Maria Chin Abdullah

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Yang Berhormat Puan
Maria Chin Abdullah
Bersih 4 maria chin abdullah.JPG
Maria at the Bersih 4 rally in 2015.
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Petaling Jaya
Assumed office
10 May 2018
Monarch Sultan Muhammad
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Preceded by Hee Loy Sian (PKR)
Majority 57,137
Chairwoman of Bersih 2.0
In office
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari
Personal details
Born Mary Chin Cheen Lian
United Kingdom
Citizenship Malaysian
Political party Independent (2018-)
Spouse(s) Yunus Ali (1992-2010)
Children 3 sons; Azumin Mohamad Yunus, Aziman Maria and Azemi Maria.
Occupation Politician, Social Activist

Maria Chin binti Abdullah also known as Mary Chin Cheen Lian (born 1956 in United Kingdom) is Malaysian Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya constituency and activist who held the Bersih rally and formed the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (Bersih 2.0) non-governmental organisation.[1] She voiced for woman rights in Malaysia and became chairwoman of Bersih 2.0 from 2013 until 2018 and All Women Action Society (AWAM). She is also the executive director of Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower).[2]


Maria met Yunus Ali, a Malaysian 1970s student activist in exiled who became Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) freedom fighter and turned Ops Lalang ISA detainee in 1987. They were married in 1992, three years after Yunus was released in 1989. Maria, who was a Buddhist, converted to Islam then. Yunus died in 2010 from lupus. The couple have three sons; Azumin Mohamad Yunus, Aziman Maria and Azemi Maria.[3]


On 18 November 2016, the Royal Malaysian Police arrested Maria under the Security Offences, Special Measures Act (SOSMA), which allows the Malaysian police to detain a person for 28 days before filing any charge.[4][5] She was released on 28 November 2016 after 11 days in detention.[6]

The US government has criticised her detention in a permanently-lit isolation confinement cell, saying that the US government is "troubled by the ongoing detention and solitary confinement of Maria Chin Abdullah under national security laws". She was detained the day before massive public protests against the Malaysian federal government head of Najib Razak for widespread corruption allegation involving a US$4 billion state fund scandal.[7]

Political involvement[edit]

In March 2018, she announced her decision to leave her post in Bersih 2.0 and contest as an independent parliamentary candidate under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) banner.[8] In the subsequent 2018 general election, she won the Petaling Jaya constituency with 78,984 votes against Barisan Nasional's Chew Hian Tat (21,847) and Gagasan Sejahtera's Noraini Hussin (14,448).

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: P105 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.[9][10][11]
Year Pakatan Harapan Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2018 Maria Chin Abdullah (IND) 78,984 68.52% Chew Hian Tat (MCA) 21,847 18.95% 116,597 57,137 82.74%
Noraini Hussin (PAS) 14,448 12.53%


  1. ^ Boo Su-Lyn (6 March 2016). "10 things about: Maria Chin Abdullah, social activist". The Malay Mail. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "100 memorable Malaysian women". The Star. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Amin Iskandar (24 October 2017). "Out of Ops Lalang's weeds love blossomed". The Malaysian Insight. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  4. ^ Zurairi AR (23 November 2016). "IGP: Sosma used on Maria to counter OSF". The Malay Mail. Retrieved 28 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Nash Jenkins. "Who Is the Woman at the Heart of Malaysia's Anti-Corruption Protests?". Time. Retrieved 13 June 2018. 
  6. ^ "Bersih co-chair Maria Chin Abdullah freed from detention". Channel NewsAsia. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  7. ^ David Brunnstrom; A. Ananthalakshmi; Toby Chopra (23 November 2016). "U.S. says troubled over arrest of Malaysian activist under security law". Reuters. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Haikal Jalil (6 March 2018). "Maria Chin offers herself as independent candidate under PH banner (Updated)". The Sun. Retrieved 14 May 2018. 
  9. ^ "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017.  Results only available from the 2004 election.
  10. ^ "SEMAKAN KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM KE - 14" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 17 May 2018.  Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  11. ^ "The Star Online GE14". The Star. Retrieved 24 May 2018.  Percentage figures based on total turnout.