Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

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Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
احمد زاهد حميدي
Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.png
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in 2016
8th President of the United Malays National Organisation
Assumed office
30 June 2018
Acting: 12 May 2018 – 30 June 2018
On leave: 18 December 2018 – 30 June 2019
DeputyHishammuddin Hussein (Acting) (2018)
Mohamad Hasan (since 2018)
Preceded byNajib Razak
11th Youth Chief of the
United Malays National Organisation
In office
PresidentMahathir Mohamad
Preceded byRahim Thamby Chik
Succeeded byHishammuddin Hussein
14th Leader of the Opposition
In office
18 July 2018 – 10 March 2019
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Preceded byWan Azizah Wan Ismail
Succeeded byIsmail Sabri Yaakob
Ministerial roles
2004–2006Deputy Minister of Tourism
2006–2008Deputy Minister of Information
2008–2009Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
2009–2013Minister of Defence
2013–2018Minister of Home Affairs
2015–2018Deputy Prime Minister
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
1995–Barisan Nasional
Personal details
Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi

(1953-01-04) 4 January 1953 (age 68)
Ponorogo, East Java, Indonesia
Political partyUMNO (since 1973)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (since 1973)
Muafakat Nasional (since 2019)
Perikatan Nasional (10 March 2020 - 8 July 2021)
Spouse(s)Hamidah Khamis
ResidenceBagan Datuk, Perak
EducationUniversity of Malaya (BA)
University Putra Malaysia (PhD)
WebsiteOfficial blog
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Facebook
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Parliament of Malaysia

Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi (Jawi: احمد زاهد بن حميدي‎; born 4 January 1953) is a Malaysian politician who has served as the 8th President of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the 6th Chairman of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which is aligned with another ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, since June 2018. He briefly served as the 14th Leader of the Opposition from July 2018 to March 2019. He also served as the 11th Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Defence and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in the BN administration under former Prime Ministers Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Razak from March 2008 until the collapse of the BN administration in May 2018.[1] He has also served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bagan Datuk since April 1995.

As the Deputy President of UMNO and Deputy Chairman of BN, Ahmad Zahid temporarily took over the reins of the acting party President and acting coalition Chairman in May 2018 after the resignations of his predecessor Najib on 12 May 2018, he was subsequently elected as the party President in the 2018 UMNO leadership election and appointed the coalition Chairman on 30 June 2018. Deputy President of UMNO and Deputy Chairman of BN Mohamad Hasan also temporarily took over the reigns as the acting party President and acting coalition Chairman when he took leave for more than half of a year from 18 December 2018 to 30 June 2019. He is the second President of UMNO after Onn Jaafar and first Chairman of BN who is not the Prime Minister.

Early life[edit]

Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi was born on 4 January 1953 in Ponorogo, East Java, Indonesia[2][3] and was the eldest son of nine children (seven sons and two daughters) in the family.[4] His father, Raden Hamidi Abdul Fatah, died on 8 August 2014 at the Armed Forces Hospital in Wangsa Maju Kuala Lumpur.[5] On 1 October 2011, his mother, Tuminah Abdul Jalil, died of a stroke and heart complication in her hometown Sungai Nipah Darat, Bagan Datoh. She was previously hospitalized at the Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. Both of his parents are Indonesian-born Malaysians.[6]

He was raised by a Chinese foster-father, Chen Jin Ting and sold ice cream together for six years with his foster family when he was in elementary school. Chen was not highly educated and would cycle from his house at Simpang Tiga, Hilir Perak to about three kilometers away selling ice cream. Chen was married with his foster mother, Guo Jin Luan. His father later died in 1999, more than ten days after the general election of that year.[7] Following accusations that he was anti-Chinese, he stated "Am I anti-Chinese when I have a Chinese foster father?".[8]

Education and early career[edit]

