Joseph Kurup

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup (born 15 December 1944) is a Malaysian politician. He is the former Member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the Pensiangan constituency in Sabah and a former Minister in the Department of Prime Minister Najib Razak. He is the founder and President of the United Sabah People's Party (PBRS) in the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Joseph Kurup

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
National Unity and Integration
In office
16 May 2013  10 May 2018
MonarchAbdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
Succeeded byWaytha Moorthy Ponnusamy
National Unity and Social Well-being
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
In office
10 April 2009  15 May 2013
MonarchAbdul Halim
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
MinisterDouglas Uggah Embas
Preceded byMaznah Mazlan
Succeeded byDr. James Dawos Mamit
Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development
In office
8 March 2008  9 April 2009
MonarchMizan Zainal Abidin
Abdul Halim
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
MinisterMuhammad Muhammad Taib
Preceded by1. Tiki Lafe
2. Zainal Abdidin Osman
Succeeded byHasan Malek
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Pensiangan
In office
8 March 2008  10 May 2018
Preceded byBernard S. Maraat @ Ben
Succeeded byArthur Joseph Kurup
Majorityuncontested (2008)
1,744 (2013)
Personal details
Born (1944-12-15) 15 December 1944
Pensiangan, Keningau, North Borneo (now Sabah, Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Sabah People's Party (PBS)
Spouse(s)Melinda Mak Soak Fong
Children6 (including Arthur Joseph Kurup)

Sabah state politics (1985–2008)

Kurup was a member of the United Sabah Party (PBS) when it was founded in 1985. In the 1985 election he won the seat of Sook in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly, and the PBS, led by Joseph Pairin Kitingan, toppled the BN government. Over the following nine years, Kurup served as a minister in Kitingan's government.[1]

In 1994, Kitingan's government came to an end after a series of defections from the PBS to Barisan Nasional. Kurup was one of the leaders of the defectors, setting up the PBRS, gaining admission for the new party to Barisan Nasional, and winning appointment as Deputy Chief Minister in the new Barisan Nasional state government. In 1999, Kurup faced his first electoral test since the defection, and suffered a double defeat: he ran against Kitingan in the federal seat of Keningau, and lost, and was also defeated by Kitingan's brother Jeffrey for the State Assembly seat of Bingkor. It was not until 2004, after the PBS had also joined Barisan Nasional, that Kurup returned to an elected position, winning back the State Assembly seat of Sook. Meanwhile, in 2002, he had been challenged for the PBRS presidency by Jeffrey Kitingan, and survived after a decision by the Registrar of Societies. Jeffrey had left PBS to join PBRS in 1999.[2]

Federal politics (2008–present)

Kurup was elected to the federal Parliament in the 2008 election, giving up his State Assembly seat to replace PBRS Secretary-General Bernard Maraat as the party's candidate in the seat of Pensiangan.[3][4] He was elected unopposed after the People's Justice Party (PKR) candidate had been unable to submit his nomination on time. PKR challenged Kurup's election in court, but Kurup prevailed.[5] After his election, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi appointed Kurup as Deputy Minister for Rural and Regional Development. He shifted to Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment when Najib Razak became Prime Minister in 2009. After defending his seat in the 2013 election, he was promoted to Cabinet, as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.[6][7]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia: P180 Keningau, Sabah[8]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
1999 Joseph Pairin Kitingan (PBS) 12,783 50.49% Joseph Kurup (PBRS) 12,533 49.51%
Parliament of Malaysia: P182 Pensiangan, Sabah[8]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
2008 Joseph Kurup (PBRS)
2013 Joseph Kurup (PBRS) 9,467 44.3% Richard Sakian Gunting (PKR) 7,723 36.1%


Honours of Malaysia


  1. "Kurup dares Pairin to debate". New Sabah Times. 23 January 2009. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  2. Political Handbook of the World 2014. CQ Press. 891.
  3. "The Kurup and Jeffrey showdown may not happen". Daily Express. 15 February 2008. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  4. "Good Showing By Sabah BN's New Faces in General Election". Bernama. 9 March 2008. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  5. "Election Petition Nullified, Kurup Now Focuses on Helping Pensiangan People". Bernama. 13 March 2008. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2010. (subscription required)
  6. Muguntan Vanar (16 April 2013). "GE13: Joseph Kurup will defend Pensiangan seat". The Star. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  7. "Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup". Department of National Unity and Integration (Malaysia). Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  8. "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).
  9. "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat".
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