Chinese mum who raised adopted child as Muslim receives award

KUALA LUMPUR: The Perdana Maulidur Rasul Award 1444H/ 2022M was awarded to corporate figure Tan Sri Syed Zainal Abidin Mohd Tahir while the Ikon Ibu Sejati-Keluarga Malaysia was awarded to Chee Hoi Lan for raising her adopted daughter as a Muslim.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah granted the awards during the National Maulidur Rasul celebrations at World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur yesterday in conjunction with Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

Chee, an 83-year-old non-Muslim, was chosen as an icon for her motherly love in raising her adopted daughter, Rohana Abdullah, as a Muslim.

The former kindergarten teacher, who was in a wheelchair, was praised for single-handedly looking after Rohana while ensuring she grew up as a practising Muslim.

Rohana, who is now 22, was reportedly abandoned at the age of two months by her biological mother, an Indonesian citizen who worked as a cleaner in the kindergarten where Chee was employed.

Rohana, once stateless, was also given citizenship in April this year after her case was taken up by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Syed Zainal Abidin, who is Dagang Nexchange Bhd (DNeX) group managing director and PETRONAS vice-president, was once the Proton and Perodua CEO. He also holds various other posts in the corporate sector and NGOs.

The corporate figure was honoured for his contributions in various fields involving Muslim welfare and corporate fields.

Others who also received icon awards in various other fields at the celebrations yesterday were Hushim Salleh (Motivation and Counselling), Syazrina Azman, who is also known as Mizz Nina (Humanity Activist), Yayasan Zikay’s Datuk Mohd Khay Ibrahim (Muslim Corporate), television producer Ahmad Noor Sulaiman (Islamic Media) and Universiti Malaya’s Prof Datuk Dr Azizan Baharudin (Science and Civilisation).

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