Azalina Othman

Azalina Othman Said

Dato' Sri Azalina binti Othman Said is the Tourism Minister in the Cabinet of Malaysia. Before that, she was the Youth and Sports Minister. She is a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the main component party of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional.

Azalina is the Member of Parliament for Pengerang, Johor. She won her Pengerang parliamentary seat uncontested in the 2008 Malaysian general election. She also won the previous election uncontested also due to last minute pulling out of opposition candidacy.

Early life

Born in Johor Bahru on December 31, 1963, Azalina started his tertiary education in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) (or Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM) as it was known then) by taking her Diploma in Public Administration (DPA). Upon graduating with ITM, she read laws in Universiti Malaya and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours.) or LL.B Hons. After graduating in 1988, she went on to further her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom and graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) in 1990.

She first started her career in Malaysia as a legal assistant at Messr Raja Darryl & Loh law firm (1988-1989, 1991-1994). After gaining experience, she became an associate partner of Azalina Chan & Chia law firm (1994-2001) and with Messrs Skine (2001-2002).

In 2002, she formed a partnership with Messrs Zaid Ibrahim & Co [2002-2004], which is the largest law firm in Malaysia and later on with Zaid Ibrahim & Co. LLP, Singapore in 2003. Coincidentally, Zaid Ibrahim is now her cabinet colleague, having been appointed Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in-charge of Legal Affairs at the same time as her appointment as Tourism Minister.

Before getting involved in politics, she was the host of various television talk shows, mainly discussing about political, economic and social issues, such as Dateline Malaysia and Lidah Pengarang on ntv7.

Political career

  • Protem Head, Puteri UMNO Malaysia (2001 - 2002) Appointed by the the President of UMNO, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad as the Pro Tem Head of Puteri UMNO Malaysia, in April 2001.
  • Head of UMNO Civil Action Bereau (2000 - 2004) Appointed as Head the Civil Action Bureau of UMNO Malaysia (BTS UMNO), which is based in Sungai Way, in August 2000.
  • Head of Puteri UMNO Malaysia & Vice-President of UMNO (2002 - 2004) Elected the first Head of Puteri UMNO Malaysia, on 1 November 2002. The Head of Puteri UMNO Malaysia is automatically one of the six Vice-Presidents of UMNO.
  • Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia (2004 - 2008)
  • Member of UMNO Supreme Council (2000 - Present) Appointed to sit as a member of the UMNO Supreme Council, the highest decisions-making body of the party, in July 2000, by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is also the president of UMNO. There are four female Supreme Councilors out of 46 in the Council.
  • Minister of Tourism Malaysia (2008 - Present)

Social Contributions

Azalina is also active in various social organisations. She is directly involved as Adviser to associations such as the Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association, Malaysian Women Contractors and Construction Organisation, Yayasan Pembangunan Malaysia and the Women's Crisis Centre. She is also a member of Sisters in Islam, which fights for Muslim women's rights and equality.

Awards and recognition



  • SSAP - Darjah Kebesaran Sri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang
  • SPMP - Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Perak
  • DGMK - Darjah Gemilang Seri Mahkota Kedah
  • DPMS - Darjah Paduka Mahkota Selangor
  • PGDK - Panglima Gemilang Darjah Kinabalu


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