Dato' Professor Dr. Hjh. Asmah Hj. Omar was born in Jitra on 5
March 1940 into a family with a tradition of a high level of education.
Her early and secondary education started in Kedah. She continued
her higher studies at the Universitas Indonesia, where she obtained
her Bachelor's as well as her Master's degrees. Subsequently, she
obtained her doctorate from the University of London in the field
of 'General Linguistics'. In the year 2000, Dato' Prof. Dr. Hjh.
Asmah was awarded the Doctor of Literature (D.Litt) by the University
of Malaya for her immense contributions in the field of linguistics
- Assistant Lecturer, Department of Malay Studies, University
of Malaya (1963)
- Lecturer, Department of Malay Studies, University of Malaya
- Director, Centre for Languages, University of Malaya
- Associate Professor, University of Malaya (1972)
- Deputy Vice Chancellor (establishment), University of Malaya
- Professor of Malay Linguistics, University of Malaya (1976-1995)
- Professor on Contract, University of Malaya (1995-2000)
- Dean, Faculty of Language and Linguistics, University of Malaya
- Guest Lecturer, Centre for Construction and Development of Languages,
Jakarta, Indonesia (1977)
- Guest Lecturer, Institute of Linguistics, University of Hawaii
- Visiting Professor, University of Qatar (March 1979-April 1979)
- Visiting Professor, Centre for Southeast Asian Languages and
Cultures, Mahidol University, Bangkok (May 1978)
- Fulbright Visiting Professor under SEASSI plan, Northern Illinois
University, USA (2 June 1987-23 August 1987)
- President, Linguistics Society, Malaysia (1977-1979)
- President, Society of Modern Malay Language (1986-1994)
- National Language Committee, Ministry of Education, Malaysia
- Coordinating Committee for the Integration of Science and Social
Science, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (1978-until now)
- Director, Institute of Malay Civilization, Sultan Idris University
of Education, Tanjung Malim, Perak.
Dato' Prof. Dr. Hjh. Asmah has produced 45 academic books pertaining
to linguistics, published by the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, the University
of Malaya and the Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya.
She has Translation the English language dictionary, 'Oxford Advanced
Learners Dictionary' into the Malay language, which took five years.
She is also a contributor of academic articles both for local as
well as for the international community, and she has consistently
put forward her opinions and interpretations pertaining to problems
as regards to Linguistics.
Apart from that, she also conducts research either on her own or
in association with other parties and the works include "University
of Malay English for Special Purpose Project" (University of
Malaya and Thomas Nelson Inc.), 'CICHE ELT 308 Academic Writing
and Teaching Package Project', 'University of Malaya Spoken English
Project (UMSEP' from 1980 until 1983, and 'Culturally Conditioned
Models of Conflict and Conflict Resolution, Malaysia- Sweden (University
of Goteborg) from 1989 until 1994.
In appreciation of her services and contributions, she was bestowed
several honours and awards and they include the Ahli Mangku Negara
(A.M.N.) in 1973, the Setia DiRaja Kedah (S.D.K.) in 1979, the Dato
Setia DiRaja Kedah (D.S.D.K.) in 1983, the ASANAL Awards in 1979,
'the Orde Des Palmas Academique Perancis' in 1989, the GRATA HOME
NAGEM from the Institute Portugese Do Oriente, Macau in 1990, the
'Boss of the Year' for session 1992/1993 from Society of Secretaries,
Malaysia, the 'Charter of Appreciation' from MABBIM Indonesia in
1993, the Certificate of Appreciation from the Ministry of Education,
Malaysia in 1995 for promoting MABIM and MABBIM, the first Raja
Nazrin Shah Language Award in 1996 from the society of Modern Language,
the 'Woman of the Year 1998' Award in 1999 from the American Biographical
Institute and the '20th CAA Silver Medal of Honor' Award in 1999
from the International Biographical Center.