Maximus Ongkili

Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili (born 26 October 1953) is a Malaysian politician. He was the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water and the member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the seat of Kota Marudu in Sabah. He is a member of the United Sabah Party (Malay: Parti Bersatu Sabah or PBS) in the governing Barisan Nasional coalition.[1]

Maximus Ongkili

Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water
In office
16 May 2013  10 May 2018
MonarchAbdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
Deputy1. Mahdzir Khalid (2013-2015)
2. James Dawos Mamit (2015-2018)
Preceded byPeter Chin Fah Kui
Succeeded byXavier Jayakumar Arulanandam
as Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources
ConstituencyKota Marudu
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation
In office
18 March 2008  15 May 2013
MonarchMizan Zainal Abidin
Abdul Halim
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
DeputyFadillah Yusof
Preceded byJamaluddin Jarjis
Succeeded byEwon Ebin
ConstituencyKota Marudu
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
In office
27 March 2004  18 March 2008
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
DeputyJoseph Entulu Belaun
ConstituencyKota Marudu
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Kota Marudu
Assumed office
22 March 2004
Preceded byConstituency established
Majority3,189 (2004)
4,198 (2008)
842 (2013)
1,774 (2018)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Bandau
In office
25 April 1995  21 March 2004
Preceded byGeorge Sangkin
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Majority4,865 (1995)
1,684 (1999)
Personal details
Maximus Johnity Ongkili

(1953-10-26) 26 October 1953
Jesselton, Crown Colony of North Borneo
Political partyUnited Sabah Party
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
Joan Maluda (died 2018)
RelationsJoseph Pairin Kitingan and Jeffrey Kitingan (Uncles)
ChildrenRachel Jane Ongkili
Andreas Jordan Ongkili
Alma materLa Trobe University

Personal life

Ongkili was born on 26 October 1953 in Kota Kinabalu but hails from the district of Tambunan in the interior part of the state. He is married with two children and has a Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Economics, conferred by Australia's La Trobe University.[2] He is a Christian of Roman Catholic.[3] Ongkili is the nephew of former Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Jeffrey Kitingan, who is a former vice-president of People's Justice Party.

Political career

In the Opposition

Ongkili was originally an opposition politician, but joined the government when the PBS joined the Barisan Nasional coalition in 2002.

In 1991 he was imprisoned under the Internal Security Act for 59 days.[4] This was part of political arrests carried out between 1990 and 1991 to crack down on opposition leaders in Sabah, Malaysia, and their alleged plans to secede the state from Malaysia, allegedly known as Operation Talkak. Seven men were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA). (See also 1991 Sabah political arrests).

At the time of his arrest on 3 January 1991, Ongkili was a senior researcher and deputy chief director of IDS and electoral press consultant to then Chief Minister of Sabah Joseph Pairin Kitingan during the 1990 Sabah state and national elections. He was released unconditionally on 2 March.

In the Government

Ongkili entered Parliament in the 1995 general election (at the time, the Kota Marudu seat was named Bandau). He was appointed as a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department after the 2004 election[5] by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Ongkili was placed in charge of National Unity, and headed the initiation of the Khidmat Negara conscription program.

Ongkili was also a member of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly until the 2008 election, when he stood aside from his Tandek seat.[6]

In 2008, Ongkili became the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation. Then after his winning in the 2013 general election, Ongkili has been appointed as Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister.[7]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia: P147 Bandau, Sabah[8]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
1995 Jeffrey Kitingan (AKAR) 5,851 35% Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 10,716 63%
1999 Maijol Mahap (UPKO) 6,781 41% Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 8,465 51%
Parliament of Malaysia: P167 Kota Marudu, Sabah[8][9]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
2004 Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 10,457 59.0% Anthony Biri Mandiau (IND) 7,268 41.0%
2008 Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 12,028 56.14% Anthony Biri Mandiau (PKR) 7,830 36.55%
2013 Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 15,168 45.9% Maijol Mahap (PKR) 14,326 43.3%
2018 Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 13,033 27.7%2 Maijol Mahap (PHRS) 11,259 24.0%2
Table excludes votes for candidates who finished in third place or lower.
2 Different % used for 2018 election.



  1. "Maximus @ Johnity Ongkili, Y.B. Datuk Dr" (in Malay). Parliament of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 29 January 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  2. "The Honourable Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili, JP". Kota Marudu Member of Parliament. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  3. "Sabah Christians annoyed over Christian Minister's remarks". UCA News. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  4. Jane Ritikos (31 March 2004). "Ongkili gets his reward". The Star. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  5. "A big honour for me, says Max". Bernama. Daily Express. 28 March 2004. Archived from the original on 16 August 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  6. "PBS Retains Old Guards, Introduces Two New Faces". Bernama. 21 February 2008. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  7. "Ongkili To Lead Malaysian Delegation To ASEAN Energy Ministers Meeting". Bernama. 25 September 2017. 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. "Sabah [Parliament Results]". The Star. Archived from the original on 18 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
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