YB Senator Tan Sri Dato Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar

President of the Senate, Parliament House Malaysia and Former Minister of Entrepreneur & Cooperatives Development, Malaysia


Born on the 1st February, 1946 at Kampung Pendam, Simunjan, Hon. Senator Tan Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Bin Tuanku Jaafar received his early education at Sekolah Rakyat Kampung Pendam, Sadong (now known as Sekolah Rendah Kerajaan Sadong Jaya) from 1956 to 1958. Between 1959 and 1960 he studied at the then Abang Man School, Simunjan (now known as Sekolah Rendah Kerajaan Abang Man, Simunjan). He then continued his lower secondary education at Maderasah Melayu in Kuching from 1961 to 1963. From 1974 to 1977 he continued his Form Five and Six through correspondence with Stamford College in Singapore. From December 1978 onwards, he went to England to pursue his studies at the University College of Buckingham (now known as the University of Buckingham) where he passed his LL.B. with Second Class Honours. Due to his interest in continuing his legal studies, in he enrolled into the Council of Legal Education London in 1981 in order to obtain the Degree of Utter Barrister at which he also secured Second Class Honours.

Senator Tan Sri Dr. Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar, has been in politics for 40 years since 1983, and a Member of Parliament for 32 years since 1990. As a Member of Parliament, he had represented Malaysia to many conferences, seminars and dialogues with Heads of Governments, Ministers, Senior Officials of various levels in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the USA, Egypt, Ethiopia, Moscow, Cuba, Northern Ireland, Geneva, India, Pakistan, alongside ASEAN member countries and others. Interestingly, he also represented Malaysia to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), New York in the years of 1991, 1993 and 2005 and delivered speeches in several of the UN Committees. Between 1990 to 2012, he made numerous diplomatic and official visits to countries like Australia, the USA, Iran, Jordan, China, Korea, Japan, Geneva, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Khazakstan and others in order to exchange ideas and to portray Malaysia as a robust and democratic Islamic Nation and International Trading Nation with a moderated Government.

Senator Tan Sri Dr. Wan Junaidi was an active member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and had attended the IPU meetings at Moscow, Russia, Havana, Cuba, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Geneva, Switzerland and presented papers therein. He made his most notable speech at the plenary session of the IPU in the Kremlin, Moscow which made him the first Malaysian to deliver a speech in the Kremlin, Moscow in 2000. Furthermore, he presented Papers at the Human Right Committee of the IPU at Havana, Cuba in 2003. The Papers that he presented had caused the withdrawal of condemnation against Malaysia over the cases of Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang, Zainur Zakaria, Karpal Singh and Anwar Ibrahim. He is the life member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and had participated in many of the CPA’s Conventions, Seminars and Meeting in India, Pakistan, England, and Northern Ireland, which he holds dearly to this day.

Senator Tan Sri Dr. Wan Junaidi, as one the most active members of ASEAN Parliamentary Association (AIPA) Malaysia has attended many conferences, meetings, seminars and dialogues with Speakers of National Legislative Assembly, Ministers and high level officials of various levels within the ASEAN countries. He represented Malaysia’s Parliament to visit the various Head of Governments for ASEAN Dialogue amongst the cities of Ho Chi Minh City, Cambodia, Royal City of Hua Hin, Thailand and Jakarta, Indonesia for three consecutive years since the Dialogue Forum was formed in 2009. He had also attended conferences on the topics pertaining to drugs and delivered speeches on the said issue in Jogjakarta, Bali, Brunei, Singapore, Laos and the latest being in Vienna, Austria. Subsequently, he was invited and had various discussions with the representatives of the UNESCO on drugs, from the legal, social and security perspectives.

Senator Tan Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi was the founder and the first President of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Caucus and was instrumental in the formation of its Secretariat in Jakarta and authored it Term of Reference which is retained to this day. He led the AIPA delegation to meet and discuss with the High Level Task Force formed by the Eminent Persons Group of ASEAN in 2007 for the drafting of the ASEAN Charter and providing necessary inputs therein before the Charter was officially approved as an ASEAN Charter in 2008.

Senator Tan Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi also sits in various Parliamentary Committees of Parliament Malaysia. He was the member of Procedure Committee, Parliament Malaysia, Member of the Inter-Parliamentary Committee of Malaysia, Past President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly Caucus and was Chairman of Malaysian Chapter of the Parliamentary Scout Union. The only Member of Parliament in ASEAN ever sat as Chairman of the ASEAN AIPA Caucus twice in a life time; first in 2007 and again in 2018.

