Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
أحمد زاهد حميدي
Zahid in 2016
11th and 14th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Assumed office
3 December 2022
Serving with Fadillah Yusof
Ibrahim Iskandar
Prime MinisterAnwar Ibrahim
Preceded byIsmail Sabri Yaakob (2021)
In office
29 July 2015 – 10 May 2018
MonarchsAbdul Halim
Muhammad V
Prime MinisterNajib Razak
Preceded byMuhyiddin Yassin
Succeeded byWan Azizah Wan Ismail
14th Leader of the Opposition
In office
18 July 2018 – 10 March 2019
MonarchsMuhammad V
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Preceded byWan Azizah Wan Ismail
Succeeded byIsmail Sabri Yaakob
8th President of the United Malays National Organisation
(ex officio: Chairman of Barisan Nasional)
Assumed office
30 June 2018
Acting: 12 May 2018 – 30 June 2018
On leave: 18 December 2018 – 30 June 2019
Preceded byNajib Razak
Ministerial portfolios
2008–2009Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
2009–2013Minister of Defence
2013–2018Minister of Home Affairs
2022–presentMinister of Rural and Regional Development
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Bagan Datuk
Assumed office
25 April 1995
Preceded byMohamed Jamrah
Majority14,830 (1995)
4,617 (1999)
12,539 (2004)
2,692 (2008)
2,108 (2013)
5,073 (2018)
348 (2022)
Personal details
Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi

(1953-01-04) 4 January 1953 (age 71)
Bagan Datuk, Perak, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation (UMNO)
(since 1973)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
(since 1973)
SpouseHamidah Khamis
Residence(s)Bagan Datuk, Perak
EducationUniversity of Malaya (BA)
University Putra Malaysia (PhD)
WebsiteOfficial blog
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Facebook
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Parliament of Malaysia

Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi (Jawi: أحمد زاهد بن حميدي; born 4 January 1953) is a Malaysian politician who has served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Rural and Regional Development since December 2022. A member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), he has served as its leader and the chairman of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition since May 2018. Zahid has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bagan Datuk since April 1995.

Born in Perak, Zahid studied and began a career in banking before entering politics. He served in several cabinet positions under former Prime Ministers Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Razak from March 2008 to May 2018.[1] He was also Deputy Prime Minister from July 2015 to May 2018. Zahid became the President of the UMNO in 2018 following the party's defeat at the 2018 election. He served as the 14th Leader of the Opposition from July 2018 to March 2019. Under his leadership, UMNO and BN won at the 2021 Malacca state election and the 2022 Johor state election, but achieved its worst result in Malaysian history at the 2022 federal election. After BN formed a coalition government with Pakatan Harapan, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia in December 2022, making him the first person to be appointed to this position twice, under two different administrations.

Zahid has faced several investigations and charges for corruption during his career.

Early life

Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi was born on 4 January 1953 in Bagan Datuk, Perak,[2][3] the eldest son of nine children (seven sons and two daughters) in the family.[4][5] On 1 October 2011, his mother, Tuminah Abdul Jalil, died of a stroke and heart complication in her hometown Sungai Nipah Darat, Bagan Datoh. She was previously hospitalized at the Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. Both of his parents are Indonesian-born Malaysians.[6]

He was raised by a Chinese foster-father, Chen Jin Ting and sold ice cream together for six years with his foster family when he was in elementary school. Chen was not highly educated and would cycle from his house at Simpang Tiga, Hilir Perak to about three kilometers away selling ice cream. Chen was married with his foster mother, Guo Jin Luan. His father later died in 1999, more than ten days after the general election of that year.[7] Following accusations that he was anti-Chinese, he responded asking: "Am I anti-Chinese when I have a Chinese foster father?".[8]

