Dato' Seri Syed Nahar was born on May 12 1934 in Alor Setar, Kedah.
He had his early education in Derga Malay School and later, in Kulim
Malay School. He went on to Ibrahim Secondary School in Sungai Petani
and Sultan Abd. Hamid College in Alor Setar for his secondary school
education. He went on for further studies in Trinity College, Dublin
where he obtained his Bachelour of Economics and Political Science.
He then continued his studies on Public Administration and Local
Government in Bristol University.
Upon returning to Malaysia, in 1966, Syed Nahar began his career
by becoming the Director of Pioneers in the Federal Land Development
Authority (FELDA). From 1964 till 1969, he served as the General
Manager of the Pilgrimage Funds Board (LUTH). He then went on to
be the first chairman of the National Savings Bank and he was later
elected as a Member of Kedah State Legislative Assembly and appointed
as an Exco member. In 1969, he was appointed as Chairman of the
Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA). He was also appointed
Chairman of Kedah Development Corporation (PKNK) and Kedah Regional
Development Authority (KEDA). He was appointed as member of the
Board of Directors for the National Padi and Rice Board (LPN), the
Malaysian Farmers' Association (LLP), and the Malaysian Industrial
Development Authority (MIDA). Some of the posts that he had held
were as the Director of the Kedah Chapter of Perkim, Director of
Malayan Banking Ltd., and Member of the Malaysian Armed Forces Board,
as a representative of the Sultans. In 1980, hw was appointed as
the President of Kedah Football Association (KAFA) as a Board Member
of the Malaysian Football Association (FAM).
Besides all this, he was a well-known figure in the corporate
world by virtue of his involvement as Chairman of Perlis Plantation
Ltd., Rahman Hydraulics, United Malayan Insurance Co. Ltd., and
Taiping Consolidated Bhd. He was also appointed the Chairman of
Sime UEP Properties Ltd., Dunlop Malasia Industries Ltd., Farmers
(MADA) Trading Co. Ltd., Pertama Malaysia Finance and executive
Chairman of Intradagang Merchant Bankers (M) Ltd.
He was also bestowed with the title of Tokoh Pembangunan Bola Sepak Kedah in 1989.
His ability and contribution in the administrative sector attracted
the attention of past national leaders who selected him to contest
in the General elections of 1969 for the Kedah State Legislative
seat of Jerlun/Kodiang. In 1969 he was appointed as the Chairman
of the UMNO Youth Movement, replacing the Most Honourable Dr. Mahathir
Bin Mohamad. In the 1974 General Elections, he was one of those
contestants who won uncontested and he did so for the Parliamentary
constituency of Jerlun/Langkawi. He was appointed as the Director
of Kedah Barisan Nasional for the upcoming election of 1978. He
won the State Lagislative assembly seat of Langkawi during that
election. On July 13, 1978, he was appointed as Kedah's fifth Menteri
Besar. He resigned the post on 28 January 1985.
As Menetri Besar, he contributed greatly towards the development
of the State. By introducing the portfolio system he made the Kedah
State Government's administration more efficient and effective as
each Exco Member was then made to be responsible for certain sectors.
He made it his priority to improve the industrial sector by wooing
as many investors as possible to invest in the State. Among his
success was the first ever tyre factory to be built in Mergong and
a marble factory in Langkawi. In 1981, the biggest cement factory
in South-East Asia was built in Telok Ewa, in Langkawi. During his
tenure alor Setar saw a faster development with many new buildings
being built among which, was the Tunku Bulding (UMNO), and the Suiltan
Abd. Halim Building in 1983, followed by Menara Peladang and the
PKNK building in 1986.
In recognition of his valuable contribution to the state and Nation,
he was honoured with the Dato' Paduka Mahkota Kedah (D.P.M.K.) in
1972, the Seri Panglima Mahkota Kedah (S.P.M.K.) in 1985, Seri Paduka
Mahkota Trengganu (S.P.M.T.) in 1986 and the Seri Setia Di Raja
Kedah (S.S.D.K.). He was also bestowed with the title of Tokoh Pembangunan
Bola Sepak Kedah in 1989, in recognition of his contribution to
the development and progress of the State's game of football