President, Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), Malaysia
Contribution to Society
2008

Tuan Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud became the President of Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) and that too after contesting for the post four imes; he won the fifth attempt in 2004 – he has faced many challenges. Believing on servant leadership style with proven track record in championing the workers cause, Syed Shahir was reelected to helm MTUC for the 2nd term in 2007 with a comfortable and convincing majority. 

Syed Shahir started his career after completing tertiary education as a Mathematics Teacher at his hometown of Raub in Pahang. However, in seeking for greater challenges, he decided to move on to Kuala Lumpur to join the trade union movement in 1975 and signed up as a professional trade unionist and rise to become the Executive Secretary of the National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industry Workers (NUTEAIW). 

Syed Shahir has been consistence in championing the call for the introduction of legislation to fix on National Minimum Wage at RM 900/- and the provision of Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) of RM 300/- for the public and private sectors in Malaysia. MTUC held several dialogues with the authorities and organized peaceful public demonstrations to press with its claims. It is not the hard negotiations between employers and unions but unions and the Government. In response, the Government on its part has called for restraint and suggested the use of the National Wages Council and Tripartite mechanisms to deal with low wages and salary increases in specific sectors. Syed Shahir, a charismatic orator is immensely popular with family members, friends and union members. As a servant leader, his desire to serve others is first, always encourages collaboration, listening to constructive feedback and ethical use of power and influence!