Education and early career

Before venturing into politics, Ahmad Zahid studied at University of Malaya for his bachelor's degree where he graduated in 1976. He also holds a Certificate in Banking from Bank Negara Malaysia before being a banker for OCBC. He then became one of the directors of Bank Simpanan Nasional (1995–1998) and Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB). During his corporate career, he was a Marketing Executive for Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB), Executive Director for Scandinavian Motors Sdn Bhd, Chief Executive Officer of Kretam Holdings Berhad, Chairman of Tekala Corporation Berhad, Seng Hup Berhad and Ramatex Berhad. In 1999 he became the Chairman of Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB).[9] In 2008, he received his PhD in Communication at Universiti Putra Malaysia after he spent seven years to complete his thesis.[10]

Political career

Political secretary and UMNO Youth Chief

In 1986, Zahid was appointed political secretary to Najib Razak during the latter's term as Youth Minister (1986–1990) and then Minister of Defence (1990–1995).

He was elected UMNO Youth Chief in 1996. He was once the chief of UMNO youth Bagan Datoh branch, the Vice Chief for the state of Perak UMNO youth, Head of the UMNO Communication for UMNO youth.

Election to Parliament and UMNO Supreme Council

In 1995, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi became a member of parliament after winning the Bagan Datoh parliamentary seat in Perak in the general elections.

In 1999, Zahid was re-elected Member of Parliament for Bagan Datoh in Perak in the general elections. He was elected to the UMNO Supreme Council in the following year.

Ministerial career

Zahid with PM Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva in 2010
Zahid with PM India Narendra Modi in 2016

After he won the seat for a third time in the 2004 general elections, Zahid was appointed Deputy Tourism Minister by former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. While being a Deputy Minister, he pursued a Doctor of Philosophy degree from UPM, thesis entitled Barisan Nasional Manifesto As Agenda for Malay Language Newspaper During the General Election Campaign.

In the political tsunami of 2008, Zahid again retained his Bagan Datoh parliamentary seat at a time when many BN party heavyweights were trounced. He was then appointed a full Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. In the April 2009 cabinet reshuffle, Zahid was appointed Minister of Defence by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

He was able to retain his parliamentary seat of Bagan Datoh in the 2013 election, although with a decreased majority. He was appointed Minister of Home Affairs in 2013, replacing Hishamuddin Hussein, who took Zahid's previous position at the Ministry of Defence.[11]

In July 2015, he was appointed the country's 11th Deputy Prime Minister in a cabinet reshuffle.[12]

UMNO President

Zahid and US Ambassador Brian D. McFeeters in 2022

In the 2018 UMNO leadership election, Zahid gained more votes than his rivals, Khairy Jamaluddin and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, making him the new president of UMNO and also the first Leader of the Opposition from BN coalition.

After facing weeks of mounting pressure to step down as party president and calls for fresh party polls,[13][14] Zahid finally announces his decision to temporary step down and take leave on 18 December 2018.[15] His deputy, Mohamad Hasan, acted the position of leading the party.[16] On 30 June 2019, he announced his return from "garden leave" back to active role as UMNO president.[17][18]

In the 2022 election, he led the party to achieve its worst result in Malaysian history, only retaining 26 out of 222 seats (BN won 30 seats).[19] Several key figures including Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Mahdzir Khalid, Azeez Rahim, Tengku Zafrul Aziz and Khairy Jamaluddin, lost to either PN or PH candidates.[19][20][21][22] UMNO/BN was also defeated at several state elections held in Pahang and Perak, and lost all seats in Perlis.[23] Zahid himself was re-elected with a slim majority.[24] Following the election defeat, he faced internal pressures to resign as the UMNO President.[25][26][27]

Controversies and issues

Legal suits

Ahmad Zahid had been sued by businessman Amir Bazli Abdullah for allegedly punching him in the face on 16 January 2006 at the Country Heights recreational club in Kajang, Selangor, causing the latter to suffer a nasal bone fracture and a swollen left eye.[28] The case was pursued in the civil courts for six years before the matter was settled out of court.[29]

Controversial statements

Shortly after the Black 505 rallies following the 13th Malaysian General Election due to claims of electoral fraud and vote manipulation, he said that Malaysians who are unhappy with the country's political system and dislike the BN government should "get lost" from the country. This statement has raised discontentment among the citizens, putting a serious question mark over his political future in a multiracial society.[30] The statement was made after a series of street demonstrations led by opposition parties that has refused to accept the results of the 13th Malaysian General election. His first act as Home Minister was to order a crack down against opposition leaders and dissent, landing him in a bigger controversy with sedition laws being used to attempt to suppress the voices of opposition parties.[31]

