Ghazali Shafie

Tun Muhammad Ghazali bin Shafie (Jawi: محمد غزالي بن شافعي; 22 March 1922 – 24 January 2010)[1] was a Malaysian politician and diplomat. He served under the administrations of four Prime Ministers, most notably as Minister of Home and Foreign Affairs from 1973 to 1984.

Muhammad Ghazali Shafie
محمد غزالي شافعي
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
17 July 1981  16 July 1984
MonarchsAhmad Shah
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
DeputyMokhtar Hashim (1981–1983)
Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir (1983–1984)
Preceded byTengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail
Succeeded byTengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
13 August 1973  16 July 1981
MonarchsAbdul Halim
Yahya Petra
Ahmad Shah
Prime MinisterAbdul Razak Hussein
Hussein Onn
DeputyAbdul Samad Idris (1973–1976)
Shariff Ahmad (1976–1978)
Rais Yatim (1978)
Syed Ahmad Syed Mahmud Shahabuddin (1978–1980)
Sanusi Junid (1980–1981)
Preceded byIsmail Abdul Rahman
Succeeded byMusa Hitam
Minister of Information
Minister with Special Functions
In office
22 April 1971  24 August 1974
MonarchAbdul Halim
Prime MinisterAbdul Razak Hussein
DeputyShariff Ahmad (1973–1974)
Preceded byHamzah Abu Samah as Minister of Information and Broadcasting
Succeeded byTengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail
Secretary-General of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 February 1959  21 September 1970
Preceded byNik Ahmad Kamil Nik Mahmud
Succeeded byZaiton Ibrahim Ahmad
Personal details
Born(1922-03-22)22 March 1922
Kuala Lipis, Pahang, Federated Malay States, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Died24 January 2010(2010-01-24) (aged 87)
Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Resting placeMakam Pahlawan, Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation (UMNO)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
SpouseKhatijah Abdul Majid
Alma materUniversity College of Wales
London School of Economics


Ghazali was born in 1922 in Kuala Lipis, Pahang.[2] He was of Minangkabau descent from Rao, West Sumatra.[3] He was part of the clandestine resistance to the Japanese occupation of Malaya in World War II. He then studied at the University of Wales and the London School of Economics.[4]

During the Malayan Emergency, Ghazali fully supported British military attempts to crush a pro-independence uprising led by the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the armed wing of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). Writing in the The Times newspaper, Ghazali openly supported the killing and public display of the corpses of people suspected to have been members of the MNLA.[5]

After a career in the civil service, Ghazali entered politics.[4] He served as Home and Information Minister from 1973 to 1981, and was then appointed as Foreign Minister until 1984. He represented the Parliamentary seat of Lipis from 1974, before which he was a member of the Dewan Negara (upper house of parliament).[6] As Foreign Minister, he was known for his role in ASEAN's diplomacy in respect of conflict in Cambodia.[4] Described as a "flamboyant politician",[4] his nickname was "King Ghaz".[6]

On 11 January 1982, Ghazali survived an aeroplane crash in which he was the pilot. His bodyguard and co-pilot were killed.[6] There had been reports (for example in the New York Times[7]) that Ghazali had been killed in the crash.[8] A coroner later blamed the accident on what the coroner found to be Ghazali's negligence.[9]

After leaving politics, he held a range of positions in the corporate sector and with international organisations.[2]

Ghazali died on 24 January 2010 at 7.45pm, at his home in Subang Jaya.[10] His wife, Toh Puan Khatijah Abdul Majid, died in April 2008. They are survived by his two sons, Bachtiar and Sheriffudin.[11] He was buried at Makam Pahlawan, Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur.[12]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1972 Lipis, Pahang Ghazali Shafie (UMNO) 15,702 81.33% Tengku Kamarulzaman Tengku Hamid (PMIP) 3,605 18.67% 12,097
1974 Lipis, Pahang Ghazali Shafie (UMNO) None None Unopposed
1978 Lipis, Pahang Ghazali Shafie (UMNO) 14,778 69.92% Kasim Yahya (PMIP) 3,199 15.13% 11,579
Wan Abdul Rahman Wan Ibrahim (IND) 3,160 14.95%
1982 Lipis, Pahang Ghazali Shafie (UMNO) 15,094 61.07% S. Nadarajan (DAP) 5,477 22.16% 25,703 9,617 70.74%
Kasim Yahya (PMIP) 4,145 16.77%


Honours of Malaysia

  •  Malaysia :
  •  Pahang :
    • Companion of the Order of the Crown of Pahang (SMP) (1968)[16]
    • Knight Companion of the Order of the Crown of Pahang (DIMP) – Dato' (1970)[17]
    • Grand Knight of the Order of the Crown of Pahang (SIMP) – formerly Dato', now Dato' Indera (1972)[18]
    • Grand Knight of the Order of Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang (SSAP) – Dato' Sri
  •  Selangor :
    • Knight Grand Companion of the Order of Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (SSSA) – Dato' Seri (1985)[19]
  •  Sabah :
  •  Sarawak :
    • Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of Hornbill Sarawak (DA) – Datuk Amar (1988)[13]

Foreign Honours

Places named after him


  1. Tun Muhammad Ghazali bin Shafie.
  2. "'King Ghaz' Remembered As No-nonsense Man". Bernama. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  3. Archived 10 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine Memperkasakan Tokoh Rao Archived 2 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Leifer, Michael (2001). Dictionary of the modern politics of South-East Asia (3rd ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 121. ISBN 0-415-23875-7. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  5. Hack, Karl (2022). The Malayan Emergency: Revolution and Counterinsurgency at the End of Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 319.
  6. "Ghazali Shafie Dies". Bernama. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  7. "Mohammad Ghazali bin Shafie, Malaysian official, dies in crash". New York Times. 11 January 1982. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  8. "Envoy Survives". The Pittsburgh Press (United Press International). 11 January 1982. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  9. "Minister blamed". The Montreal Gazette. 23 June 1983. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  10. "Ghazali Shafie dies". The Star (Malaysia). 24 January 2010. Archived from the original on 27 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  11. "'King' Ghaz dies". The Malaysian Insider. 25 January 2010. Archived from the original on 27 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  12. ""King Ghaz" buried at Warriors' Mausoleum". 25 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  13. "SEMAKAN PENERIMA DARJAH KEBESARAN, BINTANG DAN PINGAT". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  14. "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1965" (PDF).
  15. "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 2005" (PDF).
  16. "Lima Dato baharu di-Pahang kurnian Sultan hari ini". Berita Harian. 29 May 1968. p. 12.
  17. "Kurniaan bintang kebesaran kapada Sultan Perak, Sultan Kedah". Berita Harian. 29 May 1970. p. 3.
  18. "S'poreans made datos by Pahang Sultan". The Straits Times. 29 May 1972. p. 10.
  19. "SSSA 1985". Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  20. "Vietnam honours Tengku with a top —award". The Straits Times. 7 October 1965. p. 1.
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