Before venturing into politics, Ahmad Zahid studied at University of Malaya for his bachelor's degree. He also holds a Certificate in Banking from Bank Negara Malaysia before being a banker for OCBC. He was also one of the directors of Bank Simpanan Nasional (1995–1998) and also Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB). He was also a Marketing Executive for Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad, Executive Director for Scandinavian Motors Sdn Bhd, chief executive officer of Kretam Holding Berhad, Chairman of Tekala Corporation Berhad, Chairman of Seng Hup Berhad and Pengerusi Ramatex Berhad. In 1999 he became the Chairman of Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB).[9] In 2008, he has received his PhD in Communication at Universiti Putra Malaysia after he spent seven years to complete his thesis.[10]

Political career[edit]

Political secretary and UMNO Youth Chief[edit]

In 1986, Zahid was appointed political secretary to Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak during the latter's term as Youth Minister (1986–1990) and then Minister of Defence (1990–1995).

He was elected UMNO Youth Chief in 1996. He was once the chief of UMNO youth Bagan Datoh branch, the Vice Chief for the state of Perak UMNO youth, Head of the UMNO Communication for UMNO youth.

Election to Parliament and UMNO Supreme Council[edit]

In 1995, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi became a member of parliament after winning the Bagan Datoh parliamentary seat in Perak in the general elections.

In 1999, Zahid was re-elected Member of Parliament for Bagan Datoh in Perak in the general elections. He was elected to the UMNO Supreme Council in the following year.

Arrested under Internal Security Act[edit]

In 1998, Zahid spoke out against Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, calling for an end to cronyism and nepotism in the Malaysian government.[11] In response, Mahathir publicised the names of those Malay/Bumiputeras who had received shares and high positions in government-linked corporations (GLCs). Zahid, seen as an ally of deposed Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, was subsequently arrested and held in prison under the Internal Security Act.[12] However, in 1999, Zahid was welcomed back into the UMNO fold,[13] stating that Anwar had put him up to raising allegations of cronyism and nepotism and alleging that Anwar had used his position as Finance Minister to direct business opportunities to Zahid.[14]

Ministerial career[edit]

Hamidi in 2010

After he won the seat for a third time in the 2004 general elections, Zahid was appointed Deputy Tourism Minister by former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. While being a Deputy Minister, he pursued a Doctor of Philosophy degree from UPM, thesis entitled Barisan Nasional Manifesto As Agenda for Malay Language Newspaper During the General Election Campaign.

In the political tsunami of 2008, Zahid again retained his Bagan Datoh parliamentary seat at a time when many BN party heavyweights were trounced. He was then appointed a full Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. In the April 2009 cabinet reshuffle, Zahid was appointed Minister of Defence by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

He was able to retain his parliamentary seat of Bagan Datoh in the 2013 election, although with a decreased majority. He was appointed as Minister of Home Affairs in 2013, replacing Hishamuddin Hussein, who took Zahid's previous position at the Ministry of Defence.[15]

In July 2015, he was appointed the country's 11th Deputy Prime Minister in a cabinet reshuffle.[16]

UMNO President[edit]

In the 2018 UMNO leadership election, Zahid gained more votes than his rivals, Khairy Jamaluddin and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, making him the new president of UMNO and also the first Leader of the Opposition from BN coalition.

After facing weeks of mounting pressure to step down as party president and calls for fresh party polls,[17][18] Zahid finally announces his decision to temporary step down and take leave on 18 December 2018.[19] His deputy, Mohamad Hasan, acted the position of leading the party.[20] On 30 June 2019, he announced his return from "garden leave" back to active role as UMNO president.[21][22]


Legal suits[edit]

Ahmad Zahid had been sued by businessman Amir Bazli Abdullah for allegedly punching him in the face on 16 January 2006 at the Country Heights recreational club in Kajang, Selangor, causing the latter to suffer a nasal bone fracture and a swollen left eye.[23] The case was pursued in the civil courts for six years before the matter was settled out of court.[24]

Controversial statements[edit]

Shortly after the Black 505 rallies following the 13th Malaysian General Election due to claims of electoral fraud and vote manipulation, he said that Malaysians who are unhappy with the country's political system and dislike the BN government should "GET LOST" from the country. This statement has raised discontentment among the citizens, putting a serious question mark over his political future in a multiracial society.[25] The statement was made after a series of street demonstrations led by opposition parties that has refused to accept the results of the 13th Malaysian General election. His first act as Home Minister was to order a crack down against opposition leaders and dissent, landing him in a bigger controversy with sedition laws being used to attempt to suppress the voices of opposition parties.[26]

