Pharmacy programme and also introduced the practice of Ward Pharmacy and Unit Dose Medication delivery system at the Penang General Hospital which was the first of its kind in Malaysia. This system has since been replicated in most of the Government Hospitals in the country.

In 1978, he was requested to establish a national research programme of drug abuse by the government of Malaysia, and later went on to establish the National Center and was the Foundation Director.He is the Advisor to the National Narcotics Control Agency, Malaysia on drug abuse control issues. Currently he is consultant to the UNDP / World Bank / WHO Special Programme on Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, to the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank / Asian Development Bank, in the areas of Health programme and Drug Abuse Control. Presently, he is President of the Global R&D Coalition for TB Research, an institution by a initiative of the World Bank, WHO and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is also a “core member” of the International Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative which is being spearheaded by the organization known as Doctors without Borders and WHO / TDR.

He was instrumental in establishing PEMADAM nationally and in Penang. He was a member of the Jawatankuasa Bertindak of the Jawatankuasa Kabinet mengenai Penyalahgunaan Dadah and was involved in the creation of the National Narcotics Agency (Agensi Dadah Kebangsaan). He was a member of the Penang State Coordinating Committee for Drug Abuse Prevention till 1985 and continued as a member of the Penang State PEMADAM Committee. He was instrumental in establishing the State and Federal drug abuse monitoring systems as well as conducting the initial studies of drug abuse in the State of Penang as well as the country. Working very closely with the then Chief Minister, Tun Lim Chong Eu, he carried out several studies on high risk social problem issues in Penang.

Sivarajah Rajadurai

Sivarajah Rajadurai – A Trade Unionist
Mr. Sivarajah Rajadurai joined the service of the Water Department of the City Council of Georgetown, Penang as a Technical Assistant in November 1967 and served as the Departmental Representative in the Penang Municipal Services Union for several years until 1972. He opted to join the Penang Water Authority in 1972 when it was established as a State Statutory Body with the merger of the Water Department of the City Council of Georgetown and the Waterworks Section of the State Public Works Department.

Soon after its establishment, he was instrumental for the formation of the Penang Water Authority Sports and Recreation Club and the Penang Water Authority Employees Co-operative Society. He served as a Vice-President of the Sports Club for several years and was a Director of the Co-operative Society since the formation of until his retirement from the service of the PBA in March 2000.

He was also instrumental in the formation of the Penang Water Authority Staff Union in 1977 and was its Founder President. After placing the Union on a firm footing he stepped down as President in 1984. He again took over the reins of the Union in 1996 with the objective of obtaining the best terms and conditions for the staff in the impending corporatization of the Penang Water Authority. Further, under his stewardship, the Staff Union was able to work together with the Penang Water Authority Manual and Industrial Workers Union and the Management and Professional Staff Association as one body, to successfully get the State Government of Penang to quicken the corporatization of the Penang Water Authority.

He was appointed as a Panel Member of the Industrial Court by the Minister of Labour for two consecutive terms of two years each.

He has been active in community service and is presently serving as a Vice-Chairman of the Rukun Tetangga Mak Mandin , Butterworth. He was also the PIBG Chairman for the Mak Mandin National Secondary School and PIBG Vice-Chairman for the Dato Onn National Secondary School, Bagan Ajam, Butterworth.

A Pro-tem Committee Member of the Malaysian Ceylonese Congree (Penang Branch) he lends active support in connection with its activities.


K. Kumaraendaran
Mr. Kumaraendran Kumarasamy, is the eldest son of the Late Mr. Kumarasamy Ariacuddy, a Senior Court Interpreter of the High Court, Penang from 1959 until 1969. The Late Mr. Kumarasamy was a person who used to be consulted for guidance and advise by several social and charitable organisations due to his wide and varied experience in legal and social matters.

Mr. Kumaraendran left for U.K. to read Law and was called to the Bar in 1970. He has been in private practice since.

Kumaraendran has been actively involved in many religious, social, charitable, welfare and sports associations in Penang after his return to Penang from U.K. He has served in various capacities in many voluntary organisations in Penang.

He was the Past Hon.Secretary and Past President of the North Malaya Vintage Cars Register, Past President of Malaysia – Singapore Vintage Cars Register,

Past Chairman, Temple Committee of the Mariamman, Vinayagar and Mugugan Temples (under the Penang Hindu Endownment Board) from 1993 until 1998. He was also instrumental in successfully completing the renovation works of the Vinayagar Temple in Jalan Waterfall and the consecration ceremony in 1998.

Kuraraendran was also Past President of the Penang State Hockey Association and the Past President of the Penang Bar Committee. Currently he is a member of the Penang Indian Chamber of Commerce. He is also very supportive of the Malaysian Ceylonese Congress of which he and members of his family are members.

Dr. Krishnar Ragupathy

Dr. Krishnar Ragupathy
Dr. K.Ragupathy has been the Chairman of the Penang Branch of the Malaysian Ceylonese Congress since its registration on 4th October 1994. He has been a resident of Penang since 1984 after having served the Malaysian Government as a doctor and diagnostic radiologist for almost 18 years.

Born on 6th.September 1940 in Klang, Selangor he is the son of Mr. Perampalam Krishnar of Posts and Telecoms of then Malaya. His early education was at the Klang High School and the Batu Road English School in Kuala Lumpur. His secondary education was in Jaffna, Ceylon. He graduated with an MBBS (Colombo) – Ceylon. His post -graduate education was in U.K. obtaining DMRD (London) in 1972.

He served the Malaysian Government in the Ministry of Health and in the Armed Forces in the States of Selangor, Kelantan, Perak, Sabah and Sarawak. He was awarded the “Bentera Setia Mahkota” (BSK) in 1978 by H.R.H. the Sultan of Kelantan and the “Ahli Mangku Parak” (AMP) in 1983 by H.R.H. the Sultan of Perak.

Since 1984, he has been in private practice as a consultant diagnostic radiologist at a private hospital in Georgetown. In addition, he pioneered a screening mamography service in 1988 in Penang, assisting the Penang Branch of the National Cancer Socirty, of which he is a Life Member. He continues to this day to be the Honorary Consultant Radiologist and Advisor to the “Toh Puan Datin Khatijah Centre for Women” at Komtar.

Dr. Ragupathy was a past Honorary General Secretary of the Penang Medical Practitioners Society and Branch Chairman, Hon. Secretary or Hon. Treasurer of the Malaysian Medical Association in the States he served. At various periods in his 36 years of medical and radiological career, Dr. Ragupathy devoted time in training doctors (including trainee radiologists), medical students, nurses and radiographers.In 2001, the Penang Veterans Association conferred on him Honorary Membership. He continues to be their Honorary Medical Advisor.

  Prominent Ceylonese in Penang: Past & Present
Mr. S. Karthigesu
on. Secretary of MCC (Penang Branch)