KUALA LUMPUR: Over 60 years since she founded the Peninsular Malay Students Federation (GPMS), Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali has received the highest award from them - the special Srikandi Negara award.
Dr Siti Hasmah was among the six founders of the Malay student NGO in 1948, while she was studying at Universiti Malaya which was then located in Singapore.
Dr Siti Hasmah, who is the wife of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, received the highest award of the night from Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor for her contributions to the country.
She was among 14 outstanding women who received awards during the Tokoh Srikandi Negara awards here last night.
"Thank you for this honour. I receive this not for myself, but on behalf of all women who have contributed to our country.
"I hope women will continue to be in the forefront of the country's education and fight for the future of education in Malaysia," said Dr Siti Hasmah in a video played at the event before she accepted the award.
Other award recipients included 88-year old Datuk Siti Rahmah Kassim who was awarded in the politics category.
Siti Rahmah was among the women leaders in Umno prior to the country's independence and is still actively involved in various women's NGOs.
Other recipients included Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, who was the first Malaysian woman to be appointed as the Chief Judge of Malaya in 2005, former newscaster Ras Adiba Radzi and popular singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza who also preformed for guests after the ceremony.
Rosmah, in her speech, said the achievements of women could be seen public and private sectors as well as in social organisations in Malaysia.
"It has been proven that women have their own leadership capabilities that enable them to effectively lead ministries, for example, government agencies, private firms and Government bodies," she said in her speech.