Ahmad Zahid returns to cabinet

KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (picture) has returned to join the new cabinet of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Rural and Regional Development.

The 69-year-old UMNO president, who is no stranger in the political and administrative arena, was appointed the country’s number two leader in 2015 when it was led by Barisan Nasional.

Ahmad Zahid, who hails from Kampong Sungai Nipah Darat, Bagan Datuk has held several other positions including home minister, defence minister and minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

The father of five was also appointed as a member of the Senate, member of the Board of Directors of FGV Downstream as well as member of the Management Board of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN).

The Bagan Datuk MP obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from the Universiti Malaya in 1976. He earned a Master’s of Science in Corporate Communication in 2000, and subsequently a PhD in Communication from UPM.

Ahmad Zahid became active in politics when he was elected as Bagan Datuk UMNO Youth head in 1984.

He was later elected as UMNO Youth Information chief, UMNO Youth chief and Bagan Datuk UMNO Division chief.

In addition, Ahmad Zahid has also served as chairman of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).

In private sector, Ahmad Zahid has worked as a bank officer, marketing manager of Amanah Saham Nasional, chairman of Transwater Corporation Bhd and chairman of the Syarikat Perumahan Negara (SPNB).

His vast experience in banking led to his appointment as BSN chairman from 1994 to 1999.

He has also served as chairman of Majuperak Bhd and chairman of Harta Perak Corporation Bhd.

In the 15th General Election, Ahmad Zahid won with a narrow margin of 348 votes defeating Pakatan Harapan’s Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mat Akin (16,230), Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Dr Nik Muhammad Faiz Naaman (8,822) and Independent, Mohamed Tawfik Tun Dr Ismail (226). – Bernama