Before his appointment as Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat in 2008, he was the Member of
Barisan National Back-Benches Club (BNBBC) from 1990 to 1993 and Vice Chairman of the BNBBC for two terms from 1999 to 2008 and he has chaired and sat in various BNBBC Sub-Committees. He sat in the Public Account Committee from 1999 to 2004, Special Select Committee of Parliament for the amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and the Penal Code 2004/2005 and chaired the Technical Sub-Committee for the Transformation Parliamentary Procedure and Ethics under Prime Minister DS Najib Razak.

He was also active in the Scout Movement since 1959 until he retired as the Chief Commissioner of Scout Sarawak in 2007. As the Chief Scout Commissioner of Sarawak, he travelled extensively, both internationally and domestically within Europe, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore and all the States of Malaysia. As a Member of Parliament as well as a Scout Leader, he was invited on personal basis to attend the World Scout Parliamentary Union (WSPU) conference in Warsaw, Poland in 2000 and led a delegation to the conference of World Scout Parliamentary Union in Cairo, Egypt 2003. He accumulated a number of landed properties for the Sarawak Scout Movement and formed the Sarawak Scout Foundation to hold and to manage those properties. It had been considered the peak of the Scout Movement activities and development in Sarawak during his tenure as the Vice-President of the Scout Council Sarawak from 1983 to 1987 and as the Scout Commissioner from 1987 to 2007. For his meritorious Service to the Movement he received several meritorious Scout awards including the coveted awards National Scout Awards; Pingat Perkhidmatan Baik in 1990, the “Semangat Rimba – Silver” in 1992 and “Semangat Rimba – Gold” in 2007, and also the highest and most coveted award National Scout Award “the Semangat Padi – Gold” in 2007. He was also the recipient of International Presidential Scout Award of the Philippines Boy Scout Movement and the Meritorious Gold Service Award of Pramuka, Indonesia. He eventually stepped down as the Chief Commissioner of the Scout Sarawak in 2007 as a protest against the Chief Scout of Malaysia, for using the Scout Movement as a political tool to chart his possible political come-back. Nonetheless, he always holds the belief that Scout is apolitical movement and that all awards it gives should be assessed based on the merits, but not any political or other irrelevant considerations.

He joined the Police Force in March 1964 and completed his training in December 1964. He first served from 1965 to 1968 within various branches of the Police Force from a general duty Personal to the aide-de-camp to the Commissioner of Police, Sarawak. In 1968, he was then transferred to the Para-Military Police Field Force (PFF) and served in Miri and in the RASCOM area until 1973. In fact, he was in the PFF for four and a half years fighting communists in the jungles across the areas of Miri, Sibu, Sarikei, Bintangor, Muara Tebas, and Kapit areas of Sarawak, and had been involved in several skirmishes in the dense jungles of Sarawak. Subsequently, he was then transferred back to the General Duty Police in August 1973 and appointed as Officer-in-charge Traffic Kuching until he went to England in winters of December 1978 to pursue his legal studies. While in the traffic Branch Kuching, he sat in several government Committees including the Local Council Traffic Committee and the Land Transport Department, Sarawak and the Driving Licence Committee.

Right after his completion of his LLB modules, which was during his study break in 1981 and also just before he went back to England to continue his post-graduate studies at the Council of Legal Education, he reported to the Royal Malaysia Police Sarawak and resumed his duty as the Chief Training Officer at Bukit Siol, Police Training School, Kuching. After finishing his legal studies in England in June 1982, he returned to Malaysia and appointed as the Chief Prosecution Officer of the Police in Sarawak. Subsequently, he resigned six months later, i.e. in December 1982, to commence his journey as a lawyer by opening up his legal practice, thus fulfilling his life-long dreams. He was an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) when he resigned. Eventually in January 1983, he entered politics by joining a political party, Pesaka Bimuputra Bersatu at its Branch, in Jalan Patinggi Ali, Kuching. He was the Chairman of the Ex-Police Association of Sarawak from 2001 to 2013 and the Vice President of the Ex-Police Association of Malaysia since 1987 until he stepped down in 2006. His greatest achievement as a leader of the Ex-Police Association Malaysia was finally honoured and recognised by government and Yang Di Pertuan Agong for the general award of ‘Pingat Jasa Pahlawan Negara (PJPN)’, which is to be awarded to all those Police Personnels who served during Malaysia Emergencies; First Emergency from 1948 to 1960, the Second Emergency from 1969 to 1989 and the Sarawak Emergency from 1962 to 1974 (extended to 1990).

In summary, he is a lawyer by profession and a successful Government’s Minister by practice. He first went to England in 1978 to read law at the University of Buckingham, England where he graduated with Second Class Honours in 1981. He then continued his post graduate and professional legal studies at the Council of Legal Education and graduated at the Council of Legal Education with a Degree of Utter-Barrister (Second Class Honours) in 1982. He was subsequently called to the English Bar in May 1982, and became a Member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in June 1982 and was called to the Sarawak Bar in August 1982. Tan Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi also holds a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration (DBA) from the University of Southern California for Professional Studies, in USA which he enrolled in 2001 and after spending three and half hours a daily for three and half years, he eventually completed and graduated in August 2005.

