Selvamany – More than a Teacher


Book review - Selvamany - More than a teacherThis is a biography of a teacher with a great heart. His mission in life was to teach as best as he could and to be always there for his students. As a teacher, he was able to inspire, discipline and motivate his students towards success. He cared for his students, their studies, their welfare, their health and their families. He also fortified them with universal good values.

Many students whom he taught in Anderson School Ipoh, as well as Sekolah Menengah Idris Shah and Sekolah Menengah Seri Teja, Gopeng, and others who had the chance of being associated with him, feel so grateful for having been given the opportunity of knowing him and learning from him.

This biography was produced with the intention of recording for posterity and sharing with others the goodness of humanity in Dato’ Seri N.S. Selvamany.

The biography starts by tracing his “roots and routes” and describing how Selvamany’s great grandparents left Pondicherry, India, to seek their fortune in Malaya in the late 19th Century. It then relates how and why Selvamany became a teacher after his tertiary education at Raffles College, Singapore. His teaching career started in Anderson School Ipoh from 1952 to 1972 and then on to Sekolah Menengah Idris Shah, as its Principal from 1972 to 1979 and as Principal of Sekolah Menengah Seri Teja, from January 1980 to January 1981 when he retired. The book documented how Selvamany was being bestowed with honorific awards such as the Tokoh Guru Negeri and Kebangsaan in 1996 and 1997 respectively and several state awards in 1995, 1997, 2008 and 2009. However, his “most treasured asset” and reward has always been his family, extended family, former students and friends whom he considers as his “sons and daughters”.

Although Selvamany has long retired from active service, he continues helping the underprivileged, especially children; living up to his motto “Serve man, serve God”. He keeps in touch with his former students, occupants at the various charitable societies and homes as well as friends and acquaintances at all levels of society. His reminder would be, “This is my life” and that is the way he likes to live it.

The lead writer, Dr Rokiah Talib, was from the Form 6 class of 1962/63, ASI and a former Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Malaya. The biography project was undertaken by an Organising Committee under the chairmanship of Tan Sri Nuraizah Hamid. The bio-graphy was launched by DYMM Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah on January 15, 2012 at the Royal Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Almost every feature of the launch programme was provided by former students of Selvamany – the funds needed, the reception and editorial team, the “Andersonians Forever” choir and the accompanying music, the emcee and even the Ustaz who recited the doa selamat. It was the former students’ way of saying “To Sir, with Love”.

The biography is not for sale. However, it is available privately at a nominal donation of RM50 per copy. This donation will help to defray printing costs and postage. The Organising Committee certainly appreciates any extra contributions that readers wish to make. When all copies of the biography are finally distributed, any surplus funds will be channelled to charitable organisations dear to Selvamany’s heart. Those interested in securing a copy, please contact Yeong Sek Yee at 012-2019739 or email him at


For more information on the biography launch, visit


1 thought on “Selvamany – More than a Teacher

  1. This extraordinaire cikgu is a living institution and a living mounment to all teachers. Humans like HIM comes once in awhile and grace with people of all walks of life. He is colour-blind and everyone was his child and he taught human values by living an exemplary life, one who has devoted his entire life to selfless service to mankind. I was never his student, but I was fortunate to serve the same NGOs he served. He had instilled a lot of values to a lot of people. Hope every teacher has an opportunity to meet this institution and learn something from him. So that no words like “burnt-out, tuitions, boring, stupid students, screwed up system and bla bla which is a standard vocabulary with both students and teachers these days, will perish once they have spoken to this teacher extraordinaire.

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