Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar has wide experience in the media world. He is a journalist and editor, an award-winning creative writer, and a well-read columnist. He started his career as a researcher and later led the magazine division of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), the Language and Books Bureau, a statutory body under the Minister of Education.
He was Chief Editor of the Utusan Melayu group from 1992 to 1998. He was also Chairman of Media Prima Berhad, the largest and only integrated media company in Malaysia (serving from April 2009 to August 2015).
Johan is currently Chairman of Sanctuary Billboards Sdn Bhd, an outdoor advertising company and Chairman of Nobel International School in Kuala Lumpur. He was formerly Chairman of DBP, which is also the country’s biggest publishing house.
He sat on the board of Multimedia Development Council (MDC) back in the 90s. He was a member of the Malaysian Business Council (MBC) and a committee member of Malaysia Incorporated (Malaysia Inc).
He was also a member of the National Brains Trust on National Education, set up by the National Economic Action Committee (NEAC). He was Head Jury for the Asia Pacific Film Festival in Kuala Lumpur in 2005. He was once Chairman of the Malaysian Arts Council and a member of the board of Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA), Malaysia’s foremost school of performing arts. He was a member of the nomination committee for the Education and Community category of the Merdeka Awards.
Johan was Chairman of the Consultation and Prevention Panel of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) until December 2015. He was also a member of the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC). He is currently a member of the newly established Putrajaya Higher Education Task Force (PHETF). He was on the board of Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN), a corporation under the Ministry of Higher Education responsible for granting study loans to students pursuing tertiary education.
He is also Adjunct Professor at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).
He was a columnist for the New Straits Times from 2002 to 2015 and wrote for Berita Harian for seven years. Since April 2016, he writes fortnightly for The Star. He was awarded the coveted “Tokoh Wartawan Malaysia” (National Journalist Award) at the MPI-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards on 26th of April 2019.
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