During a speech in Malacca, Zahid was recorded endorsing the police policy of "shoot to kill" when arresting dangerous criminals,[27] including backing a certain group of gangsters.[28][29][30]

Corruption charges[edit]

On 18 October 2018, Zahid was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and charged in court the following day on 45 counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), abuse of power and money laundering involving a total of RM114 million (about US$27.4 million) funds of Yayasan Akalbudi.[31][32] On 14 December 2018, he was charged with another CBT offence, involving RM10 million.[33] On 20 February 2019, Zahid was again charged with an additional CBT charge, involving RM260,000.[34][35]

On 26 June 2019, Zahid became the subject of 7 new corruption charges involving S$4.2 million (RM12.8 million) which he allegedly received from a foreign visa (VLN) system operator totalling RM42.76 million under his capacity as the Home Minister then. [36] On the next day, he faced 33 more charges totalling RM42.76 million involving the VLN system two years before.[37] The latest charges brought the total number of outstanding charges to 87.[38][39][40]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Hamidah Khamis and has 5 children. He is fluent in Standard Malay, local Perak Malay and Javanese. His English is sub-par,[41] and he speaks some Mandarin.[42]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: Bagan Datoh, Perak[43][44][45]
Year Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1995 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 17,646 86.24% Asha'ri Marsom (S46) 2,816 13.76% 21,937 14,830 62.02%
1999 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 12,938 60.86% Mohamad Dahalan Arhsad (PKR) 8,321 39.14% 22,164 4,617 60.24%
2004 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 17,049 79.08% Ayyathurai Achutharaman (PKR) 4,510 20.92% 22,690 12,539 66.38%
2008 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 13,115 55.72% Madzi Hasan (PKR) 10,423 44.28% 24,414 2,692 70.42%
2013 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 17,176 53.27% Madhi Hasan (PKR) 15,068 46.73% 33,069 2,108 82.83%
2018 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 18,909 51.37%
Pakhrurrazi Arshad (PKR) 13,836 37.59% 37,620 5,073 79.89%
Ata Abdul Muneim Hasan Adli (PAS) 4,061 11.03%


