Saifuddin Abdullah

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Saifuddin Abdullah

سيف الدين عبدالله
Secretary Pompeo Meets with Malaysian FM Saifuddin Abdullah (42012332590) (cropped).jpg
Abdullah in August 2018
Minister of Communications and Multimedia
Assumed office
10 March 2020
Prime MinisterMuhyiddin Yassin
DeputyZahidi Zainul Abidin
Preceded byGobind Singh Deo
ConstituencyIndera Mahkota
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
2 July 2018 – 24 February 2020
MonarchMuhammad V
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
DeputyMarzuki Yahya
Preceded byAnifah Aman
Succeeded byHishammuddin Hussein
ConstituencyIndera Mahkota
Deputy Minister of Higher Education II
In office
10 April 2009 – 15 May 2013
Serving with Hou Kok Chung
MonarchMizan Zainal Abidin
Abdul Halim
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
MinisterMohamed Khaled Nordin
Preceded byIdris Haron
Succeeded byMary Yap Kain Ching as Deputy Minister of Education
Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur and Co-operatives Development
In office
19 March 2008 – 9 April 2009
MonarchMizan Zainal Abidin
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
MinisterNoh Omar
Preceded byKhamsiyah Yeop
Succeeded byTan Lian Hoe as Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism
Chief Secretary of Pakatan Harapan
In office
19 October 2015 – 24 February 2020
PresidentWan Azizah Wan Ismail
LeaderAnwar Ibrahim
ChairmanMahathir Mohamad
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded bySaifuddin Nasution Ismail
ConstituencyIndera Mahkota
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Indera Mahkota
Assumed office
9 May 2018
Preceded byFauzi Abdul Rahman (PKR)
Majority10,950 (2018)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Temerloh
In office
8 March 2008 – 5 May 2013
Preceded byMohd Sarit Yusoh (UMNOBN)
Succeeded byNasrudin Hassan (PAS)
Majority2,441 (2008)
Personal details
Saifuddin bin Abdullah

(1961-01-27) 27 January 1961 (age 59)
Kampung Sungai Ara, Mentakab, Pahang, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation (UMNO) (until 2015)
People's Justice Party (PKR) (2015-2020)
Malaysian United Indigenous Party (PPBM) (since 2020)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN) (until 2015)
Pakatan Harapan (PH) (2015-2020)
Perikatan Nasional (PN) (since 2020)
Muafakat Nasional (MN) (since 2020)
Spouse(s)Datin Norlin Shamsul Bahri
Alma materUniversity of Malaya

Dato' Saifuddin bin Abdullah (Jawi: سيف الدين بن عبدالله; born 27 January 1961) is a Malaysian politician and Minister of Communications and Multimedia and the Member of Parliament for Indera Mahkota. He is also a member of the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. Previously, he was the Member of Parliament of Malaysia for the Temerloh constituency in Pahang from 2008 to 2013 representing United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), the leading party in the then-ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional (BN).

Personal life[edit]

Saifuddin was born to an ustaz father and a schoolteacher mother in Temerloh near Mentakab, Pahang.[1]


Saifuddin was educated at Sekolah Kebangsaan Abu Bakar Mentakab (1968–73), Malay College Kuala Kangsar - MCKK (1974–80), obtained BA Honors from University of Malaya (1984), Diploma in Translation from Malaysian Translator Association / Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (1985) and followed by the Executive Course at Harvard Business School (1995).

Political career[edit]

Saifuddin was elected to Parliament in the 2008 election,[2] and was immediately appointed as a deputy minister,[3] being cited as a future ministerial prospect.[4] He had previously been the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Youth Council.[5] After the election he was appointed as a deputy minister, and was the Deputy Minister of Higher Education in Najib Razak's first term as Prime Minister. During his ministerial tenure, Saifuddin was one of the more moderate and liberal-progressive politicians in Najib's administration.[6][7] He criticised his own government's handling of the Bersih 2.0 rally in 2011, in which over 1,600 protestors were arrested on the streets of Kuala Lumpur.[8] In early 2013, he also stood up for a student who was humiliated by a government-linked panellist at a student forum at the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).[9]

Saifuddin's ministerial career was cut short by the 2013 election, when he lost his parliamentary seat to a Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) candidate by 1,070 votes.

Saifuddin has written four books on Malaysian politics.[10] After leaving Parliament he joined the University of Malaya as a research fellow, but in 2014, he resigned his position in protest when Malaysia's Education Ministry forced a well-respected professor at the university to resign, reportedly due to research findings critical of the government.[11][12]

In 2015, Saifuddin quit UMNO and joined the People's Justice Party (PKR) over disagreements with the government's handling of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.[13][14]

In February 2020, Saifuddin quit PKR along with deputy president Azmin Ali and 9 other MP's to form an independent parliamentary block.[15]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia[2][16][17][18][19][20]
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots
Majority Turnout
2008 P088 Temerloh, Pahang Saifuddin Abdullah (UMNO) 21,381 53.03% Ahmad Nizam Hamid (PKR) 18,940 46.97% 41,463 2,441 76.77%
2013 Saifuddin Abdullah (UMNO) 27,197 49.04% Nasrudin Hassan (PAS) 28,267 50.96% 56,595 1,070 85.61%
2018 P082 Indera Mahkota, Pahang Saifuddin Abdullah (PKR) 28,578 44.85% Johan Mat Sah (UMNO) 17,628 27.66% 64,612 10,950 83.70%
Nasrudin Hassan (PAS) 17,515 27.49%



  1. ^ Interview by Abdul Qayyum Jumadi; Photos by Lyn Ong. "Where I'm Coming From: Saifuddin Abdullah". POPfolio network : Poskod.MY. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Malaysia Decides 2008". The Star. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  3. ^ Khoo, Simon (25 March 2008). "Signs for Pahang to buck up". The Star. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  4. ^ Koshy, Shaila (8 January 2009). "Zaid: Future looks bright although Malaysia faces a lot of problems". The Star. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  5. ^ Ahmad, Abdul Razak (21 April 2000). "Matin tasked with monitoring religious activities". New Straits Times. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  6. ^ Chi, Melissa (23 May 2014). "10 things about Saifuddin Abdullah, moderation poster boy". The Malay Mail. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  7. ^ Ng, Eileen (5 May 2014). "After GE13, some relegated to political wilderness". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  8. ^ Teoh, Shannon (5 November 2011). "Umno deputy minister says Putrajaya will lose moral ground with UUCA appeal". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 6 November 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Netizens give "listen, listen" UUM speaker an earful". The Star. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Calling for a new breed of politicians". Malaysia Today. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  11. ^ Awani, Astro (30 June 2014). "Saifuddin quits UM post in solidarity with UMcedel director". Astro Awani. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  12. ^ Suganya, L. (29 June 2014). "Saifuddin quits as UM fellow in solidarity with dismissed Prof Redzuan". The Star. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  13. ^ Ng, Eileen (15 October 2015). "I left Umno over 1MDB, RM2.6 billion, says Saifuddin". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Saifuddin gives his reasons for leaving Umno". The Star. 25 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Azmin quits PKR, takes 10 other MPs with him". Malaysiakini. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  16. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  17. ^ "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  18. ^ "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM 13". Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihan Raya Umum (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  19. ^ "my undi : Kawasan & Calon-Calon PRU13 : Keputusan PRU13 (Archived copy)". Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13". Utusan Malaysia. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  21. ^ a b "SEMAKAN PENERIMA DARJAH KEBESARAN, BINTANG DAN PINGAT". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia). Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  22. ^ "1,114 to receive Pahang honours". The Star. 24 October 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2018.