KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — The country lost a respected and revered educational figure who did much in strengthening the higher education system with the death of the first director of the MARA Institute of Technology (ITM) Tun Arshad Ayub, 93, early today.
He was the director of ITM, now known as Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), from 1967 to 1975 and during the eight-year period under his helm, saw ITM achieved various advances in producing Bumiputera human capital, which earned him the title “architect of ITM’s growth’.
Throughout his life, Arshad served at UiTM, when he was then appointed its pro-chancellor after retiring from the civil service, which he served for 32 years.
He had also been entrusted with the responsibilities as Deputy Governor of Bank Negara and also served as Deputy Director-General of the Economic Planning Unit at the Prime Minister’s Department, besides serving as Secretary-General of the Ministry of Primary Industries, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Land and Regional Development.
Born in Muar, Johor, Arshad was also appointed the first chancellor of INTI International University Chancellor in 2013 and had also been the chairman of the Board of Directors of Universiti Malaya.
In September 1951, when Arshad was 23-years-old, he was appointed an Assistant Village Development Cadet Officer with the Rural and Industrial Development Authority (RIDA).
He was also active in the business world and was a board member of several public companies and statutory bodies.
Universiti Teknologi MARA Alumni Association (PAUiTM) president Datuk Zaini Hassan described Arshad’s contributions and deeds in education as incomparable.
“Tan Sri Arshad is a figure who created history and gave opportunities to all students whether the good ones or those who do not do very well in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) to acquire knowledge to reach the highest level (degree and professional qualification).
“Today, many captains of industries in the corporate sector and others are students of ITM, this is the result of his (Arshad) contribution in establishing ITM, where he introduced courses in professional fields including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) examination,” he said.
A statement issued by his family today stated that his remains were still at a hospital where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) last Tuesday due to health problems.
When the country achieved its independence in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Arshad, who was a Member of the Harun Salary Commission, was abroad to further his studies at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK (1954-1958) and IMD Business School, Lausanne, Switzerland (1963).
He is survived by wife Toh Puan Zaleha Mohd Arshad and seven children, comprising five boys and two girls.