Mohamad Sabu

Datuk Seri Haji Mohamad bin Sabu (Jawi: محمد بن سابو), commonly known as Mat Sabu, is a Malaysian politician who has served as the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim since November 2022 and Minister of Defence in the PH administration under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad from May 2018 to the collapse of the PH administration in February 2020. He has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kota Raja since May 2018, Kuala Kedah from November 1999 to March 2004, Kubang Kerian from April 1995 to November 1999 and Nilam Puri from October 1990 to April 1995. He is a member of the National Trust Party (AMANAH), a component party of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. He has also served as the 1st and founding President of AMANAH since September 2015.

Mohamad Sabu
محمد سابو
Mohamad at The Pentagon in 2018
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security
Assumed office
3 December 2022
Prime MinisterAnwar Ibrahim
DeputyChan Foong Hin
Preceded byRonald Kiandee
(Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries)
Minister of Defence
In office
21 May 2018  24 February 2020
MonarchsMuhammad V
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
DeputyLiew Chin Tong
Preceded byHishammuddin Hussein
Succeeded byIsmail Sabri Yaakob
1st President of the National Trust Party
Assumed office
16 September 2015
DeputySalahuddin Ayub
Preceded byPosition established
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Kota Raja
Assumed office
9 May 2018
Preceded bySiti Mariah Mahmud (AMANAH)
Majority73,998 (2022)
71,142 (2018)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Kuala Kedah
In office
29 November 1999  21 March 2004
Preceded byZakaria Mohd Said
Succeeded byHashim Jahaya
Majority991 (1999)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Kubang Kerian
In office
25 April 1995  29 November 1999
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byHusam Musa
Majority10,125 (1995)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Nilam Puri
In office
21 October 1990  25 April 1995
Preceded byMat Ali
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Majority8,139 (1990)
Personal details
Mohamad bin Sabu

(1954-10-14) 14 October 1954
Tasek Gelugor, Penang, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Nationality Malaysia
Political partyMalaysian Islamic Party (PAS)
National Trust Party (AMANAH)
(since 2015)
Other political
Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU)
Barisan Alternatif (BA)
Pakatan Rakyat (PR)
Pakatan Harapan (PH)
(since 2015)
Barisan Nasional (BN)
(aligned:since 2022)
SpouseNormah Alwi
Residence(s)Section 19, Shah Alam, Selangor
Mohamad Sabu on Parliament of Malaysia

Mat Sabu is known for his public speaking abilities.[1] He was detained twice under Malaysia's now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA).[2]


Mat Sabu attended school in Penang before continued his studies at MARA Institute of Technology (now Universiti Teknologi MARA; UiTM) in Diploma in Culinary Arts. However, he did not complete the course and dismissed.

Political career


Mat Sabu's political career began when he joined the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) in 1975. He joined PAS in 1981.[3] He had served as Deputy President of PAS, a former component party of the former Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Alternatif (BA) opposition coalitions, from 2011 to 2015. He was elected to the party deputy presidency in 2011, running on a moderate platform against the conservative incumbent Nasharudin Mat Isa. He had also served as the party Vice-President prior to his election as the party Deputy President.[4] He was the first non-alim elected to the party leadership or deputy presidency in over 25 years.[1]


On 6 May 2015, Mat Sabu and other progressive PAS leaders (referred to as the G18) were ousted at the 2015 PAS Party leadership election. They then launched Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB)[5][6] and took over the dormant Malaysian Workers' Party (PPPM),[7] after their attempt to form a new party called Parti Progresif Islam (PPI) was rejected by the Home Affairs Ministry.[8][9] GHB was later rebranded as Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH) with Mat Sabu as its first President.[10][11]

Minister of Defence

In the May 2018 general election (GE14), Pakatan Harapan had successfully won to form the new government. On 13 May 2018, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad named three key members; Muhyiddin Yassin of BERSATU as Home Minister, Lim Guan Eng of DAP as Finance Minister, while Mat Sabu of AMANAH as Defence Minister in his Cabinet along with a Council of Eminent Persons (CEP).

