Datuk Iskandar graduated with BA (Hons) in Art and Social Science with University of Malaya. He also pursued to enter in the Malaysia Civil Service (MCS) with a Diploma in Public Administration from the Malaysian Institute of National Administration (INTAN) in 1979.
He was first appointed as Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979. In 1981, he was attached for 3 months at the Malaysian Permanent Mission in New York, USA as part of the Ministry’s training program for young diplomats.
In 1983, Datuk Iskandar was appointed as Second Secretary at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. Jakarta is one of the most important Malaysian diplomatic missions in the ASEAN region especially on bilateral relations between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Having completed his posting in Jakarta, he was then transferred to Lagos, Nigeria as First Secretary and Head of Chancery and Deputy High Commissioner at the Malaysian High Commission in Lagos. Nigeria is the most important country in West Africa, and is also the most populated nation in the African continent. The Malaysian High Commission in Lagos is also accredited to Ghana.
Datuk Iskandar completed his posting tenure in Nigeria in 1988 and returned to Malaysia to take up the post of Principal Assistant Secretary in the Organizing Secretariat of CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting). Malaysia hosted CHOGM in 1988 which is the biggest political event held in Malaysia since her independence. From 1989 to 1990, Datuk Iskandar was the Principal Assistant Secretary for political desk in charge of Sub Continent countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.
In 1990, he was tasked by the Ministry to establish the Malaysian Embassy in Santiago, Chile in South America. He served as Charge de Affairs/Councilor/Head of Chancery and later Deputy Ambassdor of the Malaysia Embassy in Chile, and extended to include Colombia, Equador and Peru. He served in the mission until 1995.
In 1995, Datuk Iskandar was once again tasked by the Ministry to establish another Malaysian diplomatic mission in the war torn region in Balkan where he was responsible for the establishment of Malaysian Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Malaysia is one of the few countries that participated in the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement in both military and civilian programs. He held the position of Deputy Ambassador and Head of Chancery until 1998.
Datuk Iskandar returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1998, and took up the post of Under Secretary in the ASEAN department from 1998 to 2000, whereby he represented Malaysia in many of the ASEAN meetings both within and outside the region.
At age 45 and in the year 2000, Datuk Iskandar was appointed as the Malaysian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives. During his tenure in Sri Lanka, he was also elected as the President of the Colombo Plan Secretariat for the year 2005 presidency. It was a significant posting for Datuk Iskandar as during his posting, the government of Sri Lanka signed the peace accord with LTTE which brought an end to one of the longest civil war in history.
After serving 4 years in Sri Lanka, he was entrusted by the government to head the Malaysian diplomatic mission in the Philippines. He was appointed as the Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines from 2004 to 2006. One of the most significant political events during his stay in Manila was the signing of the Peace MOU between the Government and MILF and the appointment of Malaysia as the Lead Country in the International Monitoring Team.
After 2 years in Manila, Datuk Iskandar was transferred back to the Ministry in Kuala Lumpur to take up the post of one of the three Deputy Secretary Generals. He was appointed as Deputy Secretary General of Management Affairs. Under his department, he supervised the Human Resource Division, Finance Division, Administration, Consular, ICT, Development, Parliamentary Affairs and Internal Audit. He also supervised the 115 Malaysian Mission abroad. The total annual operating and development expenditure was around RM800 million. He was elected as EXCO of the Malaysian Administrative and Diplomatic Association from 2006 to 2010.
In 2010 and at the age of 55, Datuk Iskandar was appointed as the Malaysian Ambassador to the People Republic of China and Mongolia. He served there for 5 years until his retirement age of 60 in 2015. During his stay in China, he had the opportunity to meet all levels of the Chinese leadership and travelled almost to all parts of China and Mongolia. He supervised the Malaysian Consulate General in Kunming, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. He also established the Malaysian Consulate General in Nanning. He actively participated in the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Malaysia-China Diplomatic Relations.
In supporting China’s setting up of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Malaysia was amongst the 57 prospective founding members of the AIIB. Datuk Iskandar represented Malaysia in the signing of a key framework agreement for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in 2015, held in Beijing.
Datuk Iskandar retired on 7th April 2015, after serving the Government for 37 years.
Datuk Iskandar currently sits as an Independent Non-Executive Director and Member of the Audit Committee in a public listed company – Complete Logistic Services Berhad since 8th April 2015. He is also a member of the Board and member of the Audit Committee of Perbadanan Perwira Harta Malaysia – a wholly owned subsidiary of Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera Malaysia since June 2015. He is also fellow member of the Malaysian Institute of Defense and Security, Ministry of Defense since 2016.
Married to Datin Rahmah Mohd Lajis, and blessed with 2 grown up sons, Datuk Iskandar is a keen golfer. He continues to maintain his networking with Malaysia Civil Service, and member of the Alumni of the Malaysian Civil Service Association. He is also member of the Association of the Melaka Datukship. He was conferred with the Datuk title by the State Government of Melaka and Johan Setial Mahkota by His Majesty – The Yang Di Pertuan Agong. He was also awarded a Datuk title by the President of Philippines in 2006.