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Tun Daim Zainuddin

Translation by Syed Zulfilda S.M. Noor


Tun Daim Zainuddin was born in 1938 in Derga, Alor Star, Kedah. He received his early education at the Seberang Perak Malay School, and later continued his secondary education at the Sultan Abdul Hamid College from 1949 until 1953. Subsequently, he studied at the Saint Xavier Institution, Penang and passed his Cambridge School Examination in 1955. He started his career as an attachment teacher at the Sultan Abdul Hamid College until 1957. He passed his Bar Examination in 1959, after enrolling himself at Lincoln's Inn for only eighteen months. With his law degree, he studied 'Urban Planning' at the University of Berkeley, California in 1977 and graduated in 1979.


  • Started his own legal practice in Kota Bahru, Kelantan
  • Joined the Malaysian Legal Service
  • Magistrate in Johor
  • Deputy Public Prosecutor in Perak
  • Opened his legal practice in association with Allen & Gledhill
  • Started another legal firm known as Daim & Gamani
  • Minister of Finance (1984-1991)
  • Government Economic Advisor
  • Joint Chairman, Langkawi Development Authority
  • Chairman, Northern Growth Triangle Project (IMTGT) Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia
  • Special Representative to the East Asian Growth Area (EAGA) covering Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia
  • Executive Director of National Economic Action Council (NEAC) (December 1997)
  • Minister with Special Functions at the Prime Minister's Department (June 1998)
  • Minister of Finance (1st January, 1999)

Political Involvements

  • Senator (1980-1982)
  • Member of Parliament for Kuala Muda (1982)
  • Member of Parliament for Merbok (1986)
  • UMNO Treasurer

In the early part of his career, Tun Daim started his involvement in property development, and among his housing projects are the Taman Maluri and Taman Bukit Maluri. He was also the Chairman of Paremba Fleet Holdings, Syarikat Television Malaysia and Rakyat First Merchant Bankers. When he was the Finance Minister, a number of privatization projects were effectively launched. The privatization of MAS, TNB, Airod and North-South Highway Project (PLUS) were some of the examples. Apart from that, Tun Daim succeeded in creating a number of enterprising Malay entrepreneurs through the National Economic Policy. He was also one of the best Finance Ministers that the country ever had since independence. Ideaa nurtured by him succeeded in creating new dimensions for Malay entrepreneurs to able compete in the business and corporate sector both nationally and internationally.

In appreciation of his services and contributions, he was bestowed with numerous awards by the government (State as well as Federal). Among the many awards are the Darjah Halim Mu'adzam Shah (D.H.M.S.), the Datuk Seri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (S.S.A.P.), the Seri Setia Mahkota (S.S.M.) which carries the title Tun, and the Darjah Kebesaran Seri Paduka Mahkota Selangor (S.P.M.S.).

In the academic field, he was awarded numerous honorary awards to commemorate his contributions to the country. They include an 'Honorary Doctorate in Science' by Universiti Pertanian Malaysia in 1991, an 'Honorary Fellowship' from the Malaysian Institute of Planners in 1994, an 'Honorary Doctorate in Economics' by the Universiti Sains Malaysia (U.S.M.) in 1995, 'Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy (Management) by Universiti Utara of Malaysia (U.U.M.) in 1997 and an 'Honorary Fellowship' from the Malaysian Institute of Engineers in 1998. He was also conferred the title 'The Father of Malay Entrepreneurial Development Malaysia' by the UMNO Youth Movement in 1997.

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