Syed Sheh Syed Hassan Barakbah
سيد شيه الحج سيد حسن برکبه
3rd Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Penang
In office
1 February 1969 – 1 February 1975
Preceded bySyed Sheh Shahabudin
Succeeded bySardon Jubir
2nd President of the Dewan Negara
In office
27 January 1969 – 5 February 1969
Preceded byAbdul Rahman Mohamed Yassin
Succeeded byMohamed Noah Omar
2nd Lord President of the Federal Court
In office
Preceded byJames Beveridge Thomson
Succeeded byMohamed Azmi Mohamed
Personal details
Born(1906-11-10)10 November 1906
Alor Setar, Kedah, Siam (now Malaysia)
Died8 October 1975(1975-10-08) (aged 68)
Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
EducationSultan Abdul Hamid College
Alma materInner Temple (LLB)

Tun Syed Sheh Al-Haj bin Syed Hassan Barakbah (10 November 1906 – 8 October 1975) was a prominent Malaysian judge. He was the second Lord President of the Federal Court, and the first Malaysian to hold that office. After his career in the judiciary, he briefly served as President of the Dewan Negara and later Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Penang. He is the shortest-serving President of the Dewan Negara in the history of Malaysia.

Early life and education

Born in Alor Star, Kedah, Syed Sheh was of Hadhrami-Malay descent; his Arab ancestors had migrated from Hadhramaut and settled in Kedah for several generations.[1] Being of the Barakbah clan, he is related to Sharifah Rodziah Syed Alwi Barakbah, the third wife of the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Syed received his education at the Sultan Abdul Hamid College before continuing his studies in England sponsored by the Kedah State Government's scholarship. He was accepted to read law at the Inner Temple and graduated in 1934 with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree.


Syed Sheh began his career in the judiciary as a special magistrate in the Colonial Legal Service in 1946. After independence, he served as a judge on the Court of Appeal and in 1963, was appointed Chief Justice of Malaya. In 1968, Syed Sheh succeeded Tun Sir James Thomson as Lord President of the Federal Court, then the highest office in the Malaysian judiciary. He was the first Malaysian to serve in that capacity.[2]

After retiring as Lord President, Syed Sheh was appointed a Senator in the Dewan Negara, the upper house of the Parliament of Malaysia. He became President of the Dewan Negara in 1969, serving for little over a week until early February. He retired from the Senate later that month and was appointed the third Governor of the state of Penang by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin. He served two terms (four years, then two years) until February 1975.

In becoming Lord President, President of the Dewan Negara and Governor of Penang, Syed Sheh has served in senior positions in the Malaysian executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.


Tun Syed Sheh died on 8 October 1975, in Alor Star, Kedah.


Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah

The Esplanade Road in George Town, Penang was renamed as Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah.


Honours of Penang

As 3rd Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Penang (5 February 19695 February 1975)

Honours of Malaysia

Foreign honours


  1. ^ Macam-macam Ada: Memo untuk Pak Lah (Bahagian Satu), by Hussien Alattas, published by JB News Media Network, 2006, ISBN 983-40962-8-3, pg 254
  2. ^ Sultan Azlan Shah And The Judiciary Bernama. 29 January 2009
  3. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1968" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1970" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Darjah kerabat Kedah untok Sultan2 Pahang dan Kelantan". 29 January 1969. p. 3.