Singapore, Sep 7 (UNI) Malaysia's rubber industry pioneer, Dr B C Sekhar, died of a heart attack at the Kalayappa Hospital in Chennai yesterday.
He leaves behind wife Sukumari Nair and four children. His remains would be brought back to Kuala Lumpur today for cremation in the late afternoon.
The 77-year-old Dr Sekhar was fondly known as Mr Natural Rubber for having revolutionised and modernised Malaysia's rubber industry and put the crop on the world map.
Dr Sekhar was given one of Malaysia's highest titles, Tan Sri, for his 50 years of work in the rubber industry. Rated as one of Asia's most effective scientists, Dr Sekhar received the 1973 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service and many other awards, local and international, for his efforts.
Sekhar was visiting his cousin in Chennai after doing some research work in a Hyderabad laboratory, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and died of a heart attack shortly after, according to Malaysia media reports today.
Dr Sekhar was appointed the first Asian Director of the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia in 1966 and, subsequently, became the first Asian Controller of Rubber Research and chairman of the Malaysian Rubber Research and Development Board. He founded the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute and the Malaysian Rubber Development Corporation.
He gained international recognition for excellence in research, modernisation of the rubber industry and the vigorous promotion and expansion of rubber usage during this work at the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia, Tun Razak Rubber Research Centre in Hertford, Britain, and the Malaysian Rubber Board.
UNI XC DH PM0742