Musa Hitam
موسى هيتم
5th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
In office
18 July 1981 – 16 March 1986
MonarchsAhmad Shah
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
Preceded byMahathir Mohamad
Succeeded byGhafar Baba
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
18 July 1981 – 16 March 1986
MonarchsAhmad Shah
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
DeputyAbdul Rahim Thamby Chik
Mohd Kassim Ahmed
Preceded byGhazali Shafie
Succeeded byMahathir Mohamad
Minister of Education
In office
MonarchsYahya Petra
Ahmad Shah
DeputyChan Siang Sun
Salleh Jafaruddin
Mohammad Najib Abdul Razak
Preceded byMahathir Mohamad
Succeeded bySulaiman Daud
Minister of Primary Industries
In office
MonarchsAbdul Halim
Yahya Petra
DeputyPaul Leong Khee Seong
Preceded byAbdul Taib Mahmud
Succeeded byAbdul Taib Mahmud
Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry
In office
MonarchsIsmail Nasiruddin
Abdul Halim
Prime MinisterTunku Abdul Rahman
Abdul Razak Hussein
MinisterKhir Johari
ConstituencySegamat Utara
Personal details
Born (1934-04-18) 18 April 1934 (age 90)
Johor Bahru, Johor, British Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyUnited Malays National Organisation (UMNO) (until 1988)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
SpouseZulaikha Sheardin
Alma materUniversity of Malaya (BA)
University of Sussex (MA)

Tun Musa bin Hitam (Jawi: موسى بن هيتم; born 18 April 1934) is a Malaysian retired politician who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 1986, serving under Mahathir Mohamad.[1] He was the chairman of Sime Darby Berhad.

Early life and education

Musa bin Hitam was born on 18 April 1934 in Johor Bahru, British Malaya, to a Malay father of Javanese descent and a mother of Chinese descent, who was adopted by and grew up in a Malay household at the age of five.[2][3][4]

Musa continued his studies at the English College Johore Bahru. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Malaya and his master's degree from the University of Sussex. He has since been awarded with various honours, including an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sussex and an Honorary Doctorate from Ohio University (in 1980). Musa has held various posts at the international level at various times. These included being Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Member of the Board of UNESCO, Leader of the Commonwealth Observer Delegation to the Malawi general elections and Member of the Commonwealth Ministers Delegations to Nigeria, Pakistan, Fiji and Gambia.

Political career

In the 1960s, Musa was briefly served as Acting Secretary-General of UMNO. He was later expelled from the party in the wake of the 13 May racial rioting for insubordination to Prime Minister and UMNO President Tunku Abdul Rahman. During his political exile, he obtained his Master's from the University of Sussex.

In 1971, he was readmitted to UMNO under the Tunku's successor, Tun Abdul Razak. He rose quickly, becoming Deputy Whip of the Alliance coalition in Parliament, and was elected as a member of the UMNO Supreme Council. He was elected as a UMNO Vice-President in 1978.[5]

When Mahathir Mohamad succeeded as Prime Minister of Malaysia, he declared the election for the Deputy Presidency of UMNO open; and thus by extension the Deputy Prime Ministership — was open; he would not support any candidate.[6] Musa Hitam faced Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in 1981 the party election.[7] Eventually, Musa won the election with 722 votes to Razaleigh's 517 votes, becoming the new Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister.[8] Razaleigh blamed himself for taking "a rather passive stance" and not having a campaign strategy.[9]

Government positions

Before becoming Malaysia's fifth Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs in 1981–1986, Musa held a number of key government posts, including

Musa retired after the UMNO leadership crisis and was replaced by Ghafar Baba as Deputy Prime Minister in 1987.

Post-political career

In 1987, Tengku Razaleigh challenged Mahathir Mohamad for the presidency of UMNO. Musa Hitam, who was then having a growing rift with Mahathir, resigned as Deputy Prime Minister, citing irreconcilable differences with Mahathir.[10] He then joined Razaleigh's Team B as UMNO deputy president candidate. In the election, Dr. Mahathir and his Team A managed to retain his position and power over the party. However, UMNO was split into two separate entities as Tengku Razaleigh was left unsatisfied with the result. The split forced the Malaysian court to declare UMNO as illegal. Shortly after the court ruling, Dr. Mahathir reestablished UMNO as UMNO Baru (New UMNO), though the new UMNO was badly weakened. Tengku Razaleigh at the same time went on his own path and found a new political party called Semangat 46 in 1989. The number 46 refers to the year UMNO was founded. Musa, however, decided to retire from politics and has not joined the fray since.

Between 1990 and 1991, he was Malaysia's Special Envoy to the United Nations, and since 1995 he has been the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG). Tan Sri Musa also led the Malaysian delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights from 1993 to 1998 and was elected Chairman of the 52nd Session of the Commission in 1995. As a member of UMNO, Musa has held various positions within the party up to Deputy President until 1987.

