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Wilfred Madius Tangau

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Wilfred Madius Tangau
Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah
In office
16 May 2018 – 29 September 2020
GovernorJuhar Mahiruddin
Chief MinisterShafie Apdal
Preceded byJeffrey Kitingan
Succeeded byJeffrey Kitingan
ConstituencyNominated MLA (UPKO)
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation
In office
29 July 2015 – 9 May 2018
MonarchsAbdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
DeputyAbu Bakar Mohamad Diah
Preceded byEwon Ebin
Succeeded byYeo Bee Yin
(Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Tuaran
Assumed office
5 May 2013
Preceded byWilfred Bumburing
Majority5,190 (2013)
7,624 (2018)
233 (2022)
In office
29 December 1999 – 8 March 2008
Preceded byYunof Edward Maringking
Succeeded byWilfred Bumburing
Majority2,813 (1999)
8,499 (2004)
2nd Honorary President of the
United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation
Assumed office
15 January 2023
PresidentEwon Benedick
Preceded byBernard Giluk Dompok
2nd President of the
United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation
In office
21 March 2014 – 15 January 2023
Acting:21 March 2014 – 24 September 2018
DeputyDonald Peter Mojuntin
Preceded byBernard Giluk Dompok
Succeeded byEwon Benedick
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
1999–2008Barisan Nasional
2013–2018Barisan Nasional
2018–2019United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation
2019–2021United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation
2021–Pakatan Harapan
Faction represented in Sabah State Legislative Assembly
2018–2019United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation
2019–2020United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation
Personal details
Wilfred Madius Tangau

(1958-03-13) 13 March 1958 (age 66)
Kiulu, Tuaran, North Borneo (now Sabah, Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
Pakatan Harapan (PH)
(since 2021)
SpouseJaina Sintian
Wilfred Madius Tangau on Facebook
Wilfred Madius Tangau on Parliament of Malaysia

Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau (born 13 March 1958) is a Malaysian politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tuaran from November 1999 to March 2008 and again since May 2013. He served as the Deputy Chief Minister and State Minister of Trade and Industry of Sabah in the Sabah Heritage Party (WARISAN) state administration from May 2018 to the collapse of the WARISAN administration in September 2020,[1] Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation from July 2015 to May 2018. He is a member of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO), a component party of the PH coalition. He has served as the Honorary President of UPKO since January 2023, 2nd President of UPKO from March 2014 to January 2023, when he served in the official capacity from September 2018 to January 2023 and acting capacity from March 2014 following the resignation of Bernard Giluk Dompok to his official assumption of UPKO presidency in September 2018.[2]

Early life


Tangau was born in 1958 in Kampung Lokos, Kiulu, Tuaran, Sabah, into a Kadazandusun family where his parents were cultivators of hill paddy. He is the fourth child of 14 siblings. Upon completing his primary school education at SRK Lokos, Kiulu in 1970, he was determined to continue his education despite initial objections from his parents due to financial constraints.

With his own savings, he enrolled in SMK Kiulu (now known as SMK Tun Fuad Stephens) for Bridge Class to Form Two. To support himself in school, he took up a manual job as a rubber tapper on weekends. He was also employed by a Chinese “towkay”, a term for business owners, in Kiulu town, which at that time only had a row of shops. He then could save on food and rental.

He often speaks of his childhood fondly:

At the age of just 13, students from my village Lokos would walk to our secondary school in Kiulu every two weeks or so. We would depart at 6am from my village and arrive at our school at 6pm, carrying food supplies, mainly rice. As a young undergraduate from UPM, I would walk for four hours from Nabalu town to Lokos. Generally the people from my village are from poor families without a regular source of income as they survived on subsistence farming.

At the end of Form Two he was awarded a Boarding Scholarship from the Sabah State Government to further his studies in SMK Ranau in Form Three in 1974. With the good results he obtained in the Lower Certificate of Education (LCE) he was granted a Sabah State Government Scholarship to pursue his supper secondary at Setapak High School, Kuala Lumpur.

