Maximus Ongkili

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Maximus Ongkili
Sabah Malaysia Maximus-Johnity-Ongkili-02.jpg
Ministerial roles
2004–2008Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
2008–2013Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation
2013–2018Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water
2020–Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Ministerial roles (Sabah)
1994Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
1995–2002United Sabah Party
2002–2018Barisan Nasional
2018–United Sabah Party
Faction represented in Sabah State Legislative Assembly
1994–2002United Sabah Party
2002–2008Barisan Nasional
Personal details
Maximus Johnity Ongkili

(1953-10-26) 26 October 1953 (age 68)
Jesselton, Crown Colony of North Borneo
Political partyUnited Sabah Party
Other political
United Alliance (GBS)
Perikatan Nasional (PN)
Barisan Nasional (BN)
Gagasan Rakyat (GR)
Joan Maluda
(died 2018)
RelationsJoseph Pairin Kitingan and Jeffrey Kitingan (Uncles)
ChildrenRachel Jane Ongkili
Andreas Jordan Ongkili
Alma materLa Trobe University

Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili (born 26 October 1953) is a Malaysian politician who has served as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department for Sabah and Sarawak Affairs for the second term in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration under Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob since August 2021. He served his first term in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration under former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin from March 2020 to August 2021 as well as for National Unity and Integration in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration under former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from March 2004 to March 2008 for almost 4 years. He was also the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water in the BN administration under former Prime Minister Najib Razak from May 2013 to May 2018 for almost 5 years. He has also been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kota Marudu since April 1995. He is the President and a member of the United Sabah Party (PBS), a component party of the United Alliance and the ruling PN coalitions.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Ongkili was born on 26 October 1953 in Kota Kinabalu but hails from the district of Tambunan in the interior part of the state. He is married with two children and has a Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Economics, conferred by Australia's La Trobe University.[2] He is a Christian of Roman Catholic.[3] Ongkili is the nephew of former Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Sabah Deputy Chief Minister II Jeffrey Kitingan, who is the President of the Homeland Solidarity Party (STAR).

Political career[edit]

In the Opposition[edit]

Ongkili was originally an opposition politician but joined the government when the PBS joined the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in 2002.

In 1991 he was imprisoned under the Internal Security Act for 59 days.[4] This was part of political arrests carried out between 1990 and 1991 to crack down on opposition leaders in Sabah, Malaysia, and their alleged plans to secede the state from Malaysia, allegedly known as Operation Talkak. Seven men were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA). (See also 1991 Sabah political arrests).

At the time of his arrest on 3 January 1991, Ongkili was a senior researcher and deputy chief director of IDS and electoral press consultant to then Chief Minister of Sabah Joseph Pairin Kitingan during the 1990 Sabah state and national elections. He was released unconditionally on 2 March.

In the Government[edit]

Ongkili entered Parliament in the 1995 general election (at the time, the Kota Marudu seat was named Bandau). He was appointed as a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department after the 2004 election[5] by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Ongkili was placed in charge of National Unity, and headed the initiation of the Khidmat Negara conscription program.

Ongkili was also a member of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly until the 2008 election, when he stood aside from his Tandek seat.[6]

In 2008, Ongkili became the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation. Then after his winning in the 2013 general election, Ongkili has been appointed as Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister.[7]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia[8][9]
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1995 P147 Bandau, Sabah Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 10,716 64.06% Jeffrey Kitingan (AKAR) 5,851 34.98% 16,927 4,865 69.72%
Jomilon Mojuntin (IND) 162 0.97%
1999 Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 8,465 51.38% Maijol Mahap (UPKO) 6,781 41.16% 16,678 1,684 65.66%
Jomilon Mojuntin (IND) 162 0.97%
2004 P168 Kota Marudu, Sabah Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 10,457 59.00% Anthony Biri Mandiau (IND) 7,268 41.00% 18,626 3,189 66.26%
2008 Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 12,028 56.14% Anthony Biri Mandiau (PKR) 7,830 36.55% 22,172 4,198 69.51%
Roslan Mohd Zain (IND) 1,109 5.18%
Berman Angkap (BERSEKUTU) 457 2.13%
2013 Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 15,168 47.16% Maijol Mahap (PKR) 14,326 44.53% 33,077 842 78.50%
Majamis Timbong (STAR) 2,228 6.93%
Yuntau K. Kolod (SAPP) 444 1.38%
2018 Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 13,033 38.44%2 Maijol Mahap (PHRS) 11,259 33.21%2 35,085 1,774 74.95%
Barlus Mangabis (WARISAN) 7,113 20.98%
Paul Porodong (PCS) 2,501 7.37%
Table excludes votes for candidates who finished in third place or lower.
2 Different % used for 2018 election.
Sabah State Legislative Assembly[10]
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1994 N06 Langkon, P148 Kota Belud Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 4,171 73.47% Newman Gaban (PBRS) 1,452 25.58% 5,727 2,719 74.60%
Linggu Lincoln Luwing (IND) 54 0.95%
1999 N05 Tandek, P147 Bandau Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 5,671 53.77% Saibul Supi (UPKO) 4,412 41.84% 10,677 1,259 77.09%
Joe Santi (BERSEKUTU) 463 4.39%
2004 N05 Tandek, P168 Kota Marudu Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 5,069 53.96% George Sangkin (IND) 2,356 25.08% 9,840 2,713 67.78%
Anthony Biri Mandiau (IND) 692 7.37%
Shahnuar Bodok (IND) 685 7.29%
Abdul Kahar Abdul Rahman (keADILan) 592 6.30%



  1. ^ "Pairin Moves Aside After 31 Years Ongkili Is Acting President Of PBS". The Borneo Post. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  2. ^ "The Honourable Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili, JP". Kota Marudu Member of Parliament. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Sabah Christians annoyed over Christian Minister's remarks". UCA News. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  4. ^ Jane Ritikos (31 March 2004). "Ongkili gets his reward". The Star. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  5. ^ "A big honour for me, says Max". Bernama. Daily Express. 28 March 2004. Archived from the original on 16 August 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  6. ^ "PBS Retains Old Guards, Introduces Two New Faces". Bernama. 21 February 2008. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Ongkili To Lead Malaysian Delegation To ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting". Bernama. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  8. ^ "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).
  9. ^ "Sabah [Parliament Results]". The Star. Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  10. ^ "N32 Tambunan". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 30 May 2020.