January 09 marks the second death anniversary of M Matiur Rahman, the former Communication Minister, former Member of Parliament, former Secretary and former Ambassador. He breathed his last in Apollo Hospital in Dhaka on January 09, 2018, at the age of 95. He left behind two sons and five daughters.
M Matiur Rahman was born in 1923 in a respected family in the village of Joykul in Kaukhali Police Station of Pirojpur district. After completing his matriculation from Kaukhali Secondary School, he was enrolled in BM College, Barishal where he studied from 1938 to 1942.
After completing his education from BM College, M Matiur Rahman enrolled in the University of Dhaka to study Political Science and International Relations from 1942 to 1947. During this time, he was elected the General Secretary of the Department of Political Science and President of the Students Union of SM Hall.
During his studentship, he was the Secretary General of the Department of Political Science of Dhaka University and later was appointed as the lecturer of the same Department.
He played an active role in the General Election of 1946. In that year, M Matiur Rahman had the opportunity of coming close to veteran politician Hussein Shahid Shuhrawardy and renowned student leader of that time Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
A year later in 1947, he got married to Syeda Asia Begum, daughter of Hazrat Shah Sufi Lakitullah (R:) of Azimpur Daira Sharif. In 1949, he joined the Government after successful completion of Superior Service Examination.
A few years later, in 1964, he was appointed as the Joint Secretary of the Government and served as the Director of National Shipping Corporation and remained in the office for five years. In 1970, he took charge as additional secretary of the Government.
He was the founding president of Barishal Samity and East Pakistan Federation in Karachi.
M Matiur Rahman was arrested during the liberation war of Bangladesh for helping Bengali people in various ways and for supporting the Bangladeshi movement. As a result, he was sent to the Central Jail of Karachi.
Later, with the efforts from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and with the help of the Red Cross in an independent Bangladesh, M Matiur Rahman returned to his beloved homeland along with his family.
After returning to Bangladesh, M Matiur Rahman joined as the Secretary of Ministry of Industries and later took charge as Secretary of Ministry of Commerce on Bangabandhu's directions.
While he was the secretary, he played an important role in extensively developing Barishal division and other district of greater southern part of the country, including his home district of Pirojpur. In this area, he undertook development projects of roads, bridges, culverts, religious places of worship, orphanages, and educational institutes.
The foundation stone of Jamuna Bridge was laid during his tenure as the Minister of Communications.
M Matiur Rahman became a member of the Supreme Court Bar Association as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
He was the founder of a number of primary and middle schools - Airon-Joykul High School, Joykul Government Primary School, Joykul Adarsha Madhyamik School, alongside a vocational school and college in his home district of Pirojpur. He was also the founder of Kaukhali Degree College, which is presently a government-funded college. He was also the founder of the proposed Joykul Abson Central Jame Mosque, the orphanage, the Shishu Sadan and the Forkanya Madrasa.
M Matiur Rahman was awarded a gold medal from Jatiya Shahatio Sangshad for his contribution to the society and later the Barishal Bibhag Samity awarded him the Sher-E-Bangla Medal. He was also awarded honorable citizenship from the Mayor of Dallas City along with a citizenship certificate, a Golden Key and a US flag.
In the National Parliament, M Matiur Rahman was made the panel chairman in absence of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker in Parliament. He was also elected Chairman of the parliamentary committee of the government organization.
M Matiur Rahman was a lifetime member and Vice-President of the Bangladesh Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Bangladesh Japan Parliamentary Association. He was also a lifetime member of the Inter-Parliamentary Association.
He was involved with various socio-economic activities of the country till the last day of his life.