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His Excellency Tun Dato' Seri Utama Syed Ahmad
Bin Syed Mahmud Shahabudin

Translation by Haji Hashim Samin

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His Excellency Tun Dato' Seri Utama Syed Ahmad was born on May 4, 1925 in Kulim, Kedah. He had his early education in Kulim Malay School and went on to enter Sultan Abd. Hamid college in alor Setar where he passed his Senior Cambridge Examination in 1947.

He began his career as a Civil Service Officer in the Alor Setar Treasury Office from 1947 till 1955.He was at the same time, actively involved in SEBERKAS and the Kedah Malay Association (KMNK) activities centred in Alor Setar.

When the United Malay National Organization (UMNO) was formed in 1946, Tun Syed Ahmad officially entered politics by becoming a member of the Alor Setar UMNO branch. He served as Kedah UMNO's Assistant Secretary from 1951 till 1954 and went on to serve as State UMNO Secetary till 1967.

As a career politician, he was appointed and elected to a few positions and posts. He was appointed as a member of the Federal Legislative Council from 1955 till 1959. He was elected to the Kedah State Legislative Council from 1958 til 1967. On December 14, 1967, he was appointed as the fourth Menteri Besar of Kedah, replacing Dato' Syed Omar Shahabudin who passed away on December 7 1967. His term as Menteri Besar lasted until 1978. As Menteri Besar, he also held the post of Chairman of the State UMNO Liaison Committee, State National Front Party Chief and a member of the Malaysian UMNO Supreme Council.

In 1967 he was appointed and served as a member of the Malaysian Senate until 1969. He was also appointed as the Malaysian Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs, a post he held from 1978 till 1980. In 1981 he was appointed as the Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore. He served in that capacity until 1988. In 1989, he was appointed as the Governor of Malacca, replacing Tun syed Zahiruddin. He is at present still the Governor of Malacca.

He had also managed to reduce the rate of unemployment and the ranks of the poor in the State.

Under his administration, he gave special attention to maintaining political stability the development of the State with the help of party supporters within the government. State Exco members were especially tasked with the production of State policies while government officials were left with the job of carrying them out. Tun Syed Ahmad had frequently left the country for oversea visits aimed at promoting and gaining the confidence of investors on the State's investment potentials and to explain the various incentives offered by the State. Although special attention was given to industries, Tun Syed Ahmad had not neglected the agricultural sector. The construction of the Muda Irrigation Project was the pride of the State. It was quite clear that the project was meant to show to the nation of the State's seriousness in maintaining its traditional identity as the 'rice bowl of the nation'. Tun Syed Ahmad's far sightedness in developing the industrial sector while at the same time upgrade the agricultural sector had resulted a in higher per-capita income among its people. He had also managed to reduce the rate of unemployment and the ranks of the poor in the State.

As a mark of recognition for his valuable contribution to the State and Nation, he was awarded with such honours as the S.M.N., S.S.M., P.S.M., D.U.N.M., S.PM.S., S.P.M.K., S.P.M.T., S.S.D.K., D.P., P.N.B.S., P.G.D.K., J.M.N. and the J.P.

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