Zairil Khir Johari

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Zairil Khir Johari is the Member of Parliament for Bukit Bendera, a seat he won with a record majority in the 13th General Election in 2013. He is also the Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) Parliamentary Spokesperson for Education, Science and Technology.

Zairil is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he received his Master of Arts in international studies and diplomacy, graduating with merit. Prior to that, he attended Multimedia University in Cyberjaya, graduating with a Bachelor of IT (Hons) in information systems engineering.

Upon returning to Malaysia after completing his studies, Zairil started Chocolab, a chocolate production house specialising in boutique and customised chocolates. After two years as CEO (chocolate eating officer), he divested himself from business to pursue a career in politics.

In February 2011, Zairil was appointed Political Secretary to the Secretary-General of the DAP, Lim Guan Eng. He served in this capacity until his election into the Central Executive Committee (CEC) in December 2012, and subsequent re-election in September 2013.

Zairil is currently DAP’s Assistant National Publicity Secretary, as well as the Vice-Chairman of DAP Penang, a post he was elected to in December 2013.

From 2012 to 2016, Zairil headed the Penang Institute, a state-funded public policy think tank based in Penang. Under his leadership, the Penang Institute convened numerous international conferences and lectures featuring world-renowned speakers such as Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Professor Tariq Ramadan, former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former Indonesian President BJ Habibie. He now continues to serve as a Fellow of the institute.

Through his work in Parliament as well as in the Penang Institute, Zairil has actively spearheaded issues such as national education, federalism and socio-economic reform. He also has a keen interest in cultural and identity issues, on which he has written extensively.

In 2014, Zairil was selected as a global “Leader of Tomorrow” for the 44th St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland, an annual conference aimed at fostering inter-generational and inter-cultural dialogue between the decision-makers of today and tomorrow. In 2016, Zairil was chosen to participate in the prestigious UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s International Leaders Programme, a initiative that connects future leaders from emerging power countries.

In January 2016, Zairil was elected as the president of the Football Association of Penang, the governing body for the sport of association football within the state.

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Zairil Khir Johari adalah Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bendera, kerusi yang telah dimenanginya dalam Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 pada tahun 2013. Beliau juga Jurucakap Parlimen Parti Tindakan Demokratik (DAP) bagi hal ehwal Pendidikan, Sains dan Teknologi.

Zairil adalah graduan daripada School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, kelulusan Master of Arts dalam pengajian hubungan antarabangsa dan diplomasi dengan kepujian. Sebelum itu, beliau belajar di Universiti Multimedia di Cyberjaya dalam bidang Sarjana Muda Teknologi Maklumat (Kepujian), pengkhususan kejuruteraan sistem maklumat.

Sekembalinya ke Malaysia setelah menamatkan pengajian, Zairil menubuhkan Chocolab, pusat pengeluaran coklat butik dan coklat tempahan khas. Setelah dua tahun berkhidmat sebagai CEO (chocolate eating officer), beliau meninggalkan bidang perniagaan dan bermula mendaki kerjaya politik.

Pada Februari 2011, Zairil dilantik sebagai Setiausaha Politik kepada Setiausaha Agung DAP, Lim Guan Eng. Beliau memegang jawatan tersebut sehingga dipilih menganggotai Jawatankuasa Tertinggi Pusat (CEC) pada Disember 2012, dan kemudiannya dalam pemilihan semula pada September 2013.

Zairil kini menyandang jawatan Penolong Setiausaha Publisiti Kebangsaan DAP, di samping menjadi Naib Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Negeri DAP Pulau Pinang setelah berjaya dipilih pada Disember 2013.

Dari tahun 2012 hingga 2016, Zairil telah menerajui Penang Institute, badan pemikir dasar awam kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang. Di bawah kepimpinannya, Penang Institute telah mengelolakan beberapa seminar antarabangsa dan syarahan yang menampilkan personaliti bertaraf dunia seperti Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Professor Tariq Ramadan, Mantan Perdana Menteri Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva and Mantan Presiden Indonesia, BJ Habibie. Beliau kini menyandang jawatan sebagai Felo institute tersebut.

Melalui tugasnya di Parlimen dan juga di Penang Institute, Zairil telah menerajui isu-isu seperti pendidikan, sistem federalisme serta reformasi sosio-ekonomi. Beliau juga berminat dalam agenda kebudayaan dan identiti, dan kerap menulis mengenai isu-isu tersebut.

Pada tahun 2014, Zairil  telah dinamakan sebagai seorang “Pemimpin Masa Depan” (Leader of Tomorrow) dalam persidangan St Gallen Symposium ke-44 di Switzerland,  sebuah acara tahunan yang bertujuan untuk memupuk perbincangan dan pertukaran antara budaya dan generasi dalam kalangan pemimpin-pemimpin hari ini dan masa depan. Pada tahun 2016, Zairil telah dipilih untuk menyertai International Leaders Programme, iaitu suatu inisiatif berprestij anjuran Kementerian Luar Negeri dan Komanwel UK yang bermatlamat untuk menghubungkan pemimpin-pemimpin masa depan dari negara-negara kuasa memuncul.

Pada Januari 2016, Zairil telah dipilih sebagai presiden Persatuan Bolasepak Pulau Pinang, badan penyelia sukan bola sepak bagi negeri Pulau Pinang.

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