Ghafar Baba

Tun Abdul Ghafar bin Baba (Jawi: عبدالغافر بن بابا; February 18, 1925 – April 23, 2006) was a Malaysian politician from Malacca who was Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1986 to 1993.

Abdul Ghafar Baba

عبدالغافر بن بابا
6th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
In office
10 May 1986  1 December 1993
Azlan Shah
Preceded byMusa Hitam
Succeeded byAnwar Ibrahim
2nd Chief Minister of Malacca
In office
1 June 1959  5 October 1967
Preceded byOsman bin Talib
Succeeded byTalib bin Karim
Personal details
Abdul Ghafar bin Baba

(1925-02-18)18 February 1925
Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Died23 April 2006(2006-04-23) (aged 81)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Resting placeMakam Pahlawan, Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation
Spouse(s)Asmah Alang
Dayang Heryati Abdul Rahim

Life and career

He was born on 18 February 1925 in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, the son of an impoverished villager. Ghafar Baba became a teacher and later became a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) political party, which is part of the Barisan Nasional coalition.

In 1942, he married Toh Puan Asmah Binti Alang and fathered twelve children, five of whom have died. In the early 1990s, he married his second wife Toh Puan Heryati Abdul Rahim, and had one child with her.

In 1986, he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Previously, Musa Hitam held the deputy premiership but he resigned, citing irreconcilable differences with Mahathir.[1] On 15 October 1993, during a UMNO election, he was challenged by Anwar Ibrahim. Ghafar Baba was defeated by Anwar and subsequently lost the deputy premiership.

On 23 April 2006, he died at Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur due to poor heart and lung condition. He had been in critical condition for several months prior to his death. He was buried in an official state funeral at Makam Pahlawan near Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur on the same day alongside the graves of former Prime Ministers Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn and former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail before nightfall.[2][3]


  • Teachers' Union secretary (1946–1948)
  • Melaka UMNO Secretary (1951)
  • Melaka UMNO Chairman (1955)
  • Chief Minister of Malacca (1959–1963)
  • UMNO High Council member (1957)
  • UMNO Information Chief (1958)
  • UMNO Vice-President (1962–1987)
  • Barisan Nasional Secretary-General [1]
  • Federal Territory Barisan Nasional Chief [1]
  • Deputy Prime Minister (1986–1993)

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1969 Malacca Utara Abdul Ghafar Baba (UMNO) 15,692 63.86% Ali Md. Salleh (PAS) 8,881 36.14% 26,088 6,811 78.49%
1974 Alor Gajah Abdul Ghafar Baba (UMNO) 20,890 78.89 Abdul Ghani Long (PEKEMAS) 5,591 21.11% Unknown 15,299 Unknown
1978 Jasin Abdul Ghafar Baba (UMNO) Unknown Unknown Abdul Karim Abu (DAP) Unknown Unknown Unknown 12,067 Unknown
1982 Abdul Ghafar Baba (UMNO) 27,542 81.07% Salleh Ayob (PAS) 6,432 18.93% 35,657 21,110 76.54%
1986 Abdul Ghafar Baba (UMNO) 20,772 76.35% Rahimin Bani (PAS) 6,436 23.65% 28,200 14,336 71.21%
1990 Abdul Ghafar Baba (UMNO) 22,826 72.46% Aris Konil (S46) 8,674 27.54% 32,519 14,152 77.93%
1995 Abdul Ghafar Baba (UMNO) 25,693 78.19% Ahmad Mohd Alim (PAS) 4,856 14.78% 34,181 20,837 75.80%
Aris Konil (S46) 2,310 7.03%
1999 Batu Berendam Abdul Ghafar Baba (UMNO) 37,656 55.36% Khalid Jaafar (KeADILan) 30,368 44.64% 69,592 7,288 78.82%


Honour of Malaysia

Places named after him

Several places were named after him, including:

  • Persiaran Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba, a major road at Peringgit, Melaka.
  • Persimpangan Tun Abdul Ghafar, an intersections between Jalan Batu Berendam, Persiaran Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba and Lebuh Ayer Keroh at Peringgit, Melaka.
  • The Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba Memorial, a memorial and museum in honour of his achievements located at Persiaran Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba in Peringgit, Melaka.
  • MRSM Tun Ghafar Baba an institution facilities at Jasin, Melaka.
  • SMK Ghafar Baba (formerly SMK Masjid Tanah), a secondary school at Masjid Tanah, Melaka.
  • Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba Mosque, Sungai Udang, Melaka.
  • Six FELDA settlements were renamed after him, they are FELDA Tun Ghafar Machap, FELDA Tun Ghafar Hutan Percha, FELDA Tun Ghafar Menggong, FELDA Tun Ghafar Kemendor, FELDA Tun Ghafar Air Kangkong and FELDA Tun Ghafar Bukit Senggeh.
  • Kolej Tun Ghafar Baba, a residential college at Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Kuala Perlis, Perlis
  • Kolej Tun Ghafar Baba, a residential college at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor

Notes and references

Preceded by
Musa Hitam
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
1986 – 1 December 1993
Succeeded by
Anwar Ibrahim
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