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Mohamed Zahir Ismail
6th Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat
In office
14 June 1982 – 14 October 2004
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
DeputyHee Tien Lai (1982–1983)
Abdul Hamid Pawanteh (1984–1986)
D. P. Vijandran
Mohamed Amin Daud (1986–1990)
Ong Tee Keat
Juhar Mahiruddin (1990–1999)
Lim Si Cheng
Muhammad Abdullah (1999–2004)
Lim Si Cheng
Yusof Yacob (2004–2004)
Preceded bySyed Nasir Ismail
Succeeded byRamli Ngah Talib
Personal details
Born(1924-03-19)19 March 1924
Alor Setar, Kedah, Unfederated Malay States, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Died14 October 2004(2004-10-14) (aged 80)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Resting placeSection 21 Muslim Cemetery, Shah Alam, Selangor
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation
Other political
Barisan Nasional
SpouseHalimatun Sa'adiah Chik
ProfessionAdvocate, solicitor

Tun Mohamed Zahir bin Ismail (19 March 1924 – 14 October 2004) was a Malaysian lawyer and politician who served as Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, the lower chamber of the Malaysian Parliament from June 1982 to his death in October 2004. He was the longest-serving officeholder by serving for 22 years, 4 months. He was also the first Chancellor of the International Medical University from 1999 to 2004.

Early life and education

Mohamed Zahir was born in Alor Setar, Kedah. He attended Sekolah Kebangsaan Hosba in Jitra and later Kolej Sultan Abdul Hamid, Alor Setar. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws from Lincoln's Inn in 1955.


Mohamed Zahir began practising as a lawyer from 1956. After the independence of Malaya, he served as the Kedah State EXCO from 1959 to 1963, and briefly as Menteri Besar in 1963. He was appointed to the Dewan Negara (the upper house) in August 1963, and completed two terms (of three years each) as a Senator.

He was actively involved in the formation of the Malaysia, serving as a diplomat to the United Nations and as the Malayan representative to the Cobbold Commission. In 1975, he was appointed to the Kota Bharu High Court as a judge.

Now a respected figure in Malaysian politics, he was elected Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat following the 1982 general elections, a post he held for 22 years. During his tenure, he also became President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum and the ASEAN Inter Parliamentary Assembly.


In October 2004, Mohamed Zahir died in office due to acute renal failure in Kuala Lumpur General Hospital.[1] He was laid to rest beside the grave of his wife, Toh Puan Halimatun Saadiah Chik, at the Section 21 Muslim burial ground in Shah Alam, Selangor.[2]

Election results

Kedah State Legislative Assembly
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1959 N14 Kota Mohamed Zahir Ismail (UMNO)
Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1964 P012 Sungei Patani Mohamed Zahir Ismail (UMNO) 14,177 70.23% Teh Pek Choon (SF) 3,680 18.22% 20,714 10,497 76.28%
Syed Jan Aljeffri (PMIP) 1,176 5.83%
Ong Boon Seong (UDP) 1,154 5.72%


Honours of Malaysia


  1. ^ Speaker Dewan Rakyat Tun Zahir meninggal dunia Archived 15 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine (in Malay) AgendaDaily. 15 October 2004
  2. ^ "A funeral befitting a Speaker". The Star Online. 16 October 2004. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1963" (PDF).
  4. ^ a b "SEMAKAN PENERIMA DARJAH KEBESARAN, BINTANG DAN PINGAT". Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia). Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1984" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1998" (PDF).
  7. ^ Sultan: Be on guard against anti-nationals. New Sunday Times. 31 March 1981.


Political offices Preceded bySyed Nasir Ismail Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat 1982–2004 Succeeded byRamli Ngah Talib