Mohamad Noah Omar

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This is a Malay name; the name Omar is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Mohammad Noah.

Tan Sri Haji Mohammad Noah bin Omar (13 August 1898 – 6 September 1991) was a Malaysian politician. He was one of the leading figures during the founding of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and became the first Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat.

Early life[edit]

Noah Omar was born in Muar, Johor on 13 August 1898. He is a descendant of the 17th century Bugis Raja Chempa.[1] His ancestors were the aristocratic Orang Kaya of Muar. He attended the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut, Lebanon, after which he acquired the nickname "Noah Beirut". After returning, he worked as a lorry driver and clerk before joining the Johor civil service.[2]



Noah was very active in the Malayan nationalist movement along with his contemporaries, Onn Jaafar, Haji Anwar bin Abdul Malik and Haji Syed Alwi bin Syed Sheikh al-Hadi. Together they founded UMNO on 1 May 1946 as a means to rally the Malays against the Malayan Union, which was perceived as threatening Malay privileges and the position of the Malay rulers.

After independence, he became the first Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of Parliament between 1959 and 1964. Subsequently, he was President of the Dewan Negara, the upper house, from 1968 to 1970.


Noah together with Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong formed a private company called Genting Highlands Berhad, which was set up on 27 April 1965. Tan Sri Lim successfully obtained approval for the alienation of 12,000 acres (49 km2) and 2,800 acres (11 km2) of land from the Pahang and Selangor state governments respectively between the years 1965 and 1970. Genting Highlands is currently Malaysia's only casino and highland resort.

In 1970, Noah was appointed a director of MUI Group. He was appointed Chairman of the Group in 1980.[3]


Noah married twice, firstly to Maimun Abdul Manaf and then to Siti Aminah Kusuma. His children from his first marriage are Rahah, the widow of Tun Abdul Razak, who was Prime Minister from 1970 to 1976, Suhaila, the widow of Tun Hussein Onn, who was Prime Minister from 1976 to 1981, and Fakhriah, who married Abdullah Ahmad, a member of the Johor royal court.[4] Noah and Siti Aminah had an elder child, Nabiha, who died at a young age.[2] Noah had only one son, Abu Rais, who died at his early age of 40. His grandsons Najib Abdul Razak is now the Prime Minister, while Hishamuddin Hussein is the current Defence Minister.


Noah died on 6 September 1991 in Kuala Lumpur, age of 93. He was buried at Makam Pahlawan near Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur.


  1. ^ Siapa Mohamed Noah Omar?, Azman Anuar, 17 June 2012, Utusan Malaysia
  2. ^ a b Johan Jaaffar (5 June 2010). "Weaving the life stories of 'The Three Swans'". New Straits Times. p. 27. 
  3. ^ Sharmini, P. (20 June 2012). "A man who loved life". New Straits Times. 
  4. ^ "Najib's three beloved 'swans'". The Malaysian Insider. 31 May 2010. 
Political offices
Office created
Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat
1 September 1959 – 29 February 1964
Succeeded by
Syed Esa Alwee
Preceded by
Syed Sheh Hassan Barakbah
President of the Dewan Negara
24 February 1969 – 28 July 1970
Succeeded by
Abdul Hamid Khan Sakhawat Ali Khan