Khir Johari

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Tan Sri Mohd Khir Johari (1923–19 November 2006) was a Malaysian politician and the former Malaysian Minister of Education.

Born on 29 January 1923, in Alor Star,Mohd Khir receives formal education in the prestigious school in Kedah, which is Sultan Abdul Hamid College (KSAH). Mohd Khir was a Member of Parliament from 1955 to 1982. He was involved in the Malaysian political scene from its inception and served in the Cabinet of three Prime Ministers, which are Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn.

Upon his retirement he held positions in several organisations, most famously as President of the World Wide Fund for Nature of Malaysia (WWF).

He died on 19 November 2006 due to a heart attack and was buried in Makam Pahlawan near Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur.

Relationship with the Tunku[edit]

Tunku Abdul Rahman was Khir's friend, mentor, colleague, and later on boss. By the time the Tunku died on 6 December 1990, Khir had enjoyed some 48 years of a very close relationship with him.

It is said that it was politics and patriotism that first brought them together. When the Japanese surrendered to the Allied Forces in 1945, the Communists in Kedah, then known as the “Bintang Tiga” or “The Three Stars,” tried to take over the state as their flagship before the arrival of the British Occupation Forces.

Tunku enlisted the assistance of a small band of young men, which included Khir, to stop these elements from achieving their objectives. They had no arms whatsoever, but with sheer guts, they managed to put up a front pending the arrival of the British-led Force 136. This was their first taste of confrontation with the Communists. The lesson in human leadership and sacrifice was imprinted in Khir's mind and he clearly believed that Tunku was the “Man of the Hour.

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