Datuk Dr Sabirin Ja'afar is the Director-General of the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA), the premier government think tank for maritime policy matters. Experienced in law and the judiciary, he has contributed to academia, research, and the community.
He was born in Masjid Tanah in 1963. He entered into the pioneer batch of Sekolah Menengah Sains Melaka (currently known as MOZAC) and completed his Form 6 year at Sekolah Dato' Abdul Razak (SDAR), Seremban. He then entered into another pioneer batch when he enrolled in the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) in 1983 and graduated with a Bachelor of Law (LL. B Hons) in 1987.
Upon graduation, he was appointed as a Magistrate to the Malaysian Judicial and Legal Service. He worked as a Senior Assistant Registrar, Deputy Registrar of the High Courts in Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown, and Head of the Federal Court Research Division before being appointed as a Sessions Court Judge Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Chief Justice YAA Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Haji Abdullah later named him his Special Officer.
He went on to serve as a Deputy Public Prosecutor in Kuala Lumpur, Senior Federal Counsel (International and Advisory Division), as Legal Advisor for the Ministry of Defence, and as Director of Legal and Investigations for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) under the Attorney General's Chambers. He was seconded to the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Authority (MTJA) as its Legal and Administration Manager before retiring in early 2011.
During his tenure in government service, he lectured part-time and studied under the prestigious Chevening Scholarship by the British government for his PhD in maritime studies at Greenwich Maritime Institute in London. He also interned at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
After his optional retirement, he pursued academia, beginning with his post as Professor of Business Law and Ethics at the International Business School (IBS), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. He taught business classes and supervised PhD students while presenting highimpact papers at numerous local and international conferences, including the Riphah University, Pakistan; Tokai University, Japan; and the Malaysian Bar Council. He researched the corruption indices in Berlin and Switzerland with the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM) and was an active speaker with the Institute.
Datuk Sabirin was appointed the Judicial Commissioner at the High Court, Johor Bahru, by Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 2014 for a two-year term. Finally, he joined a legal firm, Messrs A Raman Saad, as a partner in Johor Bahru for a year before venturing into business.
After leaving the judiciary, he founded a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Muafakat Masjid Tanah in 2018. Dedicated to social welfare activities, the NGO is open to all political parties and races.
He is also actively involved in the London-based Seafarers' Rights International (SRI) Association, championing maritime worker's rights worldwide and representing Malaysia at the 2018 Manila SRI conference for the Asia and Pacific regions.
He was the Constituency Coordinator for Masjid Tanah, and currently a member of several boards –Chairman of the Crime Prevention Council at the Ministry of Home Affairs (POTA), Director of the Board of Directors of Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB), and former Director of the Board of Directors of Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Melaka (PKNM). He is also the Director at Perlindungan & Indemniti (P&I) Malaysia.
Datuk Sabirin is passionate about history, Islamic civilization, international politics, and the economy, particularly the maritime sector. He is also a prolific writer and translator. Menyebar Kalam Tuhan: Cerita Qari, Qariah, dan Al Hafiz Malaysia (2018) showcased his research findings from the Al-Quran. He also co-wrote Dari Sudut Pandangan Islam (1991) with Dato' Seri Diraja Dr Zambry Ab Kadir. On the side, he keeps a blog, Barang Yang Lepas Mesti Dikenang, where he chronicles his predictions and observations about current events.
He has recently been working on a vision for Malaysian maritime development that fully incorporates IR4.0. He is interested in the future of maritime industries, and the importance of early incorporation of maritime education and maritime technology is at the top of his list of priorities.
He is married to an IIUM academician, Datin Rizq Fairuz Mohd Ramli, and they have three children.
Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr.) Halim Saad was born on 20 October 1953 in Perlis. He received his formative education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Indera, Kangar, Perlis before joining the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK). Upon completing his MCE with commendable results, Tan Sri Halim Saad was offered the Colombo Plan Scholarship to pursue his tertiary education in Commerce and Administration at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. During his studies in New Zealand (1973-1977), he was awarded the Bilateral Aid Award by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand.
Tan Sri Halim Saad graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Commerce and Administration from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has received several honorary doctorates from notable institutions of higher learning, namely the Honorary Doctorate of Science from Universiti Putra Malaysia (1997), Honorary Doctorate in Management from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (1997), and the Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from Victoria University (2015). Tan Sri Halim Saad was also awarded the Honorary Fellow by the Institute of Landscape Architect Malaysia in 1997.
Tan Sri Halim has an extensive experience in the corporate sector and among his notable contribution to the nation is the establishment of the pre-eminent corporate giants, Renong and United Engineers Malaysia (UEM), of which had bolstered and contributed to the nation’s economic development. The building and operating of the monumental North-South Expressway (NSE) which was the first and largest in South East Asia, was a milestone privatisation project which took only 5 years to complete instead of the 7-year targeted project completion .
In 2001, Tan Sri Halim established the Markmore Group as the sole proprietor. Markmore Group has investments locally and abroad with portfolios which include: Oil & Gas - Onshore Exploration and Production, Mining concession, Renewable Energy, Construction and Property Development, Shopping Mall REIT, Telecommunication Infrastructure, Education, Property Services, and Asset Management Services.
Tan Sri Halim maintains a favourable relation with the government of New Zealand and assisted in initiating a new programme that allows Malaysian accounting students to complete their degrees at Victoria, Auckland and Canterbury universities. Additionally, Tan Sri Halim co-founded the Chair of Malay Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He was accorded the Distinguished Service Award from Victoria in 1999 and conferred the Friend of New Zealand Award at the Kea World Class New Zealanders Awards in 2015.
Tan Sri Halim was acknowledged as the Insightful Renowned Figure in 1994 by TIME Magazine and also received the Brilliant Service Medal from the Malaysian Association of Youth Clubs (MAYC) in 1995.
Tan Sri Halim has always been passionate about education. In memory of his late father, he established Kolej Yayasan Saad (Saad Foundation College) in 1995, followed by Kolej Matrikulasi Yayasan Saad (Now known as Kolej Yayasan UEM) in 1998. Kolej Yayasan Saad is the first full-boarding private college in Malaysia and is renowned for producing the best results in the PMR and SPM results in Malaysia. In 2013, another brainchild of Tan Sri Halim, the KYS Business School (KYSB) which specialises in professional accountancy qualifications, was incepted. KYSB actively collaborates with the consortium of New Zealand universities in the accounting, commerce, and science courses.
Tan Sri Halim Saad is appointed as the Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) with effect from 15 January 2021 until 14 January 2024.