In Memory of A Great Malaysian Leader


Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Elyas Omar

The management and all staff members of the OIC International Business Centre and the editorial team of OIC TODAY send their sincere condolences to the Malaysian people in general and in particular to the family of the late Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Elyas Omar who passed away at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday 15 May 2018. The funeral was attended by a large number of government officials and community leaders including the Grand Mufti of Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Dr. Hj. Zulkifli bin Mohamad Al-Bakri, and the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Haji Mhd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz.

For the past fifteen years, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Elyas Omar was the non-Executive Chairman of the Board of the OIC International Business Centre. During this time the company experienced a great shift in its growth and in the impact it has on the economic development within and the other OIC member countries. He had a close relationship with the Founder and late CEO of the company, Dato’ Dr Raja Mohamad Abdullah, and they shared a common vision to create a trusted platform for Muslim businesses to expand and for the Islamic economy to flourish.


He had introduced transport facilities such as the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) in order to reduce traffic congestion. He also provided integrated public transport system in addition to establishing many tourist attraction sites in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.


Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Elyas Omar was one of the remarkable Malaysian leaders who contributed widely to its early development. He served as the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur for 11 years, between 1981 and 1992. During his tenure many of the major infrastructure projects were implemented in Kuala Lumpur, to be the foundation to the city’s current wonderful design and structure. He was honoured by several royal and federal titles in appreciation of his achievements. In 2016 he was conferred the Seri Utama Mahkota Wilayah (SUMW) which carries the title Datuk Seri Utama.

In addition to his works in developing the social communities, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Elyas Omar had a great passion for sports. He was the president of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) from 1985 to 1993 and it was during his tenure that Malaysia won the prestigious Thomas Cup in 1992. In football, Elyas was president of Kuala Lumpur FA when it won the Malaysia Cup three times in a row from 1987 to 1989. On 6 January 2005, he was appointed the Commissioner of Sports under the youth and sports ministry and held the post until 14 April 2008.


He was the Chef-de-Mission for the Malaysian contingent to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, with the first medal being won through Razif and Jalani in badminton. He was also a committee member for the 1998 Commonwealth Games Bid which had successfully brought the 16th games to Kuala Lumpur.


He initiated his career in the government Public Service Commission as Assistant Director from in 1960. He then became the Assistant Director of the Federal Establishment Office Malaysia in 1966 and later on the Assistant Director of the Administrative Department Unit. Prior to becoming the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, he was appointed as the Director of the National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN) from 1973-1978. He later became the Director General of the Department of Public service between 1978 and 1981. While serving as the mayor, he also was the Secretory General of the Federal Territories until 1987.

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Elyas Omar originated from the state of Penang in northern Malaysia. He was born on 16 November 1936. He had a Bachelor Degree Hons. from University of Malaya, a Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD from Harvard University—both in the USA. After a few years of struggling against several health conditions, he died on 15 May 2018 but he will be remembered for all his works as one of the great Malaysian leaders. We supplicate the Almighty to grant him the ultimate rewards and to shower His mercy upon his soul, Ameen.

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