Syed Hamid Albar

Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar (Jawi: سيد حميد بن سيد جعفر البر; Arabic: سيد حامد بن سيد جعفر البار Sayyid Ḥāmid bin Sayyid Ja'far al-bār;[2][3] born 15 January 1944) was a senior Malaysian government minister in the 1990s and 2000s. He was the Minister for Home Affairs (2008–2009), Minister for Foreign Affairs (1999–2008), Minister for Defence (1995–1999) and Minister for Justice (1990–1995). He was a member of the Parliament of Malaysia from 1990 to 2013, representing the seat of Kota Tinggi, Johor, for the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). Presently he is a member of Malaysian United Indigenous Party or Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (BERSATU), a component of Pakatan Harapan (PH) ruling coalition since he quitted UMNO to join PPBM on September 2018.

Syed Hamid Albar

سيد حميد بن سيد جعفر البر
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
18 March 2008  9 April 2009
MonarchMizan Zainal Abidin
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
DeputyWan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh
Chor Chee Heung
Preceded byMohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad
Succeeded byHishammuddin Hussein
ConstituencyKota Tinggi
In office
27 October 1990  3 May 1995
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Preceded bySulaiman Daud
Succeeded byOffice absorbed into Ministry of Home Affairs
ConstituencyKota Tinggi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
7 January 1999  18 March 2008
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
DeputyLeo Michael Toyad (1999-2004)
Joseph Salang Gandum (2004-2008)
Preceded byAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
Succeeded byRais Yatim
ConstituencyKota Tinggi
Minister of Defence
In office
4 May 1995  7 January 1999
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
DeputyAbdullah Fadzil Che Wan
Preceded byNajib Razak
Succeeded byAbang Abu Bakar Abang Mustapha
ConstituencyKota Tinggi
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
In office
27 October 1990  3 May 1995
MonarchAzlan Shah
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
ConstituencyKota Tinggi
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Kota Tinggi
In office
Preceded byMusa Hitam
Succeeded byNoor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid
Majority26,548 (1990)
33,769 (1995)
32,161 (1999)
Unopposed (2004)
18,961 (2008)
Personal details
Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar

(1944-01-15) 15 January 1944
Kampung Melayu Air Hitam, Penang, Japanese occupation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation (UMNO) (until 29 June 2018)
Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU) (since September 2018)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN) (until 29 June 2018)
Pakatan Harapan (PH) (since September 2018)
Spouse(s)Sharifah Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin

He is previously the chairman of the dissolved Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).[4]

Early life

Syed Hamid was born in Kampung Melayu Air Hitam, Penang, Malaysia, to Syed Jaafar Albar, an UMNO politician and former cabinet minister. Syed Hamid's father was of Hadhrami Arab descent, and migrated from Indonesia to Malaysia shortly before World War II.[5][6][7]

He had his secondary education at Maxwell School before going to Methodist Boys' School (Kuala Lumpur) for his Form Six education. For his tertiary education, he read law in the Inns of Court, London and was called to the Degree of an Utter Barrister by the Honourable Society of Middle Temple in 1970. As a student in London, he set up a club for Malaysian expatriates and students.

He is married with 6 children.

Political career

Syed Hamid has been active in UMNO in his student days, including while studying in the United Kingdom. After returning to Malaysia he became a magistrate, and then president of the Sessions Court, before entering the corporate world. In 1986 he won election to UMNO's Supreme Council and entered Parliament in 1990, as the member for Kota Tinggi. He was immediately appointed as Minister for Justice, and in 1995 became the Defence Minister.[8]

In 1999, he was appointed as the Foreign Minister. In March 2008, he was appointed as the Home Minister. In April 2009, he was dropped from the Cabinet by the incoming prime minister Najib Razak. The previous month he had contested, but failed to win, one of UMNO's three vice-president positions at the party's general assembly.[9] He left Parliament in 2013, deciding not to re-contest the seat of Kota Tinggi, which he had held by large margins since 1990.[10]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia: P156 Kota Tinggi, Johor[11]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
1990 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 36,504 79% Ma'on Omar (S46) 9,956 21%
1995 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 36,776 92% Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (PAS) 3,007 8%
1999 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 36,819 86% Rosdin Taha Abd Rahman (Keadilan) 5,651 13%
2004 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) Unopposed
2008 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 22,682 86% Onn Jaafar (PAS) 3,721 14%


Honours of Malaysia

Foreign honours


  1. Deadline should be set for its usage in courts, New Straits Times, p. 6
  4. Syed Hamid Albar is head of public transport commission
  5. The Straits Times, 1 June 2007, Insight–Boosting links, 'software' to rekindle Arab ties, by Jeremy Au Yong
  6. The world's successful diasporas
  7. Speech by Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar
  8. "40 Years of ASEAN: Its Evolution and its Challenges today". London School of Economics. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  9. "Ahmad Zahid, Hishammuddin, Shafie Win Umno Veep Posts". Bernama. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  10. "Syed Hamid quits Kota Tinggi, urges support for replacement". The Malaysian Insider. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  11. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 1 May 2010.. Percentages exclude informal votes.
  12. "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia).
  13. "1,849 conferred royal awards on King's birthday". The Star (Malaysia). 6 June 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  14. "The Yang di-Pertuan Agong's birthday honours list 2009". The Star (Malaysia). 6 June 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  16. "Najib heads Malacca awards". The Star (Malaysia). 13 October 2004. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  17. "Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri's birthday honours list". The Star (Malaysia). 10 July 2004. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  19. Komiya, Kantaro (18 October 2019). "Former minister Syed Hamid awarded Japanese honour". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
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