Menteri Besar of Kedah

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Menteri Besar of Kedah
Coat of arms of Kedah.svg
Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor

since 17 May 2020
Government of Kedah
StyleYang Amat Berhormat (The Most Honourable)
Member ofKedah State Executive Council
Reports toKedah State Legislative Assembly
ResidenceSeri Mentaloon, Alor Setar, Kedah
SeatAras 3, Blok A, Wisma Darul Aman, 05503 Alor Setar, Kedah
Sultan of Kedah
Term length5 years or lesser, renewable once (while commanding the confidence of the Kedah State Legislative Assembly
With State Elections held no more than five years apart)
Inaugural holderWan Shammiul Ahmad Wan Farriul Osman
Formation1 March 1881; 139 years ago (1881-03-01)

The Menteri Besar of Kedah is the head of government in the Malaysian state of Kedah. According to convention, the Menteri Besar is the leader of the majority party or largest coalition party of the Kedah State Legislative Assembly


According to the state constitution, the Sultan of Kedah shall first appoint the Menteri Besar to preside over the Executive Council and requires such Menteri Besar to be a member of the Legislative Assembly who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly, must be an ethnic Malay who professes the religion of Islam and must not a Malaysian citizen by naturalisation or by registration. The Sultan on the Menteri Besar's advice shall appoint not more than ten nor less than four members from among the members of the Legislative Assembly.

The member of the Executive Council must take and subscribe in the presence of the Sultan the oath of office and allegiance as well as the oath of secrecy before they can exercise the functions of office. The Executive Council shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly. The members of the Executive Council shall not hold any office of profit and engage in any trade, business or profession that will cause conflict of interest.

If a government cannot get its appropriation (budget) legislation passed by the Legislative Assembly, or the Legislative Assembly passes a vote of "no confidence" in the government, the Menteri Besar is bound by convention to resign immediately. The Sultan's choice of replacement Menteri Besar will be dictated by the circumstances. A member of the Executive Council other than the Menteri Besar shall hold office during the pleasure of the Sultan, unless the appointment of any member of the Executive Council shall have been revoked by the Sultan on the advice of the Menteri Besar but may at any time resign his office.

Following a resignation in other circumstances, defeated in an election or the death of the Menteri Besar, the Sultan will generally appoint as Menteri Besar the person voted by the governing party as their new leader.


The power of the Menteri Besar is subject to a number of limitations. Menteri Besar removed as leader of his or her party, or whose government loses a vote of no confidence in the Legislative Assembly, must advise a state election or resign the office or be dismissed by the Sultan. The defeat of a supply bill (one that concerns the spending of money) or unable to pass important policy-related legislation is seen to require the resignation of the government or dissolution of Legislative Assembly, much like a non-confidence vote, since a government that cannot spend money is hamstrung, also called loss of supply.

The Menteri Besar's party will normally have a majority in the Legislative Assembly and party discipline is exceptionally strong in Kedah politics, so passage of the government's legislation through the Legislative Assembly is mostly a formality.

Caretaker Menteri Besar[edit]

The legislative assembly unless sooner dissolved by the Sultan with His Majesty's own discretion on the advice of the Menteri Besar shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting. The state constitution permits a delay of 60 days of general election to be held from the date of dissolution and the legislative assembly shall be summoned to meet on a date not later than 120 days from the date of dissolution. Conventionally, between the dissolution of one legislative assembly and the convening of the next, the Menteri Besar and the executive council remain in office in a caretaker capacity.

List of Menteris Besar of Kedah[edit]

The following is the list of Menteris Besar of Kedah since 1948:[1][2]

Colour key (for political parties):
  Alliance /   Barisan Nasional   PAS   Pakatan Harapan   Perikatan Nasional

# Portrait Name
Political party[a] Term of office Electoral
1 Mohamad Sheriff Osman
UMNO 1 February 1948 January 1954
Alliance (UMNO)
2 Tunku Ismail Tunku Yahya
(1907–d. unknown)
January 1954 24 May 1959
3 Syed Omar Syed Abdullah Shahabuddin
MLA for Baling Barat, 1959–1967
24 May 1959 7 December 1967

1959 (1st)
1964 (2nd)

4 Syed Ahmad Syed Mahmud Shahabuddin
MLA for Padang Terap, 1959–1974
MLA for Kuala Nerang 1974–1978
14 December 1967 13 July 1978

– (2nd)
1969 (3rd)
1974 (4th)

5 Syed Nahar Syed Sheh Shahabuddin
MLA for Jerlun-Kodiang, 1969–1974
MLA for Langkawi, 1978–1986
13 July 1978 28 January 1985

1978 (5th)
1982 (6th)

6 Osman Aroff
(b. 1940)
MLA for Jitra, 1969–1999
28 January 1985 16 June 1996

– (6th)
1986 (7th)
1990 (8th)
1995 (9th)

7 Sanusi Junid
(b. 1943-2018)
MLA for Kuah, 1995–2004
16 June 1996 11 December 1999 – (9th)
8 Syed Razak Syed Zain Barakbah
(b. 1944)
MLA for Pengkalan Kundor, 1986–1995
MLA for Kubang Rotan, 1995–2008
11 December 1999 22 December 2005

1999 (10th)
2004 (11th)

9 Mahdzir Khalid
(b. 1960)
MLA for Pedu, 2004–2013
28 December 2005 9 March 2008 – (11th)
10 Azizan Abdul Razak
MLA for Sala, 1995–2004
MLA for Sungai Limau, 2004–2013
PAS 9 March 2008 6 May 2013 2008 (12th)
11 Mukhriz Mahathir.jpg Mukhriz Mahathir
(b. 1964)
MLA for Ayer Hitam, 2013-2018
MLA for Jitra, since 2018
BN (UMNO) 6 May 2013 3 February 2016 2013 (13th)
12 Ahmad Bashah (cropped).jpg Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah
(b. 1950)
MLA for Alor Merah, 1995–2004
MLA for Bakar Bata, 2004-2018
4 February 2016 10 May 2018 – (13th)
13 Mukhriz Mahathir.jpg Mukhriz Mahathir
(b. 1964)
MLA for Ayer Hitam, 2013-2018
MLA for Jitra, since 2018
PH (PPBM) 11 May 2018 17 May 2020 2018 (14th)
14 Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor
(b. 1974)
MLA for Jeneri,since 2018
PN (PAS) 17 May 2020 Incumbent – (14th)
  1. ^ This column names only the Menteri Besar's party. The state government he heads may be a complex coalition of several parties and independents; those are not listed here.

Living former Menteris Besar[edit]

Name Term of office Date of birth
Osman Aroff 1985–1996 23 November 1940 (age 79)
Syed Razak Syed Zain Barakbah 1999–2005 22 August 1944 (age 75)
Mahdzir Khalid 2005–2008 15 December 1960 (age 59)
Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah 2016–2018 10 October 1950 (age 69)
Mukhriz Mahathir 2013–2016
25 November 1964 (age 55)


  1. ^ "Kedah". Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  2. ^