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Dato’ Zainal Rampak - Chief Executive Officer
Kolej WIT

Dato’ Zainal Rampak is a career trade unionist. He entered the trade union movement more than 40 years ago when he first joined the Transport Workers Union (TWU) as its Organising Secretary. Being a grass roots labour activist, he rose through the ranks and is now the General Secretary of Transport Workers Union (TWU). He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kolej WIT, a technical training college pioneered by TWU 30 years ago.

On the national labour scene, Zainal first became officially involved in the activities of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), the country’s national trade union centre in l972 when he was elected as the Chairman of MTUC’s Youth Division. This was followed by more senior positions such as Vice President and Deputy President until he became President from l985 – 2006. He still serves as the Honorary Advisor to a number of MTUC-affiliated unions.

Zainal has also carved a special position for Malaysia abroad through his active participation in international trade union affairs. He commenced his overseas labour activities in l974 when he was appointed Youth Coordinator by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). He currently serves on the Executive Board of ICFTU’s Asian and Pacific Regional Organization (ICFTUATUC), a regional trade union grouping comprising national trade union centres in ASEAN countries.

He also serves as the Chairman of the Asian and Pacific Regional Council of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), as well as Secretary of the ITF Malaysian Council.

Zainal reached the zenith of his trade union career when he was elected as a Member of the Governing Body (Workers’ Group) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in l993 for his first three-year term. He was re-elected in l996 for another three-year term and has been serving the ILO with credit. In l999, Zainal was re-elected as a full (titular) member of the ILO Governing Body – the first for a Malaysian labour leader. During the 2002 ILO Conference, he was the first Malaysian representative to be elected Vice President of the Conference. The then Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, was present at the Conference.

The ICFTU, recognizing Zainal’s capability and potential to serve the cause of the workers, appointed him Asia-Pacific Coordinator for the Workers’ Group of the ILO Governing Body – a position that requires him to travel far and wide, monitor aid projects in recipient countries, and report to the ICFTU as well as to the ILO. Apart from serving as a Steering Committee Member and Official Spokesperson (Workers’ Group) of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC), Zainal has also served as the Official Spokesperson (Workers’ Group) for the ILO Sub- Committee on Multinational Enterprises. He was the Vice Chairperson of the Board of Members for the Workers Group for ILO Turin, Italy and also a Board Member of the ILO’s International Training Centre in Turin, Italy.

Zainal was elected Chairman of Commonwealth Trade Union Council in 2002 and was also the Chairman of the International Transport Workers Federation Asia Pacific Region for eight years since 2002. Zainal, who has received several awards through the years in appreciation of his services to the Workers and to the community at large, was conferred the KMN (Kesatria Mangku Negara or National Distinguished Leadership) Award by His Majesty the King in June, l997. He was appointed a Senator in December (l998-2005) and conferred the title of ‘Dato’’ in 1999.

In appreciation of his invaluable services for the well being of workers, MTUC conferred Zainal the title of ‘Bapa Pekerja Malaysia’ on 1 May 1997.

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[Extracted from: Training Guide Malaysia 9th Edition]
Supported by
Ministry of Human Resource, Malaysia Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Malaysian Institute of Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran (DSD) Institut Bank-bank Malaysia MAPS
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