Shahidan Kassim

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Yang Berhormat Dato' Seri Dr.
Shahidan Kassim
Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.jpg
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Assumed office
16 May 2013
Monarch Abdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime Minister Najib Razak
Constituency Arau
Member of the Malaysian Parliament for Arau, Perlis
Assumed office
Preceded by Ismail Kassim
In office
Preceded by Abdul Hamid Pawanteh (UMNOBarisan Nasional)
Succeeded by Kamarudin Ahmad (UMNOBarisan Nasional)[1]
6th Menteri Besar of Perlis
In office
6 May 1995 – 13 March 2008
Preceded by Abdul Hamid Pawanteh
Succeeded by Md Isa Sabu
Member of the Perlis State Legislative Assembly for Tambun Tulang
In office
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Ismail Kassim
Personal details
Born Shahidan bin Kassim
(1951-06-17) 17 June 1951 (age 66)
Tambun Tulang, Perlis, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Citizenship Malaysian
Political party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO)
Other political
Barisan Nasional
Spouse(s) Shamsiah Mohd Yassin
Relations Ismail Kassim (brother)
Occupation Politician

Dato' Seri Dr. Shahidan bin Kassim (born 17 June 1951) is a Malaysian politician. He is a Minister in the federal Cabinet of Najib Tun Razak and is a member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the seat of Arau, representing the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). He was the Chief Minister of the State of Perlis from 1995 to 2008.

Personal life[edit]

Shahidan was born in Tambun Tulang on 17 June 1951. He is married to Shamsiah Mohd Yassin.[2]

Political career[edit]

Shahidan was a member of the Federal Parliament for Arau from 1986 to 1995.[2] In 1992, he received international coverage for his criticism of what he cited as the criminal acts of Sultan Iskandar of Johor and his son Tunku Ibrahim Ismail.[3]

He was elected to the Perlis State Legislative Assembly for the newly created seat of Tambun Tulang in the 1995 election.[4] He immediately became Chief Minister of Perlis, taking over from Hamid Pawanteh.[5] His tenure as Chief Minister came to an end in March 2008, when Md Isa Sabu, a fellow member of Barisan Nasional, was appointed to the post by Raja Sirajuddin of Perlis after a general election in which UMNO retained its majority in the State Assembly. Md Isa claimed the support of eight out of the 12 other Barisan Nasional members of the Perlis State Assembly to replace Shahidan.[6] While Shahidan had the nomination of the Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, and the state party machinery, the Raja was concerned about the stability of the state government should Shahidan, a powerful but divisive factional figure in UMNO, be reappointed. The Raja insisted upon appointing Md Isa instead, exercising his constitutional discretion to prevail over the wishes of Abdullah and UMNO.[7] Shahidan left the Perlis Executive Council (a body akin to a Cabinet), sitting out the 2008–13 State Assembly term as a backbencher and criticising Md Isa's leadership.[8]

In the 2013 election, Shahidan returned to federal Parliament in the seat of Arau, switching seats with his brother Ismail, who had held Arau since 2008. Shahidan defeated the senior Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) leader Haron Din by 1,371 votes. Despite his return to federal politics, Shahidan had stated before the election that his preference would have been to remain in the State Assembly.[9] After the election, he was appointed to the Cabinet of Najib Razak as a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.[10]

Political views, style and interests[edit]

According to Joceline Tan, columnist for The Star, Shahidan has a "larger-than-life personality" and is known for his "warlord style of politics".[5] He has held numerous positions in sports administration, including the presidencies of the Malaysia Athletic Federation, the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia and the Perlis Football Association.[11] In 2010, he called for Facebook to be banned in Malaysia, citing national security issues after a Facebook account holder was found to have insulted Islam and the current as well as the former Prime Ministers of Malaysia.[12]

Shahidan is a leading proponent of Salafism—a puritanical Sunni Islamic movement opposed by Malaysia's religious establishment—within UMNO. In 2010 he arranged for a group of young Salafi clerics, including Fathul Bari Mat Jahya, to join UMNO to boost the party's standing with conservative Muslim voters.[13] While Chief Minister of Perlis, his government passed anti-apostasy laws in the State Assembly and sought to loosen restrictions on polygamy in the state.[14]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: Arau, Perlis[1]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
1986 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 18,156 60% Tengku Abdul Rahman (PAS) 11,091 37%
1990 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 20,948 60% Khalid Samad (PAS) 13,154 37%
2013 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 19,376 51% Haron Din (PAS) 18,005 47%
State Assembly of Perlis: Tambun Tulang[1]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
1995 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 3,777 67% Alias Othman (S46) 1,661 30%
1999 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 3,464 56% Ismail Ahmad (PAS) 2,587 42%
2004 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 4,422 61% Haron Din (PAS) 2,680 37%
2008 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 4,371 64% Che Nordin Che Ahmad (PAS) 2,361 34%


  1. ^ a b c "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 2 February 2010.  Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  2. ^ a b "Shahidan becomes longest serving Perlis Menteri Besar". Utusan. Utusan Group. 26 March 2004. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Richardson, Michael (15 December 1992). "Malaysia Prepares To Strip Sultans of Their Immunity". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Poser Over Who Will Be New Perlis MB". Berita Wilayah. Bernama. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Tan, Joceline (6 January 2008). "Too many Umno 'tigers' on a hillock". The Star. Star Publications (Malaysia). Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Kaur, Manjit (18 March 2008). "Isa sworn in as Perlis MB, Shahidan absent". The Star. Star Publications (Malaysia). Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Abdul Hamid, Ahmad Fauzi; Muhamad Takiyuddin Ismail (2012). "The Monarchy and Party Politics in Malaysia in the Era of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (2003–09): The Resurgence of the Role of Protector". Asian Survey. 52 (5): 934. ISSN 0004-4687. doi:10.1525/as.2012.52.5.924. 
  8. ^ "Ex-MB slams current Perlis MB over slight". The Star. 13 February 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  9. ^ Mazwin Nik Anis (22 March 2013). "GE13: Shahidan: There is still a lot I can do for Perlis". The Star. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Cabinet Has Right Mix – Shahidan Kassim". Bernama. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Singh, Aftar (1 October 2006). "Shahidan the new boss for MAAU". The Star. Star Publications (Malaysia). Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Shahidan wants Facebook banned, cites national security". 6 December 2010. 
  13. ^ Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman (August 2014). "Salafi Ulama in UMNO: Political Convergence or Expediency?". Contemporary Southeast Asia. 36 (2) – via Questia. (Subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ Hamayotsu, Kikue (2012). "Once a Muslim, always a Muslim: the politics of state enforcement of Syariah in contemporary Malaysia". South East Asia Research. 20 (3): 409–413. ISSN 0967-828X. doi:10.5367/sear.2012.0114.