He also served as the Chairman of Suhakam, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission, from 1999 till 2002. In 2007, Musa became the chairman of Synergy Drive Berhad, the entity which arose out of the newly formed merger between Sime Darby, Guthrie, and Golden hope Plantations.[11] He also serves on the International Advisory Council of the Brookings Doha Center. Musa is currently the Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Foundation.[12]

Personal life

Musa was married to Toh Puan Datin Ines Maria Reyna, a Peruvian of Spanish descent, whom he first met at Lima, Peru in 1959 as an international student. They had 3 children: Mariana, Carlos Abdul Rashid and Rosana. Carlos was killed together with his wife Rozita Datuk Abu Bakar during the Highland Towers collapse in December 1993.[13]

Musa is now married to Toh Puan Zulaikha Sheardin.[14] His daughter Mariana died on 5 November 2022.[15]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1968 P103 Segamat Utara, Johor Musa Hitam (UMNO) 9,485 62.34% Lee Ah Meng (DAP) 5,731 37.66% 15,427 3,754 74.24%
1969 Musa Hitam (UMNO) 10,212 61.18% Tan Thian San (DAP) 6,480 38.82% 17,192 3,732 78.86%
1974 P099 Labis, Johor Musa Hitam (UMNO) Unopposed
1978 Musa Hitam (UMNO) 19,576 88.04% Jamal Ahmad (PAS) 2,659 11.96% Unknown 16,917 Unknown
1982 P108 Panti, Johor Musa Hitam (UMNO) Unopposed
1986 P128 Kota Tinggi, Johor Musa Hitam (UMNO) 33,891 91.23% Harun Embong (PAS) 3,258 8.77% 38,456 30,633 76.54%


Honours of Malaysia

Foreign honour

Notes and references

  1. ^ Crossette, Barbara (28 March 1987). "MALAYSIA LEADER FACING MAJOR REVOLT IN HIS PARTY". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  2. ^ Mokhtar Petah (1993). Kerajaan mansuh kekebalan Raja Melayu. ART Media. p. 164. ISBN 9839835009.
  3. ^ Dhillon, Karminder Singh (2009). Malaysian Foreign Policy in the Mahathir Era, 1981-2003: Dilemmas of Development. NUS Press. p. 24. ISBN 9789971693992.
  4. ^ Bruce Gale (1982). Musa Hitam: A Political Biography. Eastern Universities Press (M). p. 12. ISBN 9971-65-212-9.
  5. ^ Tan, Chee Khoon & Vasil, Raj (ed., 1984). Without Fear or Favour, p. 43–44. Eastern Universities Press. ISBN 967-908-051-X.
  6. ^ "Loser Will Stay On: Dr M to accept decision of delegates" (PDF). The Star. 25 June 1981 – via Perdana Leadership Foundation Library.
  7. ^ Tan & Vasil, p. 2.
  8. ^ Tan & Vasil, p. 204.
  9. ^ Tan & Vasil, p. 112.
  10. ^ Putra, Tunku Abdul Rahman (1986). Political Awakening, p. 86. Pelanduk Publications. ISBN 967-978-136-4.
  11. ^ "Musa Hitam is chairman of Synergy Drive". Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
  12. ^ "WIEF Foundation Launch by Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of WIEF Foundation". World Islamic Economic Forum. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  13. ^ Veera, R. V. et al., 12-storey apartment block collapses–53 people believed to be still buried, new Sunday Times, 12 December 1993, p. 1
  14. ^ Melangsungkan pernikahan, TEMPO, Majalah Berita Mingguan, 13 September 1986
  15. ^ "Ex-DPM Musa Hitam's Daughter dies". New Straits Times.
  16. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1994" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 2006" (PDF).
  18. ^ "Tun For Musa Hitam Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine". Bernama. 3 June 2006.
  19. ^ Johore Sultan's Birthday List Parade. New Straits Times. 3 November 1973.
  20. ^ "Musa Receives Johor Ruler's Award". New Straits Times. 9 April 1982. p. 1.
  21. ^ "SPMS 1982". Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  22. ^ Musa gets state's highest award. New Straits Times. 9 June 1982.
  23. ^ Negeri Sembilan Award for Musa. New Straits Times. 10 May 1982.
  24. ^ "Sabah's highest award for Mariam Robert". New Straits Times. 11 September 1984. p. 4.
  25. ^ "The Conferment Ceremony of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun on Tun Musa Hitam, Former Deputy Prime Minister". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
Political offices Preceded byMahathir Mohamad Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia 1981–1986 Succeeded byGhafar Baba