Kamarul Baharin bin A. Kassim


Kamarul Baharin bin A. Kasim is presently the Director of Muzium Negara (National Museum), Malaysia. He obtained his first degree in the Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Malaya in 1989. His first appointment was as a curator of Ethnology with the Department of Museums and Antiquities in 1991.

His interest and passion propel him to lead a team of museum researchers into the investigation of the customs and traditions of the various ethnic groups found in Malaysia; namely the Malay Shadow Puppet performances, keris, musical instruments, costumes, dances and the ethnography of the Orang Asli.

As acting Deputy Director of Ethnology of the Malay World Museum from 2000-2005, Kamarul conducted and produced his research projects on the folk arts and cultural traditions of the Malay world such as the Menora, Jikey, Hamdolok, Main Peteri, Wayang Gedek, and Dabus. He also documented the diasporas Malays of South Africa and the Malay-Cham community in Indochina. All these researches and documentation were published in several CDs which are available for sale at the museum.

In August 2005, Kamarul was appointed as Under-Secretary of Heritage Division in Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage. After a year he was transferred to the newly established Department of Heritage, overseeing the implementation of the National Heritage Act (Act 645) 2005. He was made the Director of Conservation and Archaeology and later served as the Director of Registration and Enforcement in 2007.

In mid-2009 he was recalled to the Department of Museums Malaysia to assume the Directorship of Muzium Negara (National Museum). In his capacity as the director of the Grand Old Dame / Muzium Negara, his responsibility was the overall management and implementation of policies and programmes within the museum and the Department. He is the current Secretary of the Museum Association of Malaysia and Treasurer of the Malaysian National Committee of ICOM (ICOMMAL).

In his capacity as curator of the museum, Kamarul has attended several regional and international conferences. He has presented papers in the fields of museums, material culture, heritage & conservation and cultural studies. His publications include: Distinctive Malay World Collections (2003); Explore the Ghosts: Mystery and Culture (with Dr. Dellois P.V., 2003); and Si Balaok La-U (translated from a Champ manuscript with Abdul Karim, 2007).

Kamarul sees that the ASEMUS provides a platform to raise the profile of museum and encourages the exchange of information, ideas and research relating to the collections across the regions of Southeast Asia, Asia and Europe. In addition, he hopes that ASEMUS could promote professionalism in the practice of museum among museum practitioners.

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