During a speech in Malacca, Zahid was recorded endorsing the police policy of "shoot to kill" when arresting dangerous criminals,[32] including backing a certain group of gangsters.[33][34][35]

Corruption charges

On 18 October 2018, Zahid was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and charged in court the following day on 45 counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT), abuse of power and money laundering involving a total of RM114 million (about US$27.4 million) funds of Yayasan Akalbudi.[36][37] On 14 December 2018, he was charged with another CBT offence, involving RM10 million.[38] On 20 February 2019, Zahid was again charged with an additional CBT charge, involving RM260,000.[39][40]

On 26 June 2019, Zahid became the subject of 7 new corruption charges involving S$4.2 million (RM12.8 million) which he allegedly received from a foreign visa (VLN) system operator totalling RM42.76 million under his capacity as the Home Minister then. [41] On the next day, he faced 33 more charges totalling RM42.76 million involving the VLN system two years before.[42] The latest charges brought the total number of outstanding charges to 87.[43][44][45]

On 24 January 2022, Zahid has been ordered to enter his defence against all 47 criminal breach of trust (CBT), corruption and money laundering charges involving funds.[46][47][48][49][50]

On 17 February 2022, former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has divulged more details regarding his claims that Ahmad Zahid sought his intervention in court cases. Muhyiddin said Zahid visited a few days after he took office as prime minister with a pile of files. He said he refused to interfere in Zahid and Najib Razak's court cases, which incited their anger and resulted in attempts to destabilise the government.[51]

On 23 February 2022, Mahathir Mohamad said he had a meeting with Zahid before the former became prime minister in 2018. Mahathir said Zahid went to his house with three other individuals and tried to be nice to him to avoid being charged for his misconduct when Umno was in power.[52]


On 23 September 2022, Zahid was acquitted by the Malaysian High Court of 40 bribery charges linked to a visa scheme, and seven charges for allegedly receiving bribes when he was home minister from 2013 to 2018. However, he still faced charges that are related to the misuse of Yayasan Akalbudi funds.[53][54]

Personal life

He is married to Hamidah Khamis and has 5 children. He is fluent in Standard Malay, local Perak Malay and Javanese. He speaks English with limited fluency,[55] and also speaks some Mandarin.[56]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia[57][58][59]
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1995 P072 Bagan Datok, Perak Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 17,646 86.24% Asha'ri Marsom (S46) 2,816 13.76% 21,937 14,830 62.02%
1999 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 12,938 60.86% Mohamad Dahalan Arhsad (keADILan) 8,321 39.14% 22,164 4,617 60.24%
2004 P075 Bagan Datok, Perak Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 17,049 79.08% Ayyathurai Achutharaman (PKR) 4,510 20.92% 22,690 12,539 66.38%
2008 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 13,115 55.72% Madzi Hasan (PKR) 10,423 44.28% 24,414 2,692 70.42%
2013 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 17,176 53.27% Madhi Hasan (PKR) 15,068 46.73% 33,069 2,108 82.83%
2018 P075 Bagan Datuk, Perak Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 18,909 51.37% Pakhrurrazi Arshad (PKR) 13,836 37.59% 37,620 5,073 79.89%
Ata Abdul Muneim Hasan Adli (PAS) 4,061 11.03%
2022 Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (UMNO) 16,578 39.61% Shamsul Iskandar Md. Akin (PKR) 16,230 38.78% 41,856 348 71.94%
Muhammad Faiz Na'aman (BERSATU) 8,822 21.08%
Tawfik Ismail (IND) 226 0.54%


