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Dato' Sri Dr. Shahidan bin Kassim (Jawi: شهيدان بن كسسيم; born 17 June 1951) is a Malaysian politician. He was a Minister in the federal cabinet of Najib Razak from May 2013 to May 2018 and is a Member of Parliament of Malaysia for the seat of Arau, representing the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). He was the Menteri Besar of Perlis from 1995 to 2008.

Shahidan Kassim

شهيدان بن كسسيم
Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.jpg
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
Parliament of Malaysia
In office
16 May 2013 – 10 May 2018
MonarchAbdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
Succeeded byAzalina Othman Said
7th Menteri Besar of Perlis
In office
6 May 1995 – 17 March 2008
MonarchSyed Harun Putra Jamalullail
Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail
Preceded byAbdul Hamid Pawanteh
Succeeded byMd Isa Sabu
ConstituencyTambun Tulang
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Arau
Assumed office
16 May 2013
Preceded byIsmail Kassim (UMNOBN)
Majority1,371 (2013)
4,856 (2018)
In office
Preceded byAbdul Hamid Pawanteh (UMNO-BN)
Succeeded byKamarudin Ahmad (UMNO-BN)[1]
Majority7,065 (1986)
7,794 (1990)
Member of the Perlis State Legislative Assembly
for Tambun Tulang
In office
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byIsmail Kassim (UMNO-BN)
Majority2,116 (1995)
877 (1999)
1,742 (2004)
2,010 (2008)
Personal details
Shahidan bin Kassim

(1951-06-17) 17 June 1951 (age 68)
Tambun Tulang, Perlis, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation (UMNO)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
Spouse(s)Shamsiah Mohd Yassin
RelationsIsmail Kassim (brother)
Shahidan Kassim on Parliament of Malaysia

Personal lifeEdit

Shahidan was born in Tambun Tulang on 17 June 1951. He is married to Shamsiah Mohd Yassin. He went to Sekolah Menengah Sultan Abdul Halim (popularly known as Jenan) and Head of Rumah Cendikia.[2]

Political careerEdit

Shahidan was a Member of Parliament for Arau from 1986 to 1995.[2]

He was elected to the Perlis State Legislative Assembly for the newly created seat of Tambun Tulang in the 1995 general elections.[3] He immediately became Chief Minister of Perlis, taking over from Hamid Pawanteh.[4] His tenure as Chief Minister came to an end in March 2008, when Md Isa Sabu, a fellow member of Barisan Nasional, was appointed to the post by Raja Sirajuddin of Perlis after a general election in which UMNO retained its majority in the State Assembly. Md Isa claimed the support of eight out of the 12 other Barisan Nasional members of the Perlis State Assembly to replace Shahidan.[5] While Shahidan had the nomination of the Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, and the state party machinery, the Raja was concerned about the stability of the state government should Shahidan, a powerful but divisive factional figure in UMNO, be reappointed. The Raja insisted upon appointing Md Isa instead, exercising his constitutional discretion to prevail over the wishes of Abdullah and UMNO.[6] Shahidan left the Perlis Executive Council (a body akin to a Cabinet), sitting out the 2008–13 State Assembly term as a backbencher and criticising Md Isa's leadership.[7]

In the 2013 general elections, Shahidan returned to federal Parliament in the seat of Arau, switching seats with his brother Ismail Kassim, who had held Arau since 2008. Shahidan defeated the senior Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) leader Haron Din by 1,371 votes. Despite his return to federal politics, Shahidan had stated before the election that his preference would have been to remain in the State Assembly.[8] After the election, he was appointed to the cabinet of Najib Razak as a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.[9]

Controversies and issuesEdit

According to Joceline Tan, columnist for The Star, Shahidan has a "larger-than-life personality" and is known for his "warlord style of politics".[4] He has held numerous positions in sports administration, including the presidencies of the Malaysia Athletic Federation, the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia and the Perlis Football Association.[10] In 2010, he called for Facebook to be banned in Malaysia, citing national security issues after a Facebook account holder was found to have insulted Islam and the current as well as the former Prime Ministers of Malaysia.[11]

In 1992, he received international coverage for his criticism of what he cited as the criminal acts of Sultan Iskandar of Johor and his son Tunku Ibrahim Ismail.[12]

Shahidan is a leading proponent of Salafism—a puritanical Sunni Islamic movement opposed by Malaysia's religious establishment—within UMNO. In 2010 he arranged for a group of young Salafi clerics, including Fathul Bari Mat Jahya, to join UMNO to boost the party's standing with conservative Muslim voters.[13] While Chief Minister of Perlis, his government passed anti-apostasy laws in the State Assembly and sought to loosen restrictions on polygamy in the state.[14]

In 2017, Shahidan declared that "atheism is against the Constitution and the basic human rights" in Malaysia since "there is no provision on atheism" in the Constitution. Shahidan wanted atheists and atheist groups like the Kuala Lumpur chapter of Atheist Republic to be identified and hunted down. He also stated that "we need to restore the faith back in them, especially for Muslims. Actually they don't really want to be an atheist, but they lack knowledge about religion and that is why they are easily swayed to the new age teaching".[15]

On 20 October 2018, a police report was made by a teenage girl, 15, alleged that Shahidan had molested her but the report was withdrawn by the victim’s family on the same day. It was speculated that the family has taken the decision due to bribery.[16] The victim from Arau, Perlis, wrote in her police report that she was told by her teacher that the former minister had wanted to see her after he saw her perform with a band at Stadium Tuanku Syed Putra.The secondary school student had been performing with a group, Kumpulan Aukustika on 7 @ DSSK Busker. According to her, when she went to the Shahidan's car, he invited her to play in Kuala Lumpur and offered her an RM4,000 fee. She alleged that during the discussion, he held her hand and caressed her shoulder without her consent. The student said she immediately ran out crying of the car.[17] After full police investigation, Shahidan was charged with molesting the underage girl at the Sessions Court, Kangar on 12 November 2018.[18] On 24 April 2019, Shahidan was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Kangar Sessions Court for the allegation of molesting of an underage girl after the victim retracted her report.[19]

Election resultsEdit

Parliament of Malaysia: Arau, Perlis[1]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
1986 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 18,156 60% Tengku Abdul Rahman (PAS) 11,091 37%
1990 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 20,948 60% Khalid Samad (PAS) 13,154 37%
2013 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 19,376 51% Haron Din (PAS) 18,005 47%
2018 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 16,547 41% Abd Rahman Daud (PPBM) 11,691 29%
Hashim Jasin (PAS) 11,362 28%
State Assembly of Perlis: Tambun Tulang[1]
Year Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct
1995 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 3,777 67% Alias Othman (S46) 1,661 30%
1999 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 3,464 56% Ismail Ahmad (PAS) 2,587 42%
2004 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 4,422 61% Haron Din (PAS) 2,680 37%
2008 Shahidan Kassim (UMNO) 4,371 64% Che Nordin Che Ahmad (PAS) 2,361 34%



  1. ^ a b c "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 2 February 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  2. ^ a b "Shahidan becomes longest serving Perlis Menteri Besar". Utusan. Utusan Group. 26 March 2004. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  3. ^ "Poser Over Who Will Be New Perlis MB". Berita Wilayah. Bernama. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b Tan, Joceline (6 January 2008). "Too many Umno 'tigers' on a hillock". The Star. Star Publications (Malaysia). Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  5. ^ Kaur, Manjit (18 March 2008). "Isa sworn in as Perlis MB, Shahidan absent". The Star. Star Publications (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ Abdul Hamid, Ahmad Fauzi; Muhamad Takiyuddin Ismail (2012). "The Monarchy and Party Politics in Malaysia in the Era of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (2003–09): The Resurgence of the Role of Protector". Asian Survey. 52 (5): 934. doi:10.1525/as.2012.52.5.924. ISSN 0004-4687.
  7. ^ "Ex-MB slams current Perlis MB over slight". The Star. 13 February 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  8. ^ Mazwin Nik Anis (22 March 2013). "GE13: Shahidan: There is still a lot I can do for Perlis". The Star. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Cabinet Has Right Mix – Shahidan Kassim". Bernama. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  10. ^ Singh, Aftar (1 October 2006). "Shahidan the new boss for MAAU". The Star. Star Publications (Malaysia). Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  11. ^ "Shahidan wants Facebook banned, cites national security". 6 December 2010.
  12. ^ Richardson, Michael (15 December 1992). "Malaysia Prepares To Strip Sultans of Their Immunity". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman (August 2014). "Salafi Ulama in UMNO: Political Convergence or Expediency?". Contemporary Southeast Asia. 36 (2) – via Questia.
  14. ^ Hamayotsu, Kikue (2012). "Once a Muslim, always a Muslim: the politics of state enforcement of Syariah in contemporary Malaysia". South East Asia Research. 20 (3): 409–413. doi:10.5367/sear.2012.0114. ISSN 0967-828X.
  15. ^ "Minister urges govt to hunt down atheist group". The Sun (Malaysia). Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  16. ^ AR, Zurairi (30 October 2018). "MP accused of molesting teen claims 'misunderstood'". Malay Mail. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  17. ^ Predeep Nambiar (30 October 2018). "MP was with teen in car for a chat, say police". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  18. ^ Tan, G C (12 November 2018). "Shahidan charged with molesting underage girl at Kangar stadium (updated)". The Star. Star Publications (Malaysia). Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  19. ^ R. Sekaran (24 April 2019). "Shahidan Kassim freed of molest charges". The Star. Star Publications (Malaysia). Retrieved 24 April 2019.