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Name: Hashim, Othman
Current Position: previous Ambassador

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 circa 1934, Othman is a career member of Malaysia’s Foreign Service. In 1994 he was U.N. resident coordinator and representative of the United Nations Development Program in Palestine. He then served as counselor and deputy head of mission at the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, China. He was ambassador to the Czech Republic circa 2003; deputy secretary-general at the Malaysian Foreign Ministry; and Malaysia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from January 2009 until March 2012. Othman 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


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

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

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