Honours of Malaysia

See also


  1. ^ "Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi, Y.B. Dato' Seri Dr". Parliament of Malaysia. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Biography : The Honourable Dato' Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi". Official Website : Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Menhan Malaysia Ziarahi Makam Raja-raja Imogiri", Viva News, 21 March 2013, archived from the original on 11 October 2014, retrieved 22 March 2013
  4. ^ "Jenazah bapa Ahmad Zahid selamat dikebumikan" [The remains of Ahmad Zahid's father are buried]. Utusan Melayu (in Malay). 10 August 2014. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Ayah Zahid Hamidi meninggal dunia" [Zahid Hamidi's father passed away]. Astro Awani (in Malay). 8 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Malaysian defense minister visits ‘home’", 22 March 2013, The Jakarta Post, retrieved 18 May 2013
  7. ^ "Zahid formed ties with Chinese foster father by selling ice cream". Malaysia Chinese News. 19 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Zahid says raised by Chinese foster dad, insists not 'ultra Malay'". Malay Mail.
  9. ^ "Dato Seri' Ahmad Zahid Hamidi". umno-online.my.
  10. ^ "Zahid gets his PhD at UPM". The Star. Archived from the original on 10 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Najib announces the new cabinet line-up (Updated)" Archived 7 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine, New Straits Times, 15 May 2013. Retrieved on 16 May 2013.
  12. ^ Zahid Hamidi is new DPM
  13. ^ "KJ supports call for Zahid to step down, wants new party polls". The Star Online. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  14. ^ "'Arrogant' Ahmad Zahid needs to step down, says Umno source". New Straits Times. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Zahid steps aside as Umno president, hands over duties to deputy". The Star Online. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  16. ^ Ida Nadirah Ibrahim (6 April 2019). "Zahid Hamidi: No timeline set on leave as Umno president". Malay Mail. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  17. ^ "I'm back! Zahid announces return to active duty as Umno chief". Malaysiakini. 30 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Ahmad Zahid to resume Umno leadership". The Star Online. 30 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  19. ^ a b "'End of an era' for Malaysia's Barisan Nasional, after corruption issues hurt candidates at GE15: Analysts". 20 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  20. ^ "PRU15: Nama besar antara yang tewas". 20 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  21. ^ "PRU15: BN kecundang di Tanjong Karang". 20 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  22. ^ "[Rasmi] Azeez Rahim kalah kepada calon PN di Baling". 20 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  23. ^ "PN brings BN to its knees in Perlis". 20 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  24. ^ "GE15: Zahid retains Bagan Datuk with slim majority". 20 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  25. ^ "PRU15: Lagi gesaan Ahmad Zahid letak jawatan, libatkan Wanita UMNO Wilayah Persekutuan". 20 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  26. ^ "Parti komponen BN turut desak Ahmad Zahid letak jawatan". 20 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  27. ^ "Naib Ketua UMNO bahagian-bahagian desak Ahmad Zahid, Mohamad Hassan letak jawatan". 20 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  28. ^ "Businessman withdraws civil suit against Zahid Hamidi". The Star Online. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  29. ^ "Businessman withdraws civil suit against Zahid Hamidi". The Star Online. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  30. ^ "New Malaysian home minister tells unhappy Malaysians to emigrate". Straits Times. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  31. ^ Boo, Su-Lyn. "DAP slams Zahid's 'arrogance and contempt' for unhappy Malaysians". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  32. ^ Tam, Michelle (7 October 2013). "Zahid Hamidi slammed for alleged 'shoot first' and gangster 'friends' remarks – Nation". The Star. Archived from the original on 9 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  33. ^ "'Zahid should quit and join Tiga Line'". Free Malaysia Today. No. Letters from readers. 8 October 2013. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  34. ^ Zachariah, Elizabeth. "Did you really defend Tiga Line gang, Guan Eng asks Zahid". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  35. ^ "Carry on, Zahid tells 'Tiga Line' dons". Malaysiakini. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  36. ^ "Zahid arrested by MACC". The Star Online. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  37. ^ "Zahid Hamidi faces 45 charges of CBT, bribery, money-laundering". The Sun Daily. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  38. ^ Maizatul Nazlina (14 December 2018). "Zahid Hamidi charged with another CBT offence, involving RM10mil". The Star Online. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  39. ^ Rahmat Khairulrijal (20 February 2019). "Yayasan Akalbudi fund: Zahid faces another CBT charge involving RM260,000". New Straits Times. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  40. ^ "Zahid's case transferred to High Court". The Star Online. Bernama. 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  41. ^ Nurbaiti Hamdan (26 June 2019). "Zahid slapped with seven more graft charges, making it 54 in total (Updated)". The Star Online. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  42. ^ Rahmat Khairulrijal (27 June 2019). "Zahid slapped with another 33 graft charges [NSTTV]". New Straits Times. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  43. ^ Nurbaiti Hamdan (27 June 2019). "Zahid now facing highest number of charges". The Star Online. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  44. ^ Hafiz Yatim (27 June 2019). "Millions in kickbacks from foreign visa system operator". The Edge Financial Daily. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  45. ^ Jessica Lin (27 June 2019). "Malaysia's former deputy prime minister is facing 87 charges – more than twice as many as Najib". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 20 July 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  46. ^ "Zahid ordered to enter defence on 47 charges of corruption". The Star. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  47. ^ Singh, Sharanjit (24 January 2022). "Zahid ordered to enter defence over corruption, CBT and money laundering charges [NSTTV]". NST Online. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  48. ^ Lim, Ida (24 January 2022). "Court rules ex-DPM Zahid has to enter defence over 47 charges in CBT, bribery, money laundering trial". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  49. ^ Achariam, Timothy (24 January 2022). "Yayasan Akalbudi: High Court orders Zahid to enter defence for all 47 charges in trial". The Edge Markets. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  50. ^ "UMNO president Ahmad Zahid ordered to enter defence on corruption, money laundering charges". CNA. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  51. ^ "Muhyiddin: Zahid visited with pile of files, asking for help". Malaysiakini. 17 February 2022.
  52. ^ admin-s (23 February 2022). "Dr Mahathir: Zahid met me before I became PM to avoid charges". Malaysia Today.
  53. ^ KUMAR, P PREM (23 September 2022). "Malaysia's ruling party chief Zahid cleared in bribery case". Nikkei Asia.
  54. ^ Rodzi, Nadirah H. (23 September 2022). "Truth has prevailed, says Malaysia's ex-DPM Zahid after acquittal over bribery charges". The Straits Times.
  55. ^ "Zahid proud to be UN rep despite criticism of his English". Free Malaysia Today.
  56. ^ "Zahid endears himself to Chinese voters using Mandarin phrase". Free Malaysia Today.
  57. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" [Results of the General Election of Parliament / State Assembly] (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 6 September 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  58. ^ "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  59. ^ "14th General Election Malaysia (GE14 / PRU14) – Perak". election.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  60. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang Dan Pingat" [Review of Graduates, Stars and Medals] (in Malay). Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  61. ^ Roshidi Abu Samah (8 October 2015). "Zahid leads Malacca honours list". New Straits Times. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  62. ^ Nine to get Datuk title. New Straits Times. 15 August 1989.
  63. ^ "Perak MB To Be Awarded Datuk Seri Title". Malaysia Today. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  65. ^ "AMP 1992". pingat.perak.gov.my.
  66. ^ "Constitution must be respected, says Kelantan Sultan". The Star. Bernama. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  67. ^ "Sultan of Kelantan birthday honours list". The Star. 2 April 2005. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  68. ^ "David Arumugam, Khadijah Ibrahim now Datuks". The Star. Bernama. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  69. ^ Sandra Sokial (1 October 2011). "Highest state award for eight". Borneo Post. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  70. ^ "Zahid heads list of 115 Sarawak state award recipients". The Star. Bernama. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  71. ^ "Muhyiddin heads list of TYT birthday award recipients". Borneo Post. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
Political offices Preceded byWan Azizah Wan Ismail Leader of the Opposition 2018–2019 Succeeded byIsmail Sabri Yaakob Preceded byMuhyiddin Yassin Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia 2015–2018 Succeeded byWan Azizah Wan Ismail