Board of Directors

Tan Sri Dato' Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim

Chairman of IIUM Holdings Sdn. Bhd.

Tan Sri Dato Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim is the current President of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). He is also the Special Adviser to the Malaysian Government on socio-cultural matters, with ministerial status.

Tan Sri Dr. Rais Yatim has had a long and chequered career in Malaysian politics and administration. His political career took off in 1974 with his appointment as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports under Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s second Prime Minister. He spearheaded Malaysia’s main anti-drug movement in 1976 when he formed PEMADAM, the National Anti-Drug Association and became its president for 11 years (1976-1987). Since 1976 he has served under all subsequent Prime Ministers and has held various portfolios, including:

  • Parliamentary Secretary Culture Youth & Sport (1974 – 1976)
  • Deputy Minister of Law (1976-1977)
  • Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (1977-1978)
  • Chief Minister of the State of Negeri Sembilan (1978-1982)
  • Minister of Land and Regional Development (1982-1984)
  • Minister of Information (1984-1986)
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs (1986-1987)
  • Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – legal portfolio (1999 – 2004)
  • Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage (2004-2008)
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs (19 Mac 2008 – Mac 2009)
  • Minister of Information, Communication and Culture (2009-2013)
  • Socio-Cultural Advisor to the Gout (2013 – present)

Tan Sri Dr. Rais who holds an LL.B (Hons.) degree (1973) from the University of Singapore and a Ph.D in Law (1994) from King’s College, University of London is also a qualified specialist language teacher, graduating from Malaysia’s Language Institute in 1964. Pursuant to this niche qualification he was enlisted thereafter to teach Bahasa Melayu to the American Peace Corps volunteers in DeKalb Illinois and Hawaii, USA.

A qualified lawyer, he was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1973 during which period he set up his legal practice – Ram Rais and Partners in Kuala Lumpur. He was called to the Singapore Bar in 1999. A keen photographer-writer, Tan Sri Dr. Rais has written extensively on various topics, especially on law, politics and social engineering and published extensively. Among his major works are Patterns of Anthropology (Translation – 1973), Faces in the Corridors of Power (1978), Executive Power and Rule of Law in Malaysia (1995), Zaman Beredar Pusaka Bergilir (2001), Jelebak Jelebu Corat-coret Anak Kampung (2005), Cabinet Governing in Malaysia (2006), Pantun & Bahasa Indah : Jendela Budaya Melayu (2013) and his latest work, Adat: The Lepong of Minangkabau. Presently Dr. Rais is spearheading the BUDI (Virtue) programme and promotion geared towards a virtue-practical society with accent on University life.