Tribute: N.S. Selvamany: A Much-loved Teacher

Datuk Seri Dr N.S. Selvamany, a passionate teacher and school principal, passed away in the early morning of October 29 at his residence at Anderson Drive, Ipoh.
Datuk Seri Dr N.S. Selvamany is more than a teacher to most people who knew him. He began his teaching career in 1952 after having studied at the Raffles College, Singapore for four years (1947-1952) majoring in Economics. Selvamany’s career started at the Anderson School, Ipoh. He taught for more than 20 years at Anderson and as a pioneer, he had produced many prominent students. A significant number of his students held some important positions in the public and private sectors. Among them are Tan Sri Sallehuddin Mohamad, Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, Datuk Seri Khalid Hussein, Tan Sri Dr. Wan Zahid Mohd Noordin, Datuk Ismail Mohammad, Datuk Percy Muttiah, Raja Puan Sri Noora Ashikin Raja Abdullah, Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah, Tan Sri Tajol Rosli, Tun Eusoff Chin, and a long list of other important figures. These important people had played a vital role in shaping our national policies and helped to build our nation into what it is today.
A role model and a benchmark for all those who knew him, his uniqueness is, he never forgets any of his students, friends or relatives’ names. He knew not the difference in race and religion, everyone was seen as a person. He did not let the difference of races or religion determine any of his decisions. Widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the country.
As a student, he started in the Government English School, now known as SMK Sultan Yusof which was founded by Selvamany’s grandfather, K. Malaiperumal Pillay who had started the school in his own house in Batu Gajah in 1907; in order that all, regardless of their race and religion, would be able to receive an education.
The Tokoh Guru Nasional 1997 always reminded people that we are in a multi-racial country and people must learn to live with each other and enjoy the richness together. He often quotes that – live with love and goodwill, respect the laws of this country and uphold our independence for the sake of this country, one flag, one heart, one nation.
For the family and indeed for many of his close friends, Selvamany’s death has left a void which will be difficult to fill. Now I wonder, will there be another Selvamany in the quest for sincere unity for all who will embody the sincerity, grace and greatness? Datuk Seri Dr N.S. Selvamany, we will miss you – always!
S. SundralingamEx-Hon. Secretary, National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) Perak

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