Satwant Singh Dhaliwal

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Dr. Satwant Singh Dhaliwal (Punjabi: ਸਤਵੰਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਧਾਲੀਵਾਲ, romanized: Satavata sigha dhālīvāla; 29 January 1933 – 6 February 2015)[1] was a Malaysian geneticist, academic and author.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Satwant Singh Dhaliwal was born on 29 January 1933. His father was Bachan Singh, a Postmaster.[4][5]

After completing his secondary school education, Dhaliwal enrolled at the University of Malaya and in June 1953 it was announced that he had passed the University of Malaya 1952/53 Science (Intermediate) examinations.[6] At the end of 1956, at 23 years of age, Dhaliwal was one of two students to be awarded the Shell Research Fellowship at the University of Malaya.[7] In 1957 he became one of two Sikhs to be awarded a Queen's Scholarship.[8] He received his Master of Science that year and went on to pursue a Doctorate in Genetics at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1959.[citation needed]


Dhaliwal pursued a career in academia. He took up the position of Demonstrator at the Department of Zoology at the University of Malaya in Singapore in 1955. In November 1968 when he became Professor of Genetics at the Department of Genetics and Cellular Biology at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.[9] Dhaliwal stayed with the University of Malaya, through to his retirement.

He was a frequent attendee and speaker at conferences all over the world,[10] and was Malaysia's representative to the Council of Pacific Science Congress.[11] He retired in 1992 at the age of 59.

Dhaliwal's name has been listed among the eminent Sikhs of the country, as early as 1978.[12]


  1. ^ 'Obituary of Santwant Singh Dhaliwal,' in The Star (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), 7 February 2015, Page 42
  2. ^ Malaysian Historical Society in 1978 (Malaysia in History, Volume 21, Issues 2-24. 1978. Page 52).
  3. ^ Morais, J. Victor, ed. (1965) [First edition published in 1956]. Who's who in Malaysia (5th ed.). Kuala Lumpur. pp. 62, 137, 139, 145, 152, 154.
  4. ^ Harmandar Singh. "The Sikh Who Almost Became Vice-Chancellor of UM!" Asia Samachar. Asia Samachar, 17 February 2015. Web. 9 March 2015 <>
  5. ^ The Straits Times, 10 September 1953, Page 4: Dhaliwal's father, Bachan Singh, who was Vice President of the Lower Perak indian Association (The Straits Times, 26 February 1953, Page 5), had been the Postmaster at what was then known as Teluk Anson (named after Penang's Lieutenant-Governor Archibald Edward Harbord Anson, and renamed Teluk Intan in 1981), and, later, Postmaster at Penang.
  6. ^ The Straits Times, 14 June 1953, Page 9
  7. ^ The Straits Times, 7 December 1956, Page 4
  8. ^ "Scholarships For Sikhs." The Straits Times [Singapore] 6 Feb. 1957: 7. Print.
  9. ^ The Straits Times, 16 November 1968, Page 9
  10. ^ 1961 - UNESCO Seminar on Genetics at the National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan; 1970 - Pacific Science Congress, Canberra, Australia; 1971 - International Conference on University Planning and Development, Seoul National University, Korea; International Congress of Genetics, Berkeley, U.S.A.; Inter-Congress, Pacific Science Congress, Guam; Pacific Science Congress, Vancouver, Canada; 4th International Congress of the Society for the Advancement of Breeding Researches in Asia and Oceania (SABRAO), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  11. ^ Notice of the announcement by Professor Ungku A. Aziz (Vice-Chancellor) of Professor Satwant Singh Dhaliwal's replacement of Professor Chin Fung Kee as representative of the University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur), on the Pacific Science Council is carried in Information Bulletin - Pacific Science Association, Volumes 22-23. 1970. Page 52.
  12. ^ Malaysia in History, Volume 21, Issues 2-24. Malaysian Historical Society. 1978. Page 52