Honours of Malaysia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi, Y.B. Dato' Seri Dr". Parliament of Malaysia. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Biography : The Honourable Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi". Official Website : Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Menhan Malaysia Ziarahi Makam Raja-raja Imogiri", Viva News, 21 March 2013, archived from the original on 11 October 2014, retrieved 22 March 2013
  4. ^ "Jenazah bapa Ahmad Zahid selamat dikebumikan" [The remains of Ahmad Zahid's father are buried]. Utusan Melayu (in Malay). 10 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Ayah Zahid Hamidi meninggal dunia" [Zahid Hamidi's father passed away]. Astro Awani (in Malay). 8 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Malaysian defense minister visits ‘home’", 22 March 2013, The Jakarta Post, retrieved 18 May 2013
  7. ^ "Zahid formed ties with Chinese foster father by selling ice cream". Malaysia Chinese News. 19 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Zahid says raised by Chinese foster dad, insists not 'ultra Malay'". Malay Mail.
  9. ^ "Dato Seri' Ahmad Zahid Hamidi". umno-online.my.
  10. ^ "Zahid gets his PhD at UPM". The Star. Archived from the original on 10 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  11. ^ Fuller, Thomas (25 June 1998). "Daim Zainuddin Is Considered Pro-Business : Malaysian Leader Names Special Economy Minister". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  12. ^ Mydans, Seth (22 September 1998). "Malaysian Police Break Up Protests on Arrest". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  13. ^ "Zahid to chart new agenda to strengthen party". New Straits Times. 19 June 1999. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  14. ^ "Zahid: was given shares of listed companies". New Straits Times. 21 June 1999. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  15. ^ "Najib announces the new cabinet line-up (Updated)" Archived 7 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine, New Straits Times, 15 May 2013. Retrieved on 16 May 2013.
  16. ^ Zahid Hamidi is new DPM
  17. ^ "KJ supports call for Zahid to step down, wants new party polls". The Star Online. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  18. ^ "'Arrogant' Ahmad Zahid needs to step down, says Umno source". New Straits Times. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Zahid steps aside as Umno president, hands over duties to deputy". The Star Online. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  20. ^ Ida Nadirah Ibrahim (6 April 2019). "Zahid Hamidi: No timeline set on leave as Umno president". Malay Mail. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  21. ^ "I'm back! Zahid announces return to active duty as Umno chief". Malaysiakini. 30 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Ahmad Zahid to resume Umno leadership". The Star Online. 30 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Businessman withdraws civil suit against Zahid Hamidi". The Star Online. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Businessman withdraws civil suit against Zahid Hamidi". The Star Online. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  25. ^ "New Malaysian home minister tells unhappy Malaysians to emigrate". Straits Times. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
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  27. ^ Tam, Michelle (7 October 2013). "Zahid Hamidi slammed for alleged 'shoot first' and gangster 'friends' remarks – Nation". The Star. Archived from the original on 9 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  28. ^ "'Zahid should quit and join Tiga Line'". Free Malaysia Today (Letters from readers). 8 October 2013. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  29. ^ Zachariah, Elizabeth. "Did you really defend Tiga Line gang, Guan Eng asks Zahid". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  30. ^ "Carry on, Zahid tells 'Tiga Line' dons". Malaysiakini. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  31. ^ "Zahid arrested by MACC". The Star Online. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  32. ^ "Zahid Hamidi faces 45 charges of CBT, bribery, money-laundering". The Sun Daily. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  33. ^ Maizatul Nazlina (14 December 2018). "Zahid Hamidi charged with another CBT offence, involving RM10mil". The Star Online. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  34. ^ Rahmat Khairulrijal (20 February 2019). "Yayasan Akalbudi fund: Zahid faces another CBT charge involving RM260,000". New Straits Times. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Zahid's case transferred to High Court". The Star Online. Bernama. 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  36. ^ Nurbaiti Hamdan (26 June 2019). "Zahid slapped with seven more graft charges, making it 54 in total (Updated)". The Star Online. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  37. ^ Rahmat Khairulrijal (27 June 2019). "Zahid slapped with another 33 graft charges [NSTTV]". New Straits Times. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  38. ^ Nurbaiti Hamdan (27 June 2019). "Zahid now facing highest number of charges". The Star Online. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  39. ^ Hafiz Yatim (27 June 2019). "Millions in kickbacks from foreign visa system operator". The Edge Financial Daily. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  40. ^ Jessica Lin (27 June 2019). "Malaysia's former deputy prime minister is facing 87 charges – more than twice as many as Najib". Business Insider. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  41. ^ "Zahid proud to be UN rep despite criticism of his English". Free Malaysia Today.
  42. ^ "Zahid endears himself to Chinese voters using Mandarin phrase". Free Malaysia Today.
  43. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" [Results of the General Election of Parliament / State Assembly] (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 6 September 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  44. ^ "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  45. ^ "14th General Election Malaysia (GE14 / PRU14) – Perak". election.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  46. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang Dan Pingat" [Review of Graduates, Stars and Medals] (in Malay). Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  47. ^ "Sultan of Kelantan birthday honours list". The Star. 2 April 2005. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  48. ^ "Constitution must be respected, says Kelantan Sultan". The Star. Bernama. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  49. ^ Roshidi Abu Samah (8 October 2015). "Zahid leads Malacca honours list". New Straits Times. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  50. ^ "David Arumugam, Khadijah Ibrahim now Datuks". The Star. Bernama. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  51. ^ "Perak MB To Be Awarded Datuk Seri Title". Malaysia Today. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  52. ^ Sandra Sokial (1 October 2011). "Highest state award for eight". Borneo Post. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  53. ^ "Muhyiddin heads list of TYT birthday award recipients". Borneo Post. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  54. ^ "Zahid heads list of 115 Sarawak state award recipients". The Star. Bernama. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2018.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Succeeded by