Tan Sri Dato' Haji Mohamed Ya'acob was born on 3 January 1926 in Kampung Palekbang, Tumpat, Kelantan. He received his early education in Sekolah Melayu Kampung Laut, Tumpat, and Sekolah Melayu Mentuan, Kota Bharu. He then continued his secondary education in Sultan Ismail College, Kota Bharu and obtained the Overseas School Certificate.
Tan Sri Mohamed was employed at the Kota Bharu Post Office in 1947. From 1948 to 1952 he served as Assistant District Officer in Pasir Mas, Gua Musang, Tumpat and Tanah Merah. In 1953, he was appointed as a Private Secretary to the Sultan of Kelantan.
Having obtained his Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln's Inn, he was appointed as Bachok Territory Chief in 1954. In 1958, he served as a magistrate in Muar and then in Batu Pahat, Johor. Tan Sri Mohamed was appointed as the President of the Central Court in Muar, Johor in 1960. Then as the Deputy Public Prosecutor in Ipoh in 1962, and the Terengganu State Legal Advisor in 1967. He retired from public service and established his own law firm, Mohamed Yaacob & Co. in 1967.
Tan Sri Mohamed ventured into politics by joining the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) since 1949. He was elected as a Member of Pasir Mas UMNO division in 1949, UMNO Youth Chief of Pasir Mas division in 1950 and was appointed as the Pasir Mas UMNO division delegate to the UMNO Malaya delegates meeting. In the 1969 General Election, he contested and won as an Alliance candidate.
In 1970, Tan Sri Mohamed was appointed as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. Subsequently in January 1973, he was appointed as Minister of Finance and the Deputy Minister of Education in August 1973. In August 1974, he was appointed as Minister of Energy, Technology and Research and the Minister of Public Enterprises in 1976.
Tan Sri Mohamed held the position of Chief of Machang UMNO Division in 1973, Head of Tanah Merah UMNO Division (1974), Member of the UMNO Supreme Council of Malaysia (1975), Deputy Chairman of the Kelantan UMNO Liaison Body (1978) and Chairman of the Kelantan UMNO Liaison Body (1980-1990).
In the 1978 and the 1982 General Elections, Tan Sri Mohamed contested for the Kelantan State Assembly seat for Lanas, Tanah Merah. He was appointed as Menteri Besar from March 1978-1990 to lead Kelantan's First Barisan Nasional government. In 1980 and 1990 he was appointed as Chairman of the Kelantan Umno Liaison Body. Tan Sri Mohamed also been appointed as the President of the Senate in 1996.
As a token of appreciation for Tan Sri Mohamed, he was confered with several awards; Panglima Setia Mahkota (P.S.M), Paduka Mahkota Kelantan (P.M.K), Setia Mahkota Terengganu (S.M.T), Panglima Gemilang Darjah Kinabalu (P.G.D.K.), Datuk Amar Bintang Kenyalang (D.A) and the title Dato' Bentara from the Sultan of Kelantan.
Historical Narration Ceremony of Tun Hussein Onn
18 November 1999
National Archives of Malaysia