Inspired by fellow schoolmates in this school, he initiated a student society in his village called KEPALOS, which formed student study groups and fundraised to finance their programmes. In 1976, Tangau passed his Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) with Grade One. With this he earned the same scholarship to do his Form Six at Sekolah Menengah Sains Selangor (SMSS) Cheras, a governmental fully residential school. Whilst schooling there, he was an active student leader and a debater for his school. Prior to his tertiary education while waiting for the results of his Higher School Certificate, he served as a temporary teacher at SMK Tamparuli, Tuaran, Sabah, for five months. He taught Integrated Science or Sains Paduan to Form One students.

In 1979, having successfully completed his Higher School Certificate, Tangau was accepted into University Pertanian Malaysia (UPM), Serdang Selangor, to do his bachelor's degree in Forestry Science. He was an active student leader at university. He was the President of the Catholic Student Society for two terms from 1981 to 1982. He was also a keen observer of the political development of his birth state Sabah, and nationwide. He graduated in 1983 and soon after, he secured a job at the Sabah Forestry Development Authority (SAFODA) as a research officer on silviculture. In 1985 he was accepted as an individual participant to study forest management in various institutions in Japan under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for four months. He had the opportunity to travel and stay in Tokyo, Kumamoto, Numata, Hokkaido and Tsukuba. Subsequently, in 1990 he obtained a master's degree in Development Management from Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in the Philippines.

He is married to Datuk (Datin Seri Panglima) Dr. Jaina Sintian, a medical doctor from Bundu Tuhan village, Ranau, who is the founding Vice Chief of the UPKO Women Movement Chief (UPKO Wanita, later the Chief 2008 and retired in 2018 when the husband was elected officially as the President of UPKO. Together they have five children - four daughters, and a son.

Prior to politics


Shortly after graduating from UPM, Tangau was sent to Japan for a four-month training stint in various research institutions. Upon returning to Sabah in 1985 he assisted Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) as a backroom boy to form the new Sabah government. He joined the newly set up Institute for Development Studies (IDS) Sabah as a research associate, and served for nine years until 1994.

When BN toppled PBS in 1994, Tangau assisted leaders who left the party to form Parti Demokratik Sabah (PDS). For the next five years Tangau served as the Chief Executive Officer at the Institute for Indigenous Economic Progress (INDEP) Sabah, a think-tank set established by PDS. The objective of INDEP was to engage Pasokmomogun community groups in Sabah in policymaking and assist UPKO leaders in decision-makings.

Tangau was appointed as Chairman of several federal agencies and state linked companies such as Sabah Cultural Board (LKNS, Forest Plantation Development Sdn. Bhd., Malaysian Timber Industrial Board (MTIB) and Asian Supply Sdn. Bhd.(ASB) Tangau was also on the board of Suria Capital Berhad, Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn. Bhd.

Political career


In the 1999 state elections in Sabah, 10 of the 12 PDS candidates who contested were defeated. Due to this devastating defeat Tangau was requested by the party leadership to contest in the 1999 parliamentary general election, effectively thrusting him from backroom boy to mainstream politics.

Tangau was elected as the Member of Parliament for Tuaran for the first time in November 1999 and again in 2004. He did not contest in the 12th Malaysian Parliament to make way for then UPKO deputy president Datuk Wilfred Bumburing to contest.

In the 13th General Elections held in 2013 he was once again elected as the Member of Parliament for Tuaran and won by a majority of over 5,000 votes.

Tangau has been involved in UPKO since the party's early days. Shortly after he was first elected as an MP he became the Information Chief. He was then appointed the secretary general in 2002.

In 2012 the deputy president post fell vacant when Datuk Wilfred Bumburing quit UPKO to join the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition. Tangau was elected the deputy president in October 2013, beating Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin, UPKO vice-president, with a slim majority.

