Jamil Khir Baharom

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Yang Berhormat Mejar Jeneral (B) Dato' Seri
Jamil Khir Baharom
Jamil Khir Baharom.jpg
Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Islamic Affairs
Assumed office
10 April 2009
Preceded by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Jerai
Assumed office
May 2013
Preceded by Mohd Firdaus Jaafar (PAS)
Majority 1,196
Personal details
Born Jamil Khir bin Baharom
Yan, Kedah
Citizenship Malaysian
Political party United Malays National Organisation
Other political
Barisan Nasional
Spouse(s) Fatmawati Saidin
Children 6 (5 sons and 1 daughter)
Alma mater University of Malaya
Cordoba University
Occupation Politician
Military service
Service/branch Military Religious Corps
Years of service 1986–2009
Rank Major General
Commands Director of the Religious Corps

Mejar Jeneral (B) Dato' Seri Jamil Khir bin Baharom is a Malaysian politician, former military officer. He is the Member of Parliament for the seat of Jerai, Kedah, and a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. Before entering politics, through an appointment to the Senate in 2009, he was a major general in the Military Religious Corps (known as "Kagat").


Jamil Khir obtained his Bachelor of Syariah from the University of Malaya in 1986 and Master in Islamic Studies from the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, Cordoba University in Virginia in 2000. He began his military service in 1986, as lieutenant in the Military Religious Corps (Kagat). He was promoted to colonel in 2002 and brigadier general in 2005. In 2005, he was appointed director of Kagat, the first ever two-star general to serve in that capacity.[1][2]

He is a member of the Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) Religious Programme Advisory Committee and often appears on RTM1's religious talk show Forum Perdana Ehwal Islam.[1]

Political career[edit]

In April 2009, Jamil Khir was appointed a Senator in the Dewan Negara. He joined Prime Minister Najib Razak's inaugural Cabinet, serving as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of religious affairs and heading the Department of Islamic Development (JAKIM).[3]

Following the revelation by authorities in 2010 that terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) had been actively expanding its activities in Malaysia, Jamil Khir became one of the leading figures in the Cabinet to deal with the situation.[4] He assured Malaysians that local Muslim missionary groups and religious schools were not influenced by JI and that his department was working with the Home Ministry to stifle the purported JI movement in Malaysia.[5][6] Regarding terrorism and religion, he said: "There are individuals or groups trying to make their way into these institutions to influence students. They use religion to realise their goal and this is the reason why terrorism is linked to Islam."[6] He also said that Malaysian students in the Middle East were being monitored for suspicious activity.[7]

Following a controversy in March 2011 involving underaged girls being married to middle-aged men, Jamil Khir defended the country's Syariah marriage laws, which apply only to Muslims. Rights groups called for laws that allow marriage under the age of 16 if religious officials give their consent to be amended. However, Jamil Khir disagreed, arguing that the current laws are sufficient as authorities "does not simply grant the consent [to marry someone aged 16 and below]."[8]

In June 2010, the site of the Warrior's Day celebration was moved from the National Monument as the National Fatwa Council deemed celebrations around the statues as idolatry and contrary to Islamic practices.[9]

Jamil Khir is an outspoken opponent of homosexuality. In November 2011, he called homosexuality "unconstitutional"; though he later clarified he meant it is against the Penal Code.[10] In response to a gay Malaysian pastor getting married in New York, Jamil Khir said same-sex marriage is a form of "extreme human rights" and "will create social problems."[11] He also criticised LGBT-rights event Seksualiti Merdeka for promoting "a deviation from society's norms."[12]

At the 2013 election, Jamil Khir moved to the House of Representatives, winning the seat of Jerai in Kedah. He defeated the incumbent Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) MP, Mohd Firdaus Jaafar.[13]


Zakat Fund Misuse[edit]

In September 2011, Jamil Khir denied an allegation by Malaysia Today that he used zakat funds collected by religious authorities to finance a house for his family. Malaysia Today had published a photo of his home, alleging that it was worth millions of ringgit. Jamil Khir said his house was renovated with his own money.[14][15]

Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim) Fund Abuse[edit]

On 11 November 2015, National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) has claimed that Jamil Khir had used Yapeim funds to go shopping and play golf in the US.[16] Jamil Khir denied the allegation, stressing that it was not a recreational trip and has demanded for written apology from NOW's director, Akmal Nasir.[17]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: P.012 Jerai, Kedah[13]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
2013 Jamil Khir Baharom (UMNO) 32,429 50.8% Mohd Firdaus Jaafar (PAS) 31,233 48.9%


  1. ^ a b "Kagat director to handle Islamic affairs". The Nut Graph. 9 April 2009. 
  2. ^ "Kor Agama Angkatan Tentera". Archived from the original on 16 July 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Najib names 28-member Cabinet". The Star. 9 April 2009. 
  4. ^ "All-out effort needed against JI activities". The Star. 20 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Local Missionary Groups Not Spreading JI Teachings – Jamil Khir". NAM News Network. Bernama. 19 June 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Religious schools not recruiting JI members – Jamil Khir". Malay Mail. Bernama. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Students in Middle East Being Monitored To Prevent Involvement With Militant Activities". Bernama. 16 June 2006. 
  8. ^ "Malaysian minister rejects child marriage reform". AFP. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Syed Mu'az Syed Putra (9 June 2011). "Jamil Khir: Don’t question National Monument, Tunku’s statue". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  10. ^ Husna Yusop (22 November 2011). "Jamil Khir: I was "misquoted" on being homosexual is unconstitutional". The Sun. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  11. ^ Chi, Melissa (14 August 2011). "Gay pastor union will cause social ills, Jamil Khir says". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 21 October 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Jamil wants Islamic units meet on sexuality, apostasy". The Malaysian Insider. 21 December 2011. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Maklumat Terperinci Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  14. ^ Syed Mu'az Syed Putra (15 September 2011). "Jamil Khir: I did not steal zakat money". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  15. ^ NURHIDAYAH RAMLI."No zakat fund misuse", The Star, 13 January 2012. Retrieved on 23 April 2013.
  16. ^ P. DIVAKARAN."Jamil Khir denies abusing funds for orphans and the poor ", The Star, 13 November 2015. Retrieved on 18 November 2015.
  17. ^ RAHMAH GHAZALI."Apologise or get sued, Jamil Khir tells NOW ", The Star, 16 November 2015. Retrieved on 18 November 2015.