On 28 June 2018, Mat Sabu announced that Malaysia will withdraw its troops stationed in Saudi Arabia to reflect the country's neutrality in the region.[12]


Operation Lalang

He was detained twice under the Internal Security Act (ISA): from 1984 to 1986 under charges of being involved in extremist movements, and from 1987 to 1989 as a result of Operation Lalang, an operation that remains controversial in Malaysian politics.[3][13] He was detained in the Kamunting Detention Center together with Lim Kit Siang and his son Lim Guan Eng of the Democratic Action Party (DAP). During his two years in the detention centre, Mat Sabu entered into a friendship with the father and son and defended the duo and their party from accusations of racism in 2017.[14]

Statement over the Bukit Kepong incident

On 21 August 2011 during a speech in Gelugor, Penang, Mat Sabu stated that it was Muhammad Indera and the 200 Malayan Communist Party (CPM) guerillas who participated in the Bukit Kepong Incident in 1950 who deserved to be proclaimed as national heroes and not the police officers who died defending the Bukit Kepong police station, claiming that the police officers were British officers and the CPM members were the true national heroes as they fought the British. A video of the speech was uploaded on YouTube and received mainly negative responses, as the statement was regarded as an insult to the family members of the deceased policemen,[15] as well as other national heroes not affiliated with the CPM such as the late Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and UMNO founder Dato' Onn Jaafar.[16]

On 30 August 2011, Karpal Singh, the Bukit Gelugor MP at the time, responded by saying that the 25 policemen who died were true patriots and that Mat Sabu's statements were ill-advised.[17]

However, PAS denied all the allegations and defended Mat Sabu's statement and claims.[18]

On 1 September 2011, Mat Sabu also dispute the services of Sergeant Hassan defending the homeland.

On 20 September 2011, his home was splashed with kerosene and burned. His home in Section 19, Shah Alam was occupied by his son. His wife Normah Alwi (57) took care of his parents who were admitted to Kangar Hospital, Perlis. A police report was lodged at Section 15 of the Police Station, Shah Alam.

On 21 September 2011, Mat Sabu was charged under Section 500 of the Penal Code at the Butterworth Sessions Court for aggravating the image of their police and their families in a talk at Padang Menora on 21 August 2011. Lawyer Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said Mat Sabu was released on bail of RM15,000 until the day of trial. If convicted, Mohamad can be jailed up to two years, or fined or both.

Statement about Royal Malaysian Air Force jet fighter

On 31 July 2018, Mat Sabu revealed to the press that only four of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF)'s 18 Russian fighter jets were operational. This revelation was criticized by the veterans organisation Patriot and its president Arshad Raji as improper as it revealed the RMAF's level of preparedness.


On 17 February 2011, Mat Sabu's mother, Halijah Mat, (91 years old) died at Kampung Guar Petai, Tasek Gelugor, Seberang Perai, Penang. His mother had been attacked by three strokes. Her body was held at the Padang Menora Mosque. Mohamad Sabu has seven siblings, namely Fatimah, Abdullah, Zainab, Sofiah, Mohamad, Kasim and Zaleha.

On 5 January 2019, Mat Sabu's son, Ahmad Saiful Islam Mohamad, was arrested with 100 others for testing positive for drugs in Kuala Lumpur.[19] The case is being investigated under Section 15(1)(A) of the Dangerous Drug Act 1952 for drug abuse.[19] He was convicted on 24 June 2011 but the Kuala Lumpur High Court had on 27 October acquitted him by allowing his appeal to overturn the guilty verdict and eight-month jail sentence over the drug abuse case.[20]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia[21][22][23][24][25]
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1982 P035 Kepala Batas, Penang Mohamad Sabu (PAS) 4,115 16.82% Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (UMNO) 16,759 68.51% 25,277 12,644 80.29%
Khoo Siew Hoe (DAP) 3,589 14.67%
1986 P041 Permatang Pauh, Penang Mohamad Sabu (PAS) 7,500 29.44% Anwar Ibrahim (UMNO) 17,979 70.56% 26,098 10,479 74.82%
1990 P022 Nilam Puri, Kelantan Mohamad Sabu (PAS) 19,596 62.05% Annuar Musa (UMNO) 11,457 36.28% 32,381 8,139 80.42%
Kamarudin (IND) 526 1.67%
1995 P024 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan Mohamad Sabu (PAS) 21,377 65.52% Mat Zin Awang (UMNO) 11,252 34.48% 33,550 10,125 75.74%
1999 P010 Kuala Kedah, Kedah Mohamad Sabu (PAS) 23,548 51.04% Fauzi Abdul Hamid (UMNO) 22,557 48.90% 46,781 991 76.55%
2004 Mohamad Sabu (PAS) 26,493 41.85% Hashim Jahaya (UMNO) 36,707 57.98% 64,332 10,214 81.65%
2008 P036 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Mohamad Sabu (PAS) 31,934 48.90% Razali Ismail (UMNO) 32,562 49.87% 66,231 628 82.45%
Maimun Yusuf (IND) 685 1.05%
2013 P011 Pendang, Kedah Mohamad Sabu (PAS) 29,527 47.71% Othman Abdul (UMNO) 32,165 51.97% 62,649 2,638 89.33%
2018 P111 Kota Raja, Selangor Mohamad Sabu (AMANAH) 90,697 70.79% Mohamed Diah Baharun (PAS) 19,555 15.26% 128,126 71,142 86.80%
V. Gunalan (MIC) 17,874 13.50%
2022 Mohamad Sabu (AMANAH) 123,307 62.36% Mohamed Diah Baharun (PAS) 49,037 24.94% 199,878 74,000 80.81%
Kajendran Doraisamy (MIC) 22,225 11.24%
Fahmi Bazlan Muda (PEJUANG) 2,063 1.04%
Che Sara Afiqah Zainul Arif (PRM) 360 0.18%
P Raveentharan Periasamy (Independent) 209 0.11%
Kumar Karananedi (Independent) 163 0.08%
Surendhar Selvaraju (Independent) 109 0.05%


See also


  1. Tan, Joceline (5 June 2011). "Uncharted road ahead for PAS". The Star. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  2. Tan, Sharon (2 June 2009). "Mat Sabu likes the "progressive" way". Malaysia Today. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  3. "Mat Sabu, from renowned speaker to minister", The Sun Daily, 12 May 2018
  4. Habibu, Sira (4 June 2011). "PAS polls result: Mat Sabu is new deputy, ulama lose out". The Star. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  5. Jennifer Gomez (13 July 2015). "'Purged' PAS leaders launch splinter movement". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  6. FMT Reporters (6 May 2015). "Seven rebel MPs ditch PAS for breakaway GHB". Free Malaysia Today. Archived from the original on 2 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  7. Ram Anand (31 August 2015). "GHB to take over dormant Workers Party". The Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  8. "GHB ambil alih Parti Pekerja Malaysia". Berita Harian. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  9. Adrian Lai (31 August 2015). "GHB to form new Islamic party under existing political vehicle". New Straits Times. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  10. Khairunnisa Kasnoon (31 August 2015). "Parti Amanah Negara jadi wadah politik GHB". Astro Awani. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  11. Rahmah Ghazali (31 August 2015). "GHB announces setting up of Parti Amanah Negara". The Star Online. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  12. "Malaysia to withdraw troops stationed in Saudi Arabia".
  13. Kasthuri Patto, The ghost of the Internal Security Act and Operasi Lalang 1987 continues to haunt and terrify a nation,, 27 October 2013.
  14. 在扣留营跟吉祥父子变朋友!末沙布:我知火箭不种族主义),, 25 October 2017.
  15. "Waris tragedi Bukit Kepong tersinggung". Utusan Malaysia (in Malay). 28 August 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  16. "Mat Sabu's remarks an insult, says Muhyiddin". The Star. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  17. Bukit Kepong Tragedy: The 25 Policemen Were True Nationalists, Says Karpal, The Malaysian Mirror, 30 August 2011
  18. "Isu sebenar ceramah Md Sabu" (in Malay). Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  19. Charles Ramendran (6 January 2019). "Mohamad Sabu stands firm despite son's arrest". The Sun Daily. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  20. V Anbalagan (27 October 2021). "Mat Sabu's son freed of drug conviction". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  21. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 5 June 2016. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  22. "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM 13". Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihan Raya Umum (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.Results only available for the 2013 election.
  23. "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  24. "SEMAKAN KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM KE - 14" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 17 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  25. "The Star Online GE14". The Star. Retrieved 24 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  26. "Mat Sabu kini bergelar Datuk Seri". Berita Harian.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
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