In March 2014 the founding president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok stepped down, nearly 10 months after he lost the Penampang parliamentary seat in the last general election. Since then Tangau has been serving as the Acting President of UPKO until he won the president post uncontested at the party triennial general meetings on 24 September 2018.[2]

Ministerial career


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced a new Cabinet line-up on 28 July 2015, involving the appointment of seven new ministers and nine deputy ministers. Tangau was appointed as the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation. He was sworn in by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on 4 August 2015.[3]

Tangau's vision for the Ministry has been for science, technology and innovation to be drivers of the “new economy”, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He actively promoted innovation as a way of life. Practical problems in life, especially those economic challenges should be properly identified and then innovate to resolved them using science and technologies. Innovators should be encouraged to secure Intellectual Property (IP) for their innovation and then the government should incentivised them to commercialised such that it will generate wealth and create jobs for the people. He started the National Innovation and Creative Economy (NICE) Expo in 2017. He blogs regularly at www.wilfredmadiustangau.com. He writes for a column every Sunday in The Daily Express, the largest daily newspaper in Sabah, expressing his thoughts about the advancement of science, technology and innovation in the country.

Later career


In the aftermath of 2018 general election, UPKO under his leadership decided to quit Barisan Nasional and joined the Pakatan Harapan-Warisan government bloc both federally and at the state, citing the popular aspiration for change.[4] Tangau was appointed as nominated assemblyman to serve as Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah in the Shafie Apdal cabinet and remained so until the coalition lost snap election in 2020.[5]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia[6][7]
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1999 P149 Tuaran Wilfred Madius Tangau (UPKO) 13,083 55.58% Yunof Edward Maringking (PBS) 10,270 43.63% 23,745 2,813 65.88%
Rubiah F. Ayid (IND) 185 0.79%
2004 P170 Tuaran Wilfred Madius Tangau (UPKO) 17,354 66.21% Ansari Abdullah (PKR) 8,855 33.79% 27,190 8,499 69.14%
2013 Wilfred Madius Tangau (UPKO) 20,685 51.77% Wilfred Bumburing (PKR) 15,495 38.78% 40,760 5,190 84.62%
Erveana Ansari Ali (IND) 2,264 5.67%
Samin Dulin (STAR) 1,509 3.78%
2018 Wilfred Madius Tangau (UPKO) 22,494 51.54% Chrisnadia Sinam (PKR) 14,870 34.07% 44,601 7,624 82.42%
Kalakau Untol (PCS) 2,611 5.98%
Syra Peter (PHRS) 2,311 5.30%
Mohd Aminuddin Aling (PAS) 1,357 3.78%
2022 Wilfred Madius Tangau (UPKO) 24,943 42.84% Joniston Bangkuai (PBS) 24,710 42.44% 58,227 233 69.80%
Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas (WARISAN) 5,728 9.84%
Noortaip Suhaili @ Sualee (IND) 2,008 3.45%
Muminin Kalingkong @ Norbinsha (PEJUANG) 445 0.76%
Boby Lewat (IND) 393 0.67%
Sabah State Legislative Assembly[8]
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2020 N15 Kiulu Wilfred Madius Tangau (UPKO) 2,786 36.11% Joniston Bangkuai (PBS) 4,007 51.93% 7,716 1,221 70.87%
Andau Yasun @ Bruno (PCS) 363 4.70%
Rozylyn @ Rosalyn Gelunu (LDP) 274 3.55%
Dominic Yasun (IND) 266 3.45%
Jolianis Lampog (IND) 20 0.26%



Honours of Malaysia


See also



  1. ^ Jenne Lajiun (17 May 2018). "Shafie unveils his State Cabinet with four new ministries". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b Chris Maskilone (24 September 2018). "MADIUS TANGAU WON UPKO PRESIDENT POST UNCONTESTED". Sabah News Today. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Tangau sworn in as minister". The Borneo Post. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2018 – via PressReader.
  4. ^ ASMIN, ASYIKIN (31 July 2022). "UPKO tidak 'lompat parti', hanya tinggalkan gabungan BN: Madius". Sinar Harian (in Malay). Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Shafie names Cabinet | Daily Express Online - Sabah's Leading News Portal". www.dailyexpress.com.my. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout (including votes for candidates not listed).
  7. ^ "Sabah [Parliament Results]". The Star. Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  8. ^ "N11 Kiulu". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  9. ^ Hassan Alban heads Sabah honours list. New Straits Times. 16 September 1998.
  10. ^ "Senarai Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Sabah Tahun 2005" (PDF). www.sabah.gov.my.
  11. ^ "Ketua Hakim Negara Dahului Senarai 983 Penerima Darjah Kebesaran Sabah". www.mstar.com.my. 2 October 2015.