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Padma Shri


             Shri Malai Haji Abdullah Bin Haji Malai Othman is the President and founder of SMARTER Brunei, which stands for the Society for the Management of Autism Related issues in Training, Education and Resources, Brunei Darussalam, which is a non-government and non-profit organization run by parents and family members for parents and family members exclusively for Individuals with Autism (IWA). He is also a Deputy President of Council Welfare of Person With Different Ability (CWPWDA) MKOKU (Majlis Kesejahteraan Orang Kelainan Upaya) and was the Chairman of ASEAN AUTISM NETWORK from 2013 to 2015 and the Honorary Chairman of ASEAN AUTISM NETWORK 2015-2017.


             Born on December 29, 1952, Shri Othman started his career in 1976 as a General Nurse in Dudley and Stourbridge School of Nursing U.K, in Mental Subnormalities and Mental Health, and he progressed quickly. Upon his return to Brunei in 1980, he was the first Bruneian Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing Officer. He then moved his way up, with a full, wide and diverse range of roles and responsibilities which further enriched his experiences and leadership qualities. He retired from civil service as a Special Duties Officer. He was recognized in Brunei while he was a civil servant with various medals, the P.S.B, P.J.K, P.J.P, P.I.K.B, P.K.L.

             In April 2001, Shri Othman's youngest child and only son, Farid Azeem, was diagnosed with Autism. Driven by his love for his son, and by his core value of family, he was determined to make a difference, to make a world a safer place for Farid and for the other Individuals with Autism. In September of the same year, SMARTER was founded. What started as a small room in a local primary school, expanded into 3 centres, a charity shop and a bakery. In addition to fundraising events, under Shri Othman's leadership, SMARTER also he designed, developed and implemented a whole life holistic approach to managing IWA, from early intervention to adulthood. His methods and centres have been recognized by National Autistic Society, United Kingdom as well as National and International universities such as University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Philippines and Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia under the New Colombo Plan, in which students and professionals regularly come for attachments to experience and learn from the expertise at SMARTER. SMARTER also holds conferences in which renowned academics and professionals have participated as keynote speakers.

             In addition to his work in Autism Awareness, Shri othman is also a consultant, a motivational speaker and a licensed professional trainer. From 2012 to 2017, he was a consultant and trainer for the Bruneian National Services (PKBN). He is proud father of 5 children and has 11 grandchildren, 3 of which are diagnosed with Autism and 1 with ADHD.

             Shri Othman is a firm believer that everything is possible, with determination, hard work and most importantly, the correct Niat-intention. He aspires to have all individuals with autism employed to live a full quality life. His work continues to inspire those around him and his dreams of a fully inclusive and accepting world in which different abilities are not only accepted, but also respected.

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