Eminent sports administrator and former Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar has been appointed as the fourth Chancellor of WOU. He succeeds Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah who successfully served for more than five years.

Tunku Imran, 71, is well-known for his involvement in sports at global and national spheres. As president of the Commonwealth Games Federation from 2011 to 2015, he headed the organising of the world’s second largest sporting event. Many recall him standing alongside Queen Elizabeth II of England during the opening of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as she read her speech.

Born on 21 March 1948, he is the third child of Tuanku Ja’afar, the tenth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and tenth Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan. Malaysia’s first King, Tuanku Abdul Rahman, was his grandfather.

He attended boarding school at King’s School in Canterbury, England from 1956 to 1966, and earned a Bachelor of Law (Hons) degree from University of Nottingham in 1970. He was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn the following year. He has represented his university’s first teams in squash and cricket, and his hall in hockey, rugby and tennis. He was also involved in badminton and athletics in England.

Tunku Imran speaks English, Malay, French and German.

Sports engagements

Tunku Imran was in the Malaysian team on an international cricket tour to Hong Kong in 1971 and captained the Selangor Club cricket team. He formed the Federal Territory Cricket Association in 1974, and was its president from 1991 to 2011 and patron from 2011.

He also played for the national squash team from 1973 to 1976, and was Malaysia’s first National Squash Champion in 1973. In 1988, he was made Chef de Mission of the Malaysian delegation to the Olympic Games in Seoul. He is now patron of Taekwondo Malaysia since 2014, having served as its President (2010-2014).

He was a board member of the National Sports Council of Malaysia from 1985 until recently. He is the Founding Chairman of the Foundation for Malaysian Sporting Excellence (from 1991) and President of Lord’s Taverners Malaysia (from 2003). He served as President of OCM from 1998 to 2018 and is now its Honorary Life President.

Tunku Imran formed the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia in 1972, serving as its first secretary and as its president from 1978 to 1989. He was Chairman of the first Malaysia Games in 1986; Director of Sukom ’98, the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur; and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the IOC Session in KL in 2015.

He is also an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from October 2018, having been an elected member from 2006 to March 2018. He served as a member of IOC’s Sport and Law Commission (2002-2014) and IOC’s Sport and Active Society Commission (2006-2018).

He was Vice President of Commonwealth Games Federation (2000-2011) before ascending to be President. He was made Honorary Life President from 2015. He is also an Honorary Life President of SEA Games Federation (from 2001), having been its President twice (2000-2001, 2015-2017). He is an Executive Council Member of Association of National Olympic Committees from 2011. He was a member of the Advisory Board of Olympic Council of Asia and of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (2002-2014).

Tunku Imran is also a patron of the World Squash Federation (from 2002), having been its president from 1989 to 1996 and Emeritus President from 1996 to 2002. In cricket, he has held international positions which include Executive Board Member of the International Cricket Council (1997-1999, 2001-2008), Chairman of Associate Members of the ICC (2001-2008), and Vice President of the Asian Cricket Council (1993-2004).

Corporate Career

A successful entrepreneur, he joined the Malaysian National Corporation (PERNAS) in 1971 and was its representative in Indonesia and later the Group Company Secretary. He moved to Haw Par Group in 1973 and was Managing Director of Haw Par Malaysia until 1976.

He was then CEO of Antah Group of Companies, which he formed in 1977, until February 2001, and Chairman of Aluminium Company of Malaysia Berhad (1987-2017). He is currently the Executive Chairman of Syarikat Pesaka Antah Sdn Bhd and the former Chairman of Lafarge Malaysia Bhd. He was appointed to the Governing Council of Yayasan Sime Darby as its chairman in February 2019.

Other interests

Tunku Imran has served as Director of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (1985-2017), member of the Court of Emeritus Fellows of Malaysian Institute of Management (from 2004) and member of the Malaysian-British Business Council (from 1998). He is also a past President of Badan Warisan Malaysia, Chairman of the Bankers’ Club of Kuala Lumpur (from 2003) and member of the Board of Trustees, Tuanku Ja’afar College.

Awards and accolades

Tunku Imran was bestowed the National Sports’ Leadership Award by the King in 1991. In June 2009, he was selected as the global winner of the Lifetime Service Award at the Pepsi ICC Development Programme Annual Awards 2008 in recognition of his contribution to cricket. In November 2011 he received The Brand Laureate Hall of Fame-Lifetime Achievement Brand ICON Leadership Award.

He was also given the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Alumni of University of Nottingham in September 2015. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Newport University, USA (April 2004), an International Honorary Doctorate from the United States Sports Academy (March 2009), Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Nottingham (July 2011), and Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University from the University of Glasgow (June 2014).

Tunku Imran was conferred the Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) in 1992, and the Darjah Seri Utama Negeri Sembilan (SPNS) in 1999.

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