Abdul Ghani Othman

Abdul Ghani bin Othman (Jawi: عبدالغاني بن عثمان; born 14 November 1946) served as the 14th Menteri Besar of Johor in Malaysia from 1995 to 2013. He is a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), a component party of Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. He had held the political party position of Ledang Division Chairman, Johor State Liaison Chairman and national Supreme Council member in UMNO before. Currently, he serves as Chairman of Sime Darby Berhad, starting from 1 July 2013.[1]

Abdul Ghani Othman

عبدالغاني بن عثمان
14th Menteri Besar of Johor
In office
3 May 1995  14 May 2013
Preceded byMuhyiddin Yassin
Succeeded byMohamed Khaled Nordin
Minister of Youth and Sports
In office
1 December 1993  March 1995
Preceded byAnnuar Musa
Succeeded byMuhyiddin Yassin
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Ledang
In office
3 August 1986  24 April 1995
Preceded byNgah Abdul Rahman (UMNO-BN)
Succeeded byHashim Ismail (UMNO-BN)
Majority10,665 (1986)
7,547 (1990)
Member of the Johor State Legislative Assembly
for Serom
In office
25 April 1995  5 May 2013
Preceded byHashim Ismail (UMNO-BN)
Succeeded byAbd Razak Minhat (UMNO-BN)
Majority13,496 (1995)
8,248 (1999
8,081 (2004)
4,971 (2008)
Personal details
Abdul Ghani bin Othman

(1946-11-14) 14 November 1946
Sungai Mati, Tangkak (formerly part of Muar District, Johor, Malayan Union (now Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation
Spouse(s)Jamilah Ariffin
Alma materLa Trobe University
University of Queensland

Early life and education

He received his primary education at Tangkak Boys School (Sekolah Laki-Laki Tangkak) before entering Muar High School (Sekolah Tinggi Muar). Qualifying for a Colombo Plan scholarship, Abdul Ghani furthered his studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics (Hons). Prior to returning to Malaysia, Abdul Ghani completed a master's degree in economics at the University of Queensland. Upon returning to his homeland, he joined the Economics Faculty of University Malaya (1974–1980) and within several years, was promoted to be the Dean of the School (1980–1984). In addition to that, he also served as Master of First College (Residential) for University of Malaya (1979 – 1984).[2]

Political career

Abdul Ghani's political career began when he was first appointed to be a Senator (December 1984 - July 1986). This was followed by his election to the Federal Parliament in 1986 general election for Ledang seat.

From May 1987 to November 1990, Abdul Ghani held the post of Deputy Minister for Energy, Telecommunication and Post. Subsequently, he was then given the portfolio of Deputy Minister of Finance from 1990 to 1993.

In December 1993, Abdul Ghani was promoted to become the Minister of Youth and Sports (1 December 1993 - March 1995). He immediately initiated a national youth program called 'Rakan Muda' (Young Friend), which helped mobilise Malaysian youths through healthy activities such as sports and cultural events.

Abdul Ghani won the Johor State Legislative Assembly seat of Serom in the 1995 general election. In March 1995, Abdul Ghani was appointed to become the Menteri Besar of Johor and has held that position for the next 17 years.

During the 2013 Malaysian general election however, he was defeated in a upset result by Democratic Action Party (DAP) advisor Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah, Johor and was replaced by Mohamed Khaled Nordin as Menteri Besar for Johor.


Bangsa Malaysia

Ghani did not agree with the Bangsa Malaysia concept and alleging that Bangsa Malaysia was a "nebulous concept" which overstepped the bounds of the Constitution. "Even if the term Bangsa Malaysia is to be used, it must only be applied in the context of all the peoples of Malaysia with the Malays as the pivotal race," he said.[3]

Ghani insisted that those advocating Bangsa Malaysia were echoing Lee Kuan Yew's call for a Malaysian Malaysia made during the early 1960s when Singapore was a state in Malaysia, even though the campaign had been repudiated by the government.[4]

After the 2006 UMNO Annual General Assembly, Ghani elaborated that his opposition to Bangsa Malaysia and Malaysian Malaysia was because:

It is about everything being equal and this does not capture the hearts of Malaysians. Therefore, regardless of whatever name is given, the concept is similar and this is against idea kenegaraan (the idea of nationhood) which we have inherited.

Ghani defined his idea kenegaraan as "the idea that has united the Malays, and also the same idea that has given privileges to other races to be citizens, live together and share power and prosperity."[5]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia[6][7][8]
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1986 P116 Ledang, Johor Abdul Ghani Othman (UMNO) 21,558 66.43% Lee Tiong King (DAP) 10,893 33.57% 33,679 10,665 71.39%
1990 Abdul Ghani Othman (UMNO) 21,802 60.47% Othman Tambi (S46) 14,255 39.53% 37,569 7,547 73.13%
2013 P162 Gelang Patah, Johor Abdul Ghani Othman (UMNO) 39,522 42.04% Lim Kit Siang (DAP) 54,284 57.74% 95,071 14,762 89.08%
Johor State Legislative Assembly[6][7]
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1995 N4 Serom, P126 Ledang Abdul Ghani Othman (UMNO) 16,789 80.15% Husni Md. Alip (S46) 3,293 15.72% 20,946 13,496 71.79%
1999 Abdul Ghani Othman (UMNO) 14,652 67.12% Abdullah Husin (PAS) 6,404 29.34% 21,830 8,248 71.75%
2004 N11 Serom, P144 Ledang Abdul Ghani Othman (UMNO) 11,276 75.99% Abu Bakar Tambi (PAS) 3,195 21.53% 14,838 8,081 73.08%
2008 Abdul Ghani Othman (UMNO) 10,088 64.63% Rusman Kemin (PAS) 5,117 32.78% 15,609 4,971 75.85%

Honour and Awards

The Sultan of Johor awarded Abdul Ghani the Order of the Crown of Johor; Seri Mahkota Johor (SMJ) medal (1989 and the Darjah Kebesaran Seri Paduka Mahkota Johor (SPMJ) in 2004, which brought with it the title of Dato'. Abdul Ghani was then conferred in 1996 the rank of "The Most Esteemed Family Order of Johor" (Darjah Kerabat Mahkota Johor Yang Amat Dihormati) (D.K. II)

On 9 April 2009, Sultan Iskandar bestowed upon Abdul Ghani the highest award in the State of Johor, DK (I). It is very rare for a commoner to receive such an award, which is normally given to royals.

Honour of Malaysia


  1. "Board of Directors". Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  2. "kk1.um.edu.my". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  3. Nambiar, Ravi & Nadzmi, Siti Nurbaiyah (6 November 2006). "Ghani: Bangsa Malaysia is rojak and unacceptable" Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, p. 10. New Straits Times.
  4. Nambiar, Ravi & Nadzmi, Siti Nurbaiyah (7 November 2006). "No Bangsa Malaysia in Constitution, says Najib", p. 6. New Straits Times.
  5. Tan, Marsha (3 December 2006). Ghani on why people cannot accept concept. The Star.
  6. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 27 May 2010. Percentage figures exclude informal votes. Independent and third party candidates not listed.
  7. "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  8. "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM 13". Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihan Raya Umum. Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.Results only available for the 2013 election.
  9. "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat".
  10. "Sultan of Johor Birthday's Honours List 2009". The Star Online. 11 April 2009.
  11. "Abdullah tops Johor Sultan's birthday list". The Star Online. 8 April 2004.
Political offices
Preceded by
Muhyiddin Yassin
Menteri Besar of Johor
3 May 1995 – 14 May 2013
Succeeded by
Mohamed Khaled Nordin
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