Ambassador from Malaysia: Who Is Othman Hashim?

Monday, November 05, 2012
Ambassador Othman Hashim

The Southeast Asian nation of Malaysia has sent a career diplomat to serve as its next ambassador to the United States, replacing a political appointee, Datuk Seri Dr. Jamaluddin Jarjis, who served in Washington for two-and-a-half years. (“Datuk” and “Datuk Seri” are honorific titles bestowed by the Malaysian government.) Datuk Othman Hashim, who presented his credentials to President Obama on May 2, 2012, has made attracting more American investment in Malaysia one of his main goals. In 2011, U.S. imports from Malaysia came to $25.7 billion, with semiconductors, computer parts and telecommunications equipment accounting for half the total. U.S. exports to Malaysia totaled $14.2 billion, yielding a trade deficit of $11.5 billion.


Born September 27, 1954, Othman received a degree in economics from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and is a career member of Malaysia’s Foreign Service.


Othman was appointed to administrative and diplomatic service of Malaysia on November 26, 1979. He was named second secretary at the embassy of Malaysia in Bucharest, Romania, three years later and in 1985 was promoted to assistant secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1988, Othman headed for Berne, Switzerland, where he became first secretary at the Malaysian embassy. He stayed three years before being named principal assistant secretary for Southeast Asia in the foreign ministry. 


In 1994, Othman was U.N. resident coordinator and representative of the United Nations Development Program in Palestine. Two years later, he began service as counselor and deputy chief of mission at the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, China. He spent 1999 participating in the Royal College of Defence Studies Course in the United Kingdom before being named under-secretary for policy planning in the foreign ministry.


Othman was named ambassador to the Czech Republic in January 2002 and in June 2005 became deputy secretary for general management services in the foreign ministry. Within months he was named the foreign ministry’s deputy secretary of general bilateral affairs.


Prior to his appointment as ambassador to the United States, Othman served as Malaysia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from January 2009 until March 2012. He was said to be the only diplomat considered to replace Dr. Jamaluddin, who will serve as special envoy to the U.S. while retaining his ministerial rank.


Othman is married to Datin Rohayazam Kamaruzaman. They had three children, one of whom, Firdhaus, died in a car accident in Kuala Lampur in 2008.

-Matt Bewig and Ken Broder


Othman Picked as Envoy to US (by Paul Gabriel, The Star-Malaysia)

Envoy: Malaysia to Woo More Investments from US (Bernama)


Marcelo 5 years ago
The nasty "Mahathir, rape, siti nurhaliza" bsusneis can purely be a computer thing, as some foremers pointed out. A lot of things are computerised and digitized these days.We may not hold the NST in high regard. But to think that they would deliberately resort do such a dastardly act is beyond my comprehension.It they did, it speaks badly of the Prime Minister because he was solely responsible for appointing and protecting the present NSTP editorial leadership.For the first time in the history of the NSTP, the Editor-in-Chief (Abdullah Ahmad Kok Lanas) was formally removed by the PM and his successor (Kalimullah Hassan) appointed by the PM.Dato' Kali shamelessly used the NST/NSunT to announced to the readers that he was appointed by the PM.So what he and his handpicked lieutanants like Brendan Peraira and Hishamuddin Aun did that brought shame to the NSTP would directly implicate the PM.But the person who really did the raping was the PM himself. He raped his chances of enjoying Mahathir's huge following at home and abroad by forsaking Umno and the Cabinet in favour of advisers like Kali, Annuar Zaini, his son Kamal and his son-in-law Khairy.I pity Mahathir. But I pity Abdullah more. His lifelong political career is being destroyed by his self-serving corporate and political operators, including those from the Mahathir era.I pity Abdullah because he is being made to believe that Mahathir is his enemy. Mahathir is his critic but not his enemy. His enemy is his ungratefullness. He is nowhere without 22 years of Mahathir's tolerence and humanity. He stabbed Mahathir in 1987 and he is stabing him again now.Mahathir has nothing to lose. His time is over. But Abdullah has everything to lose. And he would if he continues to be ungrateful and continues to listen to his self-serving advisers.

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