Syed Hamid Albar

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Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Datuk Seri
Syed Hamid Albar
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Kota Tinggi, Johor
In office
Preceded by Musa Hitam
Succeeded by Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid
Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs
In office
18 March 2008 – 9 April 2009
Preceded by Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad
Succeeded by Hishammuddin Hussein
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia
In office
1999 – 17 March 2008
Preceded by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Succeeded by Rais Yatim
Personal details
Born (1944-01-15) 15 January 1944 (age 74)
Kampung Melayu Air Hitam, Penang, Malaysia
Political party United Malays National Organisation
Spouse(s) Sharifah Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin
Children 6
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer[1]

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar (Arabic: سيد حامد بن سيد جعفر البارSayyid Ḥāmid bin Sayyid Ja'far al-bār;[2][3] born 15 January 1944) was a senior Malaysian government minister in the 1990s and 2000s. He was the Minister for Home Affairs (2008–2009), Minister for Foreign Affairs (1999–2008), Minister for Defence (1995–1999) and Minister for Justice (1990–1995). He was a member of the Parliament of Malaysia from 1990 to 2013, representing the seat of Kota Tinggi, Johor, for the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). He is currently the chairman of the Land Public Transport Commission.[4]

Early life[edit]

Syed Hamid was born in Kampung Melayu Air Hitam, Penang, Malaysia, to Syed Jaafar Albar, an UMNO politician and former cabinet minister. Syed Hamid's father was of Hadhrami Arab descent, and migrated from Indonesia to Malaysia shortly before World War II.[5][6][7]

He had his secondary education at Maxwell School before going to Methodist Boys' School (Kuala Lumpur) for his Form Six education. For his tertiary education, he read law in the Inns of Court, London and was called to the Degree of an Utter Barrister by the Honourable Society of Middle Temple in 1970. As a student in London, he set up a club for Malaysian expatriates and students.

He is married with 6 children.

Political career[edit]

Syed Hamid has been active in UMNO in his student days, including while studying in the United Kingdom. After returning to Malaysia he became a magistrate, and then president of the Sessions Court, before entering the corporate world. In 1986 he won election to UMNO's Supreme Council and entered Parliament in 1990, as the member for Kota Tinggi. He was immediately appointed as Minister for Justice, and in 1995 became the Defence Minister.[8]

In 1999, he was appointed as the Foreign Minister. In March 2008, he was appointed as the Home Minister. In April 2009, he was dropped from the Cabinet by the incoming prime minister Najib Razak. The previous month he had contested, but failed to win, one of UMNO's three vice-president positions at the party's general assembly.[9] He left Parliament in 2013, deciding not to re-contest the seat of Kota Tinggi, which he had held by large margins since 1990.[10]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: P156 Kota Tinggi, Johor[11]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
1990 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 36,504 79% Ma'on Omar (S46) 9,956 21%
1995 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 36,776 92% Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (PAS) 3,007 8%
1999 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 36,819 86% Rosdin Taha Abd Rahman (Keadilan) 5,651 13%
2004 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) Unopposed
2008 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 22,682 86% Onn Jaafar (PAS) 3,721 14%