Datuk Halimah Mohd Said

Co-Chair, WWEBS 2023 Organising Committee


Datuk Halimah Mohd Said is a long-serving educationist and academician specialising in English Literature, English Language Teaching-Learning and Linguistics, she taught in secondary schools for seven years (1969-76) and at the University of Malaya for 25 years (1976-2000). She taught English language at many levels applying different methodology, methods and techniques. She also specialises in English – Malay translation and interpretation and editing in both languages.

When she retired from UM in 2000 she became a writer and citizen journalist contributing opinion pieces regularly in Astro Awani, The Star and The Sun after running a fortnightly column THIS N THAT in The Sun for two years. She has been writing Letters to the Editor and feature articles in the media since 1998. Her writings present critical analyses of issues of national concern such as unity and national integration, corruption and integrity, language and education, socio-cultural and political developments, and a discussion of their societal ramifications. She is currently language editor of Al-Shajarah the biannual journal of ISTAC – II.

Halimah has written and edited many works including English Is An Asian Language (2000), Language of Empowerment (2003), My Early Years: Dr Mohamed Said (2011), Memories Of Our Mothers (2012). She co-authored the book Images of the Jawi Peranakan of Penang (2004) and contributed chapters to Memories Of Our Mother (2012), Visions For Peace (2016), History For Nation Building (2018), Women For Change And Empowerment (2020), Reflections: Dr Mohd Said (2021), Grit & Gumption: Yusuf Brothers of Penang (2022), Roots Living Heritage (forthcoming). She is currently working on My Memoir and My Artbook.

 She was a member of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Corruption Commission (MACC) Advisory Board for four and a half years. Dato’ Halimah was appointed as one of fourteen members of Majlis Perundingan Keharmonian Rakyat (2019-2022) and was elected as its Vice-President.

She sits on the committee of several organisations including UNFPA, Dialog Rakyat, Persatuan Bahasa Moden Malaysia and is a member of Persatuan Penterjemahan Malaysia, Badan Warisan Malaysia and Chopin Society Malaysia.

In 2010 she founded PCORE: Association of Voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason (Persatuan Suara Keamanan, Hati Nurani dan Kebolehan Menaakul) and as President from 2011-2020 she spearheaded activities in the public arena including dialogues and forums. She is active in online forums on national issues and peace and interfaith circles. On the ground she conducts PCORE activities on art and culture, language and education camps and training programmes targeting different groups in the community. In 2018 she participated in and curated an art exhibition on selected mosques in Malaysia at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia and in 2019 the Interschool Art Competition-Exhibition on the theme “Harmoni Mesra Saling Hormati”. She will be having her solo art exhibition themed Solo Artbeat from 16-20 August 2022 at the Royal Selangor Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur. She is currently a member of Team Ahli Pemikir (TAP), Kementerian Perpaduan Negara (Ministry of Unity, Malaysia).

Having diverse work experience in different settings – classroom, administration, committees, boardroom, civil society organisations, community programmes and activities – has given Halimah an excellent background in people management and the ability to do accurate assessments of their needs and problems. Dealing with many different personalities has given her a good understanding of why and how people react/ respond in different ways. In order to achieve excellence at work it is necessary to apply the right thinking skills to be discerning, particular and relevant for particular aspects of management. She has attended numerous workshops, seminars and conferences spanning many sectors and specialisations, and actively participates as speaker, panellist, discussant, moderator, facilitator and rapporteur.

Halimah is currently on the panel of the online forum Melayu Tanjong Asiana which describes the history and culture of the Jawi Peranakan community of Penang, a sub-group of people with Malay, Indian and Arabic ancestry.

Halimah paints in oil, acrylic, watercolour, crayon, and mixed medium and has participated in several art exhibitions including Inspiration-Imagination-Interpretation: Mosques of Malaysia (2018), Harmoni-Mesra, Saling Hormati (2019), Women’s Art @ Chinese Assembly Hall (2019). Solo Artbeat is her first solo art exhibition where she is showcasing and selling more than 100 of her artworks. All proceeds from the sales will go into a fund for art education for the underprivileged.


Academic Qualifications

BA (Hons) in English (Universiti Malaya, 1968), Diploma in Education (Universiti Malaya, 1969), MA in Applied Linguistics (University of Leeds, 1983), and Completed 4-year residential requirement for a PhD (School of Oriental and African Studies University of London 1986-91).