Maximus Johnity Ongkili

Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water


THE HONOURABLE DATUK SERI PANGLIMA DR. MAXIMUS JOHNITY ONGKILI was born on 26 October 1953 in Sabah, Malaysia. Despite only starting schooling at the age of 10, his capabilities, discipline and determination saw him winning the prestigious Colombo Plan Scholarship to study in Australia. He returned home in 1985 with a Degree in Agricultural Science and PhD. in Agricultural Economics from the La Trobe University and was made a Distinguished Alumni of the same University, in April 2009. He has also completed fellowship and summer programmes at the United Nations University, Tokyo, Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID), Boston and Oxford University SAID Business School.  He was conferred as the Honorary Doctorate of Leadership in Innovation by the LimKokWing University of Creative Technology in 2011 and the Honorary Doctorate for Life Sciences in 2012 by the Asia Metropolitan University.


Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Ongkili started his career as a lecturer with Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (now known as Universiti Putra Malaysia) and later held senior research positions with the Institute of Strategic and International (ISIS) Malaysia (1985-1987). He was also the Executive Director/CEO of the Institute of Development Studies (Sabah) from 1991 to 1994.


His foray into politics began in 1994 when he was nominated to stand as a Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) candidate. He has been Member of Parliament for Kota Marudu, Sabah since 1995 and a three-term member of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly from 1994 to 2008. Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Ongkili was first appointed into the Federal Cabinet in 2004 as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department holding the portfolio of national unity and integration, from March 2004 to March 2008. After the March 2008 General Election, he was given the post of Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation. He retained the Kota Marudu parliamentary seat in the March 5, 2013 General Election and was made Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister.


Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Ongkili is married to Datin Seri Panglima Joan Maluda and has two children – Rachel Jane and Andreas Jordan.