A major turning point in his career was when he was elected as the Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat 2008 for a full term until the Dewan Rakyat was dissolved in May 2013. He introduced many new ideas, inter alia, Parliamentary Privileges, new definitions and interpretations relating to the statutes, Acts of Parliaments and other relevant legislations. He had made many written decisions in the Dewan Rakyat which provided a guidance to some of the inexplicable applications of parliamentary privileges. Some of the decisions could be considered as ‘hallmark’ in the Dewan that could have adversely affected the service of some Ministers without his precise and well researched findings. His decisions in the Dewan Rakyat were remarkable and is recorded in the Parliament Hansard. He was then invited by the then Attorney General to write book on “Parliamentary Privileges and Practices” and another topic, “Parliament: How its Functions?”.

Senator Tan Sri Dr. Wan Junaidi was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs immediately after the 13th General Elections in 2013. The nation was facing new and tremendous challenges in safety and security after the Security Laws were repealed by the government in 2009. The citizens were demanding new measures and prompt actions to be taken. With his vast and wide experiences as a former Police Officer, Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat and a lawyer, he helped to bring new dynamics to the Home Ministry from a unique and holistic perspective. He oversaw the drafting of several Bills relating to the Police’s functions especially in the aftermath of the several security laws and legislations repealed in 2013. He worked well with his counterpart, the then Minister of Home Affairs, Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in delivering the nation’s security needs and what the public wants.

Senator Tan Sri Dr. Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar was subsequently appointed as the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) on the 29th July 2015. Upon assuming office in his new role, he started the transformation and revitalisation of law and procedures of the Ministry. At the same time, the country was facing the devastating problems of haze which had spread to Malaysia and other neighbouring countries from Indonesia and the severe dry weather resulting from the climate change. He took numerous actions to tackle the pertinent issues, ranging from the encroachment of construction of 13 projects at Johor with Singapore to the bauxite pollution at Kuantan, Pahang. Most importantly, to lead the delegation to the final lapse of the negotiation of the climate change agreement under the auspice of Nation Convention for Climate Change (UNFCC), and the agreement was later known as the Paris Agreement 2015.

The major breakthrough was when he actively and rigorously spearheaded the climate change negotiation under the UNFCC. Through his leadership, the clear and precise guidelines that he gave for the Malaysian negotiators in the Paris Agreement negotiations gave the nation’s negotiators a firm stance on the issues relating to climate change. Malaysia was the “spokesperson” for the 25-like-Minded-Countries for the Climate Change negotiations. Senator Tan Sri Dr. Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, personally, had several meetings with the leaders of 25 like-minded countries, particularly with the Minister of Saudi Arabia, delegation of China, India, and finally with John Kerry, the then Secretary of the United States of America. He also had a meeting with Laurent Fabius, the Chairman of the Climate Change Meeting in Paris. His leadership, clear directions and his way of sticking to his sacrosanct principles helped enormously in the rigorous negotiations which transpired into one of the greatest achievements in an international and one of the multi-lateral negotiations of the decade, which resulted in the ultimate success International Environment Instrument of our times; which is the Paris Agreement 2015.

Senator Tan Sri Dr Wan Junaidi, in his usual versatile nature, took the time and patience to learn and to understand his Ministry, its roles and functions and to evaluate the need of the country to handle the multiple tasks before him. Within less than six months, he came up with the formula of moratorium for the bauxite mining in Pahang and created new Standard Operating Procedure for the operators, its transportation, stockpiling and loading at Kuantan Port with hectic shuttles for meeting, discussions and diplomacy with various high profile stakeholders in the industry.

He managed to get the Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak interested in the haze problem and to get him connected with President Jokowi of Indonesia, the Co-ordinating Minister Pak Luhud and the Minister of Environment, Indonesia, Siti Norbaya. At the Ministry, he formed and presided over the Emergency National Committee for Haze and Dry Weather to coordinate actions of local government agencies and to maintained constant diplomatic contact with Indonesia. At the same time, he was actively pursuing the policy of ASEAN free of haze through the ASEAN Haze Ministerial Committee Meetings until all ASEAN countries agreed to sign “the Agreement of ASEAN Free of Haze 2020”. The University of Seoul, Korea recognises his systematic effort in handling the haze problem in the South East Asia and awarded him with the Professor of Environment for the year 2017-2018.

He attended the meeting in biodiversity in Cancun, Mexico and he was elected the Chairman of the Committee of the Mega-Biodiversity Countries of the world for 2017 and 2018, and at the Convention of International Trades for Endangered Species (CITES) in South Africa he personally presented papers to the Committee of the CITES which impressed all the members present. The Committee of CITES agreed to recommend for the downgrading of crocodiles in Sarawak from Schedule I to Schedule II. The Convention for International Trades for Endangered Species (CITES) later accepted and approved the recommendation of the Committee without further deliberation by the CITES at the plenary. This non-deliberation at the CITES Plenary too, was considered historical because it had never been the practice before.

After the fall of the Barisan National Administration in 2018 and Tan Sri Muyhiddin Yasin became the Prime Minister in 2020. The Prime Minister appointed Senator Tan Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar as the Minister of Entrepreneurial and Cooperatives Development Ministry. Being a natural transformist he transformed the Ministry and the several key agencies therein. The elimination of red-tapes and bureaucracies within the agencies to expedite the process and the release of fund approved by the government to assist entrepreneurs and cooperatives during the difficult period of Movement Control Order (MCO) during the Covid19 pandemics. The most notable being the establishment of a university under the Cooperatives Movement Malaysia which was later approved by the Ministry of Higher Education in 2022.

The change of Administration in August 2020, Dato Seri Ismail Sabri was appointed Prime Minister witnessed Senator Tan Sri Dr Wan Junaidi being appointed as the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in-charge of Parliament and Law. Here he made his mark by introducing several laws and amendments to the Federal Constitution, most notable being the entrenchment of the Malaysia’s Agreement 1963 into the Federal Constitution, the legislation with respect to the final phase of the implementation of 18 years old voters December 2021 and constitutional provision to exempt members of certain royal household, and the latest being the constitutional provisions prohibiting defection of a Member of Parliament.

Senator Tan Sri Dr. Wan Junaidi is a prolific writer. Some of the books which have been published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka are “Evolusi Parlimen Dan Evolusi Speaker Parlimen Malaysia”, “Falasafah Undang-Undang Ilmu Berpengakap’ dan “Journal of BIMP-EAGA Jamboree 2000”. The Second edition of “Evolusi Parliamen dan Evolusi Speaker Parlimen Malaysia” in 2014 and he has just completed writing the 3rd Edition of “Evolusi Parliamen dan Evolusi Speaker Parlimen Malaysia”. A monograph “Kosa Kata Melayus Sarawak were launched several times by several universities in Malaysia, and the Second edition would be followed soon in the future.
A book entitled “A Policemen” based on his personal of 13 years experiences in the Sarawak Constabulary and Royal Malaysia Police was published and launched in 2014. He is the co-author of a book called “Crimson Tide over Borneo – Untold Police Stories and Cessation of the Sarawak Communist Insurgency ( 1952 – 1990)”. This book was officially launched by Pehin Sri the then Chief Minister of Sarawak on 6th of October, 2011, now he is updating his book on “Evolusi Paralimen Dan Evolusi Speaker Parlimen Malaysia” as the Third Edition is due to be published by Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka and to be out by August or September, 2022.

He has written many articles in local and international magazines on parliamentary practice in Malaysia and the Commonwealth countries. His latest article of 500 words entitled “Malaysia’s Traditional Leadership in Parliamentary Monarchical System of Government” has been published by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in its centenary magazine in 2008. This article extended version, at the request of the CPA Secretariat in England, was written in 2010 and later together with 34 articles written by 34 writers from 34 Commonwealth countries were bound into a book, and a copy of which was presented to Queen Elizabeth II in conjunction with 100 years anniversary of the Commonwealth in 2010.

For his service to the Nation he has received several Awards: the Johan Setia Mahkota (J.S.M.)(2001) and the Panglima Jasa Pahlawan Negara (P.J.N)(2003) which carries the title of “ Datuk” by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong. He was also awarded the Panglima Jasa Pahlawan Negara (P.J.P.N)(2014) for his services during the Communist Insurgency in Sarawak. The State awards are: Johan Bintang Sarawak (J.B.S.)(1992), Pegawai Bintang Sarawak (P.B.S,) (1998) and the Panglima Negara Bintang Sarawak (P.N.B.S)(2014) which carries the title “Dato Sri”. He was also awarded the of Darjah Gemilang Seri Melaka (DGSM)(2017) which carries the title “ Datuk Seri”. In addition to that, in 2014 he was also awarded a Pingat Bakti Jubli Emas (P.B.E.) in conjunction with the Sarawak’s 50th anniversary in Malaysia. On 5th June 2023 he was awarded a Darjah Kebesaran Panglima Setia Mahkota (P.S.M) (2023) which carries the title “Tan Sri” by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong.