National Day Awards 2019

Zainol Abeedin Hussin fought for justice and gave back to society

PHOTO: MINISTRY OF CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND YOUTH
Mr Zainol Abeedin HussinPHOTO: MINISTRY OF CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND YOUTH

Mr Zainol Abeedin Hussin
Former Deputy President and Current Member, Tribunal for the Maintenance of Parents
Public Service Star

In 1984, a 34-year-old man was allegedly killed in the Orchard Road Presbyterian Church, dismembered, cooked in curry and disposed of.

This grisly incident, which became famously known as the Curry Murder, was just one of many cases Mr Zainol Abeedin Hussin presided over when he was a district judge.

Other unforgettable cases involved child abuse and the drugging of race horses to make them run faster, says the 73-year-old former deputy president and member of the Tribunal for the Maintenance of Parents. He has also served in the Syariah Court and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).

This was a far cry from his first job in the Government. "When I graduated, I was posted to the income tax department as a legal officer, which did not suit my temperament," he says with a laugh.

He also spent two years in the Legal Aid Bureau, a meaningful posting as he came from a poor family and was on Public Assistance. "My education was subsidised through government bursaries and the Prophet Muhammad Birthday Memorial Scholarship Fund Board, so I cultivated the mentality of giving back to the public," he says.

 

Despite today's uncertain times, he hopes Singapore will continue to be a successful financial centre.

"It is an honour and privilege to be awarded for what I feel is my duty, to give back in some small way."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2019, with the headline 'He fought for justice and gave back to society'. Print Edition | Subscribe