Shahrir Abdul Samad

Shahrir bin Abdul Samad (Jawi: شهریار بن عبدالصمد; born 22 November 1949) is a Malaysian politician who was the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (2008-2009), a Member of Parliament of Malaysia and the former chairman of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC). He is a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest political component party in the former ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. In Parliament – specifically the lower house of Parliament of Malaysia, the Dewan Rakyat – he represented the constituency of Johor Bahru in the state of Johor for six non-consecutive terms. (1978-1990, 2004–2018).

Shahrir Abdul Samad
شهريار عبدالصمد
Ministerial roles
1978–1980Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister's Department
1980–1981Deputy Minister of Finance
1981–1983Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry
1983–1986Minister of Federal Territories
1986–1987Minister of Social Welfare
2008–2009Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
1978–1988Barisan Nasional
2004–2018Barisan Nasional
Other roles
2017–2018Chairman of Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA)
Personal details
Shahrir bin Abdul Samad

(1949-11-22) 22 November 1949
Kuantan, Pahang, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation (UMNO)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
Perikatan Nasional (PN)
Muafakat Nasional (MN)
SpouseShahrizan Abdullah
RelationsKhalid Abdul Samad (younger brother)
Alma materUniversity of Malaya

Khalid Abdul Samad, the former Member of Parliament for Shah Alam, Selangor from the National Trust Party (Amanah) of Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition; is the younger brother of Shahrir.

He was appointed as the chairman of Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) from 1 January 2017 to 14 May 2018.[1]

Early life and career

Shahrir was born in Kuantan, Pahang, and attended local primary schools. He later attended the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) for his secondary education. He went on to gain an economics degree from the University of Malaya in Statistics, and a Master of Business Administration from the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In 1973 he became the youngest political secretary in the country when he became political secretary to Musa Hitam, later Deputy Prime Minister. After his tenure expired in 1975, he became political secretary to Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak till 1976. Shahrir first ran for public office in the 1978 general election, when he won the Parliamentary seat of Johor Bahru. He was initially appointed Deputy Minister, of Trade and Industry, but later became Minister of Welfare, Youth and Sports, and in 1987 took up the post of Federal Territory Minister. He also served as political secretary to Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn from 1983 to 1986.[2] Shahrir was sacked that year in the events leading up to the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's challenge to Prime Minister and UMNO President Mahathir Mohamad. In 1988, Shahrir resigned from his Parliamentary seat, and ran for re-election in the resulting by-election as an independent. A year later, he rejoined UMNO, while Razaleigh went on to form Parti Melayu Semangat 46 (S46).[3] He subsequently was dropped as UMNO candidate in the 1990, 1995 and 1999 general elections.

Later political career

In 2004, he returned to run for 11th general election in Johor Bahru on a BN-UMNO ticket, and won. He later claimed that then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had offered him a post in the Cabinet, but declined, citing the large number of qualified MPs.[2] Instead, he went on to chair the Public Accounts Committee in the Dewan Rakyat.[3]

He was linked to the Generasi Profesional dan Pewaris Bangsa (PROWARIS), an NGO aligned with the ex-prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.[4]

2006 controversy

On 4 May 2006, Shahrir announced his resignation as chairman of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC). Earlier that day, Parliament had been discussing the issue of a member of parliament (MP) who allegedly asked the Melaka Customs and Excise Department to "close one eye" to an illegal import shipment of timber. Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Leader of the Opposition moved a motion to refer the MP in question to the Dewan Rakyat House Committee of Rights and Privileges. Several BN MPs quickly voiced their disagreement with the motion, but Shahrir – according to one source – "shocked the House" when he stood and spoke in favour of the motion in order "to maintain the integrity of parliamentarians and Parliament". The motion was eventually rejected – in line with the BN policy of not supporting motions moved by the opposition[5] – by the House. Shahrir walked out of the House and held a press conference in the Parliament lobby, telling reporters that "Even though it was an Opposition motion, we should support it for its importance to MPs and the House." He then announced his resignation as the Chairman of the BNBBC. The Deputy chairman, Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar, later told reporters he would attempt to persuade Shahrir to stay on.[6]

After an emergency meeting, the BNBBC also announced they would ask Shahrir to stay on. In the meantime, the MP for Jasin, Mohammad Said Yusof, said he was the MP implicated in the matter. However, he insisted he had only asked for leniency on the grounds that the timber had been found to be illegal due to a technicality. Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Parliamentary Affairs, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, said that "It is not that we disagree with Shahrir but it's an opposition motion and we usually reject their motions." He also told the press that the House Rights and Privileges Committee could not have an unnamed MP referred to it on the basis of a newspaper report. Nazri said that the Customs chief would have to complain to the Speaker and name the MP in question.[7][8]

Later that week, Shahrir met with then Deputy Prime Minister and BN Chief Whip, Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak to officially submit his resignation. While Najib accepted it, it was not immediately clear if he would initiate disciplinary action against Shahrir for breaking ranks with the party. Shahrir initially insisted that "This is not a party matter," but later told the press that he resigned "as I had breached the party's directive against supporting an Opposition motion."[9]

Later, several backbenchers demanded that Shahrir's resignation be rescinded. The BNBBC secretary, Rosli Mat Hassan (MP for Dungun) issued a statement on the behalf of other backbenchers where he declared, "the unwritten rule that presently [makes] it mandatory for BN MPs to oppose any opposition motion regardless of merit [runs] counter to basic parliamentary practice and [infringes] on the duties of MPs". It was reported that Zaid Ibrahim, MP for Kota Bharu, was now leading a campaign to re-elect Shahrir as the BNBBC chairman. Shahrir's supporters said that it was their right to decide who led them, and implied that this was not Najib's prerogative.[10][11] At the same time, the BNBBC's official position on the issue was that Shahrir had procedurally erred in supporting the motion, as the matter was beyond the purview of the Committee in question, which exists only to prevent a breach or abuse of Parliamentary privileges. A spokesperson also said that "The current procedure now is MPs must give a written notice to the Speaker, and only when the Speaker is satisfied, can the House decide whether the matter should be referred to the committee. ... In this episode, it was all done in a blink of an eye."[12] Shahrir later reversed himself, saying "I made a mistake in regard to the parliamentary procedure involved. However, based on the political model, there was no mistake."[13]

The following day, the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi issued an official directive on the matter, affirming that MPs could only vote along party lines. Zaid and most of the other backbenchers who had backed further autonomy told the press they accepted the decision. However, Rosli clashed with Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Chief Whip Nazri Aziz, who said that "The Whip is only relaxed when it is lifted by the chief or the deputy chief Whip." Rosli said " the absence of his [the Chief Whip's] direction, the general rule is to that MPs are to vote according to their conscience..." Although many backbenchers said they considered Shahrir the BNBBC chairman, Abdullah said that the government had planned to sack Shahrir, "But before we could do that he resigned, and we respect his decision."[14][15][16]

Ministership 2008–2009

In 2008, following the 12th general election which saw BN's majority significantly slashed, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appointed Shahrir as Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister.[17] In the 2009 UMNO General Assembly, Shahrir lost his bid for a place in the Supreme Council and consequently resigned from the Cabinet.[18]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia[19][20][21][22][23][24][25]
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1978 P114 Johore Bahru, Johore Shahrir Abdul Samad (UMNO) 38,950 71.57% Chan Yeik Nung @ Chan Heng Jib (DAP) 15,469 28.43% U/A 23,481 U/A
1982 Shahrir Abdul Samad (UMNO) 47,825 69.20% A. Razak Ahmad (PSRM) 21,288 30.80% U/A 26,537 U/A
1986 P130 Johor Bahru Shahrir Abdul Samad (UMNO) 19,349 53.06% A. Razak Ahmad (PSRM) 17,114 46.94% 37,368 2,235 62.36%
1988 Shahrir Abdul Samad (IND) 23,581 64.06% Mas'ud Abd Rahman (UMNO) 10,968 29.80% 37,094 12,613 61.52%
A. Razak Ahmad (PSRM) 2,260 6.14%
2004 P160 Johor Bahru Shahrir Abdul Samad (UMNO) 54,073 88.13% Atan Ahmad (PAS) 7,281 11.87% 62,455 46,792 68.55%
2008 Shahrir Abdul Samad (UMNO) 43,143 70.80% Hassan Abdul Karim (PRM) 17,794 29.20% 62,440 25,349 69.59%
2013 Shahrir Abdul Samad (UMNO) 44,509 56.68% Md Hashim Hussein (PKR) 34,014 43.32% 79,965 10,134 83.02%
2018 Shahrir Abdul Samad (UMNO) 30,270 37.55% Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir (PKR) 50,052 62.45% 81,645 19,782 80.50%


Honours of Malaysia

Notes and references

  1. "Lembaga Kemajuan Tanah Persekutuan (FELDA) - Mantan Pengerusi". (in Malay). Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  2. Ram, B. Suresh (18 March 2008). "The Cabinet post remains the same: Shahrir". New Straits Times. Archived from the original on 21 March 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2008.
  3. Beh, Lih Yi (20 March 2008). "Shahrir: We need more aggressive ministers". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  4. HermanSamsudeen (7 June 2007). "PROWARIS YANG SEBENARNYA". DEWAN PEMUDA PAS WILAYAH PERSEKUTUAN. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  5. Chok, Suat Ling (4 October 2005). "MPs in the dock". New Straits Times, p. 1, 6.
  6. Yusop, Husna (4 May 2006). "Shahrir quits as BBC chief after MPs failed to support an 'integrity' motion" Archived 19 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Malaysia Today.
  7. "Shahrir quits as Backbenchers Club chief", pp. 1, 3. (5 May 2006). The Star.
  8. "'I asked dept to be lenient'", p. 3. (5 May 2006). The Star.
  9. "Disciplinary action against Shahrir?", p. 7. (6 May 2006). New Straits Times.
  10. Beh, Lih Yi (8 May 2006). BN backbenchers stage a revolt. Malaysiakini.
  11. Ooi, Jeff (2006). "Sandiwara? Take the Teflon Test... ( 4 )" Archived 9 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 8 May 2006.
  12. Ram, B. Suresh (8 May 2006). "MPs want to vote according to their conscience" Archived 18 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine. The Sun.
  13. Ram, B. Suresh (9 May 2006). "I'm not disappointed, says Shahrir". The Sun.
  14. Megan, M.K. & Andres, Leslie (9 May 2006). "Abdullah: Vote along party lines", p. 4. New Straits Times.
  15. "MPs told to assist, not hinder government agencies", p. 4. (9 May 2006). New Straits Times.
  16. Ram, B. Suresh (9 May 2006). "Bound by Whip at all times" Archived 3 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine. The Sun.
  17. "PM unveils trimmed-down cabinet". Malaysiakini. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2008.
  18. Shahrir says it is only right to resign Archived 4 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine The Malaysian Insider. 1 April 2009
  19. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  20. "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  21. "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM 13". Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihan Raya Umum (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  22. "my undi : Kawasan & Calon-Calon PRU13 : Keputusan PRU13 (Archived copy)". Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  23. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13". Utusan Malaysia. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  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. "SEMAKAN PENERIMA DARJAH KEBESARAN, BINTANG DAN PINGAT". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  27. "Tun Abdullah dahului senarai penerima darjah kebesaran WP 2010". Bernama (in Malay). Utusan Malaysia. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2019.

Other references

  • Samad, Shahrir Abdul (2005). "shahrir-umno". Retrieved 29 October 2005.
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