Burhanuddin al-Helmy

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Datuk Seri Dr.
Burhanuddin al-Helmy
برهانالدين بن محمد نور الحلمي
1st Leader of the Opposition
& President of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia
In office
1956 – 25 October 1969
Preceded byAbbas Alias
Succeeded byMohd Asri Muda
Personal details
Born(1911-08-29)29 August 1911
Kota Bharu, Gopeng, Perak, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Died25 October 1969(1969-10-25) (aged 58)
Taiping, Perak
Political partyKesatuan Melayu Muda, Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM), Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party
ParentsMuhammad Nur
Sharifah Zaharah Habib Osman

Datuk Seri Dr. Burhanuddin bin Muhammad Nur al-Hilmi (Jawi: برهانالدين بن محمد نور الحلمي; 29 August 1911 – 25 October 1969)[1], commonly known as Burhanuddin al-Helmy, was a Malaysian politician. He was the president of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) from 1956 to 1969.

Early and personal life[edit]

Burhanuddin was born in Kota Bharu, Perak in 1911. His father, Muhammad Nur, came from Batu Sangkar, West Sumatera. He studied at India's Aligarh Muslim University.[2] After his return from India, he taught Arabic at Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah, Aljunied, Singapore. During his time in Singapore, he was arrested by the British, but was bailed out after one night by a member of the Alsagoff family.

Post-war activism[edit]

After World War II, Burhanuddin set up the Malay Nationalist Party. The party advocated Malay rights and proposed a "political union" with Indonesia.[2][3]

PAS Presidency[edit]

Burhanuddin assumed the presidency of PAS in 1956,[2] and held the post until his death in 1969.[4] He won the Besut parliamentary seat in the 1959 elections. PAS had a left-wing orientation under Burhanuddin's leadership: he supported trade unions and anti-colonialism.[5] He has been described as a "radical nationalist and Islamic thinker".[6] His presidency was interrupted by his arrest under the Internal Security Act in 1965 and subsequent imprisonment for one year on charges of plotting to overthrow the Malaysian government and install an Indonesian-friendly replacement.[2][7]



Places named after him[edit]

Several places were named after him, including:


  1. ^ Profile of Burhanuddin al-Helmy
  2. ^ a b c d Leifer, Michael (2001). Dictionary of the modern politics of South-East Asia (3rd ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 79. ISBN 0-415-23875-7.
  3. ^ Federspiel, Howard M. (2007). Sultans, shamans, and saints: Islam and Muslims in Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press. p. 177. ISBN 0-8248-3052-0.
  4. ^ "That complex entity called Pas". Aliran Monthly. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  5. ^ Farish Noor (11 April 2008). "On the road to change?". Daily Times. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  6. ^ Matheson Hooker, Virginia; Norani Othman (2003). Malaysia: Islam, society and politics. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 222. ISBN 981-230-161-5.
  7. ^ "Opposition Plan for Rebellion". The Age. Fairfax Media. 1 March 1965. Retrieved 22 June 2010.[dead link]
Political offices
Preceded by
Abbas Alias
President of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party
1956 - 1969
Succeeded by
Asri Muda