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Dato' Seri Syed Nahar Bin Tun Syed Sheh Shahabudin
(Dato' Kama Jaya)

Translation by Haji Hashim Bin Samin

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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

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