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) is a Malaysian lawyer and former politician who has served as 1st Chancellor of the Asia e University (AeU) since October 2022. He served as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Minister of Justice, Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Home Affairs in the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration under former Prime Ministers Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from October 1990 to April 2009. He also served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Kota Tinggi from November 1990 to May 2013. He was a member of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU), a component party of the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) and formerly Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalitions. Prior to that, he was also a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), a component party of the ruling BN coalition. He retired from politics in February 2022 and left UMNO for BERSATU in September 2018. He had also served as the Chairman of Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) which was already dissolved.[4]

Syed Hamid Albar
سيد حميد البر
1st Chancellor of the Asia e University
Assumed office
15 October 2022
Vice ChancellorNik Mustapha Raja Abdullah
Preceded byPosition established
Ministerial roles
1990–1995Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
1990–1995Minister of Justice
1995–1999Minister of Defence
1999–2008Minister of Foreign Affairs
2008–2009Minister of Home Affairs
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
1990–2013Barisan Nasional
Personal details
Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar

(1944-01-15) 15 January 1944 (age 79)
Kampung Melayu Air Hitam, Penang, Japanese occupation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation (UMNO)
Malaysian United Indigenous Party (BERSATU)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
Pakatan Harapan (PH)
Perikatan Nasional (PN)
SpouseSharifah Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin
RelationsSyed Jaafar Albar (father)
OccupationPolitician (retired)

Early lifeEdit

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 careerEdit

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] On 18 February 2022, he announced his retirement from politics and devotion of time to legal practice work and non-governmental organisation (NGO) activities.

Post-political career (2022–present)Edit

Chancellor of the Asia e University (2022–present)Edit

On 15 October 2022 during the 11th convocation ceremony of the Asia e University (AeU), Syed Hamid was appointed as its 1st Chancellor. His appointment was made based on his "vast experience in administration and management he possesses" and confidence that he would "provide AeU with the direction and leadership to further enhance its academic standing". Responding to the appointment, Syed Hamid said that it was unexpected and that he was deeply moved, humbled and touched to get the "recognition". He also described it as a "great honour and privilege".[11]

Election resultsEdit

Parliament of Malaysia[12]
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballot casts Majority Turnout
1990 P128 Kota Tinggi, Johor Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 36,504 78.57% Ma'on Omar (S46) 9,956 21.43% 48,073 26,548 79.42%
1995 P139 Kota Tinggi, Johor Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 36,776 92.44% Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (PAS) 3,007 7.56% 41,577 33,769 78.83%
1999 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 36,819 86.84% Rosdin Taha Abd Rahman (Keadilan) 5,651 13.16% 44,994 32,161 78.15%
2004 P156 Kota Tinggi, Johor Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) None None Unopposed
2008 Syed Hamid Albar (UMNO) 22,682 85.91% Onn Jaafar (PAS) 3,721 14.09% 27,109 18,961 79.29%


Honours of MalaysiaEdit

Foreign honoursEdit


  1. ^ Deadline should be set for its usage in courts, New Straits Times, p. 6
  2. ^ "人民网--404页面".
  3. ^ "حقوق: مقتل إمام تايلاندي قد يشعل هجرة إلى ماليزيا &#124". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
  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. ^ "Syed Hamid Albar now AeU's first chancellor". The Star. 16 October 2022. Retrieved 16 October 2022.
  12. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 1 May 2010.. Percentages exclude informal votes.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia).
  14. ^ "1,849 conferred royal awards on King's birthday". The Star (Malaysia). 6 June 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  15. ^ "The Yang di-Pertuan Agong's birthday honours list 2009". The Star (Malaysia). 6 June 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  17. ^ Syed Hamid Tops Ruler’s Honours List. New Straits Times. 7 April 1992.
  18. ^ "Najib heads Malacca awards". The Star (Malaysia). 13 October 2004. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri's birthday honours list". The Star (Malaysia). 10 July 2004. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  21. ^ Indonesia Confers Award On Syed Hamid. New Straits Times. 7 October 1996.
  22. ^ Komiya, Kantaro (18 October 2019). "Former minister Syed Hamid awarded Japanese honour". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 19 October 2019.