Joseph Kurup

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Joseph Kurup
Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.jpg
Ministerial roles
2008–2009Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development
2009–2013Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
2013–2018Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Ministerial roles (Sabah)
1985–1986Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
1986–1990Deputy Chief Minister
1986–1990Minister of Communication and Works
1990–1994Minister of Finance
1994–1999Deputy Chief Minister
1994–1996Minister of Industrial Development
1996–1999Minister of Resource Development and Enterprise
2001–2004Minister of Youth and Sports
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
2008–2018Barisan Nasional
Faction represented in Sabah State Legislative Assembly
1985–1990Barisan Nasional
1990–1994United Sabah Party
1994–1999Barisan Nasional
2001–2008Barisan Nasional
Personal details
Born (1944-12-15) 15 December 1944 (age 76)
Pensiangan, Keningau, North Borneo (now Sabah, Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Sabah Party (PBS) (1985-1994)
United Sabah People's Party (PBRS) (1994-now)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN) (1986–2018, 2020–now)
Perikatan Nasional (PN) (2020–now)
Spouse(s)Melinda Mak Soak Fong
Children6 (including Arthur Joseph Kurup)

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup (born 15 December 1944) is a Malaysian politician. He is the former Member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the Pensiangan constituency in Sabah and a former Minister in the Department of Prime Minister Najib Razak. He is the founder and President of the United Sabah People's Party (PBRS) in the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Sabah state politics (1985–2008)[edit]

Kurup was a member of the United Sabah Party (PBS) when it was founded in 1985. In the 1985 election he won the seat of Sook in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly, and the PBS, led by Joseph Pairin Kitingan, toppled the BN government. Over the following nine years, Kurup served as a minister in Kitingan's government.[1]

In 1994, Joseph Kitingan's government came to an end after a series of defections from the PBS to BN. Kurup was one of the leaders of the defectors, setting up the PBRS, gaining admission for the new party to BN coalition, and winning appointment as Deputy Chief Minister in the new BN state government. In 1999, Kurup faced his first electoral test since the defection which he suffered a double defeat when he lost to Joseph Kitingan in the federal seat of Keningau, and was also to Kitingan's younger brother, Jeffrey Kitingan of PBS too in the State Assembly seat of Bingkor. Jeffrey had left PBS to join PBRS in 1999 later[2] and he had challenged Kurup for the PBRS presidency in 2002, but Kurup managed to survive after a decision by the Registrar of Societies. It was not until 2004 election, after the PBS had also joined BN, when Kurup returned to an elected position, winning back the State Assembly seat of Sook.

Federal politics (2008–2018)[edit]

Kurup was elected to the federal Parliament in the 2008 general election, giving up his State Assembly seat to replace PBRS Secretary-General Bernard Maraat as the party's candidate in the seat of Pensiangan.[3][4] He was elected unopposed after the People's Justice Party (PKR) candidate had been unable to submit his nomination on time. PKR challenged Kurup's election in court, but Kurup prevailed.[5][6] After his election, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi appointed Kurup as Deputy Minister for Rural and Regional Development. He shifted to Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment when Najib Razak became Prime Minister in 2009. After defending his seat in the 2013 general election, he was promoted to Cabinet, as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.[7][8] After 33 years in politics, Kurup decided not to participate in the 2018 general election to pass the duty of defending his Pensiangan parliament seat to his son, Arthur Joseph Kurup.[9]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: P180 Keningau, Sabah[10]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
1999 Joseph Pairin Kitingan (PBS) 12,783 50.49% Joseph Kurup (PBRS) 12,533 49.51%
Parliament of Malaysia: P182 Pensiangan, Sabah[10]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
2008 Joseph Kurup (PBRS)
2013 Joseph Kurup (PBRS) 9,467 44.3% Richard Sakian Gunting (PKR) 7,723 36.1%
Sabah State Legislative Assembly[11]
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1999 N28 Bingkor, P157 Keningau Joseph Kurup (PBRS) 4,871 35.75% Jeffrey Kitingan (PBS) 8,339 61.19% 13,744 3,468 72.30%
Kuilan Anggau (BERSEKUTU) 395 2.90%
Peter Kodou (IND) 22 0.16%
2004 N37 Sook, P182 Pensiangan Joseph Kurup (PBRS) 3,973 50.90% Jeffrey Kitingan (IND) 3,578 45.83% 7,984 395 70.53%


Honours of Malaysia[edit]


  1. ^ "Kurup dares Pairin to debate". New Sabah Times. 23 January 2009. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  2. ^ Political Handbook of the World 2014. CQ Press. 891.
  3. ^ "The Kurup and Jeffrey showdown may not happen". Daily Express. 15 February 2008. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Good Showing By Sabah BN's New Faces in General Election". Bernama. 9 March 2008. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Election Petition Nullified, Kurup Now Focuses on Helping Pensiangan People". Bernama. 13 March 2008. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2010. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Joe Fernandez (13 March 2009). "No by-election in Pensiangan". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  7. ^ Muguntan Vanar (16 April 2013). "GE13: Joseph Kurup will defend Pensiangan seat". The Star. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup". Department of National Unity and Integration (Malaysia). Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Kurup decides to stay out". Daily Express. 25 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout (including votes for candidates not listed).
  11. ^ "N32 Tambunan". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  12. ^ "SEMAKAN PENERIMA DARJAH KEBESARAN, BINTANG DAN PINGAT". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2021.