Ngeh Koo Ham

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Yang Berhormat Dato'
Ngeh Koo Ham
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Beruas
Assumed office
8 March 2008
Preceded by Lim Keng Yaik (BNGerakan)
Member of the Perak State Legislative Assembly
for Sitiawan
Assumed office
21 March 2004
Preceded by Hu Chan You
DAP Perak Chief
Assumed office
Preceded by unknown
Personal details
Born Ngeh Koo Ham
(1961-09-29) 29 September 1961 (age 55)
Ayer Tawar, Perak, Malaysia
Citizenship Malaysian
Political party Democratic Action PartyPakatan Harapan
Spouse(s) Cheok Foong Ling (石凤玲)
Relations Nga Kor Ming (cousin)
Children 3
Occupation Politician
Profession Advocate and solicitor
Religion Christian – Methodism

Dato' Ngeh Koo Ham (simplified Chinese: 倪可汉; traditional Chinese: 倪可漢; pinyin: Ní Kě Hàn; born 29 September 1961), also known as James Ngeh, is a Malaysian politician and lawyer. A native of Ayer Tawar, Perak, Malaysia, he is a member of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in Malaysia. Ngeh Koo Ham is on the DAP's Central Executive Committee and is head of the DAP in the state of Perak.

Early life and education[edit]

Ngeh's parents were rubber tappers in Ayer Tawar. He attended the Methodist English School, Ayer Tawar; Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) Shyr Tien, Ayer Tawar; and the (Methodist) Anglo-Chinese School, Setiawan. He went on to graduate from Universiti Malaya as a Bachelor of Laws.

Professional career[edit]

Before his appointment as senior executive councillor of Perak during the state government was led by Pakatan Rakyat from 17 March 2008 to 12 May 2009, Ngeh practised as a lawyer with Nga Hock Cheh and Co. (no relation) in Sitiawan before starting his own law firm, Ngeh and Co, which is headquartered in Ayer Tawar, with branches in Ipoh, Perak and Kuala Lumpur.

In one of his more famous cases during his legal career, Ngeh Koo Ham represented Sitiawan businessman Yong Kon Fatt, who was sued by Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) in January 2005 for refusing to pay RM1,074 for sewerage services purportedly provided to his house at Taman Samudera in Lumut. The High Court sitting in Ipoh ruled that 'those who have made payments to IWK but had not received any sewerage services could demand refunds'.[1]

Political career[edit]

Anti-Islam remarks[edit]

In 2012, Ngeh drew flak with remarks over "Innocence of Muslims" film which insulted Muhammad and Islam. Ngeh had allegedly tweeted: "Khairy wants Muslim protest against Sam Bacile. For Islam or for his political gains? Are Muslims wasting too much time and energy on this?"[2]

Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham apologised after it received widespread criticisms from Muslims and had the post removed.[3]

Perak state politics[edit]

Ngeh has been the state assemblyman for Sitiawan, Perak since the 2004 General Election. From 2004 to 2008 he was head of the Opposition in the Perak State Assembly. In 2008, with the formation of the Perak government by the coalition of DAP, PKR and PAS (later known as Pakatan Rakyat), they faced a problem of the candidate of new Chief Minister. Among the 3 parties, DAP has the most seats, but the Perak state constitution says that the Chief Minister must be a Malay Muslim. Ngeh, being the Chairman of the Perak DAP, is ethnic Chinese and a Christian.[citation needed] They initially agreed that Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin from PAS should be the Chief Minister but in the end try persuading the Sultan, Sultan Azlan Shah, to appoint Ngeh as the non-Malay, non-Muslim Chief Minister. They listed three candidates, the other two being Mohammad Nizar and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi from PKR. Finally the Sultan rejected Ngeh and wanted to appoint a Malay who is a professional. Thus Mohammad Nizar, being an engineer and carrying the highest position in PAS among the Perak PAS State Assemblymen, became the new Chief Minister. All of the Malay State Assemblymen in PKR have only Form 5 (Secondary school year 5) qualification. Ngeh was appointed to the state executive committee as senior state executive councillor, with the portfolios of Infrastructure and Public Amenities; Energy and Water; and Non-Muslim Affairs.

Federal politics[edit]

Ngeh became the Member of Parliament for Beruas, Perak, after defeating Datuk Chang Ko Youn of BN-Gerakan with a majority of 1,828 votes in the General Election on 8 March 2008. Ngeh Koo Ham first stood in the 1990 General Election against Lim Keng Yaik for the parliamentary seat of Beruas. Seen as a popular local candidate with strong grassroots support, he nevertheless lost to Lim, a powerful cabinet minister, by a narrow margin. This surprising result was suspected by many locals to be due to foul play, e.g. some said that numerous unrecognised people (suspected to be non-locals) were seen coming in to vote in the constituency.[4] Later, in 2007, Ngeh Koo Ham stated more strongly this allegation of foul play, claiming the possession of evidence to this effect. Lim Keng Yaik has yet to respond to his challenge to deny this allegation.[4] Ngeh Koo Ham has stood in every election since 1990.

In April 2008, in conjunction with the 80th birthday of HRH Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak, Ngeh Koo Ham was conferred the Darjah Dato Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP) which carries with it the title Datuk. He was the first actively serving DAP politician to be conferred (and accept) a Malaysian chivalrous title.[5]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: P68 Beruas, Perak[6][7]
Year Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct
2008 Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP) 15,831 52% Chang Ko Youn (PGRM) 14,003 46%
2013 Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP) 21,939 55% Chang Ko Youn (PGRM) 16,882 43%
State Assembly of Perak: N50 Sitiawan[6][7]
Year Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct
2004 Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP) 9,874 65% Ling Mee Lin (MCA) 4,737 31%
2008 Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP) 12,381 74% Ding Siew Chee (MCA) 3,852 23%
2013 Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP) 17,292 75% Ting Tai Fook (MCA) 3,852 24%

Personal life[edit]

Ngeh comes from an old Ayer Tawar Methodist family and was christened James by the late Rev. Koh Gie Bing. As a student, he was active in the Methodist Youth Fellowship and later with the Persatuan Kristian Varsiti (PKV, part of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) at Universiti Malaya where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws. He has also served on the Local Church Executive Council (LCEC) of the Ayer Tawar Chinese Methodist Church (ATCMC) and provided legal counsel to the Methodist Church in Malaysia. He is a regular communicant member of ATCMC where he often also provides translation during Sunday worship.

He married Cheok Foong Ling from Setiawan in 1992. They have three children.


  1. ^ Prove, to collect, Property Times, 17 April 2004. Archived 11 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Ngeh draws flak with remarks over anti-Islam film". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Umno has doubts over Ngeh's apology to Muslims". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "DAP report Malaysia". 12 May 2008. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008. 
  5. ^ Chief Justice heads Perak honours list, New Straits Times, 19 April 2008. Archived 10 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ a b "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 19 June 2010.  Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  7. ^ a b "2013 Malaysia General Election NEGERI PERAK P68 Bruas". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 5 May 2013.  Results only available for the 2013 election.

External links[edit]