Syed Hamid Albar

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Yang Berhormat Tan Sri Datuk Seri
Syed Hamid Albar
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Kota Tinggi, Johor
Assumed office
21 October 1990
Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs
In office
18 March 2008 – 9 April 2009
Preceded by Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad
Succeeded by Hishammuddin Tun Hussein
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia
In office
1999 – 17 March 2008
Preceded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Succeeded by Rais Yatim
Personal details
Born (1944-01-15) 15 January 1944 (age 70)
Kampung Melayu Air Hitam, Penang, Malaysia
Political party United Malays National Organisation
Spouse(s) Sharifah Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin
Children 6
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer[1]
Religion Islam

Tan Sri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar (Arabic: سيد حامد بن سيد جعفر البارSaiyid Ḥāmid bin Saiyid Ja'far al-bār;[2][3] born 15 January 1944), is a Malaysian politician and the former Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs. He is currently the chairman of the Land Public Transport Commission.[4] He is also a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), part of the ruling Barisan Nasional. He recently lost his bid for a Vice-President's post in UMNO and was dropped as a minister in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's cabinet.

Early life[edit]

Syed Hamid was born in Kampung Melayu Air Hitam, Penang, Malaysia, to Tan Sri Syed Jaafar Albar who is also a controversial Malaysian politician and a former cabinet minister. Syed Hamid's father was of Hadhrami Arab descent, and migrated from Indonesia to Malaysia shortly before World War II.[5][6][7]

He had his secondary education at Maxwell School before going to Methodist Boys' School (Kuala Lumpur) for his Form Six education. For his tertiary education, he read law in the Inns of Court, London and was called to the Degree of an Utter Barrister by the Honourable Society of Middle Temple in 1970. As a student in London, he set up a club for Malaysian expatriates and students.

He is married with 6 children.

Political career[edit]

Syed Hamid has been active in UMNO since his student days. Later, he became a member of UMNO Supreme Council in 1986. He enjoyed a brief stint of support as fellow Malaysians thought that as a well-travelled and Western-educated person, he would bring more political limelight to Malaysia and make the country shine in the international community.

Soon after winning an UMNO Supreme Council seat, he joined the Malaysian cabinet as a minister in the oil department and then as minister of law. In 1995, he was appointed as the Defense Minister and in 1999, he was appointed as the Foreign Minister. In March 2008, he was appointed as the Home Minister.

In April 2009, he was dropped as minister by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Criticisms and controversies[edit]

ISA detention of reporter[edit]

Syed Hamid was heavily criticised for making the remarks that the detention of a Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng under ISA was to ensure her safety.[8]

Death of A. Kugan during police custody[edit]

Syed Hamid was criticised for labelling suspected car thief as a criminal. A suspect is presumed innocent until proven otherwise and Kugan did not have any criminal record nor was he ever charged in court.[9] He was a minister of law before.

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: P156 Kota Tinggi, Johor[10]
Year Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct Ballots cast Turnout
1990 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO)
1995 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO)
1999 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO)
2004 unopposed Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO)
2008 Onn Jaafar (PAS) 3,721 13.73% Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 22,682 83.67% 27,109 79.29%


External links[edit]