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Historical Malaysian Figures You May Not Have Known, But Google Does [Part 2]

Historical Malaysian Figures You May Not Have Known, But Google Does [Part 2]

From scientists to cultural icons, Google Malaysia has honored a lot of Malaysian public figures through their Google Doodle.

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You thought we were done? Nope, there are plenty of great Malaysian figures, so this is part 2! Check out part one here.

6. Benedict Sandin (2020)

Benedict Sandin (Sandin Anak Attat) was a Sarawak-born folklorist and ethnologist who served as the curator of the oldest museum in Borner – the Sarawak Museum. Also an Iban himself, Sandin is known to be one of the world’s foremost experts on the Iban culture and dedicated his life to the preservation of his native heritage.

(Credit: Citizens Journal Malaysia, Sarawak Museum Department)

He was among the first to document the Iban history, culture, and language by absorbing and recording the wisdom of local genealogists, bards and historians. His notable works include The Sea Dayaks of Borneo before White Rajah Rule and Sources of Iban Traditional History.

(Credit: Google Doodle)

Without him, one of Malaysia’s precious indigenous traditions and heritage wouldn’t be preserved for the young generation. He died of lung cancer in 1982, at the age of 64.

Google honoured Benedict on his 102nd birthday, on 18 October 2020 with a doodle of him curating Iban history, surrounded by Sarawakian artefacts.

READ MORE: Google Doodles Celebrates Ibanese Sarawakian Ethnologist Benedict Sandin

7. Saloma (2020)

Saloma or Salmah Ismail was a Singaporean-Malaysian actor, singer, and fashion icon who rose to fame in the 1950s. She made a name for herself in the entertainment world and became a successful trendsetter. She’s always seen sporting her signature coiffed hairdo and inimitable clothing (many of which she sewed herself).

Saloma was especially known for her lemak merdu (full and sweet) singing voice which made her the first person among two – the other one was Datuk Sharifah Aini – to receive the prestigious Biduanita Negara (National Songbird) award.

(Credit: Shh Zn / Wikipedia, Warisan Saloma / Facebook)

She later married the legendary icon Tan Sri P. Ramlee and the duo became Malaya’s biggest power couple. Saloma starred in movies throughout the ’60s and released albums for the rest of her life. She passed away at the age of 48 due to liver failure associated with jaundice.

(Credit: Google Doodle)

On 26 November 2020, Google celebrated Saloma on the date that she received the Biduanita Negara title in 1978 by the Malaysian government at the time. Her doodle is similar to her beloved husband’s with music notes lighting up her background, signifying her melodious angelic voice.

READ MORE: Google Celebrates Legendary Malaysian Entertainment Icon Saloma

8. Dr Wu Lien-Teh (2021)

Dr Wu Lien-Teh was a Penang-born epidemiologist, who originally invented the surgical mask that later evolved into the N95 mask. He was tasked by the Chinese government in 1910 to investigate the disease – later known as the Manchurian plague, a very deadly plague back in 1910-1911 that took 60,000 lives – and found out that the disease was airborne instead of fleaborne.

(Credit: Courtesy of the family of Wu Yu-lin, daughter of Wu Lien-teh)

He was even nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work to control the pneumonic plague, making him the first Malaysian and the first person of Chinese descent to ever receive the nomination.

READ MORE: The Original N95 Type Mask Was Designed By A Malaysian

Dr Wu’s mask design.
(Credit: Wellcome Collection)

Dr Wu’s efforts changed not only China’s but also the entire world’s public health by introducing face masks and promoting quarantine. He passed away in 1960 at the age of 80 after suffering from a stroke while in his home in Penang.

(Credit: Google Doodle)

He’s honoured by Google with a doodle of him making the mask and encouraging others to wear it for their protection. 10 March 2021 marks the 142nd birthday of our brilliant and resilient doctor.

READ MORE: Penang Doctor Known For Inventing N-95 Honoured By Google Doodles

9. Dr Lim Boo Liat (2022)

Dr Lim Boo Liat was a Malaysian zoologist and leading authority on all things related to Malaysia’s biological diversity. He helped start Malaysia’s national zoo and wrote over 300 scientific papers and multiple books on mammology and parasitology.

He is known to study small mammals like rats, squirrels, bats as well reptiles and amphibians. For his six-decade contribution to the conservation of Malaysia’s biological diversity through the study of vector-borne diseases, he was presented with the 2013 Merdeka Award in the environment category.

(Credit: Courtesy of Chiz Lim)

He was also the first Southeast Asian and fourth Asian to be awarded an Honourary Membership to the American Society of Mammologists in 2003.

Dr Lim had several animals named after him like a snake, a frog, a chigger (the larvae of a scrub typhus mite), a protozoa, a flea and three parasitic worms that all have the words limbooliati or booliati in their scientific names. He sadly passed away at the age of 94 in July 2020 at his home in Cheras.

(Credit: Google Doodle)

Google celebrated the life of Dr Lim (21 June 2022) on the day that he received the Honourary Membership in 2003. The doodle of him features him making observations of the wildlife creatures following him, spelling the Google logo.

10. Azah Aziz (2022)

Azah Aziz (known fondly as Mak Ungku) was a pioneering woman journalist, author and Malay cultural expert. She wrote without fear nor favour and tackled sensitive issues at the time like salary equality, separate taxes for working wives and Muslim family amendments.

Some of the notable people she interviewed were the first woman prime Minister of India – Indira Gandhi, the boxing legend – Muhammad Ali, and the first woman cosmonaut sent to outer space – Valentina Nikolayeva-Tereshkova.

(Credit: Courtesy of Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Aziz & Pahang State Museum Corporation)

She also loved Malay literature and textiles so much that she published several books dedicated to them including Pantun-pantun Melayu, Rupa dan Gaya: Busana Melayu and Selayang Kenangan. Her book Rupa dan Gaya: Busana Melayu was considered special as she’s one of the few to incorporate poems from hundreds of years ago to describe the resplended Malay textiles in her book.

(Credit: Google Doodle)

Azah Aziz passed away from a stroke in 2012 at the age of 84. Google Malaysia decided to honour her with their latest doodle of her on her 94th birthday on 21 August 2022.

They encapsulated her love for Malay Textile as well as literature with a Songket (with a bunga tabur motive) in the background and her being in her most loved uniform (Baju Kurung) while holding a book.

READ MORE: Did You Know That An Awesome Malaysian Cultural Icon Is On Google Doodle Today?

All in all, Malaysia has a lot of talented individuals that contributed their whole life to the sake of knowledge, culture, and well-being of others. Their lifelong work indirectly lifts Malaysia’s name along with them and we thank you for their efforts.

Let’s celebrate this patriotic month by remembering these heroes without a cape that flourished Malaysia’s name.

Read our first list of incredible Malaysians that Google remembered here. Find out the contributions of our national athlete, our woman freedom fighter and our national artists.

READ MORE: Historical Malaysian Figures You May Not Have Known, But Google Does [Part 1]

READ MORE: Artist’s Amazing Drawings Reminds Us Of These 5 Malaysian Movie